I know exactly how you are feeling! Your little munchkin (or maybe not so little munchkin) has decided musical theatre is LIFE! And you are about to become a first time Theatre Mom! Congratulations! And get ready for an experience of a lifetime!
I don’t know about you, but when my daughter started to show interest and talent in singing, it wasn’t long before the bug had bitten her HARD! All it took was watching our babysitter in her middle school musical (that babysitter went on to study theatre in college and is now living in NYC pursuing her dream!), and that was it for my little thespian. She wanted to be on stage and she wanted to be there now!
But I had NO IDEA where to start. We had recently moved across the country to a new town where we knew no one. I didn’t have a lot of friends and facebook was barely up and running. So doing my research was not easy. Honestly, it took us a few more years to find her a voice teacher. In the mean time, I had about 4000 video tapes (yes, prior to digital recording devices) of my daughter putting on “shows” for me (raise your hand if you have been there!). I love that her early development in musical theatre was age appropriate, creative and totally driven by her!
Soon after she began singing in the children’s choir at church. We were fortunate enough to have an amazing director that very quickly wanted to start doing private lessons with her. Those lessons led to Alex standing on stage at the church’s annual Christmas concert, singing a solo in front of 2,000 people, backed by a full adult choir and a professional band. The kid had NO idea how long some people work to stand in that position. She was positively beaming and had found her home.
Singing in church is a great way for kids to gain confidence and experience both vocally and in performing. My daughter learned how to sing harmony at a very young age thanks to her church choir and as a result is often the go to person in the group to sing any harmony that is thrown at her. I’m not sure she realizes how lucky she was to have such an amazing start in her vocal training.
From there she continued to take voice lessons and slowly began to audition for her school musicals. In hindsight, we wish now we would’ve known more about the community theatre that was available to her. But every journey has a purpose! Alex has a younger brother that is on the autism spectrum. While he is doing amazing now, at that time I think it would have been almost impossible for us to to run Alex to the amount of rehearsals that would’ve been required in a community theatre show. I tell you this so you can take the pressure off yourself to turn your 5, 10 or 15 year old into a mega musical theatre star. Do what works for you, your theatre kid and your family.
At the end of middle school she found her forever mentor and tribe in Positively Arts! And amazing non-profit group that offers camps, master classes and performing opportunities throughout the city including House of Blues, alongside the cast of Baz at the Venetian and working with professional performers on the Las Vegas Strip! My wish is that this type of training was available in every city across the country! But don’t worry, we are working on some amazing ways to bring this training to all of you!!
Today, Alex’s focus is on becoming a true triple threat. She is dancing, singing and acting. She LOVES her community theatre friends here and is always looking forward the next show. She is working with an amazing company called Polish Your Passion She met the owners last summer when she attending a college intensive at Oklahoma City University. They are helping her to choose colleges to apply to while preparing her for the upcoming college pre-screen process and auditions. You will be meeting the owners and masterminds behind this company on here VERY soon!
Does all this sound overwhelming? Scary? Confusing? DON’T WORRY! I’ve got your back. As this blog evolves we will bring in experts to talk about every single thing I just mentioned and more! Along with how you can find the same training and opportunities for your theatre kid!