Coming Out of The Shell with Broadway Edge’s Performing Arts Workshops
In the heart of NYC’s thriving Broadway theatre district, there’s more for your child to do than just see the best shows: they can also learn how to be in them. Only in New York can a kid find themselves receiving professional, Broadway-level training that rivals the best adult-oriented classes in the Big Apple. Two weeks ago, I joined a group from MamaDrama and their kids ages eight through fourteen for a special ANNIE workshop with Broadway Edge, the hottest training program to hit the Great White Way in years.
As a guest writer here on Girl Gone Travel, I must share with all of you that it was my goal to get our beloved Carol Cain into that workshop, onto the studio floor and belting out a few Broadway tunes. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be but I have a sneaking suspicion that behind those twinkly eyes, our fave travel blogger is hiding some major star appeal. We will just have to wait for another opportunity!
But there was no disappointment in sight during this brief demo workshop meant to give us all a taste of the real Broadway Edge weekend workshop master class program. In just two hours, fourteen moms and I sat amazed as we watched shy, introverted kids along-side obvious stars in the making create characters, learn a number, set it to choreography and perform it with full-out commitment and more heart than we knew they had brought into the room.
While my own daughter is more of a behind-the-scenes kind of girl (“Mommy, I don’t like being the center of attention. I really just want to direct.”), I announced my show business aspirations at the age of three and made my Broadway touring debut in Neil Simon’s BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS at age 11. As the editor of BroadwayWorld Jr., the family theatre section of BroadwayWorld.com, it’s been a thrill and an honor to guide my daughter through the world of NY theatre, taking advantage of the opportunity to see anything in town that is age-appropriate. But at age nine, she is now becoming her own person and that person is one who is NOT comfortable in front of an audience. I wondered how she would fare in an actual Broadway-level acting class where I presumed expectations would be high. I wondered if she would be on the floor participating or sitting in chairs observing with me, and so right from the start I grabbed a few other moms and joined in with the class, hoping it would encourage my shy girl to join the cast.
Not only did she participate, she rose to the occasion in a way I never would have anticipated. The little voice I often hear self-consciously singing along to the car radio came out of her with gusto. When Jill, the director of the Broadway Edge program, challenged each kid to create their own, unique orphan character, my daughter (and literally every single other kid in the room) invested fully and completely in transforming herself into someone with a different set of given circumstances and unfortunate life experience. I watched jaws drop as the kids, who only two hours earlier had been shy about learning each other’s names, all performed as an ensemble, committing to each moment and grabbing our attention. They had transformed, and this group of kids had become an ensemble of interesting and magnetic performers.
The actual class is currently being sold as a two-day weekend workshop for kids who have Broadway aspirations. And I can see why: there was a level of intensity in the room that was definitely designed for kids who want this for themselves and who consider acting to be something more than a cool activity to try out.
The next Broadway Edge weekend audition intensive will be March 2nd-3rd, and right now, Broadway Edge is offering you a special discount code. Sign up by February 4th and enjoy $50 off using code MBLOG.