Any parents of would-be thespians here?

(68 Posts)
cory Tue 16-Jul-13 16:34:25

I've noticed lots of threads about music and plenty about dancing, but what about acting? Anyone else whose dc lives for the stage? Anyone else who gets to spend their evenings taking "all the other parts" for a rehearsing dc? (I do a mean Romeo, I do wink).

Dd has just got to the point where she is prepared to admit to other people that she is hoping to make her career in something theatre-related. She is starting A-levels next term. And dreams of the National Youth theatre, stage school etc...

Theas18 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:38:03

ds has " drama colors" at school, despite not following it as major hobby. he recently went on a drama outing " treat" to the globe theatre and loved I it- if he'd been year 11 not going into year 13 he'd be wanting to do much more after that lol.
he had a lead part in the school musical- musicals are probably his favorite .

good luck if she chooses it as a career. she clearly loves it.

chauffeurmummy Tue 16-Jul-13 23:46:26

My daughters only 6 but regularly declares that she is going "to be on the stage" - goodness knows where she has picked the expression up from!! Drama is her first love at the moment but closely followed by dance/music and one of her favourite pastimes is figuring out which leading lady roles she would like to do. Obviously she's very young so goodness knows how things will move on from here!

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 17-Jul-13 00:55:20

Dd2 is utterly convinced she will be an actress. Utterly convinced. She's only 9 though, so, some way to go yet.

cory Wed 17-Jul-13 09:38:49

<waves at the other drama mums>

Theas, musicals are dd's passion, she knows every tiny detail about every Les Mis actor, but she doesn't have the voice for that sort of thing herself

chauffeurmum, dd used to do that too (I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't still, but at 16 she keeps it to herself wink)

Russians, isn't it lovely with that age when they still have the confidence to feel that conviction? You never know, it may be totally justified too.

dress rehearsal tonight, heavy white furs- in this heat, this is real dedication!

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 17-Jul-13 10:22:45

Cory - we've had shows each weekend for tha last 3 - Dd1 was Audrey 2, then there was the dance school show, then on Sunday it was the theatre school gala. Next Sunday, DD2 has rehearsals all day - first panto rehearsal then first rehearsal for big autumn half term production. DH is not impressed (he thinks if they didn't have all this show stuff we'd all be on the beach surfing. We wouldn't. We can't take the heat. He refuses to acknowledge that)

showtunesgirl Wed 17-Jul-13 10:23:42

Not the mother of a thespian but am one myself. Any questions? smile

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 17-Jul-13 10:26:31

Dd loves all subjects equally (acting singing & dance). She wants a career in musical theatre.

DS has just expressed an interest in joining a drama group as long as he doesn't have to dance.

DeWe Wed 17-Jul-13 14:40:33

Dd1 loves performing, particularly musicals. Currently learning a set of lines for a performance in August. Dance show coming up shortly too. Annie in the autumn when she starts rehearsing panto as well.

All my dc do a panto every year (12, 9 and 6)yo.

Dd2 enjoys the social side of performing, but is less bothered by the actual performance.

This year was ds' first year and, to my surprise, he loved it. He's currently rehearsing for the school "talent" show-he wants to sing and perform "naughty". My job is to start and stop the music and tell him when he's forgotten something.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 17-Jul-13 15:17:07

DeWe I wonder if we live in the same place?Although perhaps not as our dance show was a couple of weeks ago. But DD2 also has Annie in the Autumn and Panto......

cory Wed 17-Jul-13 17:57:08

showtunes, dd would like to ask where you did the training (and did you enjoy it there)?

are you musical theatre or straight plays?

showtunesgirl Wed 17-Jul-13 22:26:01

Damn, how do I answer without totally outting myself. hmm

I trained at an Arts University and also at a specially funding part time school, then I did a Musical Theatre diploma and then learning on the job.

I started out in MT but very quickly did both and now I also direct sometimes.

I would say that completing as much formal education as much as possible is very important. A good actor is a smart actor and if you immerse yourself in this world too early, you don't see how the rest of the world lives and your experiences are that much more narrower. The more you see and hear about real life, the better that equips you to act.

cory Wed 17-Jul-13 23:27:57

Thanks, sounds like good advice. smile

showtunesgirl Thu 18-Jul-13 00:14:03

No worries.

A while ago I worked with some kids from one of the well known children's theatre schools. I asked one boy of about 10 what his normal school day was like.

In the morning they did academic subjects and then in the afternoon they did the arts. They had it drummed into them that education was very important but upon asking him some more information, because of the amount of time that they spent on arts training, they could in fact only take about 5 GCSEs, some took a few more than that but that was the average.

This really worried me because what if these kids changed their minds later on and at 16 they decided that what they really wanted to do was be a doctor which you can't do with only 5 GCSEs?

You can get an education and then go into arts but it's much, much harder to go back and redo if for a lot of your childhood all you knew was training to be an actor and then later on decided that that was not what you really wanted to do.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 18-Jul-13 00:18:48

That's interesting shiwtunes

Dd will be taking 9 gcses at her vocational school which is the same number that she would have taken at the selective private school. The only difference is that she can only do double science not triple and the choice if subjects more limited.

BackforGood Thu 18-Jul-13 00:36:09

It's ds's passion. He did a couple of years with the local Rep's Youth Musicals Group until it got cut in the cut backs - shame, he LOVED it. He's in Yr12 now, and drama has been by far and away his most favoured AS Level. That's really what he'd still love to do, spend his life being paid to perform musicals grin

showtunesgirl Thu 18-Jul-13 00:37:14

9 sounds very sensible! I just think that 5 is on the very low side and won't enable you to do very much.

cory Thu 18-Jul-13 08:25:46

Actually, dd won't be getting more than 6 or 7 at the most, possibly oney 5, but that is because she was ill for much of secondary and missed out on tuition. She will still be going to college to do the normal number of A-levels. Most universities, at least the humanities departments, will still take you with a small number of GCSE's if you can show that you have academic potential and write a strong UCAS letter. Not a situation we'd have chosen though.

At least, I suppose her background of struggling against illness and disability might work as some kind of life experience, for theatrical purposes smile

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 18-Jul-13 08:36:54

Oh cory flowers My early life wasn't entirely dissimilar from your DDs. And it turned out fine in the end.

As for the exams - I'm fast coming to the conclusion that everybody is going to get skroty results this year. Everyone. Which will provide useful camouflage for your DD and my DD1 also, possibly. Although I'm sure we'd both have preferred them to take their exams in normal circumstances.

showtunesgirl Thu 18-Jul-13 08:37:53

ALL experience is good experience! smile

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 18-Jul-13 08:44:36

Oh, it's really not. But anything can be learned from.

showtunesgirl Thu 18-Jul-13 08:56:18

That's what I meant RussiansOnTheSpree!!!!

cory Thu 18-Jul-13 11:48:08

<waves at BackForGood>

Good to hear that your ds is enjoying his drama AS. Shame about the youth theatre.

We've been very lucky in that respect: there are several smaller inclusive youth theatres that put on shows and the local Rep runs a summer school and various term time workshops. Dd is just about to do her last show at the youth theatre and has got into the summer school; then she'll see what happens when she goes to college; they seem to put on quite a lot so she may not have that much time for anything outside.

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Thu 18-Jul-13 12:06:58

Both children were performance mad - ds now working as an actor (he really is working, too, rather than "resting" thank goodness). DD is a singer but will probably stick to it as a hobby rather than pursuing it as a career.

I am (ostensibly) an actor - but haven't had any work for ages. Not acting work anyway!

Do you know about the NotaPushyMum website/forum, Cory? Don't let the title put you off! There are lots of parents of budding thespians on the forum there, quite a few really keen and articulate teenagers and a section/strand on training which might be of interest. Lots of parents who are doing their best to support their children (in a bewildered fashion grin) with their ambitions to go to drama school etc.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 18-Jul-13 13:44:01

Verlaine - are you a rather well known and esteemed poster on napm?

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