Come & join me in general chat all you patents of performers - be it dancers, actors, singers or musicians

(315 Posts)
Picturesinthefirelight Thu 29-Aug-13 13:07:52

There are quite a few if us onhere though I know done if you from NAPM & Balletcoforum too

Here we can have a general chit chat about what our children are up to so we don't clog up the threads on specific topics

So Sparkly, Katy, Cory & loads more. Come chat!

Sparklymommy Thu 29-Aug-13 18:09:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 29-Aug-13 23:20:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparklymommy Fri 30-Aug-13 07:18:09

Dd1 is going to audition/ have a look at Redroofs. It's nearer to us and she seems keen. She needs to go away really. We have had such issues with the school recently about time off for exams and performances that I don't think I can do it for another 6+ years!

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 09:35:13

Sometimes these children are square pegs trying to fit into round holes.

Hello, can I join. DS2 has just finished his latest show (west end touring) and we've just heard he's been cast as the main part in another paid job. Not sure how much I'm allowed to say yet. It's perfect though as it's fun, near his school and should keep him occupied for quite a while.

So erm acting/performing seems to be back on the future career agenda :rolls eyes:

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 16:24:13

Are you able to say what show he has just done. I can think of a few touring with a young boy.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 16:25:06

The good news for us is the dr didn't charge for dds medical as he used to share a school bus with kids from dds new school back in the day!

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 16:30:36

As a family how have you found the endless drop off & pick ups? Especially challenging for you I imagine. I sometimes feel that when dd has been in shows like panto or musicals , ds misses out.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

And we struck lucky with the doctor as well, that one did the last two working weeks. Hopefully he'll not charge again....

I think I would find a full on theatre thing hard to manage for a long period though - for the reasons you give regarding drop off and things like that. It's fine for one or two weeks, but would be hard to juggle with the 3 of them long term. Even the idea of panto would make my eyes water. This next job is long term but should be more flexible in timing than theatre and ds2 should just need picking up rather than dropping off. It's great actually - am excited for him.

And for the sorts of reasons you mention we decided to bin the idea of an agent after meeting one. They told me we'd be expected to travel to London (4 hours away) regularly - possibly a few times a week (!) - for auditions (esp for commercials). Er no thanks. Not possible. But it made me realise that even if it were physically possible I couldn't cope really with someone else being in charge of our timetable or having expectations for us to attend particular auditions. Okay we get fewer opportunities, but tbh ds2 gets (more than) enough and we get to decide whether we want to audition or not, and don't have to justify or account for not auditioning for something.

If we lived in London and ds2 was an only child, yes sure, but he does have to fit in with the other kids as well.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 17:34:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teacherwith2kids Fri 30-Aug-13 17:42:42

Not in the same league, but DD is doing panto (local but professional) for the second time this year. Hopefully it will be easier for ther this time - she was the youngest child at 8 two years ago and found it socially difficult backstage and during rehearsals.

Logistics ....eeek.....

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 17:46:24

Did you get to meet the star (his fans screaming in Manchester before he'd sung a note really annoyed me). Fab show. The kids are desperate to be allowed to see it. Ds wanted to audition but he's too unreliable (suspected asd/meltdowns)

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 17:47:32

Panto is fun. As well as the local big panto dd has done smaller scale professional stuff too. It's all good experience & they get loads out of amateur stuff too if its well run.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 18:01:25

The logistics are scary. And they change rehearsal schedules at the drop of a hat. You are basically expected to give up all commitments during those two months

Teacher - weirdly I find ds2 happily works with adults but gets freaked working with kids a few years older than him. He had an audition for an amateur (friendly) thing early last year & completely freaked out because 'there are THIRTEEN year olds auditioning'

Oh that does sound scary pictures

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 18:06:34

I'm a licensed chaperone so I got to chaperone Boxing Day otherwise I would have been alone. All my family went out but I had to stay behind to take & collect dd.

I've also chaperoned a few things dd hasn't been in. I quite enjoy it.

Oh chaperoning looks fun, how did you get into it/start doing it? Ds2's latest chaperone was fab, straight out of drama school, in the west end as a kid. Gave ds2 lots of advice - including the need to think about ways to make money - he now wants to be a chaperone when older (he'd be good at it! He's great with younger kids!)

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 18:15:19

I started off being licensed when Stagecoach provided children for Tosca & Aida tours. Panto chaperoning was unpaid but then got a call from Jo Hawes who needed chaperones at my local theatre for South Pacific.

Oh that's good. Did you have to do a council course? I was wondering about it after hearing that the local theatre had problems getting chaperones for ds2's first professional show. The production company had left it a bit last minute (NOT for the production mentioned above - they were extremely professional). We live so close to the (large regional) theatre I wondered whether it might be a way to earn a bit of extra cash.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 18:23:40

I had to go for an interview then you have to do a course once every 3 years in my area.

Hm I might look into it! The chaperones have always seemed to have fun.

teacherwith2kids Fri 30-Aug-13 19:51:36


That's interesting about older kids. DD was very similar - fine working with the adults, and with the much older girls in her troupe (2 troupes, both provided by local dance school, usual type of thing). It was the big bunch of girls a year older than her that she had real trouble with - the more so because she's not 'obviously younger' - tall, sensible, mature. had she been a cute dot, things might have been different. Her 'twin' in the other troupe with whom she shared costumes was 5 years older!

Weird that isn't it. Maybe they're just very aware of smaller age differences - because at school they can be quite important.

Apologies for deleting the posts above btw - I just get paranoid in case I say too much about the production. I think what I said (not much) was fine, but thought I'd delete just in case.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 20:47:38

I shouldn't worry too much - parents of other Bs have put much more detail on NAPM and the casting director herself posts.

Upcoming productions are a different matter of course when things sometimes have to be confidential until casting is announced.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 20:50:31

I have however reported my post too.

Sparklymommy Fri 30-Aug-13 21:19:16

I think my ds auditioned for that tour. He didn't get in, he was only just six and had never done an audition before but he held his own and wasnt put off which is promising!

Sparklymommy Fri 30-Aug-13 21:21:59

I am a licensed chaperone. Dd has been in a local variety show since she was 6 and the theatre expect parents to be licensed. I held off until last year and my mum was licensed originally because when dd first got in I was pregnant.

It's a good way of seeing more of dd. especially when she's in panto or something, which kind of takes over your life for six weeks or so!

DowntonTrout Fri 30-Aug-13 21:26:35

Hello I'll join in!

DD (11) is off to full time vocational school in a week or two- think you know where Pictures we have spoken before. She has already done 2 terms but now she is going to board. I'm dreading it TBH- I will really miss her.

How is your DD feeling about her new school- is she looking forward to it?

Just to say a girl out of DDs class is swapping to Redroofs this year. It sounds lovely.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I know I said almost nothing, and what I said was nice but :paranoia: grin Your post is fine though, don't worry about it.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 21:45:47

Yes, I think we've PM'd

Dd is getting excited now. She would love to board but she hasn't got an MDS so we can't afford it. I'm still going to miss her though as its long hours 9am-6pm & we are hoping she can have her evening meal at school so she doesn't have to eat too late.

We are just debating whether to allow Facebook so she can keep in touch with people. I've had a friends request from a Year 8 she met on induction day & it's not appropriate for me to accept children.

DowntonTrout Fri 30-Aug-13 22:08:53

Well at the risk of getting flamed- DD has FB. They all seem to keep in contact via Instagram, tumblr, what's app, vine, pheed, etc. All are accounts linked to my phone so that I see everything.

Not that I snoop, but I do keep an eye out for anything inappropriate.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 22:10:03

No problem. MN Towers have accidentally removed 1 post too many but hopefully the thread should make sense.

I also asked for the name of dds school to be removed although I know I've mentioned it in PMs I thought it gets to leave it off the thread

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 30-Aug-13 22:12:36

I think it is a bit different when they are away at school out of the area.

Dd is almost 12 so would only have 12 months to go anyway. Her email address is linked to dhs phone. He even gets copies if her messages so he would set it up & warm her if she tried to lock us out or set up another account her phone & iPad goes.

TBH I think it's wise to allow access to internet earlyish when you can still insist on viewing everything. DS2 doesn't have FB, but he does use boring minecraft forums. He's allowed to providing I get email alerts of posts and I can check all his posts whenever I want (I check daily/every other dayish). When he's older I won't be able to do that. That way he's learning to be safe online.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 31-Aug-13 08:53:16

That's what we were thinking.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sat 31-Aug-13 11:43:00

Hello. DD2 is doing Panto for the 4th year running this Xmas. She's also got a biggish (for her age) role in a production at our local big theatre at half term. And one ballet and two music exams towards the end of term. So it's all go! DD1 is also in the half term production but not the Panto (she doesn't/can't dance but she had a major role in a production in the summer, where all she had to do was sing and prowl a bit which was ideal really). She will also have two music exams - possibly 3 but I might put my foot down - at the end of term. And various concerts, auditions etc.

I think that Dd1 will become a professional musician, I doubt that Dd2 will become a professional performer but I might be wrong. My doubts aren't based on her talent (although that's not to say that I think she is uber talented, just that it's not that I think she is rubbish, you know? I think she's fine. Better than some, not as good as some) but on the fact that as a family we can't facilitate her ambitions in the way that some of the families we know manage with their kids. I also think that she isn't actually as single minded as you need to be - it's not just stage/dance for her, she won't give up music, and she likes to be top of the top table (still at primary school) so, unless something gives, she won't give herself the time thats needed to devote to gambling on a professional career. But for now she's having a lot of fun. Which was kind of the point. smile

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 31-Aug-13 15:14:14

Welcome to the thread Russians

I think you are right. To truly excellent there are sacrifices that have to be made, some children are so single minded but is it always good to give up everything else

RussiansOnTheSpree Sat 31-Aug-13 16:00:31

Pictures Mind you, I know several somewhat well known actors and musicians who didn't do anything remotely like the really driven kids do now. Clearly there are multiple ways to crack an omelette. smile None of them are dancers though. Well, not really.

Sparklymommy Sat 31-Aug-13 17:01:06

My dd likes to be the best at everything. When she isn't (sport is a particular downfall of hers) she gets really upset with herself! So funny!

Mine have all just danced at a fete and I'm shattered. Even the four year old did her solo. Performance is so important in our house. It's like a religion!

I'm not sure you need to be single minded at a young age. Not for acting anyway. Dance/music different maybe, but ds2 is an actor and singer so I don't worry too much. I'm not sure the work he's doing now (great fun though it may be) will count for much in the future (eg if he wants to apply for drama school) as so much will depend on the audition. Having said that I'll be encouraging him to apply for things like YMT, NTMT and YT as he gets older. Of course these early experiences are giving him the confidence to go for things & to some extent getting him known to CD's etc I guess - but not convinced that will be much use for the future.

He also loves IT/computer programming etc, and I am very much encouraging that as well. Seems a good combination with acting.

DowntonTrout Sun 01-Sep-13 10:04:18

I agree saintly. I think for a dancer or musician it takes a certain singleminded ness to get to the required level in the first place. Singing maybe slightly less so but acting is something that can be taken up at any age.

My DD is not single minded in that she does not have an aim that she is going for no matter what. At the moment she has a talent that has been recognised by others but not necessarily herself. It is just something that she enjoys, no maybe more than that, it is what she is that marked her out as "different" at her old school, but now she is at vocational school she is the same as everyone else. She fits in, they " get" her. That is her understanding of it. I hope belief and confidence will come.

That said, she is physically not a MT child, or a dancer. She is too tall for the roles. Mainly it's the singing that interests her, she has dabbled with some piano grades and while she will never be a pianist she says she hopes to get to a level where she can write her own songs. All I can do is support her and keep her feet on the ground. As yet she has no desire to be famous, she just wants to do what she does.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 01-Sep-13 11:15:12

That's interesting what you say about fame

Dd has no wish to be famous, she simply wants to perform. She talks about cruise ships, theatre in education, small scale tours although her dream is the West End

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 01-Sep-13 11:49:24

DD1 certainly has no wish to be famous. It's about the work, for her. Which of course she doesn't see as work. She has a clear idea about what she wants to do. DD2 on the other hand while not wanting to be famous does want to do what is clearly high profile stuff. We shall see (or, more likely, we won't).

I'm not sure ds1 wants to be famous but he does like performing in front of large crowds. When he was confirmed for his second stint of the west end tour I showed him some photos of the theatre (it's a really beautiful one). He just wanted to know how many it seated - and was happy with my answer of over a thousand :rolls eyes:

Ds2 has just stated singing lessons. Decided we ought to organise some if he was going to do more MT. His teacher also teaches piano & music theory & he is having sessions on both of those as well as I think it will support singing. In his case of course his voice will change so we have no idea what it will be like in a few years

Sparklymommy Mon 02-Sep-13 18:09:57

Dd has no interest in being famous. It's about the performance for her. Fame would be a by product. She is already quite infamous locally and had a reputation that she finds difficult to love up to sometimes. She would much rather just have the oppurtunity to perform and she is by far her hardest critic too.

I have a feeling ds2 will always enjoy theatre because you get that feedback from the audience. I also think seeing how weirdos others behave around famous people was a bit of an eye opener for ds2. 'WHY are all these women here?' he said as he had to push his way through hordes of them at the stage door.

Ds3 told me yesterday that he wants to be famous - but he is NOT a performer. grin thank goodness. Ds2 is the only one in the house (another thank goodness I think - but maybe quite unusual judging by NAPM??? I have no idea where he gets it from - he is a family anomaly!)

DowntonTrout Tue 03-Sep-13 08:30:12

When does your DD start school Pictures? We have another week to go. Although the school isn't new to us, it is the first time boarding and a whole new intake for Y7. DD is with 3 of her friends from last year, which is good, but it is still daunting.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 03-Sep-13 08:32:57

She starts on Thursday Downton

cory Thu 05-Sep-13 08:48:00

oooh, just spotted this thread

<waves at everybody>

dd's show opened last night- 3 more nights to go; I thought it looked rather good

and this morning she set off at 7 to start sixth form college where she will be doing A-level drama and BTech in acting; not a performance school as such though her college does have a very good reputation for drama

it will be a tight fit getting back to town for the evening performance and very long hours, but she might as well get used to the idea of long hours now

she is in the chorus+ small character part and is very happy with this; she's loved the physical theatre training they've had

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 05-Sep-13 10:33:45

Hi Cory. All the best for the rest if the run& college

Waved dd off at 7.15am this morning. Very nervous with dance kit in hand.

Oh good luck to your dd's pictures and cory. smile

DowntonTrout Thu 05-Sep-13 11:53:06

Hope it goes well today for your DD Pictures

I'm sure she'll love it!

KatyMac Thu 05-Sep-13 16:01:31

Hello! <waves>

You started without did I miss this?

How is everyone? & the DCs? Is everything going to plan?

I'll catchup on DD later

KatyMac Thu 05-Sep-13 19:22:51

DD has been rehearsing all summer for the Bi-annual Ballet show (is that twice a year or 2 yearly? I mean 2 yearly)

The show is in October, the following week is a show DD is putting on for her Arts Award - raising money for a school in Zimbabwe; she has organised everything, arts, theatre, stage management, publicity - it's all going well

As a result of all this she can't do her first half-term of her Sunday dance class in London - but is making up for it with a Saturday school which we hope starts in late Sept.

When the shows are over we start applications for Vocational 6th form & I'm panicking

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 05-Sep-13 20:41:42

39 PM
Got in st 7.50 as they stopped for tea en route - she was starving as apparently they were out late for lunch and not much left. (Although I don't think tuna wrap, salad & yoghurt is not much myself what's the girl want?)

You'd have thought after such a long day shed rest for half an hour before bed. No. She practised her street dance & did some stretching.

Hasn't done ballet today because of assembly - that starts tomorrow. Two classes plus tap.

KatyMac Thu 05-Sep-13 21:11:49

DD would think that 'not much' too.....they need more carbs I think & protein

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 05-Sep-13 21:42:06

There was bread & pasta & it's not their fault dd doesn't like ham etc. think she was expecting a three course cooked dinner!

KatyMac Thu 05-Sep-13 22:07:13


BrigitBigKnickers Thu 05-Sep-13 22:53:48

Not professional (yet) but my DD lives to perform.

She is incredibly busy this half term with a dance school show in October, school production of a Chorus Line- rehearsals starting next week with performances next March- where she is in line for a main part, youth theatre production of Little Shop of Horrors where she has a main role and a schools' Shakespeare thing in November where she also has a big role with loads of lines to learn.

This on top of singing, piano and guitar lessons and eight performing arts classes a week not quite sure when she will fit in homework for the GCSEs she has just started...

Glad it's all going well for everyone. smile We meet the new production company tomorrow, just starting to try and sort everything out for the licence. I'm hoping it should be straightforward as he won't need to miss any school.

DowntonTrout Fri 06-Sep-13 10:57:35

Glad it went ok pictures apart from lunch!

The nerves have started to kick in for DD. not about the school, but the being away from home. She has gone from being adamant at the end of term that she would do the train journey on her own ( when I booked the ticket) to now asking me to take her, so I've booked tickets for us to go down on Monday instead and stay in a hotel so I can accompany her to school with her suitcase on Tuesday morning.

Of course, I can't do that every week but I think once she's back with her friends it'll be fine. I hope. She is only 11, and I know lots of other people wouldn't dream if allowing an 11 yo to travel by herself to London. Plenty of the DCs at the school do though. Sometimes I think we are mad.

cory Fri 06-Sep-13 13:40:21

I think you know your own child, Downton. Not to mention that children who learn a certain amount of independence early on tend to cope better with things. Dh used to travel all over London at that age and I don't see why a journey to London should be any more difficult.

cory Fri 06-Sep-13 13:43:13

We had a bit of excitement last night: dd fell through a trap door during performance (apparently it looked very dramatic) but she extracted herself and carried on with the scene, like performers do. GP reckons a sprained knee and should be fine with supporting bandages and painkillers for tonight's show.

OMG!!! Hope she's okay cory.
In his first ever professional production ds1 saw one of the adult cast members fall over on stage. I think it helped him really to see how everyone reacted and how they dealt with it & to realise that even professionals go wrong sometimes smile

KatyMac Fri 06-Sep-13 22:30:26

Oh dear - I hope she is OK

I am 5.5 dresses in (@250ish crystals a dress) & only 18.5 dresses to go

I HATE ballet shows

& DH has been sewing dots on Dalmations - I don't think he is very keen either

cory Sun 08-Sep-13 11:08:50

She's fine, thanks, just a little bruised and swollen.

I did let her stay off school on Friday so she could get it seen by a doctor, but he reckoned with a supporting bandage and painkillers she couldn't come to much harm. She is all eager and raring to start college on Monday.

Enquiries among the audience revealed that they hadn't noticed anything untoward. I'd have thought the sight of the choreographer sprinting up the aisle while the director shot out of his chair and shouted "fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck" might have given it away, but I suppose everybody's attention was focused on the stage.

Auditions for the college musical on Wednesday, but I'm not holding out very much hope there: dd, sadly, has rather a weak singing voice.

Katymac, you have my sympathy. I was so grateful when dd gave up ballet: I couldn't cope with all that bloody sewing!

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 11:27:52

Cory IME sad a weak singing voice is less of a drawback than weak dancing.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 11:37:21

We are currently watching the clock before setting out to pick up DD2 from Panto rehearsal - she sang the psalm at mass (and played in the music group with the rest of us), then had to shoot out straight after communion to leg it round the corner to the panto rehearsal (DH took her, she's too little to walk there by herself even though it's only about 1/4 of a mile). That finishes at 12, then she's back at the same venue for rehearsals for the musical she is in at half term (at our professional theatre, although it's her theatre group putting it on) at 1-2:30, then DD1 who is also in the musical but playing an adult part (actually it's v small, not like DD2 who has one of the featured child roles) is rehearsing from 2:30-4:30. And they both have to fit in practice. Sigh. I meanwhile have shitloads of work to do but am finding it difficult to summon the arse, since I will have to leave to be taxi service of mum and dad in 10 mins.

DH keeps referring to our weekend being 'completely fucked up' a viewpoint I am valiantly challenging since from the POV of the girls, this is what they want to be doing and a sunday doing what he wanted to do would be their idea of 'fucked up'. But secretly I'm with him since it would be an ideal day to go walk on the beach and laugh at the elements going 'HA! I have a jumper!'. Oh well. At least he hasn't quite clocked that the overriding reason we aren't doing that is I have shitloads of writing to do and nothing to do with the girls. He will probably realise at about 5 when he notices I haven't been for a run. But till then I am safe from blame! grin

KatyMac Sun 08-Sep-13 20:39:14

Rehearsals today should have been from 10-12:30.....we were still helping at 5 sad

The teacher is snowed under with work & I couldn't leave sad

teacherwith2kids Sun 08-Sep-13 21:09:57

DD has, just for a change (I suppose as good as a rest) spent the morning with a few other girls from the dance school acting as artist's models for a series of paintings of fairies...

The artist is doing a blog as the paintings develop, which is quite interesting, really.

DowntonTrout Sun 08-Sep-13 23:10:28

Well we are all packed up and ready for the train to London.

Don't know whether I'm more nervous or DD. I can't believe I will be leaving my little girl there and coming home without her.

Good luck Downton smile she will love it!

I'm spending a portion of today trying to sort ds2's licence & hoping the council will be really nice & turn it around quickly for us.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 09-Sep-13 07:43:27

saintly I've got to sort the info for DD2's licence (for the panto) today too. DCC?

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 09-Sep-13 12:54:48

Sorry had very busy weekend not had much time to post but been reading what everyone is up to

I'd just like to say I am so, so happy that my little square peg of a daughter seems to have found her square hole in school instead of being squeezed into a round one at her last school!

No it's for studio work russians. But the production company want to start really soon so I am hoping the council will be helpful.

Quick question about earnings. I have just phoned the tax office to find out about declaring ds2's earnings. They will be below the tax threshold this year, but still a decent amount and if it was me earning it I would be declaring it to avoid any trouble. They told me they didn't know what I had to do so I had to write in. hmm Does anyone know?

Oh russians are we near each other? I think we might be. I live in a city though with its own council. smile

Ah they are being helpful. I do like the people who work in our licencing department, they always seem to go out of their way to be helpful.

Unlike HMRC!!!!

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 09-Sep-13 15:20:36

Saintly I live in a city. With its own council. But it's not a unitary authority thanks to Eric Pickles. So the county council controls a lot of stuff. And runs it all for the posh folk in the villages. sad I did kind of think we were in the same geographical county.....

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 09-Sep-13 15:27:06

From an employers point of view if we have anyone earning under the level and we don't operate a PAYE scheme (because everyone else is self employed) we just have to keep an internal note as long as they sent earning elsewhere.

I'm almost certain you don't have to fill in a tax return but make sure you account for any income from savings interest & monetary gifts (I think £100 per month is allowed)

Oh I think I'm in the other big city, which is more chav than posh (but I love it grin ). But went to school many years ago in your city. Is the panto in the NT? (Do they do panto there?)

I think he does pictures because savings etc are taxed at source, whereas this isn't. I know when I was earning the amount he is self employed I filled in a self assessment and they just confirmed each year I owed nothing. Aaagh I'm confused. I don't even know whether he was self employed or employed for the tour dates (it wasn't much so I didn't bother finding out). This latest job is more and I think self-employed. But he doesn't have a NI number so it's all very confusing!

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 09-Sep-13 15:45:11

Saintly The panto is at the corn exchange. The musical she is in at half term is at the NT though.

I have seen a lot of musicals at the NT over the years smile Loved it when I was a kid!

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 09-Sep-13 15:51:26

She was in Beauty and the Beast there a couple of years ago. She was chip. grin


Picturesinthefirelight Wed 11-Sep-13 09:25:48

Dds new form tutor has just contacted us. Dd has told her she is getting loads of nasty phone calls & text messages from children at her previous school sad

DowntonTrout Wed 11-Sep-13 09:54:41

Oh dear. Has your DD not mentioned it to you? It will be jealousy and a bit of "she thinks she's special/different/better than us".

Will she show you the texts do you think? You can judge what you feel is appropriate action from them.

If you know these children could you speak to their parents? Your DD may not want you to do that though.

Can you swap phones for a few days and answer/ reply to all the numbers that this is now your phone and say you will report any further messages?

Or look at a new number or new sim for your DD and make sure she only gives this number to her new schoolmates?

We found out, very quickly, who were real friends and who weren't when DD left her old school. This may knock her confidence at a time when she is finding her feet. I can promise that by Christmas she will have a whole new circle of friends and probably the bullies will have moved on too. It's hard though when she's away from the local school because there are still holidays and weekends when you want her to have local friends.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 11-Sep-13 10:01:04

No she hasn't mentioned it to us dh thinks her phone might be in his car (she's not allowed it in school itself) so he's going to check & also ask her.

I know she gave her number to her best friendcwhobus a lovely girl & it won't be her so well have to see who these messages are from.

Ds is still at the junior part of the school.

How horrible, but it does sound like jealousy. I guess no response, or a response form a parent will lead to them drying up. Or maybe a quick chat to the old school once you know who it is?

DowntonTrout Wed 11-Sep-13 10:24:07

It breaks your heart doesn't it?

Hopefully, if you can get to the bottom of these meassges, and who they are from, you can deal with it. Kids can be really cruel.

DD had her first night away last night. She IS allowed to keep her phone and was texting me at 10.45 last night saying she couldn't sleep. I can only reassure her and hope she settles down soon but I found it very hard.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 11-Sep-13 10:24:35

Yes, going to try & find out who it is first then decide what if any action to take.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 11-Sep-13 10:26:18

The boarders at dds school can have their phones in the boarding house but have to hand them in 15 mins before bedtime.

Just been messaging the mum if a boarder & she said they are settling & sleeping better this week than last week.

DowntonTrout Wed 11-Sep-13 21:48:39

Did you find out about the messages?

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 11-Sep-13 22:35:21

We don't know who they are from but we have their numbers (two of them)

Deciding what to to.

cory Thu 12-Sep-13 07:10:58

Oh your poor dd, Pictures, that's nasty. Does sound like jealousy, doesn't it? sad

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 12-Sep-13 11:36:24

Narrowing down the list if suspects (we know who it isn't from dds contacts & a few mums I know checking their dds phones)

I emailed her old school & they want to speak to me.

She's been told via anonymous text to F off and die.

cory Sat 14-Sep-13 10:40:23

Oh that's horrible. Pre-teen girls can be such little shits. How is she dealing with it?

KatyMac Mon 16-Sep-13 14:46:34

May I just advertise a bit?

Sorry blush

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 16-Sep-13 20:03:05

Change that to pre- teen boys including one in my 9 year old sons class.

I would never have thought it was boys. Almost a relief in a way.

Oh well - she's moved on now.

Sparklymommy Thu 19-Sep-13 18:23:12

Jealousy Pictures .

We are having it ATM with dd. She asked me to style her hair in a big bun for school the other day and came home with it in a ponytail. Her supposed "best friend" told her she looked ridiculous. (She didn't, she looked beautiful). Then today she refused to wear her crop-top/trainer bra, because the same "friend" has been picking on her about it. If much more happens I shall have to speak to the school but I would rather not do that.

KatyMac Thu 19-Sep-13 18:55:28

DD is being teased at school too - apparently is 'all in the name of fun'


Sparklymommy Fri 20-Sep-13 08:24:29

Oh Katy it is never fun for the one being teased is it? Here, have some cake. My dd doesn't want me to say anything because she just wants to be friends with everyone. She doesn't understand that they are basically jealous of her. The child in question has a mother who is constantly saying things like " why aren't you more like sparklysdd?" She has had it from tiny. I remember one mum at sports day in nursery asking me how I "make my daughter push herself forward" [sceptical] I don't. And never have. She has always just been the child who stands out and wants to be doing it all.

cory Fri 20-Sep-13 08:39:18

So sorry about everybody whose dc are getting teased or bullied. It probably is jealousy but that doesn't make it any easier.

KatyMac Fri 20-Sep-13 09:53:48

The thing is it's 'teasing' not bullying they are (apparently) 'laughing with her, not at her' & that makes all the difference......

KatyMac Sat 28-Sep-13 11:18:02

DD has gone off to her first asssociate day today - I'm really struggling with it

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 28-Sep-13 18:44:26

Hope she enjoys it Katy

I'm feeling very put of the loop now as I can't make most of the school events

It was open day today & dd was one of just two Year 7s chosen to sing solo.

KatyMac Sat 28-Sep-13 23:38:54

O h how lovely

DD started at Saturday school today (LSC), Has dress rehearsal tomorrow (for show mext week) & is dancing tomorrow night with her group

I'm knackered

Ah just came in to see how everyone is getting on. Sorry to hear about those having a tough time because of other kids sad

We're back in the swing of things now, ds2 has been busy recording his cartoon - getting into the habit of daily, short burst of practicing lines.

cory Wed 02-Oct-13 08:39:22

fine here <waves at everybody>

dd has just been given a part with an adult am dram group for early next year- she's really looking forward to that

enjoying college and her BTEC in acting

did get a bit upset yesterday because she felt she hadn't done herself justice in the first assessment

actually can I get some feedback on this?

what is a good plan of action if you are doing an assessed improvisation and the other members of the group (which you haven't chosen) suddenly either totally ignore the plot outline or refuse to join in at all? dd realises that she needs not to let it throw her next time, but is unsure of correct etiquette

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 02-Oct-13 09:17:28

What a nightmare.

Has she been given the assessment criteria. What that says I guess depends in whether she goes with the flow and adapts to them ignition the plot line or whether they are being assessed on how they use that do shed need to keep on track.

Difficult one.

cory Wed 02-Oct-13 09:33:07

thanks for your quick response, Pictures

I suspect she needs a quick chat with the teacher. She has a horror of seeming to blame anybody else (except in private ranting at home) but I am sure she can find a way of phrasing it that makes it clear that she is asking what she should be doing rather than moaning about the others.

It seems she was unlucky; the school bus was late so she was put in the last group, with the kids who really couldn't care less. I think it's upset her because she is usually very good at improv and it's something she really enjoys. And it was her first college assessment.

She hasn't been given the assessment criteria so she'll have to ask for those.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 02-Oct-13 09:40:08

Unfortunately it is the kind of course that will attract the cant care less drama is a pushover people

Totally agree about phrasing it in a what should I do in future rather than laying blame- shows maturity

If I get chance ill ask she to ask his college who teaches Btec drama but its a bit busy at the moment with a sick bug affecting staff & some away on yr 7 residential.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 02-Oct-13 09:40:23

Sorry predictive text.

How did she get on with the teacher cory?

Does anyone here have a child who has audition for NYMT or YMT before?

cory Sat 05-Oct-13 18:46:11

She will be seeing the teacher on Monday, saintly; she only has this particular teacher once a week. She seems very determined to learn from the experience and take anything on board the teacher might suggest, so that's all to the good.

KatyMac Mon 07-Oct-13 14:05:43

Fingers crossed Cory

DD went into school today - I thought she'd be too tired after the shows yesterday

They were so,so good

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 07-Oct-13 17:03:23

saintlyjimjams Are you considering it despite the distance? I know DD2 would love it, and it has been mentioned both by her singing teacher and her drama group - but she's too your, and will continue to be too your for a while - since she's August born, she won't even qualify for next summer when most of her school year group would...

It's been hugely busy here - both DDs are rehearsing for the big half term show, and DD2 also has panto rehearsal every Sunday morning straight after mass (basically she and another lad, rather older, go hurtling off straight after communion every Sunday in an attempt to get to the studio by 10:30. They haven't been late once yet). It's especially hard for Dd2 since she plays the flute in the church music group and often sings the psalm. Also, she's been doing 11+ exams for the last week or so. Ludicrous really since she's barely 10. There's also lots of music exams and performances coming up - DD1 is playing gigs this Saturday and next Saturday, and they are both in a big showpiece event for a regional arts festival in a couple of weeks.

I think by the end of half term they will be shattered!

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 07-Oct-13 17:04:50

young not your. I have no idea whether to blame autocorrect or jet lag. Perhaps it's a bit of both.

Yes Russians. He just scraped in age wise last year, but didn't want to to do it last year and the audition and dates ended up clashing with his west end touring production audition and second stint in it anyway. This year he's that much more independent and is keen to have a go. I've heard the auditions for NYMT/YMT are worth doing anyway (and have told him there aren't many parts for the younger kids, so he should just go along and treat the audition itself as a worthwhile experience). A few of the actors he's looked up to & been a bit in awe of on the various tours have done NYMT or YMT & one in particular from years ago who he really liked was very encouraging about it so he's keen.

It depends a bit where they audition, we're not trekking miles for one while he's so young so will wait and see when & where they're announced.

Oh and he ran the idea past his previous chaperone who he adores & treats as a bit of a mentor, & she did it and thought it was a good idea for him so he's really, really keen now!

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 07-Oct-13 23:14:07

Last year the closest to us was Brizzle. Which is a complete joke. I was quite annoyed by that, even though Dd2 was too young by far to audition anyway - but I knew a couple of kids who did want to audition - it really is a joke, all these organizations with 'national' in the title who completely ignore the entire South West (since Brizzle is neither south nor west).

Was that YMT? (I'm far south-west as well).

NYMT went further afield and auditioned in more places, so we'll probably go for that if we can. It puts on more productions anyway so I guess chances are better....

Oh actually we've already established we're near each other haven't we grin - you're closer to Brizzle than me I think! But I think I get a closer NYMT audition site (well that was last year).

Actually I think we had to drive past the NYMT audition to get to the touring audition last year (and it was snowy and I was worried about being stuck and cursing the NYMT for taking the usual audition space grin )

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 07-Oct-13 23:49:01

I'd much rather travel down your way than travel to Brizzle. Though I'd prob go on the train for choice (the boy racers scare me especially on the section of the road with the reverse camber).

lol - check out NYMT, they usually audition here. If they do this year I'll probably go on about it on this thread anyway grin

I cba to travel to bristol for an audition, in many ways I'd rather go to London. S2 did have to do a rehearsal at Bristol and we ended up in a car park that cost something like £25 for 5 hours!!

cory Wed 09-Oct-13 10:02:05

Sounds very exciting about the NYMT- let us know how you all get on if you do go for it.

It's hugely competitive (NYMT & YMT uk) but I have heard from people who have attended either/or auditions that the audition days themselves are incredibly useful. I talked to ds2 about it from that angle 'you're unlikely to get this but it's apparently a day when you learn a lot as a workshop, would you like to have a bash?'

He did say to me recently 'mum whenever I attend an audition you always tell me I won't get it, it's beginning to get a bit offensive, especially as I do get them, you must think I'm rubbish' grin

So we had up have a talk about my comments not being a reflection on HIM but about how competitive it is & how no-one knows what a CD wants. I am always stunned when he gets a part though. I did say to DH after his recent casting that I have to stop replying on the phone with a 'really? Are you sure?' to the casting directors. Need to practice being cool.

KatyMac Wed 09-Oct-13 13:02:40

DD had loads of fun at her NYMT audition/workshop despite being ill

She'd been poorly on holiday and done 1 day back at school - she did the audition then about 4 days later was diagnosed with Glandular Fever

We had feedback - apparently DD confused them; her dancing was amazing then she sort of 'flopped' during the singing/acting - we explained about the GF & they were amazed she had done so well. The higest marks at the audition for the dancing and despite her poor performance in the other 2, they said they would have taken her if they had been doing a dancy show; but they weren't.

So we will try again this year

Oh that's good feedback katiemac

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 09-Oct-13 13:13:19

DD2 will have to wait another 2 years. But I'm sure she will want to go for it when she is old enough. Assuming we can foot the cost of course (DD1 has been playing in a national ensemble for 3 years and that costs a blooming fortune. And in 2 years time we will be having to pay a fortune for all her auditions etc as she approaches college...)

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 09-Oct-13 13:16:50

I'm in two minds. Not sure we can afford it & dd may prefer a ballet summer school but she adores musical theatre & she won't really get to do any shows just yet at school.

She has just been picked to represent the school by dinging at a charity event soon. One of just 2 year 7s the crest are seniors.

The cost is eye watering isn't it? She sounds as if she's doing really well with her singing pictures.

cory Fri 11-Oct-13 08:39:58

dd will be auditioning for the NYT instead: singing is not exactly her thing. She keeps waiting for applications to open, should be any time now.

The other thing she would really like to do is that monologue/audition course they run in Bristol at halfterm, but we've told her we can't manage it this year, partly because of the cost, partly because she is still settling in at college. Hopefully it will run again next year.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 11-Oct-13 12:59:51

Dd is very tired, hormonal & ready for a half term break I think

We've just had a letter about the formal assessments next month. These will determine whether children can stay at the school.


Blimey pictures - that's early on isn't it? Is that for academic or performance work?

Cory is NYT for older young people? A friend's dd auditioned and found the audition very worthwhile.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 11-Oct-13 21:50:13

It's for performance. Apparently they don't usually assess out year 7s but you never know

The letter says they are foingbutvestlier now so that it gives chance to investigate other options for those assessed out.

Other ballet schools have theirs in February.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 11-Oct-13 21:51:05

Doing it earlier that should read.

Gosh it's tough isn't it. Does that happen annually or just at certain stages during her school career?

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 12-Oct-13 17:13:50

Annually but with particular attention paid to Year 9 children. However once they ate accepted into Year 10 they arnt assessed out until after GCSE's.

Gosh it is tough isn't it Pictures - good practice I guess for the working world.

NYMT auditions announced and I had it the wrong way round. It's them that only audition in a few places. Waiting to hear where YMT auditions will be - they tend to go to more places so I think we will look at those. I think if we go for NYMT we would have to go to London (can't do the Brizzle day as it's ds3's birthday) which is slightly ridiculous.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 15-Oct-13 12:49:50

DD2 won't be 11 by the cut off date. She actually won't be 11 by the date of the shows either (late August birthday). It's a real shame. DD1 is considering whether she wants to audition as a musician (or even a musician performer - she has a stellar voice, but her movement is skrot (dyspraxic - although actually that's not the only reason, DD2 is severely dyspraxic too but a decent dancer) - she was an excellent Audrey 2 earlier this year because the movement required was completely in her comfort zone. But prowling isn't always the right 'look' for a part grin ).

Good luck for your DS whatever you decide. DD2 had some good news yesterday - category A in the 11+ results, so she will definitely be going to DD1's school. Which is what she wanted. grin

Oh well done with the 11 plus - we were in that situation last year. DS2 is loving his school so the pulling of teeth required to get in was worth it!

Dance is definitely ds2's weak spot, although he is getting a lot better. He's very left handed and tends to turn the wrong way when first learning something. If he auditions that's the one reminder I'll give him as I drop him off 'WATCH which way everyone else turns' grin

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 15-Oct-13 13:41:27

Thanks grin It seemed MUCH more fraught with DD2 than with DD1 - mainly because it was only after DD1 got in but other children we knew didn't, that we fully realised what a lottery it could be.

I think it will be more fraught with ds3. Mainly because he really wants to go to the same school as his brother, but also because ds2's second choice school was a performing arts specialist academy so we could big up that side of it. Ds3's strengths really are not in the performing arts so it's a bit more of a struggle to find a second choice.

It's also going to be more competitive in ds3's year (higher birth rate). Deep joy!

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 15-Oct-13 13:49:20

We're done now (DS didn't want to try for the GS and is at the comp which their primary feeds into). I am SO relieved. grin I'm sure your DS3 will be fine though.

we have a couple of years to go yet. It'll work out....

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 15-Oct-13 13:56:04

I was looking at birth statistics in conjunction with something else the other night & realised how lucky dd is to have just started year 7 as over the next few years the birth rate increased much more.

This time next year ill be applying for ds. He is possible ads, wants to go selective but will he cope with the pressurised environment?

Yes - the current year 1 is a mahoosive year. Am pleased we're not in that cohort!

So far we haven't found the GS pressurised tbh pictures. Obviously it might vary from school to school & might become more pressurised, but ds2 is having a whale! TBH his current recording work is more of a constant work type commitment than his homework or school.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 15-Oct-13 14:22:50

Big problem with ds is that he's very clever ("exceptional literacy according to last test results) but won't actually do snyceorknifvhecthinks he can't or its a task involving choices, imagination etc

His obsessions get in the way of homework too.

Hm, I think it depends on how affected he is really. TBH there are quite a few spectrummy kids at ds2's school (he obviously is fairly good at spotting children who are on the spectrum or have those sorts of tendencies). If they understand school rules and will be quiet when necessary, hand in homework etc I think they get on fine. The problems come when it reaches the situation where they don't really understand why school rules would apply to them, or why they shouldn't just shout out the answer. Then I tend to think they might do better in a place more used to giving support to kids because the GS tends to see it as bad behaviour, rather than a struggling child.

But very individual of course.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 15-Oct-13 14:55:48

He isn't too bad with rules, in fact he copes much better with firm rules & boundaries than in more free environments.

Trying to get a diagnosis ( could get one very quickly if I had a spare £2k but the NHS IS LIKE Pulling teeth.

It might actually be a place for him to find like-minded souls then!

A dx might not translate into much support anyway. A dx is definitely worth getting if you need support or the child is really struggling in the school environment, but if not & you realise his issues anyway I'm never sure how much use a dx is.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 15-Oct-13 16:05:26

I guess I want a diagnosis because although his current teacher is fab & understanding & wants a meeting to discuss the best ways if dealing with ds/what strategies work etc most of his other teachers think he's naughty. And we are having huge issues with the PE teacher and his expectations of ds getting changed for PE

Saying that, dd is just as obsessive about stuff as ds is, just people call it a talent.

lol - yes it is a problem if other people see it as naughtiness. People can be so stupid

KatyMac Wed 16-Oct-13 21:33:12

Aaarrgghh - application forms

Eek - that sounds a nightmare KM.

YMTuk auditions now available to book. We've gone for one. It looks good tbh. On a Sunday so doesn't clash with anything, about 2 miles away from the house & doesn't have to prepare anything. I'll tell him to treat it as a workshop.

KatyMac Wed 16-Oct-13 23:45:23

We have completed 3; they would not necessarily be the 4 I was assured were completed yesterday before she was allowed to go to class & they certainly aren't the 4 that should have been completed today

But she has rejected a further 2 colleges (mainly so she doesn't have to write an application form)

Never mind only 6 to go <sigh>

Good job I confiscated her favourite otherwise that one would be done & no others

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 16-Oct-13 23:48:57

What's the final list Katy?

KatyMac Wed 16-Oct-13 23:51:59

Brit, Arts Ed & Laine done
Bird & Italia Conti Started
Millenium, Performers, Bodyworks to be completed
& Urdang is still favourite

Good luck!

Can she use roughly the same application for each one or do they need very individual approaches?

KatyMac Wed 16-Oct-13 23:59:01

Very individual & but the audition become more similar

Biggest stumbling block is photos for each - they all want different poses, passport/head & shoulders/full body/ballet poses

KatyMac Wed 16-Oct-13 23:59:57

One want reference from dance teacher one wants reference from school

All want last years end of term report; DD's school doesn't do a yr 10 end of year report

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 17-Oct-13 00:05:42

In which case send the most recent report you have with an explanation.

KatyMac Thu 17-Oct-13 00:07:04

I did the one from October last year (lovely teacher comments) & the stats sheet from March (awful attendance)

Not much I can do really

But hopefully when they see her dance......

KatyMac Thu 17-Oct-13 00:11:02

I have manged to mention LSC Associates in each one - hopefully that will count for something

KatyMac Thu 17-Oct-13 00:11:44

& I managed to get her fund raiser mentioned in 1 or 2 as well

KatyMac Thu 17-Oct-13 21:35:54

Last ever county choir concert tonight, 5 years of attendance & it's all over sad

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 17-Oct-13 21:40:44

Huge wardrobe dilemma!! I'd assumed dd was wearing her school uniform at this corporate event she's singing at tomorrow. Apparently not. She has nothing suitable. She has an evening type dress that us too long, dh says jean shirts are too casual, she doesn't want to wear leggings & a long top. !

Her friend is wearing a shirt & his school trousers, the rest of the performers are aged 16-21

I still think school uniform is most suitable especially as they're singing Matilda.

KatyMac Thu 17-Oct-13 21:53:23

School uniform imo

KatyMac Fri 18-Oct-13 15:41:56

What did she wear?

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 18-Oct-13 20:49:31

She wore a long dress on the end.

Apparently it went well. Her friend was phenomenal, blew everyone away.

KatyMac Fri 18-Oct-13 21:16:41

Woo-hoo & I bet she was fab too

KatyMac Sun 20-Oct-13 23:04:22

Anyone on here (North London way) want a lodger occasional Saturday nights.....possibly in exchange for babysitting? DD wants to study both days each weekend in London hmm - I suppose it's good practise for moving out next year sad

Glad it went well and the dress dilemma was solved smile

cory Mon 21-Oct-13 22:19:36

dd did her first drama assessment in college last week dressed in my old prom dress- purchased for my prom in 1982! grin

KatyMac Tue 22-Oct-13 20:29:11

So did she sort her difficulties with her group?

Bet dress was lovely - I loved the 80's

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 22-Oct-13 23:11:19

I was going to ask how the chat with the teacher went.

cory Wed 23-Oct-13 12:56:52

It went well thanks: she is going to get a chance to retake the improvisation.

KatyMac Wed 23-Oct-13 17:39:40

I am in BIG trouble

I was supposed to buy DD some new (second hand) latin shoes for Blackpool on the 2nd!

I forgot!!

I can't find any on eBay now & I can't afford new as she is giving up for a year (GCSEs) after the competition

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 23-Oct-13 17:54:30

What kind, size & how much would they have been on eBay.

KatyMac Wed 23-Oct-13 19:56:49

Size 6, 2 or 2.5 inch heel, beige/tan/copper/gold/flesh, up to about £20

I'm in so much trouble (DH not DD)

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 23-Oct-13 21:11:51

Cheapest I can find are £22 plus delivery in a trade catalogue.

KatyMac Wed 23-Oct-13 21:57:00

Oh can you show me; I might stretch (is delivery extra?)

KatyMac Wed 23-Oct-13 22:19:24

DD has completed 8 out of 9 application form; one can't be posted until a teacher gives her a reference but the others will be posted tomorrow

<phew> I'm knackered

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 23-Oct-13 22:37:07

I've just noticed there's VAT to go on that price too.

KatyMac Thu 24-Oct-13 07:55:40

Eek mioght be a bit steep with VAT & delivery; but thanks for looking

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 24-Oct-13 13:24:47

I couldn't believe the prices.

The low block heeled ballroom sandals are generally cheaper. Some of the Latin shoes were £40 plus vat trade so retailing at around £70-80

KatyMac Thu 24-Oct-13 13:26:50

They are so cheap from China - but it takes too long!!

I feel such a pratt - I have a bid in on one & I watching a more expensive Buy it now pair (with a bad heel)

Xoanon Fri 25-Oct-13 12:53:07

I've name changed. I used to be mounting a river based invasion...

My two girls were in production of Noyes Fludde this week which was part of a regional arts festival. I didn't see the show because I was working in London but apparently it was very good - JimJams there was a piece on spotlight about it, and a blink and you'll miss her moment of DD2 in the background. grin Next week is Big Musical Week so it's all about that now, really - except for the fact that there are also 4 music exams and a ballet exam coming up too! Delightful (not).

Xoanon Tue 29-Oct-13 17:54:14

Opening night for the Big Musical. My girls have just left for the theatre (we only live round the corner). Hopefully it will go well. I'm not seeing it till Friday.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 29-Oct-13 18:20:12

All the best

Dd is back at school with assessments coming up soon.

NigellasGhost Thu 31-Oct-13 08:34:18

Hello hello hello! Pictures, thanks for pointing me in this direction! I had NO IDEA extra curricular activities topic would have some lovely dancey people on it ..... and have never looked here before. Probably because of the amount of ballet DD does - it is definitely more than extra-curricular (though technically not part of her normal curriculum as she's at "normal" school and dances evenings and weekends). I thought this topic would be about kumon maths and chess clubs!

Xoanon Thu 31-Oct-13 09:12:53

pictures Thanks. smile It seems to be going very well so far. Both casts have now done one show each, it's almost completely sold old, and the kids are loving it. We aren't seeing it till Friday night and then Sat mat though (originally Dd1 was in one cast and DD2 the other one, after we'd bought our tickets DD1's counterpart in the other cast pulled out so she ended up in both, but we're going to see both casts anyway because DD2 wants to see the show as well as be in it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oh and NYMT ARE now auditioning near us. But their recalls clash with the YMT:UK audition date, and tbh YMT:UK looks a bit more youngster friendly (for the audition anyway, not as long and nothing to prepare) so I think we'll just stick with that.

teacherwith2kids Sat 02-Nov-13 15:23:15

Waves at NigellasGhost as the mum of another ballet-type daughter who damces all hours!

How old is your DD? Just at a local dance school, or doing associates or anything anywhere?

DD - 10 - at first panto rehearsal today (her dance school's turn for the local professional panto this year). Second one tomorrow, both 6 hours. On top of 4 days at dance festival this week but she is full of beans (well, she had her first ever migraine yesterday, but is very chirpy today)

NigellasGhost Sat 02-Nov-13 17:38:30

<waves back at teacher>
my DD is 15 - has been doing associates and will be auditioning soon for 6th form!
She did prof. panto 2 years running at age 10 and 11 - and my goodness she LOVED it. It was a fantastic experience and she got wonderful knowledge of stage craft... despite ballet teacher slating it
I am certain your DD will love panto and will learn so much from it! Good luck!

KatyMac Sat 02-Nov-13 20:51:20

DD got 2 semi-finals at Blackpool; she just isn't right for Ballroom somehow sad

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Nov-13 11:30:38

Nigella, DD did prof. panto 2 years ago (complicated story - she is tall, and dance teacher thinks she is older than she is - 37 performances of panto at 8 was ... professionally interesting but socially and tiredness wise an enormous strain!) so she at least knows what she's in for this time.

Keep thinking about associates. It is uncommon to enter for such things at her dance school - despite the standard there being very high, with lots going on to vocational study at 18 and a few younger, and great success at ISTD ballet awards and similar - so I've been a bit reluctant to push it. Suspect DD is too tall for ballet, by far her best discipline, though.

NigellasGuest Sun 03-Nov-13 11:52:17

KatyMac how does DD feel about Ballroom?
Is this a competition or an actual school?
I must say your DD sounds inspirational.

teacher- why push the associates - your DD is young still. It sounds like she is getting very good quality training where she is. What does her dance teacher say about it? Re. being too tall, at age 10 it could be that she's had a growth spurt and won't grow like that again for a bit, so all her contemporaries will catch up and it will even out! I've got 3 DD's - dancing DD is the middle one. For a long long time she was very very short for her age - now at 15 she's average height, and may well end up being taller than her older sister who was always the "tall" one but now looks like being quite short. Sorry - a bit rambling. Just trying to say - early days (and you might not be that bothered about it anyway...)

IndiansOnTheRailroad Sun 03-Nov-13 12:28:46

DD2 has been doing professional panto since she was 7 - this will be her 4th year. They've been rehearsing since the end of August (made for very full Sundays what with the Annie rehearsals in the afternoon (yes it's me, hoping to stick with this name now) and the 11+ exams too!) She loves it though. I don't know what we will do about next year, my feeling is she should give it a body swerve once she's at the grammar but her feeling is quite the opposite.

JimJams DD1 is going to audition for YMT:UK specifically for the misinterpreted piece - originally she was going to audition as a musician but this piece looks right up her street as a singer/songwriter too. I don't expect her to get in though, but, good experience. DD2 is furious but at the end of the day she won't be 11 till the end of August so that's that. She doesn't get to audition or go on any of the courses till next year at the earliest. Exciting news about your DSs film! And another tour too. He's clearly very talented. grin

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Nov-13 13:06:59


We've said 'not once you're in secondary' to DD.

As the 2 big dance schools do it year and year about, the next time she'd be eligible she'd be in year 8. While missing 9 or 10 days of Y4 / Y6 isn't too much of a disaster (though tbh I was surprised that we got permission for this year - i was v. dubious but her headteacher was all for it), missing that amount of Y8 would be more of an issue - especially as long term I suspect DD is not going to make a career out of dancing.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 03-Nov-13 13:13:50

Tracherwith2kids & anyone else

Head teachers are not allowed to not give time off for panto/other performances regardless if their personal opinion

The rules for time off & granting of licences are set down in law

A parent of a child in Emil & the Detectuves has just won her battle with the school as the LEA have over ridden the schools wishes (as they have to by law).

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 03-Nov-13 13:14:50

Two girls at the very academic senior school dd would have gone to had she not gone to H had time off during their a levels for panto.

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Nov-13 13:28:43

Ah, OK.

What happened for us was that I asked the head for his opinion, based on DD's class work, the views of her Y6 teacher, and the experience of children doing panto in Y6 in previous years as to the possible impact on her academic work of doing panto this year.

Had he said that it was a concern, we would not have asked for the time off - she would just not have auditioned.

Equally in Y8, even if permission had to be given if requested, we will not be allowing DD to audition - she has had the experience twice now, further years in the same company's panto won't 'add anything'. If for whatever reason she had the chance to dance in something completely different, that might change the situation IYSWIM?

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 03-Nov-13 14:16:11

Yes iswym

Dd has done panto once (in year 5) & whilst it was a fab experience it seriously impacted on the family Xmas. We have ds to think about too.

The following year she was in a musical (lead role) & although that necessitated a few days off school and me & dd staying over in a hotel it was easier to manage.

Now she isn't allowed to audition for external performances as her new school have to vet anything. & make sure it isn't detrimental to her training.

I have to ask for permission for one day off for the film. I'm not expecting a problem as the LEA have already said they'll issue a licence & the head is as supportive as he can be. The cartoon doesn't need time off as it's done around school & if he does the tour again the timing means he shouldn't need time off.

IndiansOnTheRailroad Sun 03-Nov-13 16:24:42

Pictures I know that schools have to give time off and that's not why I'm feeling that maybe I would prefer her not to do it next year - it's that panto wouldn't be the only thing she would be doing and need time off for. And there's a limit to how much time off school I'm prepared for her to have (me, not the school - who have never once been an issue over DD1 having time off for this sort of stuff (and she does a LOT of performing)). I just think that next year there will be competing opportunities and she won't be able to carry on doing everything like she has done up until now. Just, you know, physically.

I know what you mean Indians. Ds2 didn't even audition for the panto as we felt it would be far too much on top of everything else he has on at the moment.

IndiansOnTheRailroad Sun 03-Nov-13 16:34:21

Jimjams I think it's important that she settles well in the school, I don't think missing one panto will kill her. But we'll see. smile Your DS2 seems to be making a brilliant job of balancing everything though.

Well I did feel the same tbh. We thought about going for Charlie & the Chocolate Factory during the summer round of auditions, but although he was very unlikely to get it so further thoughta were almost certainly irrelevant I thought it would be too much settling into year 7 of a new school as well. And it's a grammar so I wasn't too sure about workload etc. So anyway we didn't bother auditioning - which was the right decision. He's settled in well to year 7 and that really was my main concern this year.

He has been very lucky - the cartoon is 10 mins from home, doesn't clash with school & it's very rare to do more than a few hours a week (too intense otherwise), & each tour date has only been one week. Panto would be a whole different ball game commitment wise! Makes my head spin to even think of it with 2 other kids as well. Nevertheless I feel ds2 has enough on at the moment & I'm not inclined to suggest much more up him!

IndiansOnTheRailroad Sun 03-Nov-13 17:29:05

I must say I really don't care about Y6 though. God knows she needs something to extend her and keep her in the routine of being a hard little worker. So for this year, any opportunity that comes up she's taking.

I felt the same tbh. Year 6 is An odd year. 11 plus was done by September & most of the kids spent the year just waiting to move on.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 03-Nov-13 17:43:48

My dd really enjoyed year 6 in sine ways but in other ways it emphasised to us that she really didn't fit in at school.

She too had done her entrance exam by October & she was in a show in May. At school they doesn't a lot of time rehearsing the leavers play & going on trips. Our huge change of mind meant a Late audition just before may half term.

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Nov-13 17:56:18

Not a fully grammar area here (DD passed well for grammars but is going to the local comp - a story for a wholly other thread). DD's primary school - DS was there too - has a really good attitude to Year 6, in that 11+ is a minority interest and SATs are a minor interruption to the important business of learning new and exciting things (they do, incidentally, get a huge number of Level 6s at SATs, but I think that's just because they keep teaching and learning, rather than revising).

It's only the last few weeks of the year when they stop working at full speed, in order to do the Leavers' Play and the residential.

It seems to stand them in really good stead, as they hit Year 7 running rather than having to re-energise themselves after a year of standing still, which I do know happens in other schools.

They did quite a lot of extended curriculum work in year 6, but ds2's school was very small & I think he was just ready to move onto something a lot larger & get all the independence - travelling by bus each day etc. He's loving year 7.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 03-Nov-13 19:33:23

Dd went to an independent junior school where the majority of children go on to the linked senior school so the few who didn't felt a bit out of it I think.

They didn't do sats but they must have worked ahead if the curriculum as she is ahead at her new school in terms of things she has covered though I guess a lot of year 7 is consolidation anyway.

The school was very very sporty & dd hates sport do she's so mych happier.

KatyMac Mon 04-Nov-13 09:10:31

Just asked for time off for auditions...........Gulp - let's wait & see

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 04-Nov-13 09:17:13

It's only the same as someone who is applying to other college/uni courses

I was sneaky & told school dd needed time off for entrance exam/assessments/interview!

Oh Indians good luck to your dd1 for the YMT:UK audition. I'm not expecting ds2 to get in either (and also thinking htf will we afford it if he does grin ) but thought it would be good practice for a workshop style audition.

HSMMaCM Thu 07-Nov-13 08:49:21

DD suddenly blurted out over dinner yesterday that her (dance) career will be over by 30 and then what will she do? She then went on to tell us that she will have 2 children by the time she's 32 and then go to medical college.

She's 14 at the moment, so we'll see.

Sparklymommy Sat 09-Nov-13 08:12:13

Wrt panto: I have four children. Dd1 has done panto since she was 7 (semi pro for two years, pro last year and this year). Ds1, at 7, is doin his first semi pro one this year. Meaning our Christmas is going to consist of ferrying children to different pantos!

I MUST be mad!

KatyMac Sat 09-Nov-13 08:49:25

We're all mad & contributing to global warming considerable with all these emissions!

Just to update - time off school for filming was granted without any problem at all.

Do you have to parent chaperone semi-pro panto? If so I'm even more impressed by YOUR dedication (never mind the kids) grin

KatyMac Sun 10-Nov-13 14:49:26

Oh good Jimjams

eightytwenty Sun 10-Nov-13 21:28:26

Can I join please?

Relatively to all this. Ds1 (9) was chosen to be in a professional/ national production this spring. He's now in rehearsal for a professional Christmas production at a local theatre (he attends drama classes run by this theatre). The first was relatively easy - 1 week of rehearsals and 10 performances. This time it's 4 weeks of rehearsals including some v long days, and 29 performances over 6 weeks. So lots of taxiing and juggling child care for other dc & work.

So any top tips for managing ds tiredness & how to keep attention on other dc.


Given the age of your son I was wondering whether our boys were in the same production, but the rehearsal schedule is different. Might have to PM you smile :nosey:

How many days on days off is it this xmas (am guessing it's panto?) I think the key is to be really strict on the days off about going to bed at a sensible time. I find ds2 is fine when he's performing in school holidays as he just gets up late the next day, but juggling school & early mornings as well is when it gets tiring.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 10-Nov-13 22:50:10

Welcome eightytwenty

Our local theatre in the round dies a Christmas non panto production each year that uses children. The schedule sounds similar to that.

Dd has never auditioned as it always clashed with other shows she was in but some if her friends have been.

Dd is busy preparing for her assessments at the end if the month. Fingers crossed !!!!!

Ledkr Sun 10-Nov-13 23:02:43

Joining dubiously because I am still keeping things very low key with dd.
ds did lots of dancing and quite ages professional performances along with the usual festival stuff.
He was very good but gave up around 19 to be a chef.
So after all those years of no lie ins at the weekends, big dance bills and Xmas spent driving to a theatre, I as reluctant to do it all again.
Dd is doing classes and festival work but that's it for now but she's in the local pro panto this year despite my plans.
Oh yes and dd2 started baby ballet 5 weeks ago and can skip perfectly and do precise spring points.
She is 2.8 grin
I danced but wasn't that brilliant so I don't know where they get it from.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 10-Nov-13 23:04:00

Welcome eightytwenty

Our local theatre in the round dies a Christmas non panto production each year that uses children. The schedule sounds similar to that.

Dd has never auditioned as it always clashed with other shows she was in but some if her friends have been.

Dd is busy preparing for her assessments at the end if the month. Fingers crossed !!!!!

eightytwenty Mon 11-Nov-13 08:05:39

Thanks pictures and saintly. Just before I found the thread I realised there must be 100's of other parents doing the same especially at this time of year. I don't know how the kids / families involved in west end productions manage.

Theas18 Mon 11-Nov-13 08:31:55

We are starting the concert series for the winter.... DH Saturday and the 1st of DS concerts Sunday ( then I believe DD2 has a THursday concert on the 20 somethingth then it'll be Dec!)

Yeah I know what you mean. Ds2 has been in west end tours (locally) so has a intense week or two where everything revolves around the theatre. A 6 month stint must be really tough. Especially if parents work & there are siblings. I have no idea how families manage it. I suppose a tour is probably easier to manage as it's set up for the children being away.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 11-Nov-13 11:12:04

Although I have no direct experience I actually think West End is easier (from talking to those whose children have been in shows)

Because of the M25 rule a lot of West end kids go to school in the area and a lot cine from Sylvia Young (or transfer there in the case of one boy I know who got Bruce in Matilda.

The school ferries them to & fro.

The few shows that allow outside M25 (Billy, Debbie, Matilda & Bruce) they live away from home with a chaperone.

Oliver & Wizard of Oz involved a lot for the parents I believe but even then for Oliver they would have a group if kids from a certain area and coach them in

Also with a long WE run there are usually three teams so less shows per week whereas for panto and tours lasting between 1-3 weeks there are often only 2 teams.

Yes that's true Pictures. I did think for a tour (eg Oliver) the touring kids would have had education organised for them.

We're used to joining the tours as they arrive in town so not much rehearsal time (pros and cons of that) but obviously regular life is expected to continue alongside. I love it when the shows coincide with school holidays because we can just enjoy it then.

Also depends on which theatre - our local large regional one is within walking distance of our house, so that's pretty easy for us to and from. But one w/e tour stop ds1 did was a 45 min drive away (more in traffic) & that tacked onto late nights and school was quite physically tough for him (not helped by him having a LAMDA exam the same week and SATS the week after!!).

I know some performing kids home ed as well.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 11-Nov-13 14:25:49

I know a few kids who were in the Oliver tour. Only Oliver, dodger & possibly Nipper toured with the show, the rest were auditioned in each town.

Nipper toured and so did a chunk of Fagin's gang I think?? I thought that's what they said at the audition although I didn't go. I know Nipper toured because one of the local kids here was picked up after his performances and taken on as Nipper for a bit. The local kids only did a few scenes. DS2 reached the final round of that audition - but was small compared to the other boys so when they were sorting into the two teams was out. At least that's what he was told.

That was his first musical audition and we completely messed up. I thought it would be ten minutes, so dh rushed out the door with him with no food, no water(!!), no phone. Once there not allowed to leave. 7 hours later..... Had I known it was one round of singing and round after round of dance I wouldn't have bothered putting him in for it (dance definitely not his strong point, although it has improved massively recently - and clearly he was better than I thought then to have got through the rounds grin )

Have to say I much prefer the turn up, do your stuff, go home, auditions than the round after round ones. I suppose they need to see everyone together for something like an Oliver ensemble though as height etc is important.

DS2's chaperone for his first professional show had been chaperone for ??? Annie ??? something with lots of touring kids in and she said it was mad trying to get them all to bed at night. So I can see why you would want to tour with as few of them as possible grin

eightytwenty Mon 11-Nov-13 16:33:36

Exhausted at the thought. 7 hours of audition! For ds first production the first audition overran by an hour - I had 5 dc in the car (2, 5,5,6 &7). For the first 30 mins they were climbing the walls and the second 30 mins they were like wild animals running around the foyer. To be fair it was past dinner and was heading towards bed time!

We are a 10-30 min drive from the theatre subj to traffic. Hate being late and hate turning up 20 mins early with 3 dc (3,7 &9!). I park on double yellow outside the door & throw him in at the earliest chance.

But at least not London & no tours to deal with!

We are at the stage of 'well it's great he's got this, even if nothing else comes up'. Wonder if & when it becomes part of what you expect to happen.

Ah now that's a good point! Ds2 has been very very lucky - gone for 5 professional auditions, got 4 (Oliver being the one he didn't get). He also managed to get one I didn't audition for hmm (he didn't do it / we didn't apply for a reason).

After every audition I do my best to ensure that he (and we!) are expecting a no, or more likely to never hear from the casting director again. There's so much about being cast that's luck (looks, height, fellow cast members, address, LEA) & I think you'd drive yourself mad if you expected them.

He's going for YMT this year & he's already not expecting to get it. I told him to treat it as a workshop & practice for future years as he's very unlikely to get a place at his age. I think he's good at assuming he won't get a part - especially as the one time he allowed himself to think he might be in with a chance (albeit he waited until the final round to think it) - he didn't get it. Think he sees it as tempting fate.

I'm always completely stunned when he gets anything so I can't imagine ever expecting it.

KatyMac Mon 11-Nov-13 16:59:21

I don't fancy 7 hours either

DD has 7 auditions (for college) coming up - they all seem to be 8-9 hours but will be a very different format for a much older child

I think DH found 7 hours a bit long without food or water - never mind ds2 smile It was originally meant to take place over 2 days with final recalls the next day - but they pushed on & did the whole thing in 1 day. Obviously with us completely messing up with the food & drink - recalls would have worked better!

His second musical audition we turned up complete with packed lunch & loads of water.,But that was a 'do your scene, show you can take direction, sing a song go home & wait' audition so the packed lunch came back home with us grin

So Katy my advice is food & drink! grin but I doubt most people are as naive as we were!

KatyMac Mon 11-Nov-13 20:01:23

Dd eats 5 or 6 times a day - it won't be forgotten!

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 11-Nov-13 21:36:50

Having chaperoned for an all day two stage audition it was amazing how many children didn't have food or drink even though it was made clear on all the info!

I think had I taken ds2 we might have been better prepared grin DH rushed out the door - and well - is dh so doesn't plan. Mind you we did expect him to go straight out first round (see my above 'I'm always stunned') so hadn't given much thought to an extended stay. Otherwise I would have left instructions.

Now we take a packed lunch then stress about whether we look presumptious bringing it (so hide it) grin

eightytwenty Mon 11-Nov-13 23:05:42

Ds is currently quite confident after getting 2/2. However we didn't tell him about a possible cast for a film (not called) and he knows he was out forward for an ad and again wasn't called. Your point about looks etc. is a good one. I also wonder if it also counts in his favour (normal looking) as does the fact he's quite well behaved and we're all quite reliable.

Dh wonders about getting him an agent. I think that the head of the young theatre is being approached for enough parts and is putting ds forward which to me is enough. Don't think we can cope with more and not sure we'd gain anything. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Another question - he has received small honorariums. A few hundred pounds per play. We deduct a little as a token contribution to our additional expenses and we also buy my mother some flowers from the pot. Anyone else do this? Are we mean or are we teaching him a good lesson?

We went through the 'should we get an agent' question recently. We live a 4 hour train journey from London (where realistically the good agents are - although there are a few in other major cities). Last June I sent ds2's details off to a well regarded London agent. We were contacted about 10 minutes later and asked to arrange a meeting & for ds2 to prepare a monologue.

It was a total waste of time. I had made clear when contacting them where we lived but they seemed completely surprised when we turned up and mentioned it again. On meeting I asked what would be expected of us and was told we would be expected to go to London at short notice up to four times a WEEK to audition for commercials. I said we couldn't do that because of where we lived, and we were more interested in going for film/TV (they didn't really do theatre) than commercials because commercial casting is such a lottery we couldn't justify time off school for it. Anyway that went down badly grin but I didn't see any point in lying. TBH I just came away feeling we weren't on the same wavelength at all and I really didn't like them. DS2 didn't like them either; found them a bit severe.

I don't regret meeting them because it really helped me work out what we wanted. Agents are great if you a) live in London or near the agents base and b) want to make money. A LOT of the serious child agencies place children for commercials - because those pay extremely well (and agencies are first and foremost a business). We weren't really interested in commercials (although if a local well paid one came up we wouldn't say no!). And we're definitely not up for schlepping to London all the time.

A local friend has managed to find a London agent for her child who agreed to not submitting for commercials at all and often suggesting to CD's to use video for first rounds - so they are out there. And if we found an agent like that we would be definitely interested, but I think those are rarer than hen's teeth!! So we haven't bothered applying for any more.

In ds2's case he currently wants to go into acting/musicals/singing. So for him things like NYMT/NYT or joining local high quality theatre groups when older are more useful than an agent. The other advantage of not having an agent is you can apply for what you want to. There's no pressure to apply for roles you're not keen on (advertising a product you don't agree with for example), but nothing stopping you applying for things your agent might want to submit a better match. So in ds2's case because he plays down a lot we can submit him for roles that an agent might want to submit someone younger that they had on their books. We can also apply for things that don't pay very much or at all without worrying about pissing an agent off by making him unavailable for paid work.

Having said that if you want to audition for most TV work or big budget film you will probably need an agent.

What I have done is got ds2 a kids casting call pro page. I think it helped him get the film (I submitted it to the director & producers). A lot of NAPM-ers have Starnow pages as well, but we haven't done that yet.

In terms of earnings I think it's fine to do whatever you want with it! DS2's has gone into a savings account and I suggested he might want to keep it to potentially pay for further education in the future - especially if he wants to go to drama school as it's so expensive. He is going to to take some out to pay towards a laptop this xmas (we will pay the rest - but usually a laptop would be too £££'s for a xmas present).

eightytwenty Tue 12-Nov-13 23:08:56

Thanks saintly. That is all super helpful. I've had two offers from agents but not convinced by either. Not in any major hurry tbh and also he is one of five. So don't want the rest of the family to be jumping to the demands of his commitments all the time.

Do be careful. Some so called agencies are little more than money making exercises. Fees for this, fees for that, 500 kids on their books.... and then the jobs they submit you for are open theatre auditions that you didn't need them for anyway.

And yes know exactly what you mean about siblings & not being able to run around after one child.

eightytwenty Tue 26-Nov-13 13:28:44

Can I ask you lot a question please?

Do your kids schools tell the other kids in their class and school that they are in a production?

Can't decide if it's strange that the class teacher hasn't even announced that he is - explaining why he is to-ing and fro-ing, or to say well done. My dm (former teacher) is furious on his behalf. Mostly I'm thinking it must be a pain to have to accommodate the disruption! If however it is unusual, would you then go ahead and ask the school?

KatyMac Wed 27-Nov-13 23:28:11

Sorry you haven't had an answer

Umm DD tells only her close friends & some teachers (but she is in high school)

eightytwenty Thu 28-Nov-13 13:38:10

Thanks. Decided to mention to the head who actually sounded a bit mortified that nothing had been said.

Sorry dropped off my active convos.

At primary it used to sometimes be announced, but it doesn't at secondary. Ds2 might get included in the head's blog though & was invited to lunch with the head once. They have a 'successes' bit on their web as well & he might go in there. I don't think he'd want it announced now though although he might have when younger..

TBH the one the school (then primary) paid least (i.e no) attention to was probably in some ways the biggest deal in terms of what was involved, competition for the part & who was in the show. But he had a funny last year or so at primary. And there were quite strict rules about what could be said about that production I was relieved in some ways.

HSMMaCM Tue 03-Dec-13 13:10:18

Watching DD in Panto this afternoon. Makes it all worth while.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 03-Dec-13 15:19:54

After a bad experience during a panto run where done kids who auditioned but didn't get in we're very catty dd chose to keep subsequent productions quiet. It was never announced in assembly or anything anyway or even out in the newsletter even when she got a leading role in a small scale tour. (Sports achievements were always announced)

She told her close friends but that's all.

It's a shame people get funny about it isn't it? ds2 is never going to achieve anything on a the sports field (much as he'd love to).

He had his second day of filming this week. Was really interesting (if freezing).

Am just about to print out next round of scripts for the cartoon.

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 13:32:58

Cant believe that I have come across this thread- its just what I have been looking for all over the net for ages.

Saintly I am glad that I have come across your most recent posts as I have been debating (with myself!) whether to seek out an agent for DS2. We are in the West Midlands though and its quite clear from your post that most agents prefer you to be within a spitting distance of London.

DS2 has been begging me to put him 'out there' but I really do not know where to start. He is in a stage school in Birmingham and has appeared in minor performances- I suppose I am curious as to what the step/where to go next may be for him.

Do you all mind if I join you??!!

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Mon 09-Dec-13 13:43:05

Hi TiredEmma

I used to work in Birmingham. Great place

Welcome smile

How old/talll is he? (not absolute - but some idea - it's much easier to get stage work if you look younger than you are and are under 5 foot! - very broadly speaking).

If young/small enough I'd start seeing if he wants to audition for West End tours - that's ds2's staple and he LOVES those shows. And they're nearly always open auditions so no agent needed. It's helped him get other things as well, definitely. Also maybe look at joining KCCP or StarNow?

DS2 has just been in a film - 3 boys, 1 with an agent and 2 without. The whether or not to get an agent thing came up. From talking to the mum of the boy with an agent I definitely think we made the right decision for us not to go with one - she said you really do have to go along to every audition they get for you, and that for things like commercials your child might be selected, so you have to do all the licensing etc, but there will be other children selected as well, and the director will make the final decision at very short notice (less that 24 hours sometimes). So you might have everything ready then be told you're not wanted. That's just not practical for us. However, you may well have a local agent living where you do (there are none anywhere near us) and that might be worth looking it.

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 13:54:36

Thanks for the welcome!!

he is a little dinky one! he still wears 7/8 clothes (he is 11 in july)

ill have a look at Starnow and KCc- are those wites where the open auditions would be?

They're often advertised there, and on notapushymum.

That's ds2 exactly - 7/8 clothes and age 11. Don't worry about putting him forward for things slightly outside his age range. I nearly didn't put ds2 forwards for one role but was talked into it, he got it, and has loved it.

Age 11 it's also worth looking at NYMT and YMT. They're £££'s but there are bursaries. Very well respected.

Also worth following some casting directors on twitter and facebook. Oh and screenterrier can be worth a read.

when I say slightly outside his age range, I mean the playing age is more important. So the thing I nearly didn't go for was advertised age 8-10, he was 11 2 days before the audition. It was fine... he's still the same height as an 8 year old anyway.

Actually I don't know much about starnow as I don't use it! But quite a few people have recommended it.

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 14:29:32

Thanks- really helpful advice.

will spend a few hours looking at the info you have given me.

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 14:43:50

saintly- sorry me again.

Ive seen an audition for this month in London, it asks for a CV? Do you know where I might find some examples? ( I dont want to get it all wrong at the first hurdle)

As Ds has only been in minor stage school performances would I not put these on?

If he's played a lead role I'd add it. Notapushymum has an example of a cv linked from their front page.

Ds2's cv is jiggled a bit depending on what it's for but it has a small headshot, his date of birth, playing age, height, eye colour, hair colour, build at the top.

Then previous experience - now I just put professional experience on the whole, but I might put amateur if it was relevant (eg something to do with singing, for a singing role)

Then training, including things like LAMDA and classes/workshops attended

Then skills and hobbies (including accents, anything unusual worth putting here)

Then school or local education authority (relevant for licensing) Nowadays I would probably add a line saying he can be licensed quickly - but again depends what it was for, sometimes that's very relevant, sometimes not remotely.

Then our contact details.

Hope that helps!

Tiredemma Mon 09-Dec-13 15:53:54

massive thanks!

last Q. Headshots- do they need to be professional pics? (obviously dont have professional ones at the moment but plan to book a photographer but no funds this side of Xmas)

No they don't have to be professional smile

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Sat 21-Dec-13 21:50:30

Just a quick post to say bye to my friends in this thread.

Mumsnet us no longer a nice place to be on the whole but I hope to see many of you on napm & balletco.

Didn't just want to disapear


Oh don't go pictures - have a break then come back xx

Annaliesey Sun 05-Jan-14 11:50:19

Hi everyone, hope you don't mind me joining in smile

my dd (9) just did panto (company dancer) and really wants to do more hence why I'm reading forums and trying to pick up some tips and advice smile

She's also doing a production with english youth ballet in March and hugely excited about that.

She loves everything dance and performance and just can't get enough and I've got to the point where I'm trying to be careful with how she is spending her time considering school work, dance exams and bits and pieces that come up.

It's been a very useful thread so far (2 coffees while I read it all!) so thanks for advice and tips so far smile

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 05-Jan-14 15:58:01

Welcome Annaliesy.

Where is she doing EYB?

Annaliesey Sun 05-Jan-14 16:59:28

Norwich smile

KatyMac Sun 05-Jan-14 17:02:32

Hiya <waves>

We're outside of Norwich & my DD is quite a bit older(15) - if you want to PM me I can share what I know........

Annaliesey Sun 05-Jan-14 18:29:03

Thanks for welcome Pictures and Katym smile

teacherwith2kids Sun 05-Jan-14 20:43:22

Quick question on panto, because I know that there are several people whose children have done / are doing panto.

DD is in the final throes of a panto run at our local professional theatre. 3 x weekly rehearsals since Oct half term, run from end Nov until next weekend, you know the sort of thing - 35 performances or so per troupe, run of 70 odd performance overall.

A friend expressed amazement that she - and the other 9 members of her troupe and 10 in the other troupe - is not paid a penny for any of this, given that it is a professional production with an otherwise fully-paid cast. (Well, she might get a £20 book token after the last night, if her experience 2 years ago is anything to go by). I had presumed that this was absolutely par for the course - but then wondered whether it is indeed 'the way things are done everywhere'?

Can anyone enlighten me?

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 05-Jan-14 20:51:14

Yes unfortunately that is usual. Dd didn't get a penny or even a gift for a similar panto run. They know that for every child in the chorus there are at least 3 others waiting to take their place.

Some companies do pay the children a small amount however.

teacherwith2kids Sun 05-Jan-14 20:55:50

Doesn't bother me, tbh, either way - it's a lot of work for us and for her, but then she's training for a performing art - dance - and this is a way of being in a higher profile / quality production than is normally accessible. But my friend's reaction mnade me wonder whether we were, in fact, being taken for a ride!

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 05-Jan-14 21:06:15

Well yes, you are being taken for a rude- but companies know people are willing to do it.

Annaliesey Mon 06-Jan-14 09:42:55

I don't know if it's the norm but there wasn't a penny or a gift for my dd at the end of her panto run. They even had to pay £2 for a programme if they wanted it signed by main cast smile

I think it depends - I think a lot of panto is unpaid these days. Ds2's first professional performance a few year ago (for a West End tour stop) was unpaid, but everything since then has been paid. He's earned quite a bit this year - it's gone into a bank account although he gave a bit towards a laptop. One job he's paid a lot more per hour than I've ever been paid(!) which he finds quite amusing. I'm in the wrong line.

I think his first unpaid experience was very helpful in getting his subsequent roles.

Glad to see you here pictures smile

Was going to check in to see how everyone's panto experiences had gone & plans for 2014. Ds2 has been asked to do another stint in the West End tour (this will definitely be the last week), which he's delighted about. Voiceover stuff is ongoing. He's signed up to do a Matthew Bourne Lord of the Flies workshop, which surprised me as he's not really a dancer. He doesn't know whether he'll audition for the local tour stop or not (depends on how the workshop goes - whether it's way out of his league or not) but should be an interesting few hours. Don't think he'll be telling anyone at school grin He's also auditioning for YMT:UK - next month I think, need to check - I don't think he holds out much hope, (and bloody hell it's ££££'s), but he's interested to see the audition process for future years.

Metebelis3 Mon 06-Jan-14 19:19:55

Dd2's panto ended yesterday. It seemed to go very well. IME the junior chorus aren't paid. It's festival term where we live, so that's going on. DD1 is also auditioning for YMT:UK (same location as JimJam's DS) - for the experience. And to check things out for DD2 who is too young this year. The many exams before Xmas all went well - one went astoundingly well - so that's good. There's a show at our big theatre (big being of curse a relative term) in the summer - both DDs want a proper part, DD1 has a genuine chance, Dd2 is way too wee I think. Sadly. She has some consolation though for being heavily featured in the local press for the panto - a professional photographer did a series of candid backstage shots for a feature, they were almost all of the adult cast but there were two or three photos of DD2 in costume which were amazingly good. So that was nice for her.

Sounds good meteballs. I wonder if they're in the same session? We're on at lunchtime. (was it lunchtime? middle of the day I think anyway - I need to sit down with my diary and sort the next few months out).

eightytwenty Mon 06-Jan-14 23:40:27

Anyone have any tips to deal with "last night-itis"? Ds has just finished his run of 35 performances in a professional Christmas production (theatre not panto, and he is being a paid a nominal amount). But is now very down about missing the cast and life returning to normal. Though this is his second casting, it was very special with near sell outs, great reviews and fab camaraderie between the young actors. Real life is likely to feel quite flat in comparison.

We always have tears the last night. The first time it happened I was a bit stumped, but the cast were there & were lovely to him. He was very flat after the first run of his current show (partly because he thought that was it - he didn't know he had additional runs coming up, but also he was shattered- I took him out for tea & cake the next day & he had an unheard of afternoon sleep). He also was upset after round 2, but mainly I think because he loved his chaperone, once he worked out he could stay in touch he cheered up. I'm hoping he'll be better after this third run as a) it's a bonus - not something he expected to happen b) we have tickets to see the show the day after he finishes his shows. I originally wasn't going to let him so it's a big treat.

I find having other things lined up helps. So the day after his last tour (when he thought that was it), he was asked to audition for a big voiceover job - so he immediately had a script to learn. He got that so that took his mind off the other thing finishing. And then he got something else unexpected. So he's getting the idea of there being other things & other nice people to meet.

It must be hard finishing a run - the companies always seem close knit & it's always an intense time. I do find that ds2 is learning to bounce back though. But I guess it's just learning through experience.

It's actually me that's in touch with the chaperone btw - but he can message her on the family Skype - she's an actress & he likes to message her before auditions for advice. She's lovely, did a West End stint when she was ds2's age & is a great mini mentor for him. She's also told him he has to learn to be patient & given him lots of advice on dealing with waiting to hear about auditions & thinking about back ups for acting. She says a lot of the same stuff as me, but she has actual experience & he listens to her.

eightytwenty Tue 07-Jan-14 09:29:21

Thanks saintly. It's good to hear we're not alone.

Let him send a text to one of the other young company this morning and gave him ds1's email so perhaps communication with him will help.
Guess when he's older social media will let him keep in touch with some of the main cast/ crew should he wish.

It's great that other stuff has come up so quickly go your ds. I always think "well it's been fab while it lasts" but guess there is a chance he might get more work now he's done two things. Of course there is an impact to family life so also quite keen on a bit of a gap so we can re-balance with the others.

When does your ds finish his final run & why do they keep extending?

Production companies usually don't let the kids contact the (adult) cast or crew outside the production. Ds2 isn't allowed to follow any on twitter or facebook for example (he recently opened a twitter account for school, he doesn't have facebook yet). Sometimes his contracts specify that, but it's become a general family rule anyway (and he tends to assume all production companies have the same rules anyway & is so paranoid about breaking a rule he doesn't even try). I do find it quite a sensible rule. He did ask whether he'd ever be allowed to follow them and I said when he was 16 (might need to think that through at the time - but that's years away anyway at the moment)

Good idea to keep in contact with other kids though. DS2 recently spent a couple of days filming with 2 other boys and by the end of the second day they were good buddies. I keep in contact with the mums and by extension the boys, it's good for them to see what their mates are doing as well. As they get older as you say they can add each other on facebook etc & chat that way. I think it's probably particularly helpful for boys in the performing arts - ds2 already sometimes gets called gay at school for acting (I can't imagine he'll tell anyone he's going to a Matthew Bourne workshop grin ) and it's good for him to know other boys he likes doing the same things.

He keeps getting more goes at the tour because they keep adding tour dates at places that he can do the show. It really will be the last time this time though as the tour has nearly finished.

eightytwenty Tue 07-Jan-14 10:28:23

That's awful that there is name calling attached. Sadly there are no other boys at school with similar interests so suspect that we may have future trouble ahead. And the drama class itself is mostly girls. He seems to prefer female company but that maybe cause the boys all love sport, Lego or mine craft.

Interesting about social media. Actually makes sense. No contract about that up here that I've seen. But could imagine he might pester them if he did have access!

I think it is sensible to keep distance between adult performers and children - it needs quite a strong boundary line I think these days with instant access via facebook etc. Just ensures there are no problems.

If he prefers female company he'll probably be fine. ds2 treats girls like an alien species so having boys around that do the same thing has been quite important to him. I'm hoping at some stage he'll start to realise girls can make good friends as well!

eightytwenty Tue 07-Jan-14 23:49:26

Many tears tonight. Hopefully mood will be lifted by school trip to west end show (touring) & me trying to arrange a reunion for the children.

HSMMaCM Wed 08-Jan-14 08:46:23

DD cried buckets after her last Panto. She is gutted that they are not allowed to keep in touch with the adults. I had something lined up for the next day to take her mind off it. It must be even worse after a longer run.

I found the first few times ds2 was sobbing immediately afterwards, flat for a few days then bounced back. Last time he was much better, tears had dried by the time he got home and he was dancing around the kitchen before bedtime. I'm hoping that as this next run is an unexpected extra he will be fine and that he will see it as a bonus iykwim....

But I recommend other auditions etc to take their mind off it! They begin to realise it doesn't have to be a one off.

Hope all goes well - if it's the Lion King he's off to see, we're going to see that in March (but blardy hell at ticket prices!!!).

eightytwenty Wed 08-Jan-14 10:17:37

Good to know. Though ds1 always prone to being over emotional! Yes it is lion king! They're going with the school so at least we didn't have to pay for adult tix. Though of course don't get to see it either.

Hope he enjoys it! I was lucky in that my mum decided to take the boys, she bought tickets and my dad then 'didn't fancy it' - so I got his grin

teacherwith2kids Wed 08-Jan-14 18:14:57

Think DD will be OKish at the end of the panto run. All the junior cast members come from the same dance school, so she spends many hours each week in the company of most of them anyway.

There is a very firm diostance put between adult and child perfomers - last year a child from a different dance school was removed part way through the run of a panto in the same theatre because there was contact between them and one of the adults on a social media site.

It is DD's second and last go at panto - next opportunity would be in 2 years' time and I am not prepared for her to miss that amount of school time in secondary. So the real sadness may be in the 'not me this time' experience next time round. However, DD is a phlegmatic and very pracrtical child, who will love the extra sleep!

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 08-Jan-14 18:38:16

As a chaperone it is one of the things we are told to look out for as although it may be all very innocent it could be a sign a child is being groomed.

eightytwenty Wed 08-Jan-14 20:24:38

Wow. My brain never thinks of these things. Always fear fire, traffic and drowning (albeit not on stage) but never think of paedophiles. But after saville of course I understand safeguards.

That distance is protection for the adult performers as well - to prevent any opportunity for false accusations.

cory Wed 05-Feb-14 22:57:00

<pops in and waves at any performer parents who may be about>

How is everything going?

Is anybody else's child auditioning for the National Youth Theatre?

Dd is going up to London next weekend. Still some work left to do on her monologue.

She has just auditioned for the regional summer programme and is in a play that opens at the end of the month. So busy days.

Just checking in with everyone. How did the NYT audition go Cory? Ds2 auditioned for YMT:UK - he enjoyed the audition - said the singing was fine but his dance was 'awkward' (it usually is grin ). I've told him not to expect to get it (he's very young for it anyway) & he already seems to have forgotten about it :boys: He was keen to sign up to a skills course if he doesn't get onto a production, but if we go for that I'll probably just check with them first of all about ages of kids attending before signing up and make sure he's not years younger than everyone else.

We're off to see the Lion King this week - my mum bought tickets for the younger boys, and my dad didn't want to go so I've nabbed his ticket.

Other than that ds2 has joined the school choir which is very small so they gets lots of chance to sing solos etc if they want. The person who runs it is great. He's also just started singing lessons with a brilliant teacher (very young, loves MT, and has worked on west end shows - really reasonable as well). They seem to get on really well - took me ages to find anyone so I'm delighted he's so perfect for ds2.

Oh and ds2 will be doing his final performances in the west end touring show fairly soon, so we're just starting to go over the script together again.

cory Fri 07-Mar-14 17:33:07

<waves back at saintly>

dd had a lovely day auditioning in London for the NYT; no results until April but she thoroughly enjoyed herself and is happy to regard it as a practice run

in the meantime, she has done her first parth an adult amateur group and is getting ready to audition for the next part- I'm a bit hmm about this one as it is rather out of her playing age and would require a lot of work; still, I can see why she feels she wants to push herself

Oh good luck with all of that cory. Glad the NYT audition was enjoyable - ds2 wants to have a go when he's old enough.

YMT UK reserve list. Which he's delighted with as he said his dance was rubbish grin There weren't many places available for the younger ones so I have told him to be proud of himself. Am slightly relieved not to be forking out a grand - yet - esp as dh's car is falling apart

morethanpotatoprints Thu 20-Mar-14 14:07:41

Well done to all your dc, just for auditioning. I think they can learn so much from the process and it helps them develop as performers and individuals.
Good luck when results are in. smile

He was expecting to get the summer skills letter (equivalent to a no) 'as my dance was really rubbish mum', so he's absolutely delighted to have been put on the reserve list. I do know a number of people who have been offered a production from the reserve list so my grand might not be safe yet grin

He was offered another cartoon series last week so any disappointment tempered by that.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 20-Mar-14 22:59:16

Well done to him especially as he's so young.

Dd is finding things hard at the moment. She's feeling like she's not as good as everyone else. We're trying to up her confidence.

Oh that's hard pictures. She's not allowed to do anything outside school is she? Do the school have a way to help kids with that - it must be quite common? Especially when they're younger?

I thought ds2 might be knocked back a bit as he had such a lucky year last year but he seems genuinely very happy indeed with a reserve place. Seems to realise that's quite an achievement in itself. We've had a look at some of the younger kids who have got places & they're all excellent dancers - he knows he can easily be out danced - singing is his strength.

Does your dd have a particular strength where she shines (singing? From what you've said before?). If so is there a friendly singing teacher at school you can talk to to help boost her confidence? I find ds2 copes well with struggling with dance (is happy to give things a go & proclaim himself the 'worst one there' - e.g. A Matthew Bourne workshop - he came out buzzing & laughing) because he's very confident about his singing & acting. He's also getting the idea that roles are looking for a certain 'type' - so someone who isn't the strongest singer might get cast because they have the right look & are an excellent dancer.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now