Last week my daughter and I headed into the city for a very special afternoon at Broadway Edge, a studio where children are trained to learn to master the art of auditioning. Led by two industry professionals, they chose Annie on Broadway as their chosen musical to teach about 15 kids how to master a real Broadway audition.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, mainly because my daughter is very shy. I don’t mean very shy, I mean VERY shy. Just this past week, I gently pushed the idea of her auditioning for the school musical and she refused. Imagine her in a room full of 15 kids dancing and singing, how would that work?
Fortunately, our instructors, award-winning playwright and director Jill Jaysen and her colleague, Michael, are used to kids of all types and they quickly put her at ease. They immediately brought the kids into a circle and asked them simple questions to break the ice. Her answers came out quietly and as the questioning progressed, a bit easier. At one point, Jill asked her how she was feeling and she took what felt like ages to answer and then she declared “Excited”. It was quiet and certainly unexpected, my friend murmured it was “Theater of Irony” and I’d have to agree. Broadway Edge is all about building confidence and allowing each child to spontaneously access their powerful instincts. As a result, they become unstoppable as their belief rises to new levels.
So when the class picked up, she kind of let down her hair and found her groove. Michael gave each child a bucket and went right into the details of the routine to “It’s a Hard Knock Life”. Michael taught them the basics, but he also threw in professional tips along the way. They learned about the “fourth wall” in which there is an imaginary “wall” at the front of the stage through which the audience sees the action. Some of the kids got really into it, some were born natural, some worked harder at keeping up. The latter would be my daughter BUT I was VERY impressed. Not only did she do the dance moves, but she sang (quietly) and spoke out loud upon request (they had to make up imaginary letters from the orphans before they launched into song).
And the end results? A piece worthy of a Broadway audition! I saw her confidence level change in the course of two hours that is no small potato. Broadway Edge teaches kids to harness their personal strengths to build self-confidence during their audition—and in life.
From 10am-5pm on selected Saturdays and Sundays, aspiring actors ages 8-18 can work on their audition monologue or song during one-on-one coaching sessions, group classes divided by age and experience, sessions with an in-house casting director who serves as a guide through the Broadway casting process, and a culminating performance for family and friends.
Broadway EDGE currently offers two weekend workshops: Audition EDGE, which includes sessions with an in-house casting director, and Showcase EDGE, which includes sessions with Broadway industry representatives.
The next Broadway Edge weekend workshop will be on March 2-3rd. This full weekend intensive is an extended version of what your children experienced on Sunday. Get a discount for this workshop. They can get $50 off using code MBLOG if they sign up by February 4th. Head over to their web site for more information.
Disclosure: I was a part of a group that received a complimentary master class but all opinions expressed are my own.