June 30, 2009
I signed up to teach a workshop at our local theatre’s teen camp, which is taking place this week. Somewhere along the way, I also became a counselor. What is so fantastic about this camp is it basically runs itself, and therefore gives us counselor’s time to enjoy everything about it.
It’s great watching these kids. It’s not a general day camp and with the exception of maybe one, it’s obvious they all want to be there. All of them are so enthusiastic about theatre. They are like sponges, soaking up all this new information because the art is still so uncharted for them. They ask questions and listen to stories and want more. It’s not a job or a routine or a hassle for them yet – it’s still an adventure. It’s fun going on this adventure with them.
I taught the Stage Management workshop today. It’s really one of those things you can’t learn from a book or in a classroom. It’s all practical knowledge and learning through experience, and I told them that. I gave general overview of the sorts of things that are expected of them and what a stage manager is in relation to the entire production. But the thing I told them is the way to get into it is through finding a mentor of some sort. You really have to work your way up the food chain, and it’s not a hard food chain to climb. In fact, I think it’s one of the easiest in all of theatre.
They ran relay races for scene changes, going against each other. After each round I gave constructive criticism, and the exciting part was watching them really follow it. I would suggest something, and the next time it’d be done! Without having to ask twice! Or even ask at all! And afterwards they had plenty of questions, and good solid questions. It was great answering them. I even had some of the kids coming up to me afterwards during some down time to ask more. I understand why people teach. Their energy can be addicting.
The next three days will be a breeze. We see a dinner theatre show tomorrow, have more workshops on Thursday, and perform a showcase on Friday. This camp was a good decision for me for completely selfish reasons. Where I am in my life and my career, it has been a joy watching the kids discover things I forgot I had discovered in the first place.