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A number of you from our 11 plus class asked for this to be recorded so you can watch back and practice. Well here it is, its not easy but you all did really well.
Thanks to Dan Little for the choreography and Sol and Laurie for getting involved.
Well done everyone today, see you next week
It was strange that we never heard back from this parent. Oh well, it was probably all for the best.
From Here to the Moon and Back
Taking our seats in the Edinburgh Playhouse on Sunday 17th June 2012 for the final ever Farthings performance of Oliver we are all very aware that the touring experience will have an impact on our boys for many years to come, if not a lifetime.
As the curtain goes up, and the unmistakable score of Food Glorious Food begins, we all secretly hope for a slick, clean final performance. One last show together allowing the boys to finish on the memorable high they deserve. As if it was ever in any doubt, the boys do not disappoint, in usual fashion they deliver a deft performance that exudes confidence and is a shining example of the unique relationship the boys have developed during their 8 months together.
We anticipated today would be an emotional day, it would take an individual more hardened than I not to be touched as Nipper arrives on stage with his broom to perform his Consider Yourself solo, as he does the tears fall across his cheeks. Being the little professional he is, his performance did not falter, but if we were previously in any doubt, we now know this would be a very special afternoon.
The journey started back in October in a rehearsal room in Pimlico, 12 young boys arrive, complete strangers, nervous and excited. The boys represent a range of ages, heights, experience, ethnicities and personalities, some quiet, some excited, all slightly nervous I think. As we hand our children over to the care of chaperones, we could not have predicted how special the next 8 months and particularly this day in June would be in their lives.
During the months that follow after October the boys rehearse, travel, perform, have lessons, share rooms and eat together. They while away spare hours by visiting attractions, playing football and during spare time in the green room play games, creating their own versions of Oliver Apprentice, Olivers Got Talent and many more. Great sources of fun and a welcome distraction from the tiring pressure of performing for all the boys. During these months the boys bond with each other, they learn to understand each others differences and above all they learn to trust each other.
As the curtain comes down on this day in June we all know we have been part of something very unique. Our children joined as 12 young boys and somewhere along the way, I cant say when, became a team. So as they leave the stage door for the final time and stand on the steps for photos, a congratulatory three cheers goes up. Even the eldest members of the gang are feeling this is the end of something special and the tears flow.
You are extra special and talented young performers, I am sure this wont be the last we see of you. As parents we have been honoured and privileged to share your journey. So why the title, From Here To The Moon and Back ? It just sums up how far I thought any one of you would have been willing to go for any other on this day in June and as Samantha Barks said to you “Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened.”
Team Farthings were Will Edden, Sebastian Croft, Ethan Beer, Emilio Crescenzo, Luke Henry, Charlie Regent, Alex Watts, Charlie Penn, Alex Larder, Nivraj Babraa, Reece Courtenay-Robin and last but certainly not least Jack Kelly.
The Farthing gang performed in Oliver the Musical on Tour between December 2011 and June 2012 visiting Cardiff Millennium Centre, Manchester Palace, Birmingham Hippodrome, Southampton Mayflower and the Edinburgh Playhouse.
An insight into life on the road for the boys on the UK Tour of Oliver as they move from Southampton to Edinburgh, the largest venue in the UK with over 3,000 seats.
Our primary goals at BARTA are for all students to have fun and to improve their skills in the 3 disciplines. In addition we like to support parents, who want to, understand how this crazy world of child performing works.
The opportunity for children to pursue performing opportunities can be a reason why children end up at Performing Arts schools. We certainly don't think every child needs to, or should, go for auditions or castings, but quite a few want to and often they don't know whats involved or how to get started. If your child enjoys training but doesn't have a burning desire to travel the length and breadth of the country on a tour or isn't keen on traipsing backwards and forwards to London at all hours of day and night, then that is absolutely fine and they are probably the sensible ones.
The point of this was just to say I've added a ScreenTerrier RSS feed to the right hand side of this page on the Berkshire ARTs Academy website. Its from ScreenTerrier a site that highlights forthcoming film and TV events, castings and auditions for young people. Its a tool that some agents use to find opportunities to send their clients to and a place where agents will advertise for new clients. There are more sites that provide information on other areas of Performing Arts e.g Theatre. We will cover this in another post.
Hopefully it will help you discover a bit more about how the process works. It is for information purposes and we would urge caution in sending your childs details to the numerous opportunities as they crop up. We are not saying don't do it but would recommend talking to us first. We will let you know our thoughts as we may be able to offer advice that will save you a lot of time, money and effort. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always our intention is not, in any way, to tell parents what to do, far from it. Our aim is to provide an insight into the mechanics of the world of performing children and is based partly on our own experiences whilst supporting our children doing something they really enjoy. If its helpful, then that’s wonderful, if your experiences differ from those of ours, please feel to involve yourself in the discussion and share your experiences, we would love to hear your thoughts.
We are new to all this. Do I need to rush to find myself an agent ?
Our immediate thought on this question would be no, there are some very professional agents but there are also many awful ones. The possibility of a parent chancing upon one of the good ones, in the early days, is limited. There isn’t a list of the top 10 children’s agents and if you do manage to track one down, we suspect, they may be unlikely to be interested in representing a child with little or no experience.
It can be very exciting to announce my child has an agent but we would urge caution suggesting no one rushes into exclusive arrangements in respect of the representation of your child, certainly do not part with any money. Agents should be paid on a success only basis receiving their reward once they find a child work (usually between 10-20% of the childs pay). If your child has limited or no experience, and an agent is immediately interested in representing them, we would question what the agent hopes to achieve representing a child they have no knowledge of. You could find they have no real influence or contacts and attempt to provide a service of sorts by attracting children to be on their books, firing CVs and names out at each and every opportunity, to a range of auditions and castings that are widely available to everyone anyway. Sometimes they get lucky but its hardly a tactical approach and I suspect it could actually have the adverse effect on your child’s chances if your agent continually sends ill matched children to a Casting Director. A good agent will also always want to see your child perform or audition for them, they can not successfully represent them without knowing anything about their abilities.
Some Performing Arts schools are agents as well and this can be a good thing but not necessarily. We believe the process of training a child and finding them work are very separate tasks and both require a lot of time and effort to be carried out successfully. If your childs training school is also an agent we believe they should be set up and organised quite separately to ensure both parts of the business receive the appropriate levels of attention to run efficiently.
To summarise we would say there are lots of opportunities out there and many of them do not need require the representation of an agent. We will lift the lid on how to find out about these on another blog. It is unlikely a leading agent will take a child with no experience onto their books but as always do your research and don’t be scared to ask questions. You do not want to find yourself in a situation that doesn’t work for you and is difficult to get out of.
If you have any questions please contact email@example.com
I’m new to all this what can I expect
Being a parent of a performing child can be a daunting prospect, often feeling you are on the outside but having no idea where the entrance is. The information below is a compilation of first hand experience combined with the comments and advice of a number of other parents. It is by no means exhaustive but hopefully provides some insight into the world of performing children.
Whatever level your child performs not much compares with seeing the buzz your child gets from performing in front of a live audience, the smile on their face at curtain down with the applause still ringing in their ears.
Seeing your child come alive when they perform is all the incentive many parents need to commit to auditions, rehearsals, disappointments, elation, what seems like countless hours spent hanging around, dropping off, picking up and military like operations to arrange meals, care of your other children, homework and generally supporting them. That’s just the start of it, I could go on.
I have a great admiration for any person, especially children, who take the big step to stand in front of people to entertain them. Ultimately some children will find themselves performing professionally on a West End stage but for a large number their West End will be a part in a school production, a lead with their drama school or a part in a local community production. Wherever they find themselves performing the goal should always be to enjoy what they are doing and to push themselves to improve.
For the fortunate few who make it into a professional production they lead a unique life, performing in front of thousands of people, days off school, press nights, lots of attention, doing something they love, working with fantastic producers, actors, directors and performing in some of the countries finest theatres. The leads me to another important role of the parent – keeping them grounded.
So where do you start. There is not one easy answer and children who perform have a variety of backgrounds and experience. If I recount our story, which begins with a fortuitous moment, when we saw an advert, ironically, for a production of Oliver the Musical at our local community Arts Centre. We watched the performance, loved it and in the programme noticed an invitation for children to perform in their Easter production. Our son performed in that show (as a fox), had great fun, and then seemed to go on a run of auditioning and being offered parts in local shows. 18 months and 5 shows later he was offered a part in the UK tour of Oliver, he has loved (nearly) every minute of the tour and we are extremely grateful to our local community Arts Centre South Hill Park for starting him out on the wonderful path to performing, without them, I am sure, he wouldn’t be doing what he is today.
So where to start, your child probably already attends a dance or drama school, if not and they would like to, do your research, ask questions and try to talk to parents of other children who attend. Its always helpful if your child can attend a trial session before commiting to a terms fees. Then I would certainly recommend finding out if you have a local Arts Centre or local community Theatre Company. These organisations are run by individuals passionate about the Arts who do what they do, for little if any reward. They do it because they enjoy what they do and hope to share that enjoyment with others. These organisations put on extremely professional productions and are a great opportunity for children to learn about the art of performing at little or no cost. These organisations are in many cases the catalyst for launching the careers of many successful young performers, directors, producers and musicians.
To conclude my advice to parents is to ask questions, talk to other parents, find your local theatre companies, be supportive not pushy, ensure its their dream not just yours and for all the family to simply enjoy the journey.
If you have any questions we will try to help, please email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets on Sale for performances, 1 May 2012 - 5 May 2012
Venue: Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park Arts Centre, Ringmead, Bracknell, RG12 7PA
The award-winning EBOS presents its latest offering The Sound of Music. Set in the mountains of Austria during the late 1930s, at the time of the rising of the Third Reich, Maria Rainer, a postulant nun who struggles with the disciplined life at the Nonnberg Abbey, is sent to be governess to the seven children of Captain Von Trapp. There unveils a timeless musical based on actual events. This classic story of faith, love and national pride will warm the hearts of all.