Sunday, November 16, 2014

My First Edge Production

    I have been performing with Random Farms since I was in first grade and I have always had a lot of fun. I was really excited this year because I was old enough to be in my first Edge production. The Edge production this year is the hilarious show “Urinetown”. On the first day of rehearsal I was really nervous because I didn’t know many people in the cast. I knew that a lot of the people were probably going to be older than me and I found that intimidating. But everyone was extremely nice and welcoming, we even went around the room during dinner break saying our names and a fun fact about ourselves. By the end of the first rehearsal everyone was friends.

  I expected the music to be more challenging in an Edge production and I wondered how I would handle it. We are broken up into different voice parts to learn different harmonies. There are not that many people in each voice part so you really need to know your harmony in order for it to work. Although this is challenging, Chip (The music director) will always help you and go over your voice part, he even posts the music for us to practice. I am having a lot of fun challenging myself with the harmonies of this music. 
     During the dinner breaks we usually sit in a huge circle and talk about school, theatre and past productions we were in. One of the most recent things we talked about was doing a secret Santa with everyone in the cast. I think it is great how everyone in the cast is friends and everyone is always included in everything we do.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Every year Random Farms holds their annual Industry Showcase in conjunction with Broadway Workshop in NYC.  This year auditions are November 5th, 8th and 9th.  This showcase provides an opportunity for young performers, age 5-18, to show off their talents in front of agents, managers and casting directors.  The showcase takes place at an amazing NYC cabaret venue.
About 4 1/2 years ago, I auditioned for the Industry showcase.  I was thrilled to learn I was chosen for the showcase and would be given a wonderful opportunity to perform.  Prior to the showcase, Anya and Marc worked with each performer providing invaluable feedback.  During rehearsal and preparation for the showcase, I met other kids who were just as excited as I was and we bonded throughout the experience.
As a result of the showcase, I met my agent and began auditioning.  Although at times it was discouraging when I didn’t get a part, I never let that hinder me.  After a lot of hard work I was cast in an Off-Broadway show called The Butterfly.  A few months after that production, I received the incredible news that I would be playing Jane Banks in Mary Poppins on Broadway.  As Mary Poppins would say, “Anything can happen if you let it.”

Random Farms gave me the opportunity to believe in myself and begin my journey.  I am grateful that I still have Random Farms to come back to and be a part of their main stage productions and their Ambassador program.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shy Boy Hits the Stage

(Just because you’re shy doesn’t mean you can’t try)

I have a friend, Daniel, who has always been very shy. He would never talk to anyone he didn’t know, or even look into people’s eyes. But on the inside he is a totally different kid. This summer, I convinced him to try to participate on a show and socialize a bit more. It all changed when Daniel agreed to sign up for Fiddler on the Roof. In the beginning he was not fully participating, but little by little he started to participate during rehearsals and at the end the real Daniel started to come out.
         The play was directed by Julie. She encouraged Daniel to speak in a confident voice, like a soldier, the part he was playing. Daniel was Sasha, a Russian solider that should talk loud and clear. It was very exciting when we all saw how Daniel was happy on the day of the performance. On that day Daniel woke up early and got ready before everyone. I could see in his eyes he could not wait to be on stage for the first time. The minute the theatre lights went down, the audience applauded and the stage lights when up, Daniel stood up tall, put on a proud face and got ready to sing our first song “Tradition”.
         After the performance it seems a new person had come out of Daniel. He loved to be on stage and to my surprise he even said “it was one of the most fun things I have ever done”! The reason it was so surprising for me was because I remembered when he graduated from preschool a few years ago, Daniel was very scared to be in front of all the parents. I was really happy that Random Farms helped Daniel overcome his shyness. I think that shy kids who love theatre should also give it a try.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getting The Role You Didn’t Want

Being a part of Random Farms Kids Theater has taught me so much and even things I didn’t expect. To be honest, every kid wants that leading role. But what happens when you get the role you didn’t want or even worse, not getting cast at all? That happens and it happened to me. At first I felt disappointed as I did everything possible to show the directors in the auditions I deserved that leading role. Could I have quit and walked away? Sure, but I didn’t because in every role you learn something you didn’t know before. That is what happens at Random Farms Kids Theater. 

If I let myself stay down and disappointed I would have never got to play a person from the early 1900’s or a mom of a bratty kid from the 70’s or even a Newsie paperboy. In every role, you learn something new. Even if you aren’t cast, there is something to learn or to try harder for next time.  Here at Random Farms Kids Theater, they taught me a lot more that just theater. It’s never giving up and throwing in the towel because you are disappointed with a role you were given. It’s all in the way you look at it. There is something to learn in every single role you get and what you put into it makes all the difference. 

You may not always get the role you want but it may be the role you need.

Remembering that feeling you had from your first Main Stage Production

Though it feels like forever, I have only been part of Random Farms Kids Theater for one year. We found RFKT on line and saw they were having auditions for The Music Man. I had no idea that I would be auditioning for their big theater program when I had never done the workshops or even a lesson there. My sister and I knew that we wanted to find a program that would inspire us and teach us everything we loved about theater.

I rehearsed and rehearsed the lines and the sang the song, “Wells Fargo Wagon” hundreds of times and wanted more than anything to get cast in the show. When the cast list came out and I saw my name, I was so excited because I knew this would be a huge challenge. I was nervous and excited to begin rehearsals. So many things happened that I never expected and that was how much fun I had and how many friends I met. I always loved going to rehearsals and learning new skills and techniques. I learned so much not only from the directors but also from my cast. Tech week was great but there is nothing quite like the feeling of getting on stage and being a part of a production you put your heart into.

Being a part of that show was so much fun and I met so many great people. There will always be a bond with the friends I made during The Music Man. I would have to say that starting my experience at RFKT with jumping into a Main Stage was nerve racking, exciting, exhilarating, amazing and the best time I’ve ever had.  There is a lot of work, effort and commitment needed to be a part of a Main Stage production and it is so worth it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Audition Tips

'Tis the season for auditions! They're sort of like the holidays, but instead of drinking eggnog and wearing ugly sweaters, us theater kids are drinking Throat Coat tea, snuggling with humidifiers, and breaking in new jazz shoes. Also, audition time might not be so merry for some people. Not sure how to prepare for your next audition?  Feeling insecure? I've compiled a list of my greatest audition tips to help you out!

1. As soon as the audition material comes out, listen to it on loop.

We all know the saying, "practice makes perfect," and it couldn't be more true. You should make a point to practice your song or monologue, (or both) at least once a day leading up to your audition. Don't be ashamed to additionally incorporate your practice into your daily routine. So, singing in the shower and in the hallways at school is totally acceptable, if not encouraged. If any teacher tells you to stop, then they're just being boring and muzzling your creativity, (Disclaimer: SO KIDDING. Listen to your teachers)!

2. Visualize the audition scene as you practice.

Imagine yourself in front of your directors as you practice, so you won't get freaked out by their watching you during the real thing. It sounds crazy, but it's extremely important to do this. So many terrific young performers find themselves belting out their 16 counts in the mirror of their bedrooms, but freezing in front of the directors at the audition. Imagine them judging you beforehand, so you have time to judge yourself.

3. Take a video of yourself  practicing.

Body language is universal. If you find yourself twiddling your thumbs, twirling locks of your hair, or slouching during your audition, the directors may think that you're unconfident. You'll want to stand up nice and tall, (unless your character is supposed to do otherwise,) with your shoulders back and hands at your sides. When singing, avoid over-the top gestures or movements. In other words, don't make up your own choreography.

4. Get all of your stuff together a good deal of time before the audition.

Headshots. Updated resumes. Jazz or character shoes. Your perfect audition outfit. Trust me, you really don't want to leave it all until the night before. You'll be stressed, your stage parent/guardian will be angry, and it just won't be any fun at all.

5. Do what you need to do on the big day.

A tribal dance dedicated to Apollo. Shaking out your nerves in a spastic jig. Praying to William Shakespeare. Do. Whatever. Helps. You. Auditions are a stressful time for everyone, even the casting directors! Everyone will understand your strange ritual, or at least pretend to. Also keep in mind, some people get psyched out by talking to other people in the green room. If you need to be antisocial and listen to calming music in the corner before your audition, then absolutely do it.

6. Once you step into that audition room, it's all you, Baby.

Time to sparkle! Pretend nobody else in the room is auditioning, and that they are only present to witness your legendary performance. When the others audition, just say to yourself, "That was cute." However, it is essential to keep your self-assurance internal, and compliment the other performers on their audition later. The theater is full of personalities, but you still have to be courteous to others.

7. Breathe!

I cannot stress how important this last step is. When your brain receives the proper amount of oxygen anxiety levels descend, and you will always calm down. Those with vocal training know that proper breathing is essential to a strong audition. If you don't breathe, not only will you be scared, but your voice might crack while you're singing!  You've worked too hard to let something like that happen, and as long as you breathe, you'll be fine.

Most importantly, have fun. You've so got this. You've put in tons of effort for this audition, so now that all the work is done, just enjoy it. Remember, even if it doesn't go well, everything happens for a reason. Maybe you needed to prepare more, or maybe the stars just weren't in your favor. Whatever happens, it's an experience. If you follow these tips, you'll rock your audition. Break a leg!

Monday, September 15, 2014

On The Edge

Fall is just around the corner, and that means a busy season at Random Farms. Fall workshops kicked off last week, and the Edge production (an annual show at RFKT performed by high school and college students) has just begun its exciting process. This fall, the Edge is putting on a production of Urinetown.
Auditions took place last Monday and Friday. Many talented performers hailing from around the Tri-state area attended with smiling faces and sheet music in their hands; all hoping to have the chance to be a part of the cast.
Kyle Morales, age 16, was very excited to have the opportunity to audition: “Last year I participated in my first Edge production at RFKT and I had a blast”, he told me, “I had a great time learning challenging music and dances while making amazing friends along the way. I hope I get the opportunity to make new memories with this hilarious show!”
Rachel Stamberg (pictured on the right) was also excited about auditioning: “Seeing friends at the auditions just made me that much more excited for the show!” A callback list was posted soon after the auditions, listing the actors who the creative team wanted to see perform additional material and potentially be cast as principal roles in the production. The callbacks went well; and the cast list will be posted on the Random Farms website ( this coming Wednesday, September 17th. Good luck to all who auditioned, and stay tuned for more updates when the rehearsal process begins!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back To School / Back To Stage!

Welcome back from summer and welcome to the new Random Farms Blog! 

This year, the Ambassadors will take over the blog, sharing their insights about theater from the young person's perspective. We are so excited to see what these amazing and dedicated young theater makers have to say about rehearsing, performing, working backstage, learning new techniques, and being part of the Random Farms community.

You can learn more about the Ambassadors at

Have a great year everyone!