Friday, January 23, 2015

The New Kid

I am very excited to be part of Random Farms Kids' Theater anti-bullying production of "The New Kid"!  This is my first year with the show, and I am very happy to be playing Eleanore.  "The New Kid" is a show that travels to schools and spreads the important message to just be yourself.  In fact, one of the characters sings a song called "Just Be Yourself".

There are 3 casts of "The New Kid".  Auditions were held in June and we got the great news that we were cast a few weeks later.  We had a busy rehearsal schedule for about 6 weeks beginning in September.  During that time, we not only learned the show, but we became great friends.  Hanging out at dinner break was the best!

The day we travelled to our first school to do the show, I didn't know what to expect from the audience.  The kids in the school loved it!  I think it was special for them to see a show for kids that was done by kids.  After each show, we do a Q&A.  The kids at the school made some great comments about how they would prevent bullying.  They also asked us questions like - how did we learn the whole show, how much school do we miss by doing the show (2 mornings a month), and they even asked if the green rubber frog we use in the show was real.

"The New Kid" is one of my favorite shows that I have been part of.  I love my cast, performing for different audiences, and spreading an important anti-bullying message.

Auditions for next year's casts of "The New Kid" will be in June - don't miss it!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Most Amazing Experience

This summer, I got the amazing opportunity to play the lead role, “Tracy Turnblad”, in Random Farms’ summer mainstage Hairspray Jr. I was so excited when I got the news, because honestly, I wasn’t expecting it, as I was originally cast as Edna.  Even as Edna I was so happy to play such a featured role. The girl who was originally cast as Tracy got an amazing opportunity to work for Nickelodeon, and because I was the second choice, I was asked right away.  But really, this article isn’t about being the lead; it’s about the experience.

 The month of July went by so quickly. I was meeting all of these amazing people and having so much fun. Just saying here: the experience wasn’t only magical because I played the lead, it was the meaning behind it. I remember watching the 2007 movie at my dance studio. I was only five, but I was Velma and got to dance to “The Legend of Ms. Baltimore Crabs” up on stage. As I got older, I would play the soundtrack over and over, and one day my best friend and I went to see it at The Westchester Dinner Theater. I was so memorized by the show, and my mom and I looked for years to see if a theater was doing it, but after a while, we gave up. I was and still am inspired by Tracy’s character and how she stood up for everything she believed in.

I remember at one of my voice lessons my instructor, Natalie, told me that the summer mainstage was going to be Hairspray Jr. I began practicing the audition cut of “Good Morning Baltimore” and finally the audition day came. I felt so proud of my audition, both the dance and the vocal parts. I was at rehearsal for a workshop when the callback list came out, and to find that I had gotten callbacks for Tracy, Velma, Edna, and Amber made me ecstatic! I was so happy with all of the progress that I had made in only one year!

When tech week came, it was bittersweet to know that we were almost done with the show. Our cast had grown so close; everyone was so supportive of each other and we even celebrated my birthday on the first dress rehearsal! Our opening night was so energetic and we all did an amazing job. By our second (and last) show, our energy wasn’t as high, for everyone had to say goodbye. We had all worked so hard, and it was sad to see it come to an end. When I came out of the hairspray can to bow, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was crying on the inside, but smiling on the outside. I don’t think anyone stayed sane that night. I cannot thank Alexis, Chip, and Anya enough for the amazing opportunity.

So it wasn’t just the part, or the experience, or the show. It was the cast. I still have what I like to call post-show depression. Sometimes I’m in the car listening to the Broadway radio and “Run and Tell That” will come on, or I’ll be at school and someone will find my Hairspray Jr. postcard in my bag, or I’ll be at home in my room which is filled with Hairspray bags, posters, and photos. But that post-show depression reminds me of the amazing experience I had, all the amazing people who I can call my best friends, and most importantly, it taught me an important message: “You Can’t Stop The Beat!”


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Kids For a Cause Hits the Road


Happy New Year everyone!
I hope your holidays were just as special as mine. December was a special month for me.  I celebrated my cousin Samantha’s
Bat mitzvah in L.A and I participated for the first time in Kids For a Cause.  Kids For a Cause is a program that brings shows to different places from our community, where people do not have the chance to go to a show. Sometimes these people do not have money to buy a ticket, they can’t move easily because of physical restrictions or they can’t actually stay seated at a theatre for long. I decided to audition for Kids For a Cause because I wanted to help someone to have a better day, by doing what I like the most: singing and dancing.

On my first show I was a little nervous because I didn’t know how the audience was going to react. But I found out that they really liked to have us there and it was very welcoming. After the show we had a meet and greet time. That is when we talk to the audience and they get to ask questions and talk to us.

Our first performance was at a homeless shelter. The kids there were very shy at first, but they paid attention and were really fun to talk to. They all said they loved the show and I could hear some of them singing along with us. I loved to see that big smile spread across their face. We also brought treats and we all celebrated together after the show.
The second show was at a rehabilitation center for children. The kids could not speak and had a different way to talk. They communicated by making sounds and movements, they clapped and it was easy to understand what they wanted to say. I was happy to be able to help them to have a fun day.
Our last show was at a senior home and this was my favorite. The seniors were super nice and I could see the performance brought them memories by the way they sang along and by their comments after the show. Some of them told me they used to love to sing those songs when they were young. It was such a happy afternoon!

 Kids For a Cause is also about making new friends and learning to sing in a group. I loved my group because we were always there to help each other. If you forgot something you knew that someone was always there to help. We all like the same things, like performing, so we chatted a lot.
My favorite part of participating at Kids for a Cause was to see the smile on people’s faces every time a note came out of my mouth. ! I will never forget my first Kids for a Cause tour.