My daughter said to me yesterday, there are so many activities out there, isn’t it strange that we choose do an activity like singing or dance or drama…. I guess it is but we are always going to do something. In another sense, why not. If you were a kid again what activity would you choose?
It secretly amazes me when we form a circle at the start of an Extraordinary Kids session and I look around the hall and see 35 kids who choose to come week after week. They must be getting something out of it. I’m always taken over by a tremendous sense of gratitude. I think “ this couldn’t happen without you and you and you….” Its also a little bit like a snow ball the more kids the better the atmosphere. There seems to be a sort of critical mass to make the classes really great. I see that as around 12 - 16 kids. Thats why we cap the classes at 16. When we first started if the classes were too small we would sometimes combine them.
In the drama skits i make sure the kids get an equal go. But lately I have been putting kids in the background of scenes as extras. so they get to shine in a scene and be an extra in another. I have started, where ever i can to put every kid in the group into the scene. its a really fun challenge. we may have a busy office skit. easy have 12 busy workers that all at some stage say “hi boss”
If there’s a pirate scene put the whole group on the boat. A monks retreat - have a bunch of meditators. Its amazing how bodies can create scenery. a human set! But its also so uplifting to see how willing kids are to be part of the set and how much they will volunteer great ideas. There are also such valuable stage craft lessons to be learned here.
I said to this kid who as an office worker in the background chose to get herself electrocuted to stop up staging. I said “Sally your up staging “ she came further downstage and kept convulsing in the most distracting manner possible. “ Sally you’re upstaging still. she came even further forward until she was standing infont to the kid delivering the punchline still convulsing. at that point it struck me and i was doubled over laughing. and when i finally gathered myself i had to explain that upstaging means to draw unwanted attention to your self in a scene and it doesn't mean that you are standing too far upstage.
I had assumed she knew what upstaging meant . Why should she automatically know that ? and isn't it reasonable that in an office you would get electrocuted? She was having fun. And as i asked in my last blog entry are ever really conscious of what we learn….