Today’s post is inspired by Courtney Ransom, our lead educator who offers Acting and Comedy Improv classes to ages 6-12. She is currently introducing musical theater using the song made famous by the Broadway show “The Whiz.” Listening to these young performers sing “Ease on Down the Road” reminds me that the Treasure Valley Children’s Theater journey has (thankfully) been a relatively easy road; maybe not paved in yellow brick, and certainly has had some troublesome pot holes and a few speed bumps. But I marvel at how far we’ve come since July of 2012!
Any journey worth taking requires great travel partners and I have to admit I’ve been luckier than I probably deserve. Courtney has been with me since day one. Always willing to try something new, provide advice, and ultimately do whatever is needed to keep our classes full of happy aspiring performers.
Leesa Williams joined our teaching team last fall and her Group Voice classes are already among our most popular offering. She also offers private voice and piano lessons for children and adults of all ages through TVCT. When I started the company I new I needed to recruit a vocal instructor and musical theater aficionado. I got lucky with Lees and I really couldn’t have asked for someone better! She’s a pro and the kids respond so positively to her!
Jodi Nelson Deerfield and I have experienced a few rocky spots on our road and the journey hasn’t been quite as easy. But anything worth doing takes time. I know first hand the power theater and performing arts has to transform lives. I know our acting classes for autism spectrum youth and youth who struggle in social situations will thrive. It just takes time to spread the word and we’ve had some great successes and learned a lot. I believe we will be successful.
After auditioning 200 kids for Treasure Valley YOUTH Theater’s production of “Peter Pan, Jr.” I must admit that TVCT needs to offer theatrical dance classes. The majority of the 200 youngsters who auditioned had little to no dance experience and struggled with the audition. We see a similar pattern with our musical theater classes. Movement is the foundation of acting. Understanding how you can manipulate your body, find rhythm, and work with music is a very important skill for every performer. So, I hope to develop some theater-based dance classes with the help of Sarah Church and Sunrise Dance and Arts.
I started teaching classes in January and getting back in the classroom environment has been incredibly rewarding! It reminds me of the important work these women do for TVCT and the youth in our community. I feel blessed that they choose to share their gift with me and TVCT.
A bit of a self-indulgent post, I know. But I believe if we don’t take time to reflect upon our journey and acknowledge the people traveling with us, we miss out on the best parts. So thanks for indulging me and thanks to the TVCT educators for easing on down the road with me.
“What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?”