Tag Archives: Spotlight Acting School

The 7 Golden Things to Bring to Every Rehearsal

A common question I get from parents time to time is, “What does my child need to bring to rehearsal?”

Now that Spotlight Acting School is constantly in the middle some kind of rehearsal (right now we are in full swing of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and starting up Aladdin and Alice in Wonderland. Cinderella and Arsenic and Old Lace audition this weekend), I thought it might be appropriate to share some rehearsal essentials. These are seven things that any actor needs to really thrive during practice!  

1. Closed-Toe Shoes

So many times, especially during summer, it is easy to throw on some flip flops and head on to rehearsal. However, any kind of open toed shoes, such as flip flops or sandals, are not a good choice for rehearsal, and I’m not meaning in a fashion sense. Not only can it be difficult to dance and act in sandals, it can also be dangerous. I can’t count how many stubbed toes could have been prevented. Tennis shoes are always a safe choice that allow actors to move about comfortably. There are also jazz and character shoes to consider as well!

2. Water

I cannot stress this one enough! What many people do not realize about Theatre is that it is an extremely athletic activity. For example, by the eighth time we practice a certain dance in just one rehearsal, it feels like a workout! Young actors (and seasoned ones as well) need to stay hydrated for obvious health reasons. Here at Spotlight, we encourage students to take breaks as they feel they need to, so to have at least one bottle of water nearby is very handy. There are also some instances where we rehearse in a place with no water fountain, so it is always good to get in the habit of bringing your own bottle.

3. Comfortable Clothes

I typically prefer to wear athletic clothes to rehearsal because of how much activity just an hour and a half can provide. Although athletic clothes are not required, rehearsal clothes should be very comfortable. If your young actor does not feel like he or she can move freely in his/her outfit, they should probably change. Actors have enough to worry about singing, dancing, and acting. They don’t have time to be concerned over a wardrobe malfunction!

4. Script

I’m pretty sure I just heard every director in the world go, “Amen!” Here at Spotlight we value our scripts so much that we even have every cast take an oath that they will take care of their script. Sometimes it is inevitable that a script gets left behind, however the more rehearsals that script can make it there the better! Even when students have their lines memorized, scripts are important to practice so students can take notes, go over their lines, or follow along as we review the play.

5. A Pencil

Well, just like school we ask our students to come and take notes, but these notes aren’t for math or science. Of course, we know not every student can read or write, which is totally fine. For those who can, we have found note-taking super helpful for our students to remember what blocking and what stage directions they are instructed to do later. A lot of questions and forgotten direction can be fixed if our students write them down in their scripts.

6. Practice before Practice

This sort of goes hand in hand with bringing your script: knowing the stuff in it. Now parents, I know that most of the time by opening night you know the show as well as the kids do, but that means that they know it too! To push students to their full acting potential, several weeks before dress rehearsal week, we encourage students to be “off book,” which means to have their lines memorized. Because most of our shows take place over the span of several months, if rationed and planned, this is an easy feat. Memorizing a line a night may suffice, or perhaps practicing a dance a couple times before the next rehearsal will do. I know many students like to listen to the music in their car. As a director, it is very easy to tell the difference of when students do go home and practice and when they don’t.

7. Positive Attitude

Because some rehearsals can be difficult it is always best, but hard, to come with a positive outlook on things. I know it is difficult especially on the young ones to repeat something over and over again. It does help the whole atmosphere when students keep enjoying themselves and the rehearsal. Do we expect everyone to always wear a smile? No, though it would be nice. 🙂 However, rehearsal should be a fun atmosphere where children get to express themselves in the arts, and learn about how to better their performance skills. Here at Spotlight, we strive to make rehearsals a positive experience for everyone, therefore negative attitudes should be left at the door.

Of course there are other things every actor can bring to a rehearsal that fit their individual needs. Some students bring healthy snacks in case they get a little hungry. Some students bring notebooks to occupy their time when they are not learning a lesson or on the stage. Electronic devices are never encouraged to be used during rehearsal, including game consoles and cellphones. A cellphone can be used after rehearsal if the student needs to contact their parents or rides.

With these things your young actor can feel prepared and ready for rehearsal!

Do Something Creative Everyday

For those of you that are justing joining us here at Spotlight Acting School, you may  not know that a famous motto we have here, from Spotlight’s founder, is, “Do something creative everyday.”

This is something that many artistic children do naturally anyways, but students at Spotlight are particularly encourage to let their inner creativity out!

Since summer is coming to an end this week for most of our students and our semester begins this Saturday with auditions for Aladdin and Alice in Wonderland and next Saturday for Cinderella and Arsenic and Old Lace, I thought it would be a good time to share some creativity that has happened over the summer with some staff and some of our students!

Sarah Bucknam

As a director here at Spotlight, Sarah typically stays busy all the time. Seriously, she is one busy bee. On top of Shrek the Musical, the multiple camps we’ve had this summer, and directing You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Sarah has also been very active with her photography business! In case you didn’t know Sarah is the creator and owner of Pretty Pixels Photography, where she takes all kind of photos, from weddings to dress rehearsals to family portraits! In fact, some of Sarah’s photography made it in the Kentucky Living magazine!

“Pretty Pixels Photography gives me the chance to be creative! I am pleased to say that I have done something creative EVERY DAY this summer.” -Sarah

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The Perkins’ Family

You might have seen Caraline on stage before in shows such as, Little Mermaid, Jungle Book, Aristocats, Peter Pan, Shrek, and upcoming in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. This summer her little brother and sister, Zach and Lainey, joined Spotlight with Oh Those Summer Nights. On top of having cupcake competitions to making movies this summer, this bunch loves to perform so much they decided they wanted a stage in their backyard. If that’s not creative, I’m not sure what is!

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Katie U.

Earlier this summer you may have seen Katie onstage singing about how Farquaad’s guards blew her condos down in Shrek the Musical and then in Oh Those Summer Nights, but the fun didn’t stop there. In fact, Katie went to MADD Camp (Music, Arts, Drama and Dance), where she got to learn and express her creativity for an entire week!

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Chad & Letha Hembree

Chad and Letha Hembree are pretty much creative all the time. They kind of have to be, being the owners of Spotlight Acting School. They have had an eventful summer, from Shrek the Musical, to Oh Those Summer Nights, to the multiple camps, to planning and preparing for this semester. There’s been a lot of creativity going on in the Hembree household. Even on their vacation in Florida they were hard at work, researching and participating in mystery dinners.

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Yes, this is Mr. Chad participating in a dinner show.

Katie W.

Katie W. was also in Shrek the Musical hitting those wicked notes as the Dragon. Not long after Shrek ended, Katie packed her bags for three weeks to participate in Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. Katie looked like she had a blast!

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Karlie

Karlie has had an eventful summer! After traveling across the country she visited the Oregon Film Museum and was a cowgirl out west! Karlie didn’t have to go too far to be artsy though. Just in her backyard she made a birdhouse for her clubhouse and colorful lanterns out of tin cans.

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Gwen

Gwen sang about being “too off the wall” in Shrek the Musical this summer as Humpty Dumpty. I think her choice in hair color is just fine…in fact I think it’s awesome! As soon as Shrek was over, Gwen dyed her hair BLUE (and a gorgeous shade of blue, I may add).

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Brandi (Me)

I have had a lot of fun this summer with directing or being involved with all of our productions here at Spotlight. Something creative I like to do outside of Spotlight is crochet. I love making scarves, blankets, dishcloths, accessories, and this summer a couple of photo props for Pretty Pixels Photography! One of my favorite things I have crocheted this summer has to be this baby blanket I made for a good friend.

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Critley

This summer Critley has had the opportunity to not only be involved with several of Spotlight’s productions, but she has also gotten a job writing for the Berea Citizen. She does a great job covering local news in our community!

“It gives it a chance to use the other part of my degree, English! New’s and writing has always been something I’ve loved. I even used to publish a family newspaper when I was 9 . I would collect family stories, birthdays and events . Then I would print them and deliver them to my family months. So I guess you could say I’m back to my roots!”

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With our semester starting on Saturday I am excited to hear more stories about how our students spent their summer creatively. I bet if I had a list of every single student that did something artsy then I could write a whole book! I love our students and how artistic and talented they are, thus I am looking forward to another fantastic semester at Spotlight Acting School!