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Theater Internships and Summer Youth Workshops 2016

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Hey Woodstock Friends –

As some of you know, we homeschooled our daughter Lachlan from first grade all the way through high school here in the Woodstock area. Some of our friends might still be on the local homeschooling lists, but most of Lachlan’s peers have graduated and moved on. To fill everyone in, Lachlan is now in her 3rd year at NYU in the Drama program at Tisch, and very happy with where she’s landed. She recently auditioned into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London and will be heading there in January – another success story for home-schooling, for the Hudson Valley community of home educators and for local theater training!

I’m writing today because, as some of you might know, we have been involved for many years with local theater, and I am now working with the Voice Theatre company to help organize their upcoming season. Shauna Kanter, the artistic director of Voice Theatre, needs between 4 and 8 interns for two productions, one in June and one in October. The interns would work closely on the productions, primarily with costumes and props, but also with other production-related tasks. Most helpful would be older students who can drive, but Voice Theatre is interested in speaking with anyone who has an interest in the theater arts and wants to work with an ambitious, local, professional company that is mounting excellent productions in our area.

The productions and internships would be centered at the Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock – as some of you might know, Shauna and Voice Theatre received donations last year, dedicated to improving the Byrdcliffe performance space so it is now air-conditioned, better sound-proofed, and allows for better production values and a longer season. Byrdcliffe is a wonderful venue in which to work!

The interships pay $200 each, but this isn’t really about the money – I can’t emphasize enough how good and professional this company is: My daughter interned with Voice Theatre, beginning by helping with parking traffic, then managing props, then taking a leading role in a 2012 production of “Lovers” at the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice and finally, becoming an ensemble member in the 2015 production “Our Country’s Good”, all on the strength of her love of theater and the excellent exposure and guidance she gained from her local theater experience. When she was ready for college, her internships and guidance from Voice Theatre were instrumental in her being accepted to every single drama department to which she applied.

You can check out the upcoming performance schedule at the Voice Theatre website where you can also find Shauna Kanter’s contact information. If you’d like more information from me, email’s your best bet – and hope there’s someone in the community interested in checking out the fantastic opportunities these internships represent.

While you’re at the Voice Theatre website, check out the Summer Youth Workshops. These will be fun, intense, one-week acting workshops, with instruction in voice, movement, improvisation and more. Beginners welcome – http://voicetheatre.org/summer-youth-workshops/

Written by Alan

March 2nd, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Posted in Plays

Write every day

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I finished a novel last November, got some really nice notes back from both agents who would be my top choices if one of them (eventually, hopefully) decides to take me on as a client. I’ve spent the past half year rewriting to those notes and I’m about to send the manuscript out again. If the agents aren’t wild about it this time I’ll probably ePublish at Smashwords or go directly to the Apple, Kindle and Nook stores. Because I’m wild about it, and the few readers who have given me feedback are wild about it, and I want to get it out there. Whether it’s traditional publishing or ePublishing, I should have my YA novel out sometime soon. So I’ve decided to switch my blog over to writing about writing, starting with my basic philosophy of putting words on the page.

A classic instrument of fine writing, on which you could write your one page a day.

I have friends who are successful writers, and I’m not sure how they manage things because I haven’t asked. My impression is that some of them work on bursts of inspiration and others put their head down every day for a specified time and bull out what they can.

But for me, the only way I can get anything done is to have one simple rule: write every day.

I don’t have a specific time or place where I write. I don’t have a favorite pencil (mostly I write on my laptop). I don’t have a routine because the other pressures on my time don’t allow it. But at the end of the day, I don’t go to bed unless I’ve written at least one page of something. It might be one page of screenplay, one page of a novel, or a page of a one-act play. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that I write a page. Every day. No matter what.

If you set the bar low enough, it’s tough to fail. And that’s why it works for me. Lots of small successes pile up to a finished work. Once you experience failure, it’s tougher to face the blank page knowing you failed at it yesterday, so my writing rule allows me to skirt failure by redefining success as something not much harder than getting out of bed and scratching out a few words. It’s sort of succeeding downward; placing the target so close you could hit it with a potato chip (go ahead, see how far you can throw a potato chip).

It’s like an exercise program. If you run every day, then being in shape becomes a habit. Sounds simple, but the psychology is pretty complex. I know, because I’ve spent most of my life running to stay in shape and I know what happens when you let your running program slip. What happens is you no longer feel like you own it. You think about putting on your running shorts and shoes and heading down the road alone, and it feels like something you used to do, or something other people do, but not something you do anymore. It feels foreign. But if you get up and run, even a half mile, each day, you’ll start to look forward to it. Stretch your run a bit, even if you have to walk a little, and you’re on your way. it’s part of your day. It’s what you are. You’re a runner.

So skip emptying the dishwasher if that’s what it takes. Stay up an extra half hour. Mow the lawn tomorrow. Decide that your one page a day is just as important as responding to every e-mail, and far more important that gaming or Facebook or keeping up with the news. One page a day is a a novel in a year. It’s 3 to 4 screenplays in a year. It’s any number of one-act plays, short stories or novellas. Little successes pile up and become finished manuscripts, and finished manuscripts make you a write. It all starts with writing that one page a day.

Written by Alan

August 28th, 2012 at 2:35 pm