It was almost Friday the 13th and we were SOOOOO close to the end sessions for
CREATE YOUR OWN BOARD GAME (at multiple locations) and PAC (performing arts club), also at multiple locations. The games are amazing, the sharing stories stupendous. Each session builing upon the last one and this was one of the BEST! (I find that I say that each time, because each on is amazing!)
Then we get the notice. Friday, March 13, 2020 MCPS will close schools in conjunction with keeping people safe and figuring out just what this pandemic, covid-19, corona virus is and how to best protect everyone as best we can.
I am sitting in my office, online with my peers as we are trying our best to navigate. "Surely this will in fact be just for a couple of weeks and everything will be fine." "I have to figure out how to schedule classes for my child, see if my job will let me work remotely, since it will only be for a little while and get all the necessary things from my child's school, go shopping and get ready to "shelter in place" for as long as it takes."
Now we are how many months out and while some things are much better, we have more knowledge, we are experts at take out, grocery pick-up, Fed-Ex, UPS, Chewy, Amazon and more, we are still in a place where things are not the way they used to be, and we are navigating the new "every day."
In the beginning, I did not hop on just transitioning programs online right away, because I felt that everyone needed to get their bearings and figure out how things are going to proceed. I wanted to take the time to research on-line arts offerings, online distance learning and wait to see how PamDeMonium AFATA LLC could proceed.
I am launching some offerings that have been crafted to work in this new environment.
I will have Theatre Arts, Writing, Comics and Creating Game Night Games.
I am also offering programs for teens and adults.
Before the pandemic I heard daily that there were adults that wanted to take Improv, Stand-up, Comedy Writing, Creating Comic books and other offerings as a way to relax and that they too had stories they wanted to tell, in their own way. Also there were people that wanted to work on audition pieces and writing dramatic offerings.
Myself, I am learning the art of website building, so if you have read this far and also have looked around the website as you revisit it from time to time, you will see tweakings and things that are getting spiffed up.
In the meantime, I welcome you to DISTANCE ARTS!!!
Come take a look at the programs and if you something, say something and welcome to PamDemonium AFATA, LLC. If you don't see something, say something and we will create or customize a program that will meet your needs!
We will get thought this!
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go to bookstores (they are usually so chilly you almost need a sweater!) purchase a few books and go over to the "coffee shop" area, get a hot chocolate and sit in a chair or at a table and read.
You know you can download your summer reading list as well as look at the list of books and poems that your grade will be delving into now, don't you?
Why not go through the list and pick something? It's a great feeling to be ahead of the game, and who knows, you just might find a book or a poem or a topic that interests you.
I actually "hid" a few of the poems for middle school into my arts program this week and the kids didn't even know that we fulfilled the core curriculum standards for those poems, until after I told them, to which they said; "HEY, you slid school work and learning in!" *with learning? Okay, I guess I did, lol. But They were happy to know that as entering middle school students that something that they might have assumed was going to be difficult was in fact easily doable.
Why read during the summer? Because there is nothing like when you find a really good book and start reading it, and forget that you are reading it and feel like you are right there in the story. That is why.
When you learn something new and want to know more. That is why.
And finally when you can unplug, turn off, tune out and just relax. That is why too.
Another Opnin', Another Show!! (but first the audition)
As you move forward in your career as a performer or as a person looking for a "real" job, there will be times in which you will need to bring your credentials and qualifications to hiring folk, and hopefully be offered a job.
Auditioning and interviewing are quite similiar, but for the purpose of time and space, today I will speak on the audition.
You have practiced, prepared everything they ask of you, audition and ...
You don't get the part you wanted.
First of all, if you are a performer who wants to work and truly loves what you do, just getting hired is an honor and a priviledge. Be happy. But if you REALLY wanted a part and didn't get it, and your director has told you the reason you did not get that part, follow these steps:
Be grateful and humble. YOU got cast!
Be focused and diligent, always prepared. YOU got cast! Watch and learn as much as you can. Learn about the process the director brings the show from script to performance. Watch the actors who are in the "leads." Be critical (in a good way) of what you bring to the table, brought to the table prior to this show.
Ask yourself this once, then let it go:
Was my audition the BEST I have ever done?
Was this show pre-cast? (and it doesn't have to be overtly pre-cast, sometimes theatre companies/schools will choose shows with certain actors in mind. Perhaps they wanted to showcase seniors in their final high school productions, maybe they just feel that certain actors are stronger than others.
Do I want to be a performer or a star?
Was it my ego that was hurt or do I really think this was the meatiest, most substantial role that changes the world that I just HAD to breathe life into.
I mean who else could be Piglet in that production of Winnie-the-Pooh?
Perform because you love it.
Learn because you want to be the best you can be.
Learn more about our coaching sessions by clicking on the button below!
When I decided to add comic books, cartoons, comic strips to my offerings, I decided to approach it as I used to approach program acquisitions when I was in competitive intelligence for an information systems consulting company. Find out all you can, talk to as many folk as you can.
Actually that isn't completely correct, I did this with any job that I worked my way up into.
When I was box office manager for a dinner theatre, I started as a box office assistant, I worked as a hostess in the theatre and as a subscriptions assistant on the floor during intermission.
Learn all you can about what ever it is you are looking to do.
I used social media to contact comic book writers, illustrators, pencillers, comic strip authors. I asked a bunch of questions so that I would be equipped to give the answers. Also if I don't know the answer, I have a collection of varied artists to call upon, who are always gratefully just a phone call, email, google chat, skype, facetime away. They also are available to my students.
This craft (for the most part) is a friendly, inclusive and supportive group of artists, they want to see others succeed. They know, and so should anyone who is interested in creating art knows, no two projects are alike. We celebrate our differences. We share our stories.
Isn't it time to share yours?
PLAY SHELL SHOCKED!!
lyrics by Juicy J
performed by Wiz Khalifa and Ty Dolla Sign
Knock, knock, you about to get shell shocked
Knock, knock, you about to get shell shocked
Knock, knock, you about to get shell shocked
Knock, knock, you about to get shell shocked
That's my fam, I'll hold 'em down forever
Us against the world, we can battle whoever
Together ain't no way gonna fail
You know I got your back, just like a turtle shell
Nobody do it better
All my brothers tryna get some cheddar
We all want our cut like the shredder
Me and my bros come together for the dough
Bought the orange Lamborghini, call it Michelangelo
With the nun chucks doors and I'm pullin' up slow
When we fall up in the party, they know anything goes
Check my rolex they say I'm the man of the hour
All this green in my pockets, you can call it turtle power
14 voices in unison singing and cheering the end credit movie soundtrack song from the latest TMNT movie (that is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the folk "not in the know") as cheers and occassional dance breaks are accompanied by the background noise of pencils scratching, sharpeners sharpening and kids laughter and deep conversations are taking place.
"Well, I agree. Ironman is very powerful. Captain America, the Flash, Spiderman. They all got it."
From single panel to multi panel comic strips, learning to create comics is fun!
I remember the first time I heard Kermie sing these infamous words:
It's not that easy being green;
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold-
or something much more colorful like that.
It's not easy being green.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water-
or stars in the sky.
But green's the color of Spring.
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like the ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.
When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder? Why Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be.
written by Joe Raposo and performed by Jim Henson...
When people refer to performers as "being green" they are saying that they are new to the business, inexperienced. Just like Kermit being green (as in a green frog) turns out not to be a thing to be embarrassed about, neither is being green in the business of performing. Becoming familiar with the process of auditioning, being prepared with what is needed at the audition is just as important as being okay with not getting a specific role, solo, part or even getting cast at all.
I always tell the people I am coaching that "they say" that you are not always auditioning for the role you think you are, but for the future. This is so very true.
So hit your mark, slate your name, have a clean crisp resume, your best 16 bars or 90 seconds, have that audition wardrobe and give it your best.
The more you practice, the more you will be comfortable auditioning and some of us even enjoy auditioning, and have learned to let go of the result and enjoy the process. I have had some of the best acting experiences at auditions for roles I did not get, but then got called back for roles I didn't think I was qualified or the right type for.
Oh, BTW.... Kermit is one deep frog. He talks about being sad that he doesn't stand out and isn't all sparkly. Casting directors are not looking for the flashiest outfits, the loudest singers, the biggest hair do's even. They are looking for the best person (in their opinion) for the role that they are casting at that moment. The actors that are ready to go, respectful, prepared and can take directions are the actors that will get called upon again and then it's just a matter of time. You will get cast!
It's so much fun and there is always a place for someone, somewhere. (oh no, another musical theatre reference, time to go!)
Have an arts good day!
Remember PamDeMoniumAFATA offers audition coaching, career counseling.
Contact us today!
It's beginning to feel like September. Before you know it, we will be able to get out our sweaters and sweatshirts, go to the apple orchards and pick apples and come home and make homemade apple pies, hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick, and drink hot chocolate while doing homework.
My favorite time of the year.
Sunday, August 28, 2016...
"But it is still SUMMER!!, " exclaims the sun as it continues to pour forth yellow, sunny, (hot) rays of sunny goodness that keeps pools open, sprinklers sprinkling and the ice cream man riding through neighborhoods. Flying kites at the beach, Saturday evening outdoor movies at the pool, music in the park. It just CAN NOT be the day before our schools head back for another year of learning, creating art and making friends. This is one of the few times of the year that we are filled with a whole cornucopia of mixed feelings.
I guess you could say we are the "lucky" ones, since our county is one of the last groups back to school. I started seeing back to school pictures on my Facebook feed the second week in August. A few that week, then a few more the next week, a whole lot last week and now us.
As a child in elementary school, I loved this time of year. First of all, though I LOVE the pool, I welcomed the opportunity to wear the new sweaters and long sleeved turtle necks and jeans I got when we did our big back to school shopping sprees as a child. I loved getting new school supplies, a new bookbag, and sometimes even a new lunchbox.
The first day of school for me was exciting. We got our desk assignments and then we got to decorate our "name plates", the big rectangular card stock "plates" that were taped to the top of our desks. We got new workbooks, textbooks and the milk monitor would come around and get the milk order for lunch. Even the announcements the first couple of weeks were exciting. Because, this is when they announced the after school programs for the Fall!
I was able to participate in so many activities our school had to offer, from in-school clubs and groups (I was a cheerleader, I was in the band, orchestra and chorus, too. and I was lucky to be on safety patrol) to after school programs. Looking back I now see the importance of activities and programs as it helped prepare me for the each following year, each new level of education. Also, as important, it allowed me to make friends outside of my usual group or the kids in my classroom and gave me the opportunity to create.
Joyous back-to-school! May this year be filled with learning, creating and sharing your art with your community! Huzzah to all as we soar through this year, just like my kite!
Pamela is a certified teaching artist, actor, singer/songwriter and comic book creator.