I am continuing to bring my ukulele to play in the office, but in the meantime, the first master class of the camp happened on Day 3.
For you newcomers, master classes are when ordinary classes pause so that a special guest star can come in and do some sort of show biz demonstration with the kids. This time, it was a mock audition master class with Broadway actor Allan Snyder.
Snyder first worked with the teen group, having volunteers one-by-one perform an audition song or monologue in front of him and the rest of the group. Then he would give them feedback on ways to improve their delivery, whether through vocals or body language.
To audition well, he said, actors must show that they can portray a range of emotions. In a song, this means varying tone and volume. In a monologue, this means taking time to think and feel each of the lines instead of rushing through in a moment of heightened emotion.
Afterward, Snyder worked with the preteens on their audition songs. Though these kids were less experienced performers, they auditioned well, and much of the advice Snyder gave remained the same.
He and choreographer Renata Marino pointed out whenever a student played with their hands or rocked back and forth while they sang. Then they and the student would discuss ways not to do this while singing. Snyder also encouraged the preteens to think about a specific person while they sang so their lyrics would have more purpose.
This was just the first of several master classes the kids will have throughout this camp. I suggest that everyone bring a sweater or jacket on these days, as the air conditioning in the big room gets cold for those who aren't up there singing.
Rehearsals still take place after lunch, as the teens and preteens continue learning the harmonies and choreographies of their respective shows.