Earlier this year we reached out to a few dozen SCT alumni to ask them if they felt their time at Savannah Children’s Theatre had any long-term impact on their lives, their friendships, or their careers. Of course, theatre kids (even grown-up ones) have a flair for the dramatic, so our former students couldn’t respond with a simple thumbs-up or note of thanks. They wrote essays, letters, and made us tear up on more than one occasion.
One of those occasions was the message we received from Blair. A self-proclaimed “shy child,” she has gone on to study baking and pastries, graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Back home in Savannah, she now works at Chocolat by Adam Turoni, working right alongside one of the top 10 chocolatiers in the country. Here is what this now-bold and outspoken pastry chef has to say about the SCT Impact.
As any 12-year-old girl may have dreams of Broadway lights, I walked into Savannah Children’s Theatre sharing those same dreams. Now my path has changed, and my career as well, but my childhood wearing silly costumes and whispering backstage was not wasted. Having a childhood surrounded by theatre and dance has made all the difference in my life today. One must be confident on stage, and having been a shy child, “confident” and “courageous” were hardly words familiar to me. I never would have had the courage to walk into my job interviews with intimidating typical French chefs, and believe that I could do the job at hand.
I truly believe working and managing a kitchen is almost paralleled to a stage production. There is a “backstage” that is the kitchen, and there is organized chaos dancing throughout the work stations, taking chefs by surprise, throwing curves every which way. It’s all about timing; almost as a missed light cue leaves your audience lost in the dark, a missed plating could leave your guests hungry. The team in a kitchen is much like a cast and crew all working toward one “show,” and flawlessly getting to this goal no matter what it takes. All the while, the audience never sees nor hears the chaos, only the polished finale.
Aside from having a plethora of bobby pins, knowing how to change my entire wardrobe in less than 30 seconds, developing a love of literature, amazing posture, great diction and some timeless dance moves, theatre and dance have helped me grow life skills. When on stage one must have excellent decision-making and rapid problem-solving skills; improvisation is no stranger to my daily life. When in a production one must work as a team to be successful; teamwork is relevant in my daily life. I truly loved all the memories, friends and family that I have been so fortunate to encounter in my days at Savannah Children’s Theatre! SCT was a wonderful part of my life and I never forget it!