The SCT Impact – Blair DeMauro

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.

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SCT Dance Recital, 2011

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.

 

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Still dancing, this time in a kitchen!

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!

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Now and Then, by Carmel Grace Cowart

_____Six years ago, I accepted Kelie Miley’s offer to be her Assistant Director for SCT’s Creative Dramatics I class production of Tiny Thumbelina. Little did I know that that experience was going to radically change my life, for good!

Grace Repella and Anna Schneider in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

Grace Repella and Anna Schneider in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

_____At the time, I was in college finishing my theatre degree and had plans to move across the country to pursue a career in performing arts ministry. However, God had a different plan for me. During that twelve-week class at SCT, I discovered my true passion was not performing (although it is still very near and dear to my heart), but directing children and enabling them to perform!

Julia Hameed, Emma Byrd, Emily Self, Emma Hoffman in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

Julia Hameed, Emma Byrd, Emily Self, Emma Hoffman in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

_____I distinctly remember the immense feeling of JOY I felt on opening night! The kids were simply beaming with pride and excitement, proud of what they’d done. I was also smiling, for I was so very proud of them. I couldn’t stop thinking, Wow! I can’t believe I got to do this. I had a part in helping these kids achieve something wonderful, and look at how much joy it’s brought them! This is where I’m meant to be!

Andy Paul, Kate Daly, Grayson Parsons in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

Andy Paul, Kate Daly, Grayson Parsons in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

_____Six years, dozens of class shows, hundreds of talented children, and much glitter later, I am still directing our CD1 class, and love every minute of it! Teaching classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays are the highlights of my week because every class I get to experience that same joy as the students creatively discover and use their many talents.

_____This year, you’ll be able to see several of the kids pictured above in our December production of Godspell. They began in CD1, graduated to CD2, and have now moved on to our highest level class, Junior Company. The talents they discovered in my class in 2008 continue to be cultivated by the rest of our amazing theatre team. It has been a privilege to watch them grow and to know that I have been a part of their artistic journeys.

_____I am especially excited about this year’s CD1 Fall show because we are revisiting the wonderful tale of Tiny Thumbelina. It’s a story of love, adventure, and discovering where you belong. I’m so thankful that for me, that place is Savannah Children’s Theatre.

 

Carmel & Morgan

Ms. Carmel & Morgan Jane Anderson, Tiny Thumbelina, 2008