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.

~~~

blair3

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.

 

blair1

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!

blair2

Advertisements

The SCT Impact – Stanley

Since 2004, SCT has provided performing arts education and opportunities to
Savannah’s youth.  Now in our 13th season, we are beginning to see the long-term results of growing up in an environment that aims to inspire, educate, and entertain; something we like to call the SCT Impact. This series will include words from SCT Alumni who feel that their time spent within our walls has had a positive, tangible influence on their lives, both on and off the stage.

stanley-simons-headshot   There is no one more fitting to launch this series than the amazing Stanley Simons.  Stanley first came to us under the impression that he was auditioning for a Shakespearian tragedy, only to find out that he had the wrong date and tried out for another show instead.  Too polite to leave in the middle of something, Stanley stayed, and found himself fitted for a bright pink pig-suit, complete with curly tail. (We’ve scoured the world for pictures, but he seems to have done a great job of destroying all evidence of this first amazing costume.) Over the years, Stanley became an invaluable member of SCT, performing on stage countless times, and working constantly behind the scenes. Now a small business owner, Stanley agreed to share a bit of his story, in hopes that it will encourage others to make bold choices!

      “I remember walking into the doors of SCT. I was about to audition for Romeo and Juliet (excited and nervous).  I was wrong.  The audition was actually for Charlotte’s Web.  Nevertheless, I put on my big boy pants, auditioned, and got a part.  However, it wasn’t just another play for me.

     This play, unlike all the others, was at a community theatre.  It was a real show.  A show where you met a new director for the first time;  that director puts a book in your hand filled with beautiful words written by someone else;  that director wants you to make a bold choice at a particular time to explain why you decided to use those beautiful words; that director wants you to explain why your body had to move to a place underneath the lights where it was marked weeks ago.

     Eleven years later a bold choice continues to move me.  Past community theatre.  Past student films.  Past short films.  Past state lines to New York City.  Past the front doors at a performing arts conservatory.  Past the president of that conservatory as I reach for my degree.  Past the long lines to the next audition.  All a bold choice.  The greatest thing I learned at SCT is that choices can take you anywhere.  Bold choices will take you where you’re suppose to be.

stanely-simons-at-work