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*Newbie - First Time Post*

Post by melholly1980 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:18 am

Hello to everyone! :D

I have a 9 year old daughter, into everything - dance, signing, drama etc. I am completely green in the industry and we have no 'personal contacts' to ask trusted advice from! My query is this - I feel like I am being swept along by all these 3 elements. I am worried, though exceedingly happy, my DD will end up doing too much and being too 'diluted' - being an average all rounder instead of a 'shining' XYZ... (does that make sense?) She has been told she is doing well at the 'triple threat' but I am concerned at the pressure this exerts.

Currently she has singing lessons/exams, she does Trinity exams, musical theatre exams, 2 lots of ballet and Modern and Jazz. I've just stopped her doing comp team as it eats into so much time. She's also at a drama club which puts on annual productions and enters lots of festivals (which again I'm considering reigning her back from due to time) and does bits and pieces of 'training' through Jo Hawes / Sylvia Young etc. As a family, we have no passion for her to perform as a young child although we are led by her and she does get submitted for auditions etc on occasion to what she likes the sound of. To support DD in her dreams (currently being a dancer or singer or actress!!!) we are hopeful of taking a more 'long term' route with her 'training' and performing arts education. Though I am totally child led.

I wonder therefore if anyone is willing to answer a few questions that might help me make a few family decisions, obtain a good family balance and not let her lose out on opportunity in the future:

1. Trinity or Lamda exams? She started Lamda then her drama teacher swapped to Trinity but politics dictate (don't ask! ](*,) ) I may have to look again at Lamda. This is the biggie sitting on my mind I guess.

2. Stay with a drama group which offers 'serious' styles of acting along with some musical theatre but can be demanding due to (again) politics of the staf, or let her join a pure musical theatre group. Will this cut her off when applying to schools/Uni's in other elements of acting? Again, I reiterate, she's 9!

3. RAD or ISTD for ballet? Or both?! I understand the ballet gives them the 'core' and the ability to transfer skills to other forms of dance?

I appreciate to many of you these must seem rubbish questions but I'm becoming so confused by trying, as a Mum, to do 'what's best' for DD and she does her lessons spread from in school to 3 different dance/drama companies. As she's fairly talented I am getting pressure for her to do more with each of these as well and have her teachers telling me to consider getting her an agent too? I guess that's a whole new post in itself...!

Thank you & please be gentle!

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Re: *Newbie - First Time Post*

Post by woody » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:39 pm

Hi there, no experience in the drama/MT side of things, but the main thing at her age is that she is enjoying what she is doing and having fun (and there is still other time left for family life and just 'being a kid')!

When it comes to ballet, she's better sticking to either one syllabus or another at the moment, and doesn't really matter which one - either RAD or ISTD is fine. Yes, it is at the core of all dance training.

Find the best dance teacher you possibly can, and remember that quality is preferable to quantity when it comes to the number of classes a week. It is tempting to do loads of classes, but it is possible to overload with different styles and hamper progress.

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Re: *Newbie - First Time Post*

Post by pg » Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:39 pm

In my opinion it doesn't matter a jot whether it's Trinity or LAMDA for *acting*. What's important is the teacher.

9 is really young in terms of acting. Having fun and performing in groups /youth theatre/am dram is likely to be the most useful in my opinion.

If she decides in the future to apply to drama school for straight acting (or indeed for MT) the audition panel won't care about LAMDA or Trinity exams - though the experience of doing them *might* be helpful. That does depend on the teaching.

It's certainly possible to get good marks in the exams and yet struggle to get into drama school.

I'm not knocking them - it's great to have the practice and a sense of progress - but they are honestly not used as any kind of measure either by drama schools or employers in the profession.

I've been a festival adjudicator as well as being a parent of two performers, one working in the profession as an actor, one who only performs occasionally as an amateur now. They're both adults.

They both did loads of performing as children - almost entirely amateur - and loved (almost ) all the various experiences.

DS went to RADA. He'd never done any kind of acting "exam".

MT is different I think. Dance training needs to start young. Singing doesn't need to start too young - but an experienced teacher who will help enthusiastic young performers protect their tender voices is really useful. I don't think all teachers (especially , perhaps, if they're triple threat teachers at a weekend school rather than specialists?) necessarily have the experience to guard young voices - though I'm sure some do.

It is not necessary (though might be glorious fun) to have professional work as a child performer in order to have success as an adult performer.

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Re: *Newbie - First Time Post*

Post by lawn » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:12 pm

My 13yo DD does Lamda exams, the only ones taught at her drama group. She started them aged 11 and has just completed level 1. I have her doing them as I want her to gain UCAS points with them (from level 3). At the moment she says she wants to go to drama school but she could change her mind, so I just think the UCAS points will be handy whatever she does and also it gives her experience of doing a monologue, which she'll have to if she does audition for drama school. It also makes her explore a character and know the whole story not just the snippet she's just said.

At 9, your DD doesn't need any of this. You could drop it and pick it up if you felt it was beneficial at a later age.

Having an agent doesn't guarantee any auditions let alone jobs! There's one that's connected to my DD's drama school. They asked DD to join them when her teacher submitted some filming she'd done of her for a CBBC show. In the first few months she had 3 auditions but never got any further. In the last year she's had one self tape and that's it. I used to be a bit miffed about it, I've got over it now. I take her to local theatre auditions. They are amateur productions but they all give her experience.

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Re: *Newbie - First Time Post*

Post by melholly1980 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:27 am

Thank you all, so much. As a total novice your thoughts and shared experiences are really valuable. =D>

It's reassuring to have my own thoughts 'validated' too in that quality over quantity counts and performing experience matters most - local groups etc.

I've been told things like Trinity Grade 6 is GCSE equivalent - if so does this 'count' for anything towards a drama GCSE for example and is Lamda the only board to offer UCAS points?

Thanks all

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Re: *Newbie - First Time Post*

Post by TalyaB » Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:20 am

I've seen a few posts referring to qualifications that are worth UCAS points. One thing perhaps worth mentioning - my daughter was applying for uni last year and not one of the courses she was interested in (all History degrees at very traditional universities) gave any credit for any points or even gave her offers in terms of points - her offers were all based entirely on A-level grades.

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Re: *Newbie - First Time Post*

Post by francescasmum » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:49 am

Here's an interesting example for you. Two friends applied for the same musical theatre degree course. Both got 4 A levels, both English, Drama and GS, the difference was one did history the other music for their 4th A level. The music student had Trinity acting, grade 8 in two instruments and LCM singing UCAS points. They got the same grades in English, Drama and GS, the History student got one grade higher in her 4th A level than the music student. The History student got in, the Music student didn't.
Good news was she got offered a place in clearing!

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