Secrets of a Theatre Teacher: Exposition


Before I begin I should give you some background to who I am and what I do. In theatre/literature we call that the exposition.

I am a theatre teacher. The drama lady. I fell in love with acting when I was just a little girl and ended up dedicating my entire high school and college career to “The Theatre.” I was only fifteen years old when I started helping at the private acting school my beloved high school theatre teacher ran on the weekends. Seven years years later I love working with children and especially teaching the arts to them, but when I first started, I only did it out of loyalty and favor for my theatre teacher.
I loved the stage, but kids? No thank you.
Over that first semester I helped teach about performing, working with little kids to help them to act like wild animals in The Jungle Book. The next play was The Chronicles of Narnia. The one after that was Alice in Wonderland. Slowly but surely the young children I was working with went from being crazily energetic children to young students that had the same craving for knowledge of art that I did. They came in with big smiles and wide eyes and every rehearsal was magical to them. Script day was Christmas. Dress rehearsal was Halloween. I will never forget the moment I watched a four year old’s eyes sparkle when the stage lights came up. She stood in the wings, entranced. I helped make that happen. 
All of the sudden the burning desire to be a teacher changed the direction of my life. Of course, I was only fifteen years old and everyone that age thinks they know what to do with the rest of their lives. For me, though, it was true. Eight years later I am getting ready to graduate with and English and Theatre teaching degree. Teaching is hard, but the passion that I gained seven years ago still burns, just as bright as ever.
I just graduated college, and for a part time job I still work at that private acting school my theatre teacher founded. Since then has she gained her wings in heaven, but the new owners work to continue her legacy. Spotlight Acting School has continued and is thriving. I currently am directing, choreographing, and teaching theatre to on average one hundred students a weekend. Though it is a part time job, my mind is constantly revolving around it. I am also a dance team coach, an English teacher, and a serious crocheter but a big part of my self identity has become The Theatre Teacher.
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Between making costumes, choreographing dances, painting sets, and sharing the art with children ages 3-18, my life is a series of stories, thoughts, ideas, and adventures. When an audience is sitting in their seats and watching the show, they have no idea what goes on behind the curtain of making the show. Thus, I decided to open the curtains and preview some of the craziness that involves being a theatre teacher. Perhaps not everything will make sense to my readers or perhaps some things I write about may shock or touch you. Who knows?
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.


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