Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Diary of a Triple Threat Performer - Part One

We at The Palace Theatre could go on and on about the talented students that participate in our Arts-Education programs.  We thought it was about time you hear about the experience directly from the source.  Brandon Wolfe is an 18 year old student from Stamford who participated in our Triple Threat program for a second time.  It wasn't easy, but with hard work and endless talent, the group put on a spectacular show for parents and friends to see!  

This is Part One of a two part journal chronicling his time in the Triple Threat program.  Stay tuned for Part Two tomorrow!

Brandon Wolfe, seen in a yellow shirt, at Triple Threat week


The first day of Triple Threat was amazing. I must be honest, I had a little trouble keeping up in the body percussion class, but I’ll catch up. It was a lot different from when I did it two years ago. For starters, we did not split up by age group, but it gave us a chance to help the younger kids and meet even more people. These kids are very talented (they could probably give me a run for my money!), and I look forward to the rest of the week with them.

Tuesday, July 21 – TIME TO CRANK THIS UP

So, today was totally different from yesterday in many ways. We finally broke into groups, but not by age. Yesterday, we broke into groups while still together for a body percussion exercise. She gave us three different routines, and we split ourselves based on what routine we felt most comfortable with. Today, we took those groups and finally rotated between acting, singing and body percussion. 

I started off with acting and learned another poem, but mostly just got to learn about the people in my group better (my favorite part about small groups). Then, we went to body percussion practice. Remember how yesterday I said I would catch on to this body percussion thing?  I was wrong. We added on to the dance we did yesterday, and it took me over 30 minutes to learn a dance that took less than 30 seconds to do. (Imagine if I had to do a whole song).

Then we went to my favorite subject; singing. We got a chance to sing 16 bars which is around 30 seconds to a minute of a song we were supposed to prepare for Monday. I forgot my sheet music, but luckily the teacher knew the song (“Proud of your Boy” from
Aladdin). My favorite song sung by someone other than myself was “Naughty” from Matilda, sung by one of the most adorable little girls I’ve ever seen. She performed the song with the British accent like the soundtrack and could totally be “Matilda” on Broadway.

After lunch, we focused more on singing, but the bulk of the afternoon went to dance. We learned “Fame” which went great for the program but not so great for me. All the moves were super balletic and me who has not done ballet since I was 6 (don’t ask me why it was not my choice) was not ready. This dance is probably the second hardest dance I have ever done (right after “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from
Hairspray which should have been called “You Can’t Stop to Breathe!”). However, I refuse to let a little dance slow me down, so I have a lot of practicing to do if I’m going to catch up.

Wednesday, July 22 - WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO?!

As the days go by, this continues to get harder and harder. Those of you who are reading this may know about “hell week” (the week leading up to a performance where the director is scattered, everything is super busy and you stay really late 'til everything is done) and the stresses that go with it. Now, imagine a “hell week" where you not only have one week until the show, but the whole cast is brand new. As we get closer to the performance, the dances get harder, there is more to memorize and people become more distracted.  

So, today we started off with dancing and boy, was that something! We learned a new dance for a song (“96,000” from In the Heights) we had just learned that morning which is all still jumbled in my head. We finally put the final parts together for the body percussion, which I’m starting to get. 

After lunch, we went back to dance FOR THE NEXT 2 HOURS! It’s actually not hard to do two hours of dance, but when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed with a pain in your neck and a cold, it becomes a bit harder. We learned the rest of the dance to the song “Fame” from Fame which is so fast. The fact that I am 6’1" and I was 2 seconds from kicking someone in the face multiple times scares me. It was a very tough day today. 

Will Brandon make it through the week?
Tune in for Part Two tomorrow to find out!

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