We are ever grateful for the chance to teach children the craft of improvisation. There are so many benefits that we experience through our work with our Elementary, Middle and High School Leagues, not to mention our summer camp programs. Recently, one mom called us to give us an update on her child and the results of her participation in our education programs. She was gushing with news and updates.
Her child, Ashley, attended our ComedySportz® Summer Improv Camp for Kids program last year. They made the commitment to drive from Stafford to RVA each morning to arrive by 9:00 am. Her mom, Lea Anne occupied her mornings running errands in the area until class ended at 12:00 pm.
The first day, Lea Anne expressed that Ashley is painfully shy, and may be reluctant to participate. We assured her that our goal is to support, encourage and nurture our students. If Ashley did not want to participate in activities we would not force the issue, rather allow her to join at her pace.
As class began, we reviewed the goals of the week, the lessons they’d learn, and that by Friday they would perform a mini show for their friends and family. Ashley’s eyes were very expressive – they seemed to scream with fear at the idea of performing in front of people. Thus, the next day when we asked Lea Anne for Ashley’s feedback of the first day, it was no surprise that she told her mother that she WOULD NOT perform in the show. Again, we assured her that if Ashley decided to make that call, we wouldn’t force the issue. We teach “We’ve Got Your Back”, so if that was her decision we would respect it. Lea Anne was calm, supportive and firm. She said that Ashley would indeed perform in the show.
Each day they drove an hour and twenty minutes to and from the theatre, and each day we watched Ashley grow into herself, becoming more confident. By Friday, we couldn’t keep her out of the show. She was eager, ready and willing to join her classmates in the performance. She beamed with joy and smiles at the response from the audience. That was it, she was hooked.
After the summer camp she joined the Middle School League; attending weekly practices and performing in monthly shows. That shy little girl has come a long way.
Lea Anne shared that Ashley participated in the National Career Development Association Poetry and Poster Contest, and won second place. Ashley told her mom that she was able to write the poem in 5 minutes, and that it was easy because of her improv training of just saying “Yes And”. It also helped that the teacher had just finished a lesson on rhyming. Ashley also competed in a poster contest in Stafford County, in which she designed a poster and presented it as a character of child living in the south during the civil war, it was her own creation. Again, Ashley expressed to her mother that she was able to excel, and win first place, because “they teach how to create our own characters at ComedySportz®”. Congratulations to you Ashley!
And thank you both for connecting with us and being part of our ComedySportz® family and community.