Acting classes for shy/reticent kids? 8-10?
Any positive (or negative) experiences with local acting classes for reticent/shy mid-age kids (8-10?)
I'm hoping drama might help my kid open up a bit and have seen them overlooked/ignored in these kinds of classes.
I know it's not possible to tailor fit, but a class with a sensitive/interested teacher and kids who aren't the stereotypical "drama kid" kids (even though we know/love kids like this--I just mean confident/wanting the main role kinds of kids.)
Jun 12, 2022
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Both my kids did the Berkeley Rep middle school camp for three summers. My oldest is more outgoing and loved it, and my youngest is very shy and reserved. He also loved it! He is 16 now and sometimes mentions that he draws on his experience at acting camp when he has to do presentations in class. Neither continued with acting, but I think it was a really good experience overall for both of them.
Berkeley Rep had some very good classes and a wide variety of kids participating. If Rebecca Castelli is still there, she is a wonderful teacher.
Look at the SF Shakespeare camps! They are tremendous. My daughter did them from elementary thru high school. She really wanted to try acting, but couldn’t shine in her school environment because she was a little quieter than other girls. SF Shakes was terrific for her. Everyone gets a part, the staff are so inclusive, and they really bring out the best in everyone. They also have Saturday programs during the school year.
ACT Young Conservatory classes might work well. Choose the acting ones, musical theater, though, because the musical theater tends to attract bigger personalities, and differences in singing ability can be intimidating. These classes are not performance-based, meaning there is no finished play at the end; instead, there is a planned workshop / open class the parents come watch, which is more conducive to equal inclusion, both in class and in the final open class showing. Everyone works on their monologues or scenes and performs them. All the kids, even the quieter ones, receive attention to their work and have their moment to shine. No one plays a waiter with a single one-word line, you know? In my opinion, these classes are worth the BART trip. My daughter used to do them on Saturday mornings. I’d hang out downtown —do errands or work in a cafe— for the two hours and then we’d have lunch and BART back. Those mornings are such a nice memory now.
We have found Mr. D's Music Club, which has an after school program as well as summer camps, to be really great for a non-stereotypical "drama" kid. They are very kind and great with shy kids or kids who aren't gunning for a spotlight on stages. It's not exclusively acting but it involves singing, dancing, acting, and arts. The variety is what my child likes and kids are very not serious. My goofy kid and her 2 besties who are very shy and quiet all love this camp.