Cindy Says: Recharge or Re-tool, Whatever Fits!

Cindy Says: Recharge or Re-tool, Whatever Fits!

By Cindy Ripley on July 30, 2018

Last week I had the privilege of playing with a delightful crew of kids from 15 states during our first JR pilot of the summer. Today, I said farewell to a group of teachers that came to NYC for the Freddie G experience. They gained new insights and inspiration for what we do all year long, produce musicals with kids. Yes, I have to admit that I would not receive high marks for mastering the art of relaxation in the summer. Without kids, teachers and theater, I don't function to capacity!

Maybe you are one of those teachers/directors that have mastered the recipe for summer re-charging before new students and schedules appear in September. Maybe your re-fuel trick is six weeks of summer drama camp. Or prioritizing family and home responsibilities more than usual. Whatever your re-charge is, here are a few considerations that may not have crossed your mind.

Learn Something New

Check out some publications that you haven't had time to explore. Attend a conference or workshop. Workshops can inspire you to make smart, positive changes. The community sharing among attendees at these events continually blows me away.

Follow innovators on social media who are making strides in the field of putting on musicals with kids.

Improve the Life of Just One Student

As much as we like to think we are making a difference in the lives of all the kids that our involved in our programs, the truth is that a lot of variables come into play and we can't control many of them. Creating a scholarship for tuition to a after school program or a week of summer theatre camp can be life-changing for a student and their family.

Change Something in your Program for the Upcoming School Year

Many teachers and directors settle into a comfortable artillery of best practices for putting on a show and repeat each season only changing shows and children. Take a positive risk and flip schedules, re-vamp your rehearsal space, begin a student-run video series, skype with a performer or mentor student interns. Make the connection with another theatre program for your students to share and communicate as they each go through the process of putting on a show. The feedback from teachers who have tried this is overwhelmingly positive.

Play with Tech Tools

Summer may be the chance to find the perfect new app for scheduling or to investigate apps you want your students to use this year. Check out Remind, Band and Appcompanist as well as other apps for your devices.

Pat Yourself on the Back!

Many of you know the song I share with kids when they have accomplished hard work. The last phrase goes "and give yourself a pat on the back". So, think about a project you have waited all year to accomplish. Peek over the stacks of costumes and think about meeting an exercise goal. Jam out on your own dance moves. Sleep extra hours. Have dinner with your production team (and the dessert of course)!

You deserve it. You have made the world a better place, one musical at a time. Re-charge in your own style, but make it a priority. - CR