ACTING OUT WITH CHILDREN

acting and childrenWhen I first decided to teach acting I started with adults. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to touch the natural creativity of the child, especially the very young.

I watched my adults grow so quickly in my classes. They became more self-confident, creative, and were having fun. It was then I decided to work with teens and tweens and that was magical. They grew so quickly. They understood the work and had so much fun creating, being part of group and performing. Many have gone on to college to study drama and some have jobs in the entertainment field and most have become more self-assured and have been successful in pursuing their dreams. And yes, I do believe acting classes and the technique work had a great deal to do with it.

So knowing I was far from done. I decided to work with pre-school age children. Scary for an actor/teacher who not that long ago thought teaching this age group was not a good idea.

Again I was wrong. Eight years later I have seen 2, 3, 4 and five year olds grown from the work(even babies as young as 9 months). The work encourages them to be free and fearless. Drama helps them feel safe and when guided by a professional acting teacher and love they have so much fun and begin to learn how to socialize, have eye contact with others and they learn to listen and be in the moment.  It is amazing to watch and to be a part of. They get more opportunity (then in a regular classroom) to move their bodies and discover how they work, experiment with the sound of their own voices.  It opens up a world of music, movement, dance, relaxation and more. Learning stage directions and playing various drama games helps them to stand up in front of a group and project their voices proudly and create various characters using their natural imagination and guided creativity giving them courage in all situations.

One of my favorite parts of working with the toddler group is they can naturally learn how to write a story before they can even read or write. They create it and act it out. It gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment and understanding of the written language. They also enjoy learning about set building, prop making and costuming.

To learn young and absorb all this amazing creative information not only enhances their 8 intelligences it supports each one and makes them stronger during these crucial years that makes them who they will be later in life.

Here’s to letting out children ACT OUT in a safe, loving environment where they can be themselves and grow, grow,  grow! 

Authored by: Laurie Ann Davis

Laurie Ann Davis is a mom, acting teacher, actor, author and lives on Long Island, NY. Laurie Ann has been an actor for 22 years and is member of SAG/AFTRA/Equity and has been and acting teacher for 18 years and is the creator of Star Map Acting Studio which is now known as the Laurie Ann Davis Acting Studio and owned Dreamvision Talent Management. Ms. Davis has created many theater programs that have been incorporated in public schools and she teaches music/acting to school age children full time. In the recent past she had her own acting program at the Great South Bay YMCA that was a part of the Boulton Center Theater’s Act Out Troupe. She also created the very first Performing Arts Camp Jr. in Bayshore, NY where some of her original plays have been performed by her students. In recent years Laurie Ann has also dabbled in song writing and has done some recording and hopes to put out a children album in the near future. She is also very proud to be a published author of an acting book for children called “Finally…Monologues That Work” and has recently released her first children’s book “Storm Of Colors.”  Laurie Ann has studied with many teachers in NYC including Jack Poggi, Jim Bonney, Ian McRae (Neighborhood Playhouse), Penny Templeton, Gene Frankel, Larry Silverberg, Joan See and Ruth Nerken of The School For Film and Television and many more. Her acting credits include various theatre roles, film, commercials and played Emily on the daytime serial One Life To Live. Besides doing marketing and casting actors Laurie Ann teaches workshops in Theatre Technique, On-camera television workshops, Film, One on One audition coaching and more... She is excited to be a part of Club Time to Play and is looking forward to having her songs, books and products available to the creative public on the Time To Play website. Helping others build confidence, expand their creativity and making people good good is her passion and goal. Its time to play and discover the real you! 

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