At Kidz Konnection, we pride ourselves on teaching leadership skills to the generations of the future. Sometimes it is hard to believe that we actually make a difference in the lives of our students. Here are some inspirational stories from Kidz of all ages that should remind younger actors to not give up hope, even if it seems like you will never succeed.
Do you have a story about your acting career that you think would inspire others? Tell us about it! You can write your own story in personal-narrative format, or you can just summarize what you think is important and include any details that make the story interesting and send it in an e-mail (either the body or as an attachment) to our social media/ website manager at firstname.lastname@example.org! We appreciate you sharing your stories with us!
The First Dollar
In 2006, when a woman in a small town with two young daughters who liked to play pretend decided to put on a show for children, she didn’t expect too many people to actually show up. Only a few kids came. The first one to show up brought a few friends and a huge smile with him to the first rehearsal.
The Crocodile Girl
There was once a girl who auditioned for a Kidz Konnection production of Peter Pan. She wanted to be in the show just for fun. She didn’t care about getting the lead and she knew that she was much younger than many of the other actors anyway, so she didn’t get her hopes up. She ended up getting cast as Nana the dog. Of course, if you know the show, you will understand why she was a little disappointed. Nana is a fun part for any little girl that wants to run around pretending to be a dog, but she is only on stage in the first two scenes of the whole show. After explaining to the director that she was bored for half of the rehearsals (and after the paper-mache crocodile head turned out to look more like green eggs and ham than a crocodile), the director agreed to let her be the crocodile that terrorizes Captain Hook. Of course, Crocodile Girl wasn’t thrilled, but she decided to make the most of it. She worked with the choreographer to come up with a little dance that she could do while chasing Captain Hook. At least she had something to do during her free time, and she actually really enjoyed her new part. She sunk her teeth in and embraced the role. And it paid off.
By the time the show rolled around, Crocodile Girl did her couple of scenes as Nana the dog, then casually danced around Hook in a green leotard and crocodile mask, clicking her tongue like a clock. It all went as expected. Until somebody in the audience happened to get curious about who this dancing crocodile actually was. The director had included Crocodile Girl’s name as the actress who played Nana, but forgot to include the crocodile, because, honestly, who cares who plays the crocodile? It wasn’t even a part on the cast list. After the show the director was immediately crowded by curious audience members who were dying to know who that amazingly talented crocodile was. They claimed that she was the star! She had her own dance solo! She STOLE THE SHOW! She actually got her own standing ovation!
What’s the point? The point is that Crocodile Girl had literally the smallest part in the show – she never spoke a single word- and yet, she was the one that the audience noticed. They didn’t notice Wendy or Peter, but instead they couldn’t stop talking about the crocodile.
Little Miss Persistence
Little Miss Persistence had done Kidz Konnection productions for years. When she got to high school, she didn’t hesitate to sign up for the auditions for the fall show at her new school as soon as possible. Unfortunately she got cut from the fall show. She didn’t even get an ensemble part. So she tried out for the winter musical. Again she got cut. So she tried out for the spring student-directed productions. Rejected. Again. Sophomore year came along and she didn’t lose hope. She tried out for the fall show, and for the 4th time in her high school career, she got cut. When she tried out for that year’s winter musical – Hairspray – she FINALLY got in! She was a no-name ensemble member, but it didn’t matter! She was in!
She got in to the next few productions as ensemble parts every time until her senior year. Her director retired that year and was replaced by a new one. At first, she thought she would have to prove her self all over again like she did with the last one, but this director apparently saw something. Not raw talent because Little Miss Persistence knew her acting ability paled in comparison to the fame-worthy triple-threats in her grade. Maybe he saw potential? Or a good work ethic? Either way, she got her first named supporting character in that fall’s production of A Good Person of Setzuan. Finally, her final main stage production rolled around. They chose an odd not-very-well-known show called Urinetown. Little Miss Persistence auditioned, but figured she once again would get stuck in ensemble. She couldn’t dance for her life and her voice wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t anything special.
When the final cast list came out she burst into uncontrollable laughter when she saw her name next to one of the main supporting characters in the show – Little Sally! It wasn’t the lead, but it was a HUGE part. Tons of stage time and even one full solo, plus two other 8-bar solos within major songs. Her director had taken a chance on her after seeing how hard she worked with what little she had been given in the past. Loyalty and hard-work made her final high school production the most amazing experience. It may have seemed hopeless – after getting rejected from 4 different shows – but she managed to stick with it and not give up. And it totally paid off.
Sir Set Crew
Early on in Kidz Konnection’s career, before it was even officially called Kidz Konnection, there was one boy who was always at rehearsal. His sister was in the show and he had nothing better to do. “I can help with the set.” He always said, even though there wasn’t too much to help with. But, of course, Miss Laura always put him to work. She would constantly tell him that he should audition and he would make a wonderful actor, but he refused. Until the nagging finally got to him. He auditioned and, to be honest, he wasn’t very good… at first. He didn’t project, he mumbled his words, and he was constantly tugging on his shirt or fumbling with a prop. But, after a few years of Miss Laura’s encouraging compliments on the things he was doing right, he started to improve.
He improved so much that he actually started to land leads. For years, he was one of the most talented actors at Kidz Konnection. Eventually he moved up beyond being just an actor, he taught acting classes and assistant directed. He went from being nothing more than set crew to an amazing 21-year-old director and acting teacher.