A Buzz Kidz Acting Agency – to represent or not to represent

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Buzz is taking off beautifully! Our brand is growing, getting noticed and recognised and we are Buzzing. When parents call us to first enquire about our classes and products we often get a chance to discuss why the parent is looking for a Performing Arts activity for their child. Often, the child loves to sing, dance and act – the parent is looking for an outlet to express their talents. If the child seems to lack confidence, a parent might understand the value of Drama, Dance and Singing for building social and communication skills. Every so often however, I have the following conversation with parents of young kids:

My child wants to be on TV, does Buzz send them to castings and auditions?

There are other children’s Drama Schools who have agencies attached to them and many satisfied customers send their children to these organisations to be groomed for the lime light. They are prepped for auditions and taught how to deliver the product that the casting agent is looking for. Although I respect there is a place and a market for this, it could not be further from Buzz’ objective for children.

Buzz is about the development of the child through Drama, Dance and Singing. We are not a traditional drama or stage school. Buzz is not only for the flamboyant extroverted child who likes to dance, sing and act who gets a platform for creative expression at our classes. Buzz is also perfect for the painfully shy child who through characterisation and creative play learns to project stronger vocally and make better eye contact. Buzz is also wonderful for those little ones with so much excess energy that in formal settings they are often a cause of frustration and too easily labelled as ‘naughty.’ Their bodies were made to move, to express physically. Those ones get an outlet of their gorgeous wild spirits at Buzz. Next time they are more likely to sit still when traditional settings requires it of them.

An amazing talk here by Ken Robinson. Absoutely amazing. Make sure you listen as he explains how creative talents in children are not only discouraged but stimagized. He uses Gillian Lynne as an example. She is a world famous choreographer of Cats and Phantom of the Opera but as a child Lynne had been underperforming at school, so her mother took her to the doctor and explained about her fidgeting and lack of focus. After hearing everything her mother said, the doctor told Lynne that he needed to talk to her mother privately for a moment. He turned on the radio and walked out. He then encouraged her mother to look at Lynne, who was dancing to the radio. The doctor noted that she was a dancer, and encouraged Lynne’s mother to take her to dance school. An inspirational example!

Buzz is for every single type of child from the painfully introverted to the extremely extroverted and everything in between. We understand and enjoy that each child is different. Having these varied types of children interact with one another forms part of their development and growth. How are we able to achieve this? Unlike the traditional Performing Arts school, geared to the growing of stars for the screen or stage exclusively, we have narrowed our age range so as to be able to provide a specialized product.

Buzz is exclusively for Kidz between 5 and 9 years old

Because we have narrowed our age range so significantly we are unfortunately unable to cater for a great section of the South African youth. Parents leave there kids in the Buzz class with teenager and toddler siblings just as eager to dance, sing and act. Could Buzz not cater for them too? My answer is no. A major error in business growth some might argue. So why the decision?

Buzz cannot specialize in child development if it tried to cater for children of every age. What stimulates, excites, entertains and interests a child of 5 and a child of 12 is vastly different. Before we enter the teenage or the toddler market, Buzz will make sure it has gained respect and status for its unique ability to transform the lives of children between 5 and 9 through Drama, Dance and Singing! Early childhood development through the performing arts is our speciality. We have to be specific with age.

Said in the 60’s of Drama for kids:

“In early childhood, drama needs no written lines to memorize, structured behavior patterns to imitate, nor is an audience needed. Children need only a safe, interesting environment and freedom to experiment with roles, conflict, and problem solving. When provided with such an environment, children become interested in and will attend to the task at hand and develop their concentration (Way, 1967)”

Advertisers will always be looking for the next TV star to promote the nutritional value of frozen veggies…

And that is wonderful! Wow, to be in a TV advertisement, in a film or even in a stage play is great and if it is your child’s dream of course it should be pursued and fought for.

Buzz places itself in the camp for every type of child – the shy, the silly, the scared, the brave, the boisterous, the loud, the quiet. It enjoys and delights in those who want to become actors, singers and dancers when they grow up one day but it encourages dreams of Science, Technology, Medicine and Engineering too. I believe there are a few of our regular Buzz kidz who will become South African and even international celebrities one day, and that is amazing! I also know we have future doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers and accountants in our midst. Each of which will grow in to a more confident adult because of the social and self development which comes from attending classes with the our unique specialised Buzz approach.

“A UCLA study concluded that students involved in the arts tend to have higher academic performance and better standardized test scores.” – Kimberley Haynes from her brilliant article

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