Taylor is the Audience Services Manager at Gulfshore Playhouse.
As many of you know, I am the Audience Services Manager for Gulfshore Playhouse. So a typical day for me usually involves tickets, opening a show to the audience, and lots of interacting with adults. Recently however, my gears have shifted and my days have been full of tutus, monkey costumes, princess crowns, animal improv games, and lots of laughs. Having four summers of experience working at a youth camp and a passion for theatre and its future artists led me to volunteer to teach not one but four STAR summer camps here at Gulfshore Playhouse. I was assigned Disney’s Jungle Book Junior, Princess Plays, Fairytales and Fables, and Broadway Bootcamp Jr. Throughout these past four weeks, I have learned more than I ever thought possible.
First of all, children are unaware of how lucky they are. If I could harness even half of the energy those kids have, I would be running marathons and writing a memoir all before lunch. They are nonstop and this makes for interesting and exciting theatre. In my classes I never had to request “more energy” as many adult directors probably ask from their adult actors. Children put everything into every moment and they truly enjoy it.
Secondly, children are the masters of teamwork. Until you have seen three 5 year olds join forces to open a pack of gummies, you have not seen true teamwork. If someone forgot a line, instead of critiquing or being upset, I saw children sneak up and whisper lines to each other and pat friends on the back when they made a mistake. They supported and genuinely wanted their classmates to succeed. Often times, adults fall into the trap of an “it’s me against the world” mentality but that’s not how we started. Somewhere along the line we started believing that we had to go at it alone but seeing these children join forces for the greater good (the show) was a true eye opener.
And lastly, children are in on a secret that everyone over the age of ten seems to forget. They focus on love, creativity, and happiness. During the Princess Plays camp, I saw true joy on the face of a 3 year old who was told she would get to wear a princess tiara as her costume. A tiny plastic tiara from the local party store made that little girl’s entire week and she talked about it constantly as if we had given her a key to the city. Children look for the joy in the little things and that is what they continue to talk about rather than dwelling on the obstacles that stand in their path. The little girl playing “Straw Seller” in The Three Little Pigs was just as thrilled about her part as the boy playing Little Pig #1. They don’t waste time comparing themselves against their peers. Instead, they simply embrace the moment and find the joy in it, which is a beautiful thing to see.
I never thought leaving these camps I would look back and say, “I learned about life from a 3 year old.” But I was wrong and I have never been happier to say so.
If you are interested in seeing what our STAR summer camp has been up to for the past three weeks, join us Fridayand Saturday (July 29 & 30th) at 6 PM for our production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Tickets are just $10 a person!
What joy you gave to me! Our 3-year old granddaughter, when talking about her best friend Julia after being asked how you be a good friend, replied: you be nice and give hugs. She’s a genius, our granddaughter!
She sounds like a genius to us! Thank you for taking the time to share with us, Barbara!
What an insightful piece, Taylor. Thank you! I was so impressed that you knew the names of all of the little actors in “Jungle Book”. Dennis & I can’t wait to see “Beauty & the Beast” this weekend.