Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A nice surprise met the participants when they awoke Tuesday morning - a delicious, HOT breakfast buffet! After enjoying their share of eggs, sausage, waffles, bacon and all things yummy, it was time to board the buses for a trip to Telsey Casting.
The day at Telsey started with a meeting including the 50 participants and representatives from Nickelodeon. From there, individual screen-tests for Nickelodeon were completed...what a great opportunity! Following the screen-tests, Jimmy Awards judge and Telsey casting director Rachel Hoffman gave the group a workshop on auditions, resume preparation and an overview on what it takes to work in show biz. Throughout the morning, everyone had a chance to look at materials from a real Actors Equity audition (one was in session in the very same building at the same time!) .
After a relaxing pizza lunch, everyone boarded the bus and said goodbye to New York City. Keep an eye on this group - we know they'll be back in NYC very soon!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
It was then time to head into the dressing rooms to prepare. Among those in the wings were this year’s star lineup of presenters including: Broadway legends Tommy Tune and Harvey Fierstein; new hit stars Aaron Tveit and Nikki M. James (2011 Tony Award-winner and America’s favorite bumblebee!); 2009 NHSMTA winner for Best Performance by an Actor and current NYU sophomore Stephen Mark; and Billy Elliott star and our charming host for the evening, Greg Jbara! Needless to say, the red-carpet was truly fitting for this crop of Broadway royalty.PLACES, EVERYONE!
The clock struck 7:30pm and it was time for all performers to take their places. The nervous excitement was intense! The first group of participants, Medley One, took the stage featuring: Mia Gerachis as the Baker's Wife from Into the Woods; Lucy Moon Fitzsimmons as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray; Nicole Elledge as Patsy Cline from Always...Patsy Cline; Maya Maniar as Hope in Urinetown; Amanda Higgins as Belle from Beauty and the Beast; Maggie Hunter as the Baker's Wife from Into the Woods; Jamie Harwood as Marian in The Music Man; Katie McKernan as Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie; Sarah Klingel as Anna from The King and I; and Joy Christian as Dorothy in The Wiz. Their performances were STUNNING!
If you thought you were seeing double during Medley Five, you're wrong - you were seeing...FIVE Millies from Thoroughly Modern Millie: Lindsay Dunn, Bethany Menjivar, Sarah Carwright, Elizabeth Romero and Melissa Ruh dazzled the audience with every note during their time on stage. We've never seen so many sequins!Medley Six...Well - if you were a "rich man" you'd most likely place your bet on the fact that this medley had everyone in stitches by its end. It started with a pair of J. Pierrepont Finches from How to Succeed..., Zachary Zaret and Ryan McCartan; moved to dueling Curleys, Mitchell Jones and John Taormina, from Oklahoma!; made friends with two Bakers from Into the Woods, MacKenzie Orr and Keaton Jadwin; and ended with a quartet of Tevyes from Fiddler on the Roof, Luke Halferty, Max Gottschal, John Caliendo and Aaron Wilcox. With each hilarious step these guys really wowed the crowd, eliciting more than a few whistles of appreciation!
Unfortunately, the curtain had to eventually come down. But before it did, there was a very important announcement to make! After the expert panel of judges (Scott Ellis, Kent Gash, Montego Glover, Rachel Hoffman, Alecia Parker and Nick Scandalios) cast their final votes, Van Kaplan and James L. Nederlander took the stage for the awards presentation. The winners were announced - Ryan McCartan from Spotlight Musical Theatre Program in Minneapolis as Best Performance by an Actor and Shauni Ruetz from Stars of Tomorrow Awards in Rochester, NY! These outstanding young performers were presented with their Jimmy Awards and gave moving speeches to a crowd of over 1,500 attendees. By winning the Jimmy Award, both Ryan and Shauni each received a check from Mr. Nederlander for $10,000, as well as the chance to complete the application process for NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, New Studio on Broadway: Music Theatre and Acting program.
Upon acceptance, they will be eligible to receive both merit and need-based financial aid. Congratulation to these gifted winners and to all participants for an unforgettable evening of song, dance and memories to last a lifetime!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
All-in-all a day full of nervous energy, laughter and even a little education thrown in! On to today - one step closer to Broadway and the Minskoff Theatre on Monday!
After a full morning of solo coaching with NYU faculty members including a Tony Award-winner (Broadway's original "Sweeney Todd,") and two Tony Award nominees, the kids gathered for lunch with the star of Broadway's "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" Nick Adams, for a candid discussion about what it takes to make it in show biz. Nick's advice? If you can't imagine doing anything but singing and dancing your way through life, then do it!
Lunch was followed by four more hours of coaching and choreography for Monday's show before the buses were loaded and everyone was off to Planet Hollywood in the heart of Times Square. Surrounded by priceless Broadway and Hollywood artifacts the participants had a chance to relax and enjoy a meal with their new-found friends. One table even erupted in an impromptu (and beautiful) rendition of "Happy Birthday" to one participant's lucky best bud who called in to check from their hometown.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
just three short years ago! Now, The Jimmy Awards are back...50 participants strong. This amazing group of talented youngsters from across the country arrived today to check into the dorms at NYU and have brought lots of energy with them!
After settling into their new homes this excited group of students, chaperones and Awards staff gathered for dinner together. After dinner each participant stood and introduced themselves and it became clear that the group had its share of jokesters from near (New York City) and far (California!). But they were ready to get down to business with the first music rehearsal TONIGHT.