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Daughter likes acting but not singing

HawkDadHawkDad Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
7th grade daughter loves to act but doesn't sing well enough to get decent roles in musicals. One of her ambitions is to be an actress (this is a recent idea of hers). She's done drama at school and gone to drama camps but most drama camps are musicals and she typically ends up getting minor non-speaking roles. She was in a choir group a year or two ago but doesn't have an interest in singing. She does play an instrument though so she's in band.

I admit that I don't have a lot of faith that she would get far in acting but I don't want to be a dream crusher. A part of me thinks the acting bug is a phase but it's her life and she understands school work comes first.

Any ideas on acting opportunities that will allow her to get a taste of it w/o costing an arm and a leg or getting her over-scheduled? She has music lessons for her instrument but currently nothing else officially yet.

Replies to: Daughter likes acting but not singing

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 61,931 Senior Member
    Most schools have a drama club of some sort. Around here...the schools do one straight play (not a musical) and one musical. That gives everyone a chance to do what they do best.

    Your daughter might want to explore the technical end of theater too...sets, costumes, lighting, props, etc. the shows can't go on without these supports...and stage management too. My DH was a professional theater electrician for a number of years in NY...and he says there are always jobs for good techies....and the pay is there too.

    Your daughter might want to do the tech stuff for the musicals.

  • techmom99techmom99 Registered User Posts: 1,526 Senior Member
    My son doesn't like acting or singing but he will going to college this year to be a techie because he loves the vibe of being around a show and the energy it exudes. As a theater and production tech person, my son has worked on both musicals and straight plays. He is most interested in lighting design.
  • college_querycollege_query Registered User Posts: 3,859 Senior Member
    edited August 9
    When he was young, my S loved the theater and became very involved in a community theater group. He also auditioned for/performed in school shows. In HS, in addition to plays and musicals, he also did forensics, which is like competitive acting.

    He has an older cousin who majored in musical theater in college, and is now a performer (currently on a nation-wide tour). I was a bit concerned my S would want to follow in his older cousin's footsteps, just because I know how difficult it is.

    S had absolutely no interest in majoring in theater. He did act in a few plays while in college, and sang in the college choir all four years. But he said performing the same show over and over again sounded awful, which is what his cousin does.

    S is currently in law school.

    I would allow your D to pursue her interest. Theater can be a great EC - she'll learn about teamwork, and while the audition process can be brutal, it's also helpful for them to learn how to handle disappointment gracefully. Performing can also help with confidence, poise, etc.

    As far as ways for your D to get involved, see if there is a community theater for youth in your area. Her school may also have theater performance opportunities.

    Best wishes to her!
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 28,942 Senior Member
    Drama and acting are great experience for public speaking that will be useful in a wide range of fields. I'd let her continue to let her follow her path and passion. In fact, some attorney take acting lessons so they can be more effective trial attorneys. Salespeople and customer service people all benefit from having public speaking backgrounds. Public speaking is invaluable for most people-facing jobs.
  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    Do you have a local public access tv station? My kids now 13 and 17 have loved the youth programs. My oldest has outgrown them and now occasionally teaches a class. They teach skills like story writing, filming, editing, and directing. The kids come up with a story which some of them act out while others do behind the scenes. They do take turns with all parts. They have some weekly after school classes and some summer camps. Our prices for summer camp are very low compared to other day camps. My 13 year old is very sad because this is her last year age wise. So far I have never seen them do a musical.
  • SweetbeetSweetbeet Registered User Posts: 550 Member
    My son loves acting, but can't carry a tune in a bucket (which, sad to say, he inherited from me; both the love of acting and the lack of musical ability). He got nice roles in several high school plays, did tech for a musical or two, and is finishing up a theater minor in college (with his CS-game design major). He has done lighting, stage managing, and other tech jobs in college, and will be taking acting and solo performance next term. He auditioned for one or two shows freshman year, but got busy with classes, work, and study abroad the past two years (he saw plays and took a theater class in Glasgow!). He might audition again this year, I don't know.

    All this is to say that one can love theater and acting and have it be a big part of one's life, even in college, without singing a note. I acted in high school, did some tech in college, and acted and directed in community theater into my 30s. I keep threatening to get back into it, but I got busy with other things. Maybe I'll make it back onto the stage in my 60s, wwho knows.
  • AidaAida Registered User Posts: 206 Junior Member
    When she gets into high school, there should be more opportunities for a non-musical thespian. Don't most high schools put on a fall (non-musical) play in addition to a spring musical?

    During the summers if she still wants to attend drama camp, I would look for one that is specifically not musical theatre oriented. A Shakespeare camp would be great. When a kid is interested in theatre many people assume it means musical theatre, but that is a totally different animal.

    I wouldn't worry at this point if she is actually going to make a career out of it. Besides the fact that she simply enjoys it, the skills she will acquire from getting up on stage and performing in front of an audience will serve her well in other areas of her life.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 61,931 Senior Member
    Would your kiddo be interested in something like Mock Trial? It's not totally acting...but it sort of is. No singing involved!
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,107 Super Moderator
    Community based theater groups. We have many locally.
  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 6,804 Senior Member
    When she gets to high school, she might want to check out the Shakespeare Contest. https://www.esuus.org/esu/programs/shakespeare_competition/

    Also in high school, some of the events in competitive speech and debate may be of interest. See e.g., "dramatic interp," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dramatic_Interpretation and "duo interp." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duo_Interpretation

    A few middle schools have similar programs.

  • daffodilpetuniadaffodilpetunia Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    It's true that many summer theater camps are focused on musicals, but look for Shakespeare summer camps to get acting only. Schools tend to do more straight plays as you get older - high school more than middle school, and college even more so. My daughter is mostly a singer and loves musicals, and we found that since she is mostly interested in small liberal arts colleges, the opportunity for musical theater goes down a lot in college (perhaps less so at larger schools). The LAC drama options are primarily acting. So hang in there.
  • bopperbopper Registered User Posts: 7,261 Senior Member
    Ask this question in the theater/drama subforum:
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/theater-drama-majors/
    Parents of theater kids will know all.
  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 Registered User Posts: 439 Member
    If she really, really loves it, you might consider enrolling her in voice lessons. Most people who "can't carry a tune in a bucket" aren't necessarily tone deaf - they just haven't been taught how to reach pitch. It's worth a try!
  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,321 Senior Member
    I am one of the theater forum parents :) My D is a rising senior at Tisch NYU. One thing you might try next summer is an arts camp- Interlochen, French Woods, and Stagedoor manor are all nationally known. This could give your D opportunity to experience a broader and deeper artistic pool
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