My After School Program (update)

At the start of the year I initiated a program with 3 deserving high schools under the Anaheim YMCA/Anaheim Achieves umbrella. The goal was to introduce the kids to the world of entertainment, open job possibilities and give them working tools.

Initially I was to interview all three schools and pick one. If you know me or ever work with kids, that is impossible. Because I was not about to pick between the schools, I started an ambitious goal of reaching out to all of them.

The first project on our plate is a photo shoot for a deserving artist at their schools. They learned the first steps of any project, meetings and phone calls for brainstorming and idea development. The following week we narrowed down their ideas and the casting started. They learned about the importance of a good casting director and the significance that position holds. It starts there! They considered dancers and singers, actors and more but each school came up with something special.

Magnolia selected a young acoustic singer. Loara opted for a dance troop and Western went for unique individuals through out their school. The students in the program went from casting agents to location scouting, again learning about job possibilities and picking their own locations. They walked around school with their camera phones and took notes for the perfect setting.

Each time we met, they wore a different hat and over time they began to see the dedication each position holds for the overall job.

Other jobs included treatment writer, reference researcher, producer, make-up and hair. Our last meeting was about the important job of the producer who budgets and oversees everything. Each school has a $1000 budget I provide. Within the $1000 they need to figure out how to make the shoot work. They will rent my cameras, lights, computer, me as an asst, and more. What they cannot afford in the budget, they must provide on their own by any creative means (legal ways of course!). With their reference boards, talent goals/needs they are currently wardrobing the artists, finding clothes in their closets, borrowing and making it work. The growth I have seen astounds me and the dedication from each school is inspiring. Shortly after their spring break we will have our photo shoot.

What’s the second half of the semester? A music video of course! They same artist they did a photo shoot for will have a music video to accompany.

I wanted to share a bit about the amazing work they are doing.


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