Ever wonder what the Destination Broadway experience is like? We sat down with mother and daughter Vivian and Zayna to get some inside information to share with you.
Publicity of Destination Broadway. How did you find out about the program?
Vivian: We have known about you for a long time! When Zayna was 6 or 7, an acquaintance in Erie (who was friends with Michael Rafter) suggested that we check out Destination Broadway. We were waiting for Zayna to get a little older so she would be able to take full advantage of your program. We actually wanted her to audition in 2017, but we missed the January audition date in Cleveland. So this year, I kept checking regularly so we wouldn’t miss it.
Tell us about the audition process.
Vivian: The audition process was excellent!! Very low key, which helps the kids relax! (Tiffany was so sweet to Zayna!). Amy Hanratty set up the Cleveland audition for us. She was so kind and positive. She also accommodated us at a great time of day, which was very helpful because we were traveling from Erie.
Communication about the program; Did you know what was happening and what was expected of you?
Vivian: YES! Jim and Paula were completely on the ball, and I felt very well-informed. The newsletters are extremely detailed. Even though we were new to the program, we did not have anticipatory anxiety—and that is because of the effort you put into those emails and newsletters. Thank you!
Zayna: I loved that the letters coming from DB were addressed to me!
General information for parents about musical theater, careers, college , etc.
Vivian: Very useful! And appreciated! I very much enjoyed the panel discussion on college night. Your panelists represented various roads to success, and they did not shy away from the realities of stiff competition, financial barriers, etc. I also loved that you included people at various stages of their careers. The handout from college night was great. I’m keeping it for future reference.
Did you enjoy the “parent seminars” on Friday?
Vivian: Nora Brennan’s presentation was awesome! She has a wealth of information and a straightforward, easy-going approach to sharing it. It was helpful to hear that ages 13-17 are considered a “dead zone” in the industry. It underscores the value of enrichment classes and local opportunities during those years and keeps expectations realistic.
What did you like best and why? What was the most valuable information you received all week? What class did you like least and why?
Zayna: I really loved acting class with Donna the most! It felt very laid back and I learned a lot from watching others.
What would you tell a friend about our program?
Zayna: I was just so happy to be working with Tiffany, Adam and Donna. I learned so much! And I was so impressed with my fellow students. I remember at the auditions, Tiffany said you don’t make it on Broadway if you’re a diva. Broadway people are so nice. It was so exciting to meet so many famous people and for them to be so encouraging and kind to us.
Vivian: I was thrilled that Zayna spent a week benefiting from the wisdom, insight, and experience of seasoned, successful Broadway professionals!
Any comments about our teaching staff, office staff in VA, or our chaperones?
Vivian: Phenomenal!!! Zayna fell in love with everyone! Everyone has such a positive attitude and is so eager to mentor and nurture these kids. It was great to accompany Zayna (she was 13) this year, but I would have no problem letting her go on her own in the future. Your chaperones are wonderful!
Do you have a comment we could use in our literature or on our website?
I don’t have a statement, but I wanted to let you know that about 2 weeks after the DB Showcase, Zayna got a request from Danielle Pretsfelder (Nickelodeon) to send in a General Audition tape. We did send one and haven’t heard anything back yet, but it is precisely these opportunities that make Destination Broadway such a valuable experience for these talented kids.