FUN AND GAMES: Pauline Leigh and Jacob Leigh, William and Patrick Roberts playing acting games
FUN AND GAMES: Pauline Leigh and Jacob Leigh, William and Patrick Roberts playing acting games Liana Walker

The acting school made for everyone

A YOUNG girl started taking performance classes several years ago.

She was so shy that being part of the end of year performance was not going to be possible.

Fast forward a couple of years and that same girl is speaking solo parts and singing solo in front of her entire school.

This is a story Pauline Leigh has seen many times at Act One Studios.

"It was a big thing for her parents,” Mrs Leigh said.

"It was quite a little Kleenex moment.”

She has been teaching children acting and musical theatre for 10 years, however her passion lies in helping children build their confidence.

"The highlight is really seeing the children go from not so able to get up and perform or present, and then they gain that confidence,” she said.

"It then becomes second nature to them and that's what you're hoping to achieve.

"These kinds of studios I don't believe are there to put out the next great Australian actor or great Australian musical theatre person,” she said.

"That's great if that happens, and if you can provide that start with them, that's great.

"But it's more about the children coming to your studio feeling confident to be able to speak to people, one on one or in front of a large audience, in whatever area of life they choose to go into.”

Mrs Leigh also pointed out performance classes were a great way for high school students to prepare for oral presentations.

"I think I can be of great help to young people to gain confidence and to learn how to present.

"There are lots of ways of presenting something that can just be a little bit out of the box, there is an element of creativity to it.”

Mrs Leigh has also started to combine the acting and musical theatre students in performance.

Last year's end of year recital had the two groups on stage together.

"It actually encompassed scenes from musical theatre where the drama students did the acting and the speaking and the musical theatre students were the singers and sang the songs.

"Then we came together to do ensemble work where everybody danced and everybody joined in.

"I was really happy with it, I think it really worked.”

Act One is open to any age group. As long as the children have some basic reading ability, they're welcome to join.

For more information, phone Pauline on 46812725.

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