Having just completed my first tour with Prairie Fire Children's Theatre, let me just say... TEACHING IS HARD!
This job taught me so much about myself and about the art of teaching. And trust me, it's an ART, y'all. I've learned an ungodly amount of patience, peace, and strength. I also think my ability to command a room is much stronger! When you're facing a squirrelly group of 75 small humans, your skills are put to the test!
I also found pockets of joy in their success. As always, working with youth is an interesting part of my job as an actor and director. Each week with PFCT is a sprint to the finish. The show is happening no matter what! It's our job to prepare them as best we can... and to have FUN along the way. It's incredible what kids can soak up in just five days.
One of my favorite comments from teachers is when they remark about certain students they "didn't think would be able to pull it off" because of their shy nature in class or their reserved qualities. But, by the end of the week, they are completely out of their shell and doing incredible things in front of 300 people. You truly never know what they're capable of until they're given the opportunity to shine.
Danae DeShazer is an actress, singer, and dancer living in Sarasota, FL.