Julie Stevens (no login) Posted Dec 7, 2008 4:33 PM
I watched the entire "Billy Elliot" documentary and was astounded by the talent. It was amazing to see the 15 finalists in the 10-day workshop, learning how to tap, do ballet and sing. These were kids from all over the country and most of them had no professional experience. Many of them were trained dancers, but only in one discipline. The three boys who got the role all had to learn two to three new skills in the process.
In my opinion, it puts any performer who is less dedicated than that to shame. All of our conversations about the various casts of "Annie" and the areas of talent that are lacking in the girls are kind of embarrassing, in comparison to "Billy Elliot." It just goes to show that you can find kids who don't have professional experience but do have the dedication and training. In my opinion, any young performer who wants to do theatre should be in dance and voice class. By the time they get to an "Annie" audition, they should at least know how to do the time step and learn a simple dance routine. If those boys at the "Billy Elliot" audition could learn how to tap in less than 10 days or learn ballet if they only were trained in Irish dancing, that raises the bar for all children who want to perform.
If you don't want to take the time or effort to train and practice, then you should stick to community theatre or do it as a hobby. Watching these kids in "Billy Elliot" should be inspiring to any young performer.