Beginning Variety Arts That’ll Get Your Foot in the Door

Beginning Variety Arts That’ll Get Your Foot in the Door

This residency explores the beginning variety arts skills necessary to broaden one’s acting sensibilities. In this day and age, it is no longer enough for actors to be a “Triple Threat” (actor, singer, dancer). In order to perform in musicals such as Barnum, the Pippin Broadway Revival and Cirque du Soleil, actors now need to be a “Quadruple Threat” (actor, singer, dancer & variety arts skill).

During this residency, students explore several beginning variety arts skills such as juggling, pole balancing, rola bola, and tricks with boxes. Other skills may be offered at the request of the Sponsor. Students learn how to juggle a cascade pattern, how to balance a pole on various body parts, how to balance on a rola bola, and how to find the rhythm and timing necessary to do tricks with boxes. All of these skills are great for training the students in presentation, balance, and timing: terrific skills to have as an actor.

This residency can also be integrated with the Science concepts of force & motion. Jef supplies all necessary equipment for this residency. Because this residency is both theatrical and physical, it embodies the North Carolina Essential Standards in both Theatre Arts as well as Physical Education, including:

Theatre Arts NCES.A.TA.CU.1.2 – Exemplify a variety of theatrical forms, such as puppetry, musical theatre, and pantomime, from Non-Western cultures and a variety of historical periods through the creation of theatrical works.
Physical Education 9.MS.1 Apply competent motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.

Artist Background

Currently Jef performs mime, variety arts and Mask Theater at fairs and festivals throughout the South. As a teaching artist he also shares workshops and residencies in his art form as well as in arts integration. Jef apprenticed with with C.W. Metcalf and Tony Montanaro, with brief instruction from Jacques Lecoq. From 1976 to 1993 Jef was a member TOUCH, North Carolina’s touring mime theater ensemble. From 1993 through 1997, Jef created the character and performed as Wool E. Bull- the mascot for the Durham Bulls Baseball Team. Jef trained as a Teaching Artist through the Lincoln Center Institute. Jef is also the Teaching Artist Consultant to the South Carolina Arts Commission’s ArtsGrowSC Teaching Artist Professional Development Program.

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