Sapphire all star

STAGE FRIGHT: One of 30 young performers selected from about 80 auditions for a place with Kiwi All-Stars, Year 11 Gisborne Girls’ High School student Sapphire Baker is seen here as a character from film franchise The Purge. The Frightnight event Sapphire was involved in was part of her Level 1 drama class assessment. Picture supplied

The Year 11 Gisborne Girls’ High student is one of 30 out of more than 80 young people who were accepted into Kiwi All-Stars. The troupe will be part of a hands-on theatre experience in the US in January 2021. After collaborating with the Kiwi All-stars troupe on a performance piece under the guidance of some of the industry experts and broadway performers the young actors, dancers and singers will join the Junior Theatre Festival. At the festival they will perform their adjudication piece for feedback, join skill development workshops, watch new musicals and get advice from celebrity guests. Past celebrity guests have included Zac Efron (High School Musical, Neighbours, The Greatest Showman) and Darren Criss (Glee, American Crime Story, Midway). A trip to Los Angeles then takes the All-stars to Hollywood and Disneyland where they will be taken behind the scenes to participate in the Disney performing arts musical workshop.

Would-be Kiwi All-stars were required to submit a video audition. Sapphire’s audition video included her rendition of Pink’s song Dear Mr President and a short performance based on script sent by the organisers.

“It was a weird, emotional, sort of script,” says Sapphire.

“There were no directions. You had to find your own character. The script was about eight lines long. When you read it, it seemed like someone was leaving you and you were begging them to stay.”

Although helped in her audition by teachers Jane Egan and Anna Marie Fenn, Sapphire has a process to help her pinpoint her character.

“When I get a script I imagine the character and imagine what happens before and after the lines.”

The stage has been Sapphire’s passion since she first performed as a five-year-old with a Dancefit 10 years ago before she became involved with musical theatre. Two years ago she rejoined Dancefit and now takes classes at Gisborne Theatre School under educator Peter Jarratt. Sapphire most recently performed as part of a high energy, singing and dancing ensemble in Musical Theatre Gisborne’s production of Mamma Mia.

She aspires to a career in theatre, TV or film.

“The stage is my happy place,” she says.

“It’s exhilarating. Most people’s happy place would be gardening or thinking about rainbows. I love being on stage.”

The total cost of Sapphire’s Kiwi All-stars performing arts adventure weighs in at about $8000. To help raise funds she plans to take on after-school and weekend work, run sausage sizzles and now has a givealittle page. Help support Sapphire’s aspirations by giving a little at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/get-sapphire-to-the-usa-with-the-kiwi-all-stars

The Year 11 Gisborne Girls’ High student is one of 30 out of more than 80 young people who were accepted into Kiwi All-Stars. The troupe will be part of a hands-on theatre experience in the US in January 2021. After collaborating with the Kiwi All-stars troupe on a performance piece under the guidance of some of the industry experts and broadway performers the young actors, dancers and singers will join the Junior Theatre Festival. At the festival they will perform their adjudication piece for feedback, join skill development workshops, watch new musicals and get advice from celebrity guests. Past celebrity guests have included Zac Efron (High School Musical, Neighbours, The Greatest Showman) and Darren Criss (Glee, American Crime Story, Midway). A trip to Los Angeles then takes the All-stars to Hollywood and Disneyland where they will be taken behind the scenes to participate in the Disney performing arts musical workshop.

Would-be Kiwi All-stars were required to submit a video audition. Sapphire’s audition video included her rendition of Pink’s song Dear Mr President and a short performance based on script sent by the organisers.

“It was a weird, emotional, sort of script,” says Sapphire.

“There were no directions. You had to find your own character. The script was about eight lines long. When you read it, it seemed like someone was leaving you and you were begging them to stay.”

Although helped in her audition by teachers Jane Egan and Anna Marie Fenn, Sapphire has a process to help her pinpoint her character.

“When I get a script I imagine the character and imagine what happens before and after the lines.”

The stage has been Sapphire’s passion since she first performed as a five-year-old with a Dancefit 10 years ago before she became involved with musical theatre. Two years ago she rejoined Dancefit and now takes classes at Gisborne Theatre School under educator Peter Jarratt. Sapphire most recently performed as part of a high energy, singing and dancing ensemble in Musical Theatre Gisborne’s production of Mamma Mia.

She aspires to a career in theatre, TV or film.

“The stage is my happy place,” she says.

“It’s exhilarating. Most people’s happy place would be gardening or thinking about rainbows. I love being on stage.”

The total cost of Sapphire’s Kiwi All-stars performing arts adventure weighs in at about $8000. To help raise funds she plans to take on after-school and weekend work, run sausage sizzles and now has a givealittle page. Help support Sapphire’s aspirations by giving a little at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/get-sapphire-to-the-usa-with-the-kiwi-all-stars

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