Next Meeting

Thursday, January 9 at Lunch

Come to C7 at lunch for Art Majors - Performance Group activities.

This year's theme: Polishing Your Craft

We will be choosing performance groups for the Showcase.  You may choose your own group of four performers.

December Meeting

Our guest speaker in December was Mr. Billy Derian.  Mr. Derian is a professional television host and producer; his latest project is Hot Rod Rescue. You can view his demo tape here: Billy Derian 2011 Demo Reel

His advice for aspiring entertainers included:

  • Get an education!  Mr. Derian has no formal education, but does not condone this approach.  Without an education, failure is a lot easier.
  • In television, it is best to be a "jack of all trades."  The more you can diversify, the greater your chances of success.
  • The most important part of the entertainment business is networking!  ABC - Always Be Closing.  Always be pitching your ideas, your skills, your friends to the people you meet.  Be a conduit for what they have to offer; they will remember you and come back to you.
  • No job is a waste of time.  Even free jobs are an opportunity to meet your future partner, co-host, or boss.
  • Keep going back.  Tenacity will trump talent, skill, and education.
  • Share your stories - they lead to jobs!
  • Focus on what makes you a unique individual.  Emphasize these things - the stuff you were made fun of in middle school may very well be what sets you a part and gets you hired.
  • When on camera, the most important thing is to connect to your audience.  This means you have to know who your audience is and convey your message in an appropriate way.
  • Enthusiasm is what sells.  10% of success is knowledge, 90% is enthusiasm.
  • Find something you love.  It's not your job, it's your life.  If you do what you authentically love - the money will come. 

"Everyone you meet has something to offer you and you have something to offer them."

"Tenacity wins the day."

"Everything you do in entertainment is designed to sell something."

For those who did not attend the meeting, please reflect on what makes you unique.  Write a brief statement about the unique aspects of your personality and three short stories that you would be comfortable sharing with people about your uniqueness.  Minimum of one page, typed, double spaced.

November Meeting

Our guest speaker in November was Ms. Andi Ackerman.  Ms. Ackerman is a professional voice-over artist; she has recorded numerous commericals as well as audio books.  Her website is

Her advice for aspiring artists included:

  • Practice every day - at least 30 minutes!
  • Get training.  Ms. Ackerman is "always in a class" to continue developing her craft.
  • Get the right materials.  Start with what you have and upgrade to higher quality resources when you can.
  • Learn the tech side of your art so you can produce your own product when necessary. Ms. Ackerman is self-taught in this area and encourages others to learn by doing.
  • Be persistent.  In the voice-over industry, it is common to get one job for every forty auditions.
  • Only 2% of the people who do voice-over work make a living at it.  Recognize that you may have to do other things to support yourself so that you can pursue the art you love.
  • Ms. Ackerman also shared some advice she received: "If someone can talk you out of doing this - let them," meaning that you have to really want to be an artist to be successful and if you can see yourself doing anything else, pursue that instead.

"Auditioning is your job."

"It's not about getting the job - it's about the opportunity to play pretend!"

"The more talents you have, the more you can do."

For those who did not attend the meeting, please choose one of the quotes above and reflect on what it means for you and your career plans.  Do you agree or disagree with Ms. Ackerman's statement.  How can her words help you to prepare more fully for your future?  Minimum of one page, typed, double spaced.

Showcase Sample

Step 1: Form a performance group.  This is a four person team.  Be sure to chose people you can work with well, if at all possible.  It is fine if each member specializes in a different type of performance - actually this would be highly desirable!

Step 2:  You will receive a packet with a piece of writing and/or a piece of visual artwork.  This is to be your inspiration for a 10 minute showcase presentation.  For example, your packet might contain this:

The Ants.
By John Clare

What wonder strikes the curious, while he views

    The black ant's city, by a rotten tree,
    Or woodland bank! In ignorance we muse:
    Pausing, annoy'd,--we know not what we see,
    Such government and thought there seem to be;
    Some looking on, and urging some to toil,
    Dragging their loads of bent-stalks slavishly:
    And what's more wonderful, when big loads foil
    One ant or two to carry, quickly then
    A swarm flock round to help their fellow-men.
    Surely they speak a language whisperingly,
    Too fine for us to hear; and sure their ways
    Prove they have kings and laws, and that they be
    Deformed remnants of the Fairy-days.

Step 3: Create a ten minute showcase presentation inspired by the art work your group has received.  You can divide up the ten minutes however you like.  You can showcase the writing and visual art however you choose.  A presentation of the above examples might look something like this:

0-1 min: Reading - The Ant

1-4 min: Vocal - We Can Do It from the Producers

4- 6 min: Hand Clap Skit

6 - 9 min: Dance - to We Can Stand Together by Nickelback

Step 4:  Consider all aspects for your performance.  You are your own producers, stage crew, costumers, etc.  Think through the staging, lighting, and props needed.  The sample presentation be staged as follows:

0-1 min: Reading - The Ant (reading at center stage with curtain closed, light on reader only, stage right and left dark)

1-4 min: Vocal - We Can Do It from the Producers (curtains open only enough to reveal projection of artwork on screen, singers stage right in front of curtain, center and stage left dark)  

4- 6 min: Hand Clap Skit (participants enter from stage right and stage left, curtain still partially closed.  Sit on front edge of center stage to perform, exit same as entrance)

6 - 9 min: Dance - to We Can Stand Together by Nickelback (curtains open fully to reveal dancers.  Full lighting on stage.  Inspiration color faintly projected on screen, curtains close at end of number with dancers frozen on stage)

Step 5: Practice!  Each performer must practice his/her individual part as well as rehearsing the presentation completely to know how to best help each other.  Lights and sound will be provided by a crew - your group is responsible for every other aspect of the performance - even opening and closing the curtain, so be prepared!

Thousand Oaks High School

Thousand Oaks High School

2323 N Moorpark Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
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Fax: 805-374-1165
Attendance: 805-496-6998

Office Hours: 7:00 am - 3:30 pm | School Hours: 7:00 am to 2:48 pm
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