It was around January of this year that I came up with this great idea. It was a flash of inspiration and what seemed at the time the perfect venture for Gold Starz Dance School…. I am going to stage a Pantomime. Lets not even think about it… Lets just get it on the group page and get some feedback from parents. “Oh yes, what a lovely idea, lets do it”. And that was it. The idea was born. There was one problem…. I had never done anything like this before. So, where to begin?
First up I needed a venue. I remembered once upon a time performing Aladdin at The Star Hall in Finedon. As luck would have it, the lady I needed to contact was a chorus girl back then (Around 1980) so the approach was made and a date agreed. November 29th 2015. Hey, that’s ages away. Plenty of time to get everything sorted. Just a little comp in May to get out of the way and some exams and we were ready to roll. With a seating capacity of 216 I felt it could all be done in one hit so we penciled in a 5pm performance.
Around May time I went to see my daughter, and teacher, Danielle, performing at Northampton College. At the show there were camera’s filming the show to get on to a DVD. I approached one of the cameramen who happened to be in charge and discussed what we were doing. He said he would be happy to sort out filming.
Next, I needed lighting and music. We had already started to work on routines that would be needed for the show so we had a good idea what we were looking for. I met with Dave Jones who had been recommended by The Star Hall and he agreed he could do it… But…. The time had to move forward to 3pm. Only a small hiccup but one that would cause a few problems for some parents. I discovered I needed a backdrop so that I could project images onto it rather than having painted props etc. This would save loads of time and money. Dave gave me the details of a man who could provide headsets for the singers to use… Peter came back to me with the promise of two headsets at a great price so again, luck was on our side.
Whilst all this was going on, we were working hard at getting the performance right. I had written a script based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I added in as much ‘Panto style’ humor as I could then introduced a few other characters from other Panto’s to give more children the chance of a speaking part if they wanted it. During this time I also found out that one of my dancers had a great singing voice (Thanks to Vanessa Fisher) so I wanted to work with this. Again, back in 1980 when we did Aladdin there was a man who I got to know very well and he was on my Facebook. As luck would have it, Jonathan Reynolds was now a singing coach and agreed to come and help my singers. Scripts were given out, singing parts sorted, costumes came next, and that was in the main kept basic but with the help of parents, some of the main parts costumes were altered or added to so that we could reach our desired affect. A few props that were needed were sorted out so that part was done and ready. (Thanks Laura and Tracy)
Tickets were next… I found a template and ordered some cards from Avery. I designed and printed them all off with individual numbers set out with the seating plan. Tickets went on sale on the Sunday morning and by Tuesday night were sold out.
So, what else could we add to this to make it even more special? well, all year Gold Starz raises money and gives 50% to charity. In the past we have given to Cransley Hospice but I decided I wanted to support a local childrens charity. I was told about Chelsea’s Angels and we were given a young lad to sponsor called Jack. From being diagnosed, through the first intensive chemotherapy treatment, remission, maintenance, relapse, more intensive chemotherapy, radiotherapy, bone marrow transplant and life long medication…. His fight was clear to see. Jack is one of 8 children and his mum is Tracey and dad is Ian! They live in Wellingborough and Jack currently has his treatment at Sheffield hospital. He has a Facebook page where people can follow his cause… it’s called jack’s journey & his fight against acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Jack wanted a Trike, and when my own company, Kymco Healthcare heard of this they decided to raise money from sales in October to support Jack. So, between us, Kymco, and the Mobility dealer who has since assessed Jack, we have sorted a Trike and it is all on order. So, in putting on a Pantomime we have suddenly been able to make a difference to someone who needs help and support and hopefully put a smile on many faces.
If people knew of the amount of time I spend doing this, they would see I don’t do it for the money. But I hope that Gold Starz provides a fun, friendly and affordable place for kids to come and dance and be taught by some of the best young teachers in the Country. I don’t do it for the thanks…. My reward is seeing the children progress as dancers and as individuals. Seeing them perform on stage and improving all the time. The fact that we can make a difference to people along the way is an added bonus and helped by the tireless efforts of Laura Holloway and all my loyal parents.