Spirit or Stagebox ?

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islandofsodor
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by islandofsodor » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:03 pm

For that amount of money I would want them not to be sitting around doing nothing. To me, that seems like they are understaffed. If people have smaller/chorus roles then whilost main roles are being rehearsed someone should be going through songs, choreography or drama excercises with the other students. The only time I would expect mroe sitting around would be towards the end of the process when they are doing full run throughs.
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ACookie
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by ACookie » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:59 pm

I totally agree with the BYMT needing to keep all children busy and motivated if you are paying out that kind of money. There are plenty of things they could be working on I'm sure.
As for the Spirit/Stagebox question I think you have to remember that first and foremost they are businesses. Whilst we like to think they are busily loving having our children to train (which they probably do) they are there to make a profit! This is why they are always going to select their most highly thought of for key roles in their videos as this is what they sell themselves on... My daughter hasn't been a part of either of these 2 and so I can't comment personally on the training, but I imagine the weekly training schemes would be better in that they have more time to focus on a wider range of students. Stagebox have a management agency as well, which would suggest to me that they may like to promote their clients rather more in their videos than others... However Im only guessing, but it would concern me as a paying parent.
I have to say I'm not a fan of the musical video style that these 2 training places offer which is why we went for MXM. They take students from 10-25 and have an end of term showcase in a West End theatre 3 times a year. The students are all involved if they are available. Yes some will have solo's - but there are also many solo line opportunities. Some may be asked to showcase an acting piece or a dance piece and they ensure that these are all done by different students - but all students will take part in the group pieces.
No where is going to be perfect and there will always be people who are unhappy with decisions regarding featured roles etc. I think you probably have to just try one of them and see if it's a good fit for your child.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Pandora II » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:07 pm

A lot of the girls in DD’s Spirit group are working professionally as well - of the 12 in her current group, 5 of them are cast in west end roles at the moment. My DD has recently finished a WE run and is currently filming. So, quite often you can work towards a piece, have a main solo and then find you can’t attend for filming or vocal recording etc because there’s a clash with auditions or professional work. So perhaps there’s not quite the same levels of anticipation with what is done in terms of performance at training compared with a school where fewer children have the opportunity to be working professionally and getting their performance hit there.

There is definitely never any sitting around in class - the pieces are always ensemble focused so no waiting while one of two do their bit for ages.

Every child in the group is featured in every video. Sometimes there are new children, sometimes there are people missing because they’ve put training on hold while they are in a show or they’re not available on the filming dates.

There are also a fair number of live performance opportunities throughout the year on top of the videos.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Proseccoplease » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:40 pm

Thanks ACookie you got in before me! We also went for MXM for same reason and I was really impressed at how fair it all is. Everyone gets the same weekly training and opportunities and yes there are a few solos at the concert but everyone has their chance to shine. Really happy with it-high quality training and so impressed with the supportive atmosphere, even though some kids are in the West End or in Film, the feeling seems to be everyone has their own talents and all are equally valued-great for confidence and a refreshing change from the competitive world of performing arts. Can’t recommend it enough!

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by riverdancefan » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:56 am

Hilltop wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:20 am
This is an interesting conversation for me at the moment as my DD is currently away with BYMT and she has a very small role in the show and says she has done nothing for the last two days. I’m a little annoyed because we’ve paid £1750 for her to take part and she’s doesn’t seem to be learning as much from it as she did from last year’s one, where the roles were more evenly spread around. Sorry to jump in and change the topic a bit bit does anyone have any thoughts on this? I understand in a professional production this would be the case, but isn’t BYMT meant to also be a training programme?

I don’t blame you for being annoyed.
BYMT isn’t a training programme...unless you actually participate in one of the workshop\ training intensives like the Easter one.
My DS had fairly positive experiences the two times he was part of ( what was then) YMT but he also spent a day or so dyeing dust sheets and making very basic props, crazy stuff for the money I paid. The shows were in their infancies, indeed more concert form and and the performance opportunities fewer than other well known youth MT groups .
Something unforgivable for me was that he was expected to shout and it WAS shouting and sing over loud music in one production, NO MICS!!
he was 14 , he did what he was told, but completely lost his voice, the potential damage at that time, his voice was breaking, made me furious, he was given no guidance or training on protecting his voice and just expected to abuse it. He couldn’t even speak properly for the last two performances. I paid a fortune for him to abuse his voice like that!


He met some great people and excellent creatives but the overall experience and the cost to us wasn’t something we would have considered again.
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riverdancefan
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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by riverdancefan » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:03 am

Pandora II wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:07 pm
A lot of the girls in DD’s Spirit group are working professionally as well - of the 12 in her current group, 5 of them are cast in west end roles at the moment. My DD has recently finished a WE run and is currently filming. So, quite often you can work towards a piece, have a main solo and then find you can’t attend for filming or vocal recording etc because there’s a clash with auditions or professional work. So perhaps there’s not quite the same levels of anticipation with what is done in terms of performance at training compared with a school where fewer children have the opportunity to be working professionally and getting their performance hit there.

There is definitely never any sitting around in class - the pieces are always ensemble focused so no waiting while one of two do their bit for ages.

Every child in the group is featured in every video. Sometimes there are new children, sometimes there are people missing because they’ve put training on hold while they are in a show or they’re not available on the filming dates.

There are also a fair number of live performance opportunities throughout the year on top of the videos.

Spirit was full of good experiences and memories for DS, yes he was an older male and they are sometimes like rocking horse poo, but it’s certainly excellent experience even if there is more ensemble work, there is training in harmonies, choreo and opportunities to work with great creatives.
Well worth the money I reckon.
I made some great friends too, as did DS and the Spirit girls still come and see him perform and we try to get to see them as often as poss. They are a great bunch, I really think friends are as valuable an outcome as being given a solo.
You know the standard will be high because you audition to be offered a place, just to be there means you are top 10%

Stagebox I have no experience of.
"Tall and proud my mother taught me, this is how we dance" - RIVERDANCE

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by lyndahill » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:44 pm

If anybody has recently been excepted for Stagebox, I have a Logo T-shirt, jazz pants, purple & black shorts and crop top-logo ed - to sell if anybody want to buy. All Size 3A. T-shirt is for Senior size, but small build. PM me with a sensible offer if interested.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by hilton123 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:46 pm

My DD was with SB Elite Team, but is no longer. In my opinion they've become too big, too quickly and very expensive. The uniform list is long & expensive too. When my DD joined they only had a small number of children, but very quickly they took on a large number of children and introduced a development team. I found that they show cased certain children that were also on their management books !! My DD whilst a strong dancer was also a strong singer, however in the few years she was with SB they gave her very little opportunity to sing any kind of solo. In London they don't have a permanent training venue - we went to 4 / 5 different venues across London, which was somewhat of a logistical problem at times. In my experience SB can be an extremely varied experience for many - i.e. If your child is with their management, then they tend to be given more opportunities, as opposed to those who aren't with their management. A friend of ours has children with Spirit and they've had a lot more opportunities over the years with Spirit and have taken part at Westend Live and Move It etc. I don't think they're as expensive as SB.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Pandora II » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:30 pm

Regarding costs for Spirit, DD does 5 hours a week - 3 for the Performance Company Petite Elite team in musical theatre on a Sunday plus an hour each of tap and ballet during the week and it works out at £10 an hour which is on the lower side of training fees in the area.

Uniform wise, she has a couple of the branded T-shirts, a sweatshirt and one pair of the branded leggings. Only other things required are plain black leggings and t-shirt with no logos, black jazz shoes and white trainers. So not that hideous an outlay (you only actually need the t-shirt and leggings - everything else is optional) and while the leggings are pricey, they seem to wear really well - the current pair have been worn and washed several times a week for nearly 2 years and still look like new unlike the cheap black generic ones that seem to get holes all the time.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by esmum » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:49 pm

We dont live in London but have done couple of videos with Spirit, only a few non regulars in them. In our experience they are excellent performing opportunities however, my dd and other non regulars never had a solo. All solos were always from exisiting Spirit regulars. I was disappointed to make the effort to get to London to do the video via audition so why take them if they dont give them a solo - wouldnt do it again.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Rose20 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:21 pm

Hi, I have known a quite a lot of kids get solo’s who were not regular kids, some of whom became regular kids afterwards. Several of these same students are now in highly respected full time musical theatre/ dance courses. Take a look at Olivia, Toby, Will and Holly amongst others, who all first attended a work shop there.
As far as I know they audition for each solo part for a video so even for regular kids nothing is guaranteed. I think it’s good for young people’s who want to follow this career path to work alongside kids who are this level (at Spirit or similar groups) and to learn from each other, although waiting for their chance of a solo must be frustrating.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by esmum » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:06 pm

Hi Rose20

From your comment 'Hi, I have known a quite a lot of kids get solo’s who were not regular kids'
Really? The amazing talent you have named were or became regulars though surely?

Im talking about the one off kids, from outside of commutable distance, who are invited to workshop via audition?
What I was saying is, if it is so difficult to get into Spirit, and you audition for a Musical Theatre Video, why aren't those kids getting exposure with a solo? That was my point.

I know 100% that some kids already had solos before some newbies even entered the room. Sorry but true.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by riverdancefan » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:43 am

esmum wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:06 pm
Hi Rose20

From your comment 'Hi, I have known a quite a lot of kids get solo’s who were not regular kids'
Really? The amazing talent you have named were or became regulars though surely?

Im talking about the one off kids, from outside of commutable distance, who are invited to workshop via audition?
What I was saying is, if it is so difficult to get into Spirit, and you audition for a Musical Theatre Video, why aren't those kids getting exposure with a solo? That was my point.

I know 100% that some kids already had solos before some newbies even entered the room. Sorry but true.
I can only speak as Mum of one of the kids mentioned, Toby. He was invited to audition for one of their holiday workshops, only after that, did he go regularly and not for that long. So he was given a solo but he wasn’t a regular attendee at that time.
So really I guess he was a “one off kid” initially. He wasn’t a member of Spirit before his first solo.
Neither was Olivia, she was also a soloist on a holiday workshop and after that she joined Spirit for a while, along with Toby.

This was a few years ago now though.
Things might have changed. You might have seen Toby’s solo that was filmed by Spirit from Honk. There was a waitlist for those and he was a member of Spirit by then. You had to be a member for that exposure.

At the time and probably still in lots of ways, Spirit was unique in the way it brought together kids who were serious about MT and were in all likelihood training elsewhere as well, but wanted more performance opportunities and contacts in the business.
Some were in the WE performing already. It was a big commitment with travel etc but I felt it was value for money. There were plenty of times he didn’t get a solo but the work on ensemble harmonies and singing was really helpful in developing him.
I know it’s quite different between boys and girls experiences.

Maybe try one term, and see how it goes?
"Tall and proud my mother taught me, this is how we dance" - RIVERDANCE

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by Rose20 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:09 pm

Thank you Riverdancefan. I probably shouldn’t have named kids, apologies if I made you or anyone else uncomfortable.

I think the easiest way to explain things is that with the audition only workshops the students generally audition to join them and then audition again for the solos.

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Re: Spirit or Stagebox ?

Post by esmum » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:57 pm

If we had lived a commutable distance we would have joined Spirit as opposed to Stagebox. However we dont, so did the one off workshops, there was no audition for the solos, in our experience. The majority of the solos were already sorted and the regulars already knew them, though I do know of one solo that was changed to a different person. They are great productions and I would certainly recommend Spirit if you can train there, however, would advise anyone going to a one off workshop to not expect a solo, even if they are experienced and auditioned successfully. This is not just our experience but of others too. I'm sure a few may have got them over the years but the vast majority will I am sure be the regulars, who are talented obviously but so are the one offs. So in summary, would recommend Spirit over Stagebox but to train, not for one off workshops unless you intend joining them.

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