Charlie's Blog

Run, Run as Fast as You Can
By Charlie Condron on 31 July 2015

 

We welcomed our youngest Little Stars to "The Gingerbread Man" workshop this week and they had a ball!

 

Melody Bear joined the children on The Gingerbread Man adventure so we started with her favourite song and dance.

 

Pom-poms turned into dish cloths and dusters to clean the old ladies house before the baking began.

 

A wealth of Gingerbread Man related songs filled the hall and echoes of "You can't catch me" and "cherry for a nose" rang out and I'm sure I saw a few parents joining in with the catchy lyrics.

 

Balloon modelling delighted the children and swords were used to slay the rather sly Fox.

 

After all that singing and dancing came a welcome snack .... Gingerbread Man biscuits for everyone of course!

Under Pressure
By Charlie Condron on 29 July 2015

 

Bello Bello!

The holidays have started with a bang! A Minion shaped bang! Our first holiday workshop saw 25 eager children file into Great Leighs Village Hall with the aim to turn yellow and put on Minions the Musical!

 

First we had to learn the minion language (which is easier said than done!) Parts were quickly given out and lines learnt with gusto. Dance steps perfected and song lyrics were mastered in just two days. The children worked hard with an occasional break for a banana! The minions, of course, triumphed and saved the Crown Jewels and defeated Scarlet Overkill but it was really the children who put the show on who triumphed and what they achieved in two short days was marvellous.

 

What I love about the holiday workshop is how new friends are formed and everyone works so hard and pulls together to put on a show while having a great time and doing something they love.It was lovely to welcome familiar faces as well as some new ones to our Minions the Musical workshop! A fantastic start to the holiday!

Popaye for now (which is goodbye to you non speaking Minion folks!)

What a Year!!
By Charlie Condron on 13 July 2015

What a Year!! 

What a year it's been at Little Stars!!! We started off with the launch of our first class outside Essex, Little Stars Classes in Colney Heath St Albans launched, Hana Minett has had a fun filled year with all her Little Stars doing show and holiday workshops. 

 

In November we raised money for children in need with the Little Stars dance move challenge which ended in a dance-a-thon at Great Leighs village hall! We raised £160!!! 

 

Chelmsford Speech And Drama Festival also took place in November, I took a group of LAMDA students and they were absolutely superb! They made me so proud and I will definitely be returning this year with more of my LAMDA students. I was absolutely thrilled when Angel-Nevin Meydan from Great Leighs came first place and was asked to perform at the prize giving!!! What an achievement. 

 

In December we performed Mary Poppins and our Twinkling Stars did a 'Down In The Jungle' show - seems like a lifetime ago now! 

 

The Christmas holidays came and went and before we knew it we were turned into Popstars for our presentation term! 

 

During February half term we were lucky enough to have a guest from the cast of Matilda come and lead 3 fabulous workshops at Little Stars. 

 

At the end of February our LAMDA students each had an exam, and I was so proud when every single student passed with either merit or distinction - yay!

 

This term has been our show term, 150 students took part in our 'Once Upon A Dream' performance at The Cramphorn Theatre in Chelmsford and what a fantastic performance it was. 

 

I have had such a wonderful year at Little Stars and am looking forward to our 4th birthday on August 11th! What a fantastic four years it's been. I hope all of my Little Stars have a fantastic summer :) 

 

 

3Foot Festival - A BIG treat for Little people
By Charlie Condron on 30 June 2015

 

 

Wow! I've never seen so many laughing, smiling children as I did today at the Three Foot Festival in Chelmsford. What an amazing, unique event for pre-schoolers. And it seems we are very lucky as when I ask my friends in other counties if they have such an event they say, with jealousy, that they do not.

 

Anyone who is anyone was there and there is something for everyone. The list is endless : Little Stars, Party Stars, Mad Science, Little Scrummers, Glastonbabies, Natural Foundations, Buttercup Toddler group, a huge helter skelter and a giant sandpit to name a few. The festival has a lovely playful feel about it with everyone smiling and having fun!

 

If you are coming along check out the Little Stars workshops tent (obviously) but other highlights include Horse World at the back of the field. The children can ride on a variety of toy horses and there is plenty of shade and a bit of a breeze. The face painting looked amazing and I heard that it was free but the queues did get long so it might be a place to head to early. There was water play on offer at both the Buttercup Club area and the Natural Foundation area which were a welcome activity given the weather.

 

There are an array of eateries but I would recommend the shaken Udder milkshakes - delicious and perfect for a hot day and the queue was SO much shorter than the ice cream queue.

 

If I had a tip for the day it would be to head to the back of the park first (the blue zone) and work back towards the exit over the day as the back is very quiet at the start.

Three words to sum up the Three foot festival: hot, action-packed and wondrous family day out.

 

Why Sing?
By Charlie Condron on 23 June 2015

I LOVE to sing and I am lucky enough to do it every day with a crowd of enthusiastic children.  From my youngest pupils singing along to “The Teddy Bear Rock,” to the tuneful renditions of “A Star Is Born’ from my oldest students, the joy you see on their faces as they belt out a tune got me thinking that there is so much more to singing than just singing.

 Singing is so important;

It boosts confidence and raises self-esteem, singing creates a sense of community and lifts your mood. It can also be a great for a child's education, it’s a great tool for teaching children different subject matter, words and helps learning. It is an aerobic activity having health benefits, boosts memory and most importantly of all its fun, it gives you a zest for life.

Do you love singing as much as I do? Next time your favourite song is on the radio turn it up and sing along, blast out some tunes with the kids or just sing in the shower because after all its good for you!

  

A Play In A Day
By Charlie Condron on 18 June 2015

You can imagine how excited I was when Great Ballard School invited me for to do a ‘Show In A Day Workshop’

 I arrived this morning in the beautiful village of Eartham near Chichester, ready and raring for an action packed day of singing, acting and dancing. I was greeted by 18 eager students, with 6 hours and 1 script we were ‘Off To See The Wizard.’ The morning was spent with a drama workshop as we familiarised ourselves with the script, and I assessed the children’s potential before casting the show. Morning break came and went, the parts were allocated and we were busy singing ‘Ding Dong The Witch is Dead, and skipping into Munchkin land.

Before we knew it our ‘Play In A Day’ had become a project, gathering props and costumes from around the school, the group had plenty of their own ideas which we all shared and incorporated. I have to say the dedication of the children was unbelievable. They threw themselves into this project wholeheartedly.

 6.30pm was here before we knew it and parents were ushered to their seats. Backstage I only had two pieces of advice;

- If anybody forgets their lines improvise!

- Don’t forget to smile!

 I couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome of the performance! Lots of improvising (and smiling) the children were fantastic. And what an amazing opportunity for these children, to learn skills in singing, acting and dancing whilst working as a team. The school were so pleased with the outcome of our ‘Play In A Day’ that they’ve invited me back next year!

 What a great adventure and a wonderful day I’ve had too! Think I’ll sleep well tonight though! 

 


Kids Week at The West End
By Charlie Condron on 16 June 2015

Have you heard?? Kids go free to the West End throughout the whole of August! Kids Week in the West End. But what are you going to see? There’s so much choice. As an avid theatre goer I thought I would give you my top tips;

 What to see if you’ve got a pre-schooler? The Gingerbread Man – This much loved story is a great introduction to theatre. Using magic, music and audience participation to recreate this fantastic story. 

 What to see if you’ve never been to the West End before? Charlie And The Chocolate Factory – This larger than life musical is full of spectacular effects, join Willy Wonka as he takes you on a tour through his amazing Chocolate Factory, the set is fantastic as is the music!

 What to see if you have a budding ‘Little Star’ Matilda – Possibly my favourite west end musical I would recommend it to anyone! It’s fantastic, but be warned if you have a budding Little Star they’ll be begging you to audition for the role by the end of the show!

 What to see if you have a Teenager? Mamma Mia – This feel good musical is a great one for the older child. You can sing and dance along! So much fun.

 What to see if you just love drama? The Railway Children – This play runs out of the old EuroStar terminal and features a real train. It’s a fantastic version of the E. Nesbit novel.

 As for me I fancy ‘Seven Brides For Seven Brothers’ which has just opened at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre – it’s one of my favourites. So what are you going to go for? http://www.kidsweek.co.uk

 

 

The Frozen Phenomenon
By Charlie Condron on 16 June 2014

Let’s face it…. The world has gone ‘FROZEN’ mad! I have never known anything like it! Last week whilst shopping in Westfields, I was browsing a card shop and a women walked past me, I noticed something strange about her straight away….  but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. And then it hit me she was singing ‘Let It Go’ whilst shopping and the best thing was, there wasn’t a child in sight. This is not the first time this has happened to me… how many times have you been caught singing ‘the cold never bothered me anyway.’

Parents are constantly blaming their children for knowing all the words to the songs, or having seen the movie too many times or accidently calling their child Elsa! Honestly though, you’re the only one to blame here…. Trust me I have no kids and have seen the movie a dozen times, know every single word to the sound track off by heart, and have the Elsa and Olaf soft dolls **blushes**

So what is it about ‘FROZEN’ that has made it the Best Animation Film? I have thought about this a lot. Is it the themes of the film, and that Disney are finally instilling the right morals to children (I’m thinking the sisterly love and the not falling in love after day 1, rather than the kidnapping and holding hostage of a princess) or is it the fantastic music??? Or the fact that it appeals to children from aged 2-102! I had a little 2 year old give me her rendition of ‘Let It Go’ last week and it was word perfect! I think for me it is all of the above, a great film with a great story, great characters and fantastic music. I am waiting on tenderhooks to find out when the musical is being released. But in the meantime I feel I may need some sort of Frozen Therapy! ‘My Name is Charlie…. I am 25 years old…. And I LOVE FROZEN!’ there I’ve said it…. Your turn J

Clear Office Clear Mind!
By Charlie Condron on 25 September 2013

So the summer is finally over and the half term is already
fast approaching… I thought that this was a good time to clear out my office!
Clear office …. Clear mind and that sort of thing! You wouldn’t believe how many
costumes I have in my office, rails and rails of costumes from The Wizard Of
Oz, Shrek The Musical, Grease, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory! You name it I’ve
got a costume for it! And I’ve still got more costumes to come because this
term we are doing: Annie, Peter Pan and The Magic Circus! So it was essential I
cleared some more space for the new costumes…..

Even though I am often complaining about the amount of space that my costumes take up I think that our costumes are what make Little Stars so unique, I think often most people don't realise that other Stage Schools don't provide costumes for their shows, parents may have to provide them, or they just don't have costumes! I think this is crazy, after all the children's hard work and energy they put into rehearsals I feel that the costumes, hair and make-up are really the icing on the cake! So you wont see me getting rid of all my lovely costumes!


As I was clearing out my office I began to think to the future what shows
should we put on in the future?? I’ve had a request for Bugsy Malone any
others??? I try to keep Little Stars in touch with what you and your children
want so please let me know…. Please post below….

 



 



Young Entrepreneur of the Year
By Charlie Condron on 16 September 2013

Wow! I never thought I would be sat here writing my blog this week as Young Entrepreneur of the year. Last year when I went to the Essex Business Showcase somebody suggested that I should be nominated for an award, and before I knew it I was reading a letter saying I was a finalist and had been invited to a Black Tie Award Ceremony at Boreham House.
It was bad timing to be honest as Friday 13th (unlucky for some) was our first day back of our new term at Little Stars, and 60 children were coming to Great Leighs Village Hall that evening between 3.45 and 7.30pm and the ceremony started at 6.30! Thank goodness for my excellent staff members where would I be without them!
It was such a fun evening and I wasn’t too nervous because I didn’t think for a second I would win, we had a three course meal and our award was the penultimate one. Brain Cairns from The Colchester Institute was announcing our award I couldn’t believe it when he said; ‘And the winner of The Young Entrepreneur 2013 is…. Charlie Condron from Little Stars’ how fantastic! I went to collect my award and I couldn’t have been prouder that somebody had recognised all my efforts, hard work, and determination not to mention the ambition and dedication I have needed to make Little Stars the success that it is today.
That wasn’t the end of my fantastic weekend though because on Saturday morning I was launching my new weekend school in Kelvedon and on Saturday afternoon I launched my new weekend school in Stisted, so it was action packed weekend for me! But you don’t get Young Entrepreneur of the year without lots of hard work now do you!
We now run 4 Little Stars Classes and 6 afterschool clubs as well as running our birthday parties and holiday workshops! We are opening 2 more afterschool clubs this term and look out for more Little Stars Classes coming soon…. If you’re primary school is interested in our Little Stars Theatre Workshops get in touch www.littlestarsworkshops.co.uk 07527060574
Charlie x