BWW Interviews: Ohio Natives David Ayers and Angela Gaylor Return to Present Master Class at CCT, 12/17
Broadway veterans and husband and wife team, David Ayers and Angela Gaylor are returning to Central Ohio to conduct a Master's Level Musical Theater class at Columbus Children's Theater for one day only on Monday, December 17th. David, who has starred in the Broadway productions of "Mamma Mia!", "Wicked", and currently in the off-Broadway production of "Silence! The Musical", brings his teaching expertise at the collegiate level and through his own acting studio, Broadway in Boulder (CO). Angela carries professional credentials including roles on Broadway in "Oklahoma!" and "La Cage Au Folles", and her current work in the casting department at Keller/Goulder casting in New York. Both are excited to be coming home to lend their experience and knowledge to some of Columbus' brightest local performers. Centerville, Ohio native Gaylor shares, " I know that the Columbus area is so talented and that we'll see some really great kids. What is great about the talent in Ohio is that everyone is really, really genuinely happy to be there, they are excited to work, they are not jaded about it, and they really, really love what they do."
The class, offered in sections applicable to ages 10-15 and separately to 16-adult, focuses on musical theater, but each participant is expected to come prepared with an audition piece for presentation. Gaylor explains, "We tailor to what each individual wants to get out of the class because it's their time. We're there to help them in whatever way they want us to. We're looking to see some people who are serious about their craft, who may want to hear another perspective, and it's interesting because I can provide some insight, currently working for a casting agency, which may be different."
As a CCT Alum, Westerville native Ayers especially looks forward to the partnership with his old stomping ground, since his previous experience with Columbus Children's Theater, " really influenced the way that I thought about theater, and what could be accomplished, by being a young performer, and it has also influenced my teaching style." He is thrilled to be able to encourage and support local children dreaming of possible Broadway careers, but also reminds, "I would like to have kids, and adults, experience that the work of theater can be fun, and that you can realize whatever potential you have. You just have to work really hard, like anything else in life." Gaylor emphasizes the positive feedback that they will provide as well, stating that they hope that she and Ayers can be, "Two supportive mentors, as we definitely strive to be there for our students, beyond the classroom, and we'll always be very, very honest, in a kind way, and tell them how things actually work, because that's something that I wish I had had a little more of at a younger age."
A master's level class differs in that students will present individually and then receive feedback specific to their own performance, though Ayers is quick to point out the value of watching others perform. "I think it's important to watch each other, and we strongly believe in the group dynamic because the person performing may be doing something that is great, or even a bad habit of yours, and you could catch it and see what they do differently, and build upon that later on in the class."
Meanwhile, Gaylor readily admits that the format of a master's level class can be daunting, especially for a young performer, but encourages anyone interested to give it a chance. "Everyone gets nervous! It's scary to get up in front of a bunch of people. It takes the most courage in the world, but it is great to start when you are young. It's one of those things that, you definitely have a lot better chance at if you start your training at a young age." Upon hearing that his own mother may be stopping by to catch her son on his all too brief trip home, Ayers joked that he told her, "Why don't we just visit after my class?" because he quips, "I don't want to be distracted by, "Oh my gosh, my mom's in my class!" It's still nerve-wracking, even as an adult! "
The two are thrilled to be back in Ohio for this unique opportunity. Ayers says, " It's fun for me, because I learned so much in that time period (referring to his days at Columbus Children's Theater) and now, by working with young people teaching, I am able to relate my own experiences. It helps them, and grows my own craft. It's been very valuable." Gaylor finishes, "I like being in a profession where you get to remember people, like the ones from this class, and really get to help them in a practical way. It's really rewarding."
The duo bring their talents to Columbus Children's Theater, at 512 Park Street for a one-day only Master's Level class, Monday, December 17th, 4:30-6:30pm for ages 10-15, and 7:00-9:00pm for ages 16-adult. Participants are expected to present either a song (with sheet music) or a monologue. Advance registration is required and the fee for the class is $30/participant. Registration can be found at https://fs7.formsite.com/ccted/form10/secure_index.html Observers are welcome to register.