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Plugged In: Dynamic Duo

Inspired by the Center’s Youth Advisory Council“Plugged In” will feature six up and coming young musical acts in the Phoenix Metro area who will showcase their talent in Chandler on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:30pm.

The West Hills Brothers are a unique duo of acoustic/electric guitars, vocals and percussion. Carson Smith is the lead vocals, guitar, and percussion. His twin brother Cole, plays acoustic and electric guitar and mandolin. The brothers are originally from West Hills, California but now live in Arizona and perform on a regular basis. Their music is a great mix of classic rock, pop, alternative and original tunes with their own unique style. We had to get the inside scoop on who these brothers are, check it out!

Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: We have to ask, who is the oldest?

West Hill Brothers: We are actually twin brothers. Carson (the drummer) is 2 minutes older.

CCA: Does it make it easier or harder to work together since you are brothers?

West Hill Brothers: It makes it easier for us to work together because we know each other so well and we don’t have to go through the hassle of calling each other up to meet and rehearse and clear dates for shows etc.

CCA: How old were you when you discovered your musical talent?

West Hill Brothers:  We were about 6 years old when we first started to learn how to play and we formed our band about 3 years ago. We have grown up with music all of our lives. Our dad is a musician and first introduced us to playing music.

CCA: What instruments do you play?

West Hill Brothers: Carson plays drums, acoustic guitar, harmonica, and lead vocals. Cole plays the acoustic/electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, and back-up vocals.

CCA: Has it always been your goal to be performing artists?

West Hill Brothers: We didn’t think about it too much when we were younger because we knew we just liked to play music together. We started out playing local open mic nights and coffee shops and began to love it. Now it’s great to have our calendar pretty booked playing some great gigs at some cool events.

CCA: Do you feel like you have gotten your “big break” yet?

West Hill Brothers: We understand its can be a slow process. We love the fact that we have been on local TV and in the newspaper etc. but national recognition would be great. In the meantime we look at is as becoming better musicians in the process.

CCA: Are there any musicians or bands who have inspired you?

West Hill Brothers: We share the same interests in bands and love listening to NeverShoutNever, Foster the People, Mergence, Band of Horses, the Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, the Beatles, Local Natives, Dr. Dog, the Killers, Mumford & Sons, No doubt, Neil Young, Vampire Weekend, Weezer, and much more!

CCA: How do you balance school and the band?

West Hill Brothers: Our grades are really important and the fact that we are brothers really helps with rehearsal times etc. We like to hang out with our friends on nights that we aren’t performing and we really appreciate how are friends have supported us and come out to our shows.

CCA: What is your favorite genre of music?

West Hill Brothers: We like to listen to alternative-rock and we like classic rock too.

CCA: Do you hope to make music your life-long careers? Or do you have a different vision for your future careers?

West Hill Brothers: We definitely want to play and write as much music as possible throughout our lives. We both have other interests in the arts too, but music will always be apart of our lives.

CCA: If you could perform anywhere, where would it be?
West Hill Brothers:  We would love to play at a cool festival like Coachella, or Bonnaroo or someday sell-out at a stadium or concert hall somewhere!

CCA: Do you have any interesting stories since you started to perform publicly?

West Hill Brothers:  We don’t really have any crazy stories, but we have had some pretty interesting notes left in our tip jar.

CCA: What is one thing you want the Chandler Center for the Arts’ audience to know about you?

West Hill Brothers:  First, we really appreciate the opportunity that Chandler Center for the Arts has given us and second we just want everyone to hopefully love our music and style and see the big sound we get from just 2 people performing.

CCA: Any additional comments or information you might want to share with our audience?

West Hill Brothers: We hope to see you at the event and we will be releasing our new single “Walk in the Park” that we just recorded last week. We want to thank our friends and family for all their support.

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Come see this pair perform during our Plugged In concert on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:30pmNo tickets required, the show is FREE. All seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm. Suggested donations: $5/child, $10/adult, $15/family. Your financial support is appreciated.

Plugged In: Carly Paige

Inspired by the Center’s Youth Advisory Council, “Plugged In” will feature six up and coming young musical acts in the Phoenix Metro area who will showcase their talent in Chandler on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:30pm.

One of the featured artists is Carly Paige, an incredible up and coming vocal soloist. Carly Paige is your fun loving teen who you can immediately call a friend. We instantly fell in love with her song “Too Good” (watch out Taylor Swift) and knew we want to learn more about her. Check out our interview with Carly Paige below:

Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: How old were you when you discovered your vocal talent?

Carly Paige: My parents have told me that I’ve been singing since I was 3 or 4 years old. I really started to get into it at about age 10 when I got my first guitar.

CCA: Has it always been your goal to be a performing vocal artist?

Carly Paige: I have always wanted to be a singer/songwriter/guitar player. My Dad use to be in a band, and there were always guitars in the house. It just felt so natural to pick one up and start writing.

CCA: Who are your musical inspirations?

Carly Paige: I grew up listening to The Beatles, ELO, and the Jellyfish. When I listen to their music, it makes me want to grab my guitar and start writing.

CCA: What musical artist are you most often compared to?

Carly Paige: Many people compare me to Colbie Caillat, Taylor Swift, and Sheryl Crow.

CCA: What kind of music do you listen to today?

Carly Paige: I listen to a whole lot of everything. I’m a big fan of The Script, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, and of course The Beatles.

CCA: What embarrassing songs might we find on your MP3 player?

Carly Paige: I have a few songs from Disney movies on my iPod. I have “Part of Your World,” and “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid, and “One Jump Ahead” from Aladdin. *laughs*

CCA: Where would you most like to perform?

Carly Paige: I’d just like to play in front of a crazy large crowd. I’d love to play in a large, packed stadium or theatre.

CCA: Who would you most like to open for?

Carly Paige: I would love to open up for Paul McCartney. I just love him. I saw him in concert a few years ago, and he was so amazing!

CCA: If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?

Carly Paige:  I honestly don’t have anything else that I’m interested in doing. Music is everything to me.

CCA: Do you have any hidden talents?

Carly Paige: I’m double jointed. I can bend my thumb all the way back. Does that count? *laughs*

CCA: Have you hit any roadblocks since you started singing?

Carly Paige: Occasionally I experience writer’s block, and few times, I’ve been sick for shows.

CCA: Since you are so young, do you have any advice for other aspiring youth musicians?

Carly Paige:  I think I would just say to keep trying, and do what you love because I believe that if you put your heart and hard work into what you love, you’ll be happy.

CCA: Anything else you might want to share with our audience?

Carly Paige:  I appreciate being given the opportunity to play at Chandler Center for the Arts, and I can’t wait to play for everyone!

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Don’t miss Carly Paige and our five other acts perform during “Plugged In” on Saturday, August 24 at 7:30pm. No tickets required, the show is FREE. All seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm. Suggested donations: $5/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated.

Put The Band Back Together

Do you like free? Be sure to join in on the free fun happening at Chandler Center for the Arts during the entire month of August.

Our FREE summer concert series, On The House, officially kicks of with a beat hopping performance by Bad Cactus Brass Band inside the Center this Friday, August 2 at 7:30pm.

Before the show begins, don’t miss your chance to win 2 FREE tickets to one of our upcoming 2013-2014 season shows. How, you might ask? All you have to do is Put The Bad Cactus Brass Band “back together” before 7:30pm. It might sound like a difficult task, but we have broken it down into two easy steps:

Step 1: On Friday, August 2, 2013, collect 5 of the 6 band member cards from the following Downtown Chandler locations (one block south of the Center on Boston Street):
Di Sciacca Glassware
Sibley’s West
Bourbon Jacks Bar & Grill
Paletas Betty
Shoe Thrill

Step 2: Go to the CCA lobby promo table to collect the 6th band member card. Show all 6 band member cards to the person at the promo table to be entered into our drawing*

Participants will be entered into a drawing to win 2 tickets to one of the following shows:
The Australian Bee Gees Show
Michael A. Pollack presents Blood Sweat & Tears
Zoppe, An Italian Family Circus
Moscow Festival Ballet presents Swan Lake
One Night of Queen
SIRO-A

We’ll see you on Friday!

*All steps must be completed to be entered into the drawing.

Ole! FlaMEXico!

The journey to find a genuine fusion of two distinct and profound musical styles is a daunting task for anyone. Can it be done? Do two separate arts have a common-ground musically that adequately represent the cultural integrity of each?

Enter Chris Burton Jácome, Flamenco guitarist and composer. Jácome felt a driving force to answer these questions.  He charged his project, ¡FlaMÉXico!, with finding, creating and celebrating the musical confluences of Spain’s Flamenco and México’s Mariachi.

Fast forward to today, ¡FlaMÉXico! has created an enthralling show featuring the melding of two beautiful arts and cultures.  During our FREE summer concert series on Friday, August 23 at 7:30pm, ¡FlaMÉXico! will present their findings in a way that will move you to your feet.

Out of pure curiosity as to why anyone would challenge themselves with such a large musical task, we interview  Jácome more about his musical journey. Here’s what we found out:

Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: How old were you when you started your musical journey?

Chris Burton Jácome: I received my first guitar when I was 13. I started taking lessons right away and, according to my friends, I reached a pretty good skill level more quickly than they might have anticipated. I don’t really consider myself consciously deciding to pursue music though until I was in my late teens. I got more and more into music throughout my teenage years…started giving other high school kids guitar lessons when I was 16. I consider my “official” journey beginning when I decided to get a degree in music in college.

CCA: Do you play any other instruments other than the guitar?

Jácome: I am not musically fluent on any other instrument. I sing. I have composed some very basic piano music but the only instrument I play and can “speak my mind” on is guitar.

CCA: Your website mentioned the “fusion of two distinct and profound musical styles began as more of a whim.” Did you ever imagine this “whim” would bring you to where you are at today?

Jácome: Great question! Sometimes the ideas that just “come to you” are the best ideas! This “whim”  that I had a few years ago has already transformed into a very solid, real group. I’m somewhat perplexed as to how this is all working myself…but it is! I still consider this idea in its beginning stages but I am finding more and more artists who are willing to put in the time and energy to cross-train in two different artistic styles and the more artists I get on board the more I can develop the concept. I’m really excited to bring this project to Chandler Center for the Arts and the greater Chandler community. I’ve always believed that Flamenco is an art form that everyone can appreciate but now with the fusion of mariachi music this concert will be a real delight for anyone who has grown up here in the Southwest or has an affinity for Mexican and Spanish cultures.

CCA: Are there any musicians or bands who have inspired you?

Jácome: Generally, I find inspiration in all bands and all music. Specifically, Flamenco artists that inspire me include: Paco de Lucía, Tomatito, Inés Bacán, Moraíto, Manuela Carrasco, Ramón Montoya, Pedro Sierra, Juan Manuel Cañizares, Antonio Mairena, Fernanda de Utrera. In Mariachi…although not traditional, I’m biased because our cousins are married…Linda Ronstadt. As well as artists such as Vicente Fernández, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Nati Cano’s Mariachi Los Camperos and all of the mariachi artists that I’ve seen and heard in my life.

CCA: What can our patrons expect from the upcoming show?

Jácome: Rhythms that make you want to dance! Heart-wrenching songs that make you want to hear them again and again! Flamenco footwork that will blow your mind! And, of course, a group of highly skilled artists that love being the tour-guides into the music and dance of the cultures of Mexico and Spain.

CCA: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Jácome: Keep practicing, playing, studying, learning and developing. Find as many teachers as you can. Above all, define your goals with music because your destination will determine what route you take and how dedicated you must be to reach your destination. If your goal is to have fun, then by all means, have fun! Learning a musical instrument enriches your life and provides so many opportunities to create great relationships and communities. If your goal is to become a professional musician and earn your living from your music, well then, you might not have the luxury of music always being fun. Prepare yourself to sometimes call music, “work.”

CCA: Any additional comments?

Jácome: This is going to be a great evening! Flamenco and Mariachi are both art forms of the people and they are wonderful performance art forms because the more audience participation, the BETTER! Please come early to get a good seat and bring your gritos (mariachi yells) and your ¡Olé!’s (flamenco words of encouragement) because we’re going to have a night to remember!

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Come and enjoy the best of both worlds of ¡FlaMÉXico!, the musical reflection of two cultures forming a new vision on Friday, August 23 at 7:30pmNo tickets required, the show is FREE. All seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm. Suggested donations: $5/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated.

Jazzed Up for Dmitri Matheny Group

Celebrated for his warm tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, American musician, Dmitri Matheny will perform at the Center during our FREE summer concert series on August 16th at 7:30pm. Completely fascinated by Dmitri’s history and his love of the unique flugelhorn instrument, we couldn’t help but interview him to learn more.

CHANDLER CENTER FOR THE ARTS (CCA): When did you start playing the flugelhorn?

DMITRI MATHENY: I started on piano at age 5, switched to trumpet at age 9, and began playing flugelhorn in my teens.

Photo 1

Dmitri Matheny, age 17, playing trumpet at Interlochen Arts Academy, Michigan

I credit my father and his hip record collection for kindling my childhood interest in music. There was great music on our turntable all the time, from Rachmaninoff to Ray Charles.

After awhile I started to notice that many of my favorite musicians — people like Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Art Farmer (who later became my teacher) — were trumpet and flugelhorn players.

I especially loved the flugel for its warm, lyrical sound.

CCA: How many instruments do you play?

MATHENY: As a composer, I’ve learned to play several instruments just a little, but the only instrument I play professionally is the flugelhorn. That’s my voice.

CCA: For our audience, who may not be familiar with this type of Jazz, what can they expect to experience at the concert?

Photo 4

San Francisco vocalist, Clairdee

MATHENY: This is going to be a very special concert.

We’re featuring Clairdee, a wonderful vocalist from San Francisco who sings the Great American Songbook in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

Our concert will showcase the golden era of the American movie musical and the leading songwriters of Broadway.

The program will be a hit parade of American popular songs as seen and heard in some of the most beloved films and shows ever made. The very best of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, and more.

The audience will witness some exciting improvised solos, of course. They’ll tap their feet and feel the rhythm. But it’s the familiar melodies that will seduce and delight them.

CCA: We noted you have traveled to 19 countries. Do you have any fun “on the road” stories?

MATHENY: So many memories! In Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea, people spread caviar on their toast at breakfast like it’s no big deal. I brought home a peanut butter-sized jar of Beluga! Barbados is home to flying fish, spectacular sunsets and some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. The Netherlands is a tiny country (less than twice the size of New Jersey), but there are dozens upon dozens of music venues. Nearly every village has a beautiful theater or jazz club in which to perform.

CCA: As an advocate for jazz, what is the best way to keep jazz alive for our future generations?

MATHENY: For musicians, mentorship is key. Although formal jazz education is thriving at colleges and conservatories, there are many things about this art form that can only be learned one-on-one from a master musician.

For music lovers, nothing compares to the thrill of attending a live performance. Why stay home and watch amateurs audition on TV shows like American Idol, when you can go out and be entertained by seasoned professionals in your own community?

Keep supporting live music!

CCA: Anything else you may want our Chandler audience to know?

Photo 9

Photo by Tom Kwas

MATHENY: As performing musicians, we make our living on the road, playing all kinds of venues, from intimate nightclubs to elegant recital halls to big, outdoor festivals.

The Chandler Center for the Arts rivals the best of these in terms of sound, sight-lines and ambience. The acoustics are stellar — every bit as good as they are at Carnegie Hall.

As a Chandler resident, I’m proud to have a theater of this caliber where I live, and I’m delighted to be performing there with such a terrific band.

This show offers residents and visitors to the area the opportunity to experience the Great American Songbook — live — in a world class concert hall, right here in the Valley of the Sun.

And you sure can’t beat the ticket price!

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See Dmitri Matheny Group featuring Clairdee live at Chandler Center for the Arts on Friday, August 16, 2013 at 7:30pm.  No tickets required, the show is FREE. All seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm. Suggested donations: $5/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated.

Bad Cactus Brass Band – Nothing But Great!

Have you been to Chandler Center for the Arts? If not, now is your chance! All during the month of August, the Center will host four different FREE concerts under the On The House program. Each concert showcases a family-friendly performance that is sure to leave you wanting more. Gather your friends and family and experience a Chandler Center for the Arts performance “On The House.”

The free concert series kicks off on August 2, 2013 at 7:30pm with The Bad Cactus Brass Band. Coming out on the scene in 2009, this amazing group brings to life traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras inspired music in a fun and exciting fashion.

Although their name is Bad Cactus Brass Band, there is nothing bad about this group. *Their repertoire includes original dance music, funky street beats, traditional dixieland, gospel and swing, and pop songs reinterpreted with a brass band sound. Powered by tuba, drums, trumpets, saxophones, and trombones, the Bad Cactus Brass Band brings a Mardi Gras energy to street corners, festivals, parties, nightclubs, etc.

“They play loud, they play great… If you were to imagine how it might have sounded if Bix Biederbeck had been in a garage band in his Davenport days, it might have sounded like the Bad Cactus Brass Band.” Jim Phillips, Arizona Classic Jazz Society*

Sample their music below:

Come enjoy the different flavors of jazz and funky beats as this group triggers a joyful energy into the audience that will have everyone dancing till they cannot dance anymore!

No tickets required for this show. All seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm, and seating starts at 7pm. Suggested donations: $5/person, $10/family. Your financial support is appreciated. Learn more about our On The House FREE concert series here.

http://badcactusbrassband.com/

2013-2014 Season On Sale!

      The time has finally come.  Chandler Center of the Arts 2013-2014 season is here! There are a variety of spectacular acts from The Moscow Festival Ballet, the classic bands like The Bee Gees and Queen, comedians like Yakov Smirnoff, fabulous singers like Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix and Debbie Reynolds, to the Zoppe Italian Family Circus. Come enjoy these shows and be apart of the fun and excitement of the Chandler community.

     Tickets are on sale now, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to see wonderful performances from all different genres, cultures, and backgrounds.

Jive Talkin’ Recreate & Present The Bee Gees
Saturday, November 9, 2013 | 7:30pm
Accompanied by a live String Section, the Bee Gees Greatest Hits are brought incredibly back to life!

Michael A. Pollack presents Blood, Sweat & Tears
Saturday, November 16, 2013 | 7:30pm
Major hit singles “You Made Me So Very Happy”, “Spinning Wheel”, “And When I Die”.

PRESENTED BY STEENA MURRAY
ZOPPE, An Italian Family Circus
December 26-Janaury 5, 2014
A one-ring circus featuring acrobatic feats, canine capers and equestrian showmanship.

Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix
Saturday, January 25, 2014 | 7:30pm
Dick Van Dyke will walk (and sing) us through his extraordinary 60 years in show business!

Mr. & Mrs. Wyatt Earp “The Sunset Years”
Starring Wyatt Earp and Terry Earp
Sunday, January 26, 2014 | 3pm
The play follows the sometimes turbulent times of the couple’s 47-year life together.

Moscow Festival Ballet presents Swan Lake
Friday, January 31, 2014 | 7:30pm
Odette yearns for freedom as she awaits Prince Siegfried’s declaration of love and her release from a swan’s body.

Jeanne Robertson, Humorist
Saturday, February 1, 2014 | 7:30pm
Jeanne is a master story teller! In her down-home Southern drawl, she turns her personal experiences into funny stories that leave her audiences in stitches!

The Texas Tenors
Saturday, February 15, 2014 | 7:30pm
A blend of Country, Classical, Gospel and Broadway filled with humor and cowboy charm!

River City Brass, “American Heroes”
Saturday, February 22, 2014 | 3pm
RCB has a powerful repertoire of music from classical, pops, jazz and marches.   

Pat Metheny Unity Group
Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams & Giulio Carmassi
Sunday, February 23, 2014 | 7pm
2013 Grammy Award Winners for Best Instrumental Jazz Album!

Debbie Reynolds
Saturday, March 1, 2014 | 7:30pm
An evening of nostalgic music and memories.

One Night Of Queen
Saturday, March 8, 2014 | 7:30pm
Gary Mullen brings Freddie Mercury back to life with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and “We Are the Champions”.

Branson’s Two-Time Comedian of the Year!
Yakov Smirnoff
Saturday, March 15, 2014 | 7:30pm

The funny Russian-American philosopher brings us unique insights into life, family, and these United States.  “What A Country!”

SIRO-A
Friday, March 21, 2014 | 7:30pm
Often described as Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group, Siro-A perfectly fuse modern technology with mime, breath-taking optical illusions, movement and comedy all set to a pulsating electro beat.

Bella Gaia
Friday, March 28, 2014 | 7:30pm
Combines high fidelity imagery of the Earth from space, data, and stirring live performances of music and dance from around the world.

Purchase Your Tickets Here!

Facing Stage Fright

Some people have phobias of sharks, spiders, or even heights. But one of the most common fears is being on stage, in front of an audience. If you happen have the fear of being on stage, not to worry. Even people you see on television and movies get stage fright. American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, stated:

“When I went to Los Angeles right after high school, I got some acting jobs, and I never, ever wanted to be an actress! Public speaking and acting make me want to vomit. But I have never been nervous singing. When it comes to public speaking, I stumble on my words, sweat, and pull at my clothes.”*

So just in case your nerves start to kick in before your big debut, we have gathered a few tips to help you survive the heat of the lime light!

  1. Use your voice! Your voice is the most important tool because it projects to your listeners. If you use your voice at its maximum capacity, you will certainly grasp your audience’s attention.
  2. Be open! Do not close yourself off to the audience. They have invested time to see you on stage. It is increasingly difficult to hear someone who is facing the opposite direction.
  3. If you mess up the words, improv! The audience only knows what they see, so if you happen to stumble over words or skip a line just improvise and create you own lines. No one will ever suspect!
  4. Have confidence. Confidence is one of the essential pieces of presenting yourself to a crowd. Confidence is an effective way to keep people engaged in your performance. If you know you can do it, the audience will see confidence shining in your presence.

David Joseph Schwartz, a famous motivational writer and coach, once said: “Do what you fear and fear disappears.” Overcoming stage fright is not an overnight experience, but will benefit your on and off the stage.

Do you have any tips for those afraid of being on stage? Share below.

*http://readslove.com/5346-kelly-clarkson/45688-when-i-went-to-los-angeles-right-after-high-school-i-got-some-acting-jobs-and-i-never-ever-wanted-to-be-an-actress-public-speaking-and-acting-make-me-want-to-vomit-but-i-have-never-been-nervous-s.html

Improv – More Than Being Funny

Improv Intensive!

It isn’t all about being funny! It’s a learning experience!

Actress and Comedian, Kristen Wiig, from shows such as SNL and movies like Bridesmaids,  stated, “With improv, it’s a combination of listening and not trying to be funny.”

Improv is known throughout theatre for its use in comical performances. Although that statement is true, improv is much more. Improv is about responding to action and ideas quickly and cleverly on the spot. Improv emulates the idea of flow; which is about motivation, imagination and spontaneity. Flow is keeping the conversation alive, staying involved and knowing how to grasp a concept and create new ideas that help expand them.

This summer season, Chandler Center for the Art’s is offering our first ever Improv Intensive just for teens. This course will not only give teens the opportunity to learn how to present humor to an audience, but they will also gain the knowledge to improve their listening and responding skills to verbal and nonverbal cues. The material covered throughout the week will be a key factor in enhancing future experience in the academic and professional world.

Actor, Nathan Fillion, who has been in films such as Saving Private Ryan and also the voices for characters in Monsters University and the Halo video games said, “Improv as an actor makes you present in the moment. You listen, you’re attentive. You’re not acting so much as reacting, which is what you’re doing in life all the time.”

Come and join the fun with your fellow peers in enjoying the art of theatre and performance! Learn more about Improv Intensive here.

Interview with Shaping Sound’s Alexa Anderson

Alexa_Anderson_096Today we had the great privilege to interview Alexa Anderson, a cast member of  Shaping Sound. Not only is she incredibly talented, but she is also incredibly sweet! Her bubbly personality drew us in as she shared insight into her dance journey.

Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: We first have to ask you, since you are a native to the Chandler area, where did you go to high school?

Alexa Anderson: I went to school at Arizona School for the Arts and then I went to Hamilton High.

CCA: How does it feel to return back to Chandler with a National Touring group?

Alexa: It feels really good. I have so many friends and family coming to see the show. Most haven’t seen me dance live in years.

CCA: How did you get your start in dance?

Alexa: I was born premature. I had a brain hemorrhage which caused a right side weakness. My mom put me in dance to balance out the weakness. The dance classes were not easy. I worked really hard to overcome this weakness.

CCA: How did you get your break in the business?

Alexa: I moved to LA when I was 18. I worked a couple of gigs, but pretty much just rolled with the punches. I continued to go to auditions.

CCA: So there wasn’t really a “big break” moment?

Alexa: Not really. It is always a work in progress.

CCA: Did you ever imagine dance would be your career?

Alexa: I really didn’t until I was 16, well more like 17. I wanted to go to college and get a degree. But, then at age 17, I stepped back and realized I was training so hard in dance. I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t given dance a shot.

CCA: Why did you want to be a part of Shaping Sound?

Alexa: Teddy (Forance) is my favorite dancer. At age 15 I started working with Travis (Wall) and Nick (Lazzarini). It was just a natural thing to dance along side them.

CCA: Rumor has it everyone had to audition for Shaping Sound, even the friends. Was this the case for you?

Alexa: Yes. Everybody had to audition, even me. They had to be fair in how they chose the cast.

CCA: What is the best advice you would give an aspiring dancer?

Alexa: Seize every opportunity. It is scary to be a dancer. So take in everything you can.

CCA: Is the business side of dance what you expected?

Alexa: Dancing is a difficult lifestyle. You make your own schedule every day. Some days there may be nothing to do, whereas other days you have worked so hard you don’t even know how you are still standing. The key is finding a balance.

CCA: How would your life be different without dance?

Alexa: I always get asked this question and I don’t even know. Being a dancer has helped me become aware of my body. Dance is hard work, but it is my passion. Dance is something I get excited about everyday.

CCA: Some of our reader’s tweeted in and want to know what choreographers influence you?

Alexa: Travis (Wall), Teddy (Forance), Nick (Lazzarini) and Kyle (Robinson). Wade Robson certainly has – he is brilliant.

CCA: Another reader tweeted in, what was the best part about So You Think You Can Dance?

Alexa: I made a lot of lifetime friends during the show. The show allowed me to see what I was made of.  It pushed me to my limits.

CCA: Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Alexa: No, I do think so. We are excited to be coming out to Phoenix. We can’t wait for the show.

It was such a pleasure to speak with Alexa. We were astonished at the trials she overcame and her determination. Alexa is proof  that dreams are achievable through hard work and persistence.

Come see Alexa and the rest of the Shaping Sound crew perform here at Chandler Center for the Arts on June 7. You will be swept away on a visually stunning showcase of movement, speed, physical strength, and pure passion.

To learn more about Shaping Sound or to purchase tickets click here.