What to buy older teenage boys for Christmas

I’d like to think this is a gift guide with a difference!

First of all, anything I have suggested here I have bought my teens through the years or I know of friends who have bought their boys similar. Secondly, none of it has been sent to me to be promoted, so any companies I mention here I have actually used or bought from them over the last 7 or 8 years.

I also think that teen boys are much harder to buy for than girls ( probably because I don’t have girls but I would imagine with clothes, perfumes and makeup and jewellery most things can be covered and they are so expensive too so a designer item could certainly be covered as a main Christmas present!) and I appreciate I could totally be wrong about this, but I have only experience in buying for boys in this house and so I think that is where my expertise lies.

I also do not like giving my boys money! That’s just a personal choice I make and I also think they like it that way. Any family members who buy for them instead give them money so they always have cash to put towards something more expensive in the sales. We also aren’t the type of bargain hunters that go out first thing on Boxing Day to buy stuff in the sales either (again our personal choice). Therefore, I like to buy my boys things I know they want as a main present and then fill it out with the usual extras like, underwear, t-shirts, books, cd’s or films etc. That way we all still enjoy a chilled out morning with everyone opening their pressies etc as we did when they were little – and again they love it that way! Keep on Reading!

Top tips to get your child into Theatre

As some of you will know my youngest is a bit of a luvvy. He has done a bit of acting, TV ads, plays, panto’s, short films and photo shoots etc, and is naturally high maintenance which I think comes with the career!

He is 12 and has been doing this for about 3 years via an after school drama club he goes to. He has attended auditions for all sorts of things from musical theatre to feature films. He has learned very quickly to take the knock backs in his stride and realises that sometimes you are just not right for a part.

How long he will keep this going I cannot say, he could give it up at any time or continue into his teens and beyond. He will only do it for as long as he enjoys it and that is the main thing. From an early age he has always been, loud, centre of attention and wanting to be part of this.

But how does a child get ‘into’ this sort of business?

Take a look below for some top tips

 

Get your children into theatre with these top tips

Whether it is Grease, Les Miserables, Oliver Twist or Hamlet, we all have a favourite theatre show that springs to mind. But have you ever spotted the signs of a star in the making? Actress and choreographer Jayne Draper from the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts has compiled some top tips on how to get your little ones in to theatre:

1.     Attend ballet, dancing, singing or acting classes on a weekly basis at School/College/local Dance/Acting schools and visit the theatre to see productions.

2.     Audition and participate in School/College Productions or join the Choir.

3.     Ask your parents to send for a variety of prospectuses and visit different Stage Schools/Colleges to ensure that the course will match your needs, before you audition.

4.     You could attend a Summer School/Workshop at a Stage School where you will gain exposure to a variety of disciplines, be taught by professionals within the industry and have the chance to perform at the end.

5.     Always make a good first impression at an audition or in class – by being well prepared, enthusiastic and motivated. Ensure that you are well groomed and appropriately dressed.

6.     Demonstrate a good professional work ethic, show mutual respect for teachers and fellow students and always work to fulfil your potential.

7.     Work hard. Be focused, self-disciplined, driven, passionate, polite, committed and aspire to be the best you can be.

8.     Show your versatility; explore your self-expression and creativity. Be adaptable and accept constructive criticism.

9.     Practice in your own time to develop and perfect your technique to enhance your overall performance.

10.  Look after yourself – Healthy eating, drinking water and plenty of rest are all essential to sustain the necessary levels of energy and stamina required. Ensure that your mind and body are “warmed up” to prevent Injury.

Despite our love for theatre productions, research has found that that on average the last time we went to the theatre was seven years ago, due to the cost of the tickets and inconvenience of getting to the theatre.

Luckily for us, TalkTalk is launching it’s new on-demand Theatre Channel on YouView to make theatre accessible to families throughout the UK. To get some further inspiration on what to view first with your kids and to inspire your children into the world of dance, music and drama, watch our video montage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqwyGU5UPlM&feature=youtu.be

 

In this video, actors from the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts have teamed up with TalkTalk to celebrate some famous and much-loved scenes from the world of theatre, asking audiences across London what they wanted to see them perform.

 

 

 

A Wicked Time

That sums up my night out earlier this week.

I had a wicked night at Wicked courtesy of the very lovely Olivia from Think Jam!!

After the experience of taking my boys to the annual Wicked day back in October I decided that I was not going to waste these tickets on the kids who had grumbled most of the day………..harsh, yes I know.

So I decided these would be perfect for a girlie night out- Oh Yes!! And a great girlie night was had by all.

I had taken my mum to this many moons ago for her 60th birthday and had a fantastic time. I absolutely love this show and was just so excited to be going again. However, when someone else arranges it for you I always worry that the tickets either wont be there or that the seats will be rubbish!! I was unbelievably surprised to be sitting literally 6 rows from the front!!! I could not believe my luck ( these sorts of things never normally happen to me).

Just to prove it- with the map of Emerald City behind and our drinks in hand!

Two of my friends had never seen the show before so it was a real delight to take them and introduce them to the phenomenon that is ‘Defying Gravity’ in it’s own right. I think I can safely say they are now complete fans of the show. One of my friends had me in stitches throughout the show with the changeovers in characters……………..to the Tinman and the Scarecrow. It was hilarious ”Oh look it’s the Tin man………….Oh look it’ the Scarecrow……….Oh how clever!!” ( LOL it is the prequel to the Wizard of OZ after all!!! )

Although I knew the show there were things in there that I hadn’t fully remembered which was a real treat too. I have to say that Matt Willis did a fantastic job as the male lead.( a conversation that went something like- isn’t he from Busted or one of those groups? With a reply that went………Oh who’s been busted?)  Garlinda was still as mental……….toss toss! Defying Gravity did just that and just blew us away.

Truly it still lives up to all the expectations of being one of the best (if not the best) show up in town. FANTASTIC

Have you seen it? What would your favourite show be?