Posted in Homeschool Information

Homeschool Drama: Acting Tidbits from Hal-Con

It’s getting cold here in Nova Scotia and there’s a dusting of snow on the ground. Our performance of Another Opening, Another Show at The Savoy Theatre is over. We had a low-key week of homeschool as my 14 year old son worked as Assistant Stage Manager for morning high school performances of Unity 1918 this week at the local university. My 9 year old daughter will be performing in the Class Acts Drama School Christmas showcase today. After this week, I’m looking forward to most of our outside activities winding down and all of us getting a little break for the holidays, although I will have to keep practising my lines for the Monty Python skits my husband and I will be performing in April!

Earlier this month, we made our annual family trip to Hal-Con. It is a fantasy/Sci-Fi/Comic convention in Halifax. Just like last year, we had a terrific time! There were so many great guests there, many of whom were actors: Richard Hatch, Billy Dee Williams, Jewel Staite, Garret Wang, J. August Richards, Vic Mignona, Robert Maillet, and more! My whole family learned so much – we gleaned so much wisdom from the actors over the weekend! Here are some of the highlights:

Richard Hatch
You may remember Richard Hatch as Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica. In addition to a Q&A session, Richard Hatch gave a workshop on acting to an enrapt audience. One of my favourite quotes from the workshop was “This amazing instrument that God created gives you the energy, but not until you commit.” He explained that you have to be bold, step forward, and do things that scare you. He added that fear tends to freeze human beings up and we often try to avoid it, but “When you avoid fear you’re avoiding success!” And then he shared something that I believe all homeschool families hold dear “We should all be learning – stretching our abilities – stretching our mind – always.” Richard Hatch believes, much like Shakespeare, that acting is a great metaphor for life. “It’s about making choices and stepping into it.” Decisions lead you to more & more clarity and you get an epiphany and move the brain into a high speed.

Richard Hatch also believes that “It’s sad that too many people put acting away.” He says that, “Acting is a doorway to one of the greatest, most joyous, most wonderful experiences you can have.” I totally agree! And he also urged us to, “Take the dreams that you have and actually go take the steps to do them.” He was such an inspirational speaker!

Billy Dee Williams
I am pretty sure you all know Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian from the original Star Wars trilogy. We enjoyed his Q&A session. For aspiring actors, he gave the following advice: “You have to dedicate yourself. You have to work hard, study hard, and be dedicated.” I was very proud of my 9 year old, who went up to the mic of her own volition and asked Bille Dee Williams this question: “I’d like to know, what was it like on the set of Star Wars.” Billy Dee replied, “It was a lot of fun, it was like being in a candy store…they used maybe 4 stages. They had one total setup of the falcon and they had big pieces. A big toy store, with toys.” Doesn’t that sound like fun?

homeschool drama

Jewel Staite

Jewel Staite is Canadian and lives in Vancouver! She had her first acting job at 5 years old. Although she has performed many roles over the years, she has big fans of the short-lived TV series (by Joss Whedon) Firefly, in which she played the role of Kaylee. Of you’ve watched the show, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that she is as much of a sweetie in person as the character Kaylee. On acting, Jewel Staite had to say “There’s not much of a craft, you just have to be really good at faking it.”

Garret Wang
Garret Wang is best known for his role as Ensign Kim in the Star Trek TV series, Voyager. one story he told during his Q&A was about learning to play the clarinet for his role on Voyager. He didn’t know how to play at all and they brought in a clarinet teacher for him for just one hour. Says Garret Wang, “I told them one hour was not enough. I met the teacher for several hours each time.” What dedication!

J. August Richards
J. August Richards has most recently been seen on another TV series by Joss Whedon, SHIELD. He says he likes to play board games – especially Stratego. On acting, he stated, “I believe that roles find you. I feel that you don’t find roles, roles find you.”

Feel free to watch the podcasts of Q&A’s at the Hal-Con YouTube channel!

Love, Luck &


Posted in Homeschool Information

Homeschool Drama at Homeschool Horizons

Kimberly and her children (photo by Ashley Harding)

Today at the Homeschool Horizons blog, I started my monthly “Homeschool Drama” column. I’ll be giving you a peek into our drama-filled home, and also be sharing ongoing tips about getting your children involved in theatre, and how to incorporate it into your homeschool day. Check it out at: Homeschool Drama

Love, Luck &



Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

2011 Summer Camps in Cape Breton

Class Acts Drama School
Registration for all camps will be held on Saturday, June 25 from 10:00am-4:00 pm at the
Southend Community Centre (28 Hillview Street, Sydney).
All camps run from 10am-4pm at the Southend Community Centre and cost $120 unless otherwise noted, with discounts available for siblings or students who attend more than one camp.
July 4-8: Adventures in Drama 1, age 5-7, Instructor: Erin Gillis
July 11-15: Adventures in Drama 2, age 8-10, Instructor: Erin Gillis
July 18-22: Playbuilding, age 15-18, Instructor: Erin Gillis
August 1-5: Improv, age 11-14, Instructor: Brian Gallivan
*Action Week camp includes performances in Wentworth Park


Culture and Heritage Day Camp – Summer Programming for Children
July: 9am to 4pm
Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design
Fee: $65 + HST
Every summer with the generous corporate sponsorship from TD Canada Trust, the Centre offers three, week-long Culture and Heritage Day Camps for children ages 7–13. Children are introduced to a variety of craft activities while learning about the many cultures of the world!
For more information about our Culture & Heritage Camps please email or call 902 539 7491 ext 111.


CBU Science Camp
Runs every year.  For this year’s information, contact:

Redwood Stables
1806 Coxheath Road
Horseback riding – for more information contact Mona

Capers Summer Basketball Camps
Cape Breton University Athletics
July 4-8 Boys & Girls Camp (Gr. 7-12)
Choose from Day camper $175 or Resident camper $395
9am – 8pm; Friday ’til 4:30pm
July 11-12 Ball Handling Camp (age 6-17) $60
July 13-15 Shooting Camp (age 6-17) $90
OR attend both for $150
July 18-22 Mini-camp (Gr. 6 and under) $110
563-1277, or

Cape Breton Bible Camp
June 10-12 – Kid’s Camp (6-7 yrs) – $60
July 3-8 – Junior Camp (7-9 yrs) – $225
July 10-15 – Skills 1 (10-12 yrs) – $225
July 17-122 – Junior Teen (13-14 yrs) – $225
July 24-29 – Skills 2 – (10-12 yrs) – $225
July 31-Aug 5 – Skills 3 – (10-12 yrs) – $225
Aug 7-12 – Senior Teen (15-19 yrs) – $225
Native Camp – TBA
*check the website above for multiple child discounts

Camp MacLeod
2731 Trout Brook Road, Albert Bridge
Camp Registrar: 733-2560
All camps are $120, and for additional children $110
July 4-10 Junior Co-ed (age 9-11)
July 11-17 Intermediate Co-ed (age 12-14)
July 18-24 Junior Girls (age 9-11)
July 25-28 Novice Co-ed (age 7-8) $70.00
Aug 1-7 Senior Co-ed (ages 14-16)
August 8-14 Junior Co-ed #2 (age 9-11)
August 15-21 Intermediate Co-ed#2 (age 12-14)
August 22-28 Junior Girls#2 (age 9-11)

Gaelic College of Celtic Arts & Crafts
Stay overnight, or choose a day camp instead – everything from the Gaelic language to Highland dance and weaving offered.


Summer Day Camps all Summer @ Mira Road Elementary
Call Helen or Andrew Mortimer @ 564-0607
Monday-Friday, 8:30-5pm
Sports, Drama, Art, Music, Kids in Business, Swimming, Harry Potter Week, Mini Olympics, and more!

Highland Village Programs
Wednesdays (July 6, 13, 20, 27) – Laithean Sona/Happy Days Chidren’s Living History Program
Take part in this special living-history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those days past. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language, and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8-12 only. 10 am to 4 pm. $30 per child. Prepaid reservations required. No refunds or discounts. 13% HST included.

Thursdays (alternate – including July 14 & 28) – Na Deugairean/ The Teenagers Living History Program for Youth
Partake in this special living-history program for teens and get a sense of the responsibilities and the lifestyles of young Gaels in days past. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 13-17. 10 am to 4 pm. $30 per child. Prepaid reservations required. No refunds or discounts. 13% HST included.

Fridays (July 8, 15, 22, 29) – Spors/Fun Gaelic Games for Kids
Join us for a morning of interactive games that focus on language, song, dance and other aspects of Scottish heritage. Gaelic games such as Tunnag Tunnag Geadh, Duck Duck Goose, center on basic Gaelic vocabulary and phrases which are incorporated into fun and engaging games for children. Spors is for children aged 5-10. 10 am to 12 pm. Free admission.

These programs are also available in August – see website for more details.

**Do you know about a summer camp in Cape Breton? Let me know and I’ll post it!**

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Theatre in Sydney NS: educational performances this week

For some church history…

Tonight at 7pm, First United Church, 105 Whitney Ave., $10:  Love Divine and Love Less Perfect – about the lives of John Knox and John Wesley, founders of the Presbyterian and Methodist movements.

For some WWI history…

Tonight, Nov. 19 & 20 7pm & Nov 21 2pm, CBU Boardmore Playhouse, $10, $6 students/seniors:  Vimy – focuses on the soldiers, nurses & workers in the war effort

Love, Luck &