My time with ASNY was a time that I will forever cherish. My experience first began in 2010 just before I started high school. I worked backstage and volunteered helping out with summer camp for the production of Back to the 80’s. This was a summer that I will never forget, because it was a summer that I truly grew into the woman I am today, and working with all of the wonderful people involved in ASNY most definitely assisted in that process. Needless to say, I was immediately hooked! These wonderful experiences led to bonds and friendships that I cultivated then and still truly appreciate to this day, five years later. Even though I’ve since moved away for school, the friendships and bonds I created through my time with ASNY are still ones that I hold close to my heart. My experience with ASNY from Back to the 80’s to Oliver and Peter Pan beyond, are all moments that I will never forget and that I hope to be able to revisit someday soon. I always have, and always will have a special place in my heart for my ASNY family.
When I auditioned for my first ASNY show in 2009, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I say this in a positive way, for over that last 7 years ASNY has become my family. My journey all started with the ASNY summer camp, which I did for four summers, followed by a year in the adult cast. I was a dancer prior to the camp, but I had hardly had any experience with singing or acting. Luckily for me, the ASNY team saw something special in me, trained me, and turned me into the artist that I am today. Not only was the camp a great place to learn and grow, but also a great place to make friends. Spending six weeks with the same group of people builds incredibly strong friendships. It’s a group of aspiring performers, all working towards the same goal for six weeks, but it does not end there. The relationships that I built in ASNY camps extended far past the 6-week span and will last a lifetime.
Then came my sixth year and I told Jen that I was looking for a Coop Placement. Jen offered me a position as a coop based camp counselor and choreographer, for the show Into The Woods. This is what allowed me to graduate high school with a Music Theatre Specialist High Skills Major Certificate. The next summer I was hired as an official counselor and choreographer. Being an official counselor and member of the ASNY team had been an aspiration of mine since I did my first year of camp. Not only did Jen provide me with best job I could have asked for, but she also provided me with an outlet for my absolute passion: choreography. Jen didn’t just hire me as an employee; she welcomed me into her creative process. She trusted me to contribute to the reputation of great shows that ASNY continues to uphold. These two summers are when I really realized that Jen and I were no longer just a teacher and a student. Of course Jen will always be my teacher and I her student, but from then on, we were more than that. From that point onwards, we were a team.
Thanks to ASNY, I had an amazing experience with summer camps, a great time in the Adult Cast, an opportunity to get a necessary credit to graduate, and the best job that anyone could ever ask for. Thanks to ASNY, I have made a splash in the world of Ottawa musical theatre and made tons of long lasting relationships. Thanks to ASNY I have been provided with great opportunities to perform, teach, direct and choreograph. All of these things have meant so much to me over that least seven years and will continue to mean a lot to me, but there is something more important that ASNY has provided me with. As I stated at the beginning, ASNY has provided me with a family. I love every member of the ASNY team because they are all like my family members to me. ASNY has a big place in my heart and I know that I will always have a place with them. ASNY is my home.
My daughter, Marie-Pier was introduced to musical theatre at age 9 by ASNY, a company directed by Ms Jennifer Fontaine.
Marie-Pier has always enjoyed attending ASNY summer camps. She loved it so much that, as a child, she repeated the experience 5 times. Summer after summer, she kept improving and developing. Ms Fontaine and her team did an extraordinary job at building on Marie-Pier’s talent, giving her the guidance she needed to succeed as an actress, singer and dancer.
Throughout the 5 summer camps she attended, Marie-Pier developed an out-of-this-world passion for musical theatre to the extent that she is now well on her way to a career in this field. Thanks to Ms Jennifer Fontaine and the ASNY team for their professionalism and for instilling in my daughter this extraordinary passion for musical theatre.
I have no hesitation in recommending ASNY and their summer camp, a place where kids will learn and grow immensely as actors, singers and dancers.
There is a certain level of magic that Jen is able to bring forth during an ASNY show. She is able to bring together people of all ages, from many different walks of life, and give them the opportunity to connect through the arts. From long-time community theatre participants, to first-time performers, Jen and the ASNY team foster a positive and non-judgmental environment where actors are free to experiment with their talents and expand beyond their comfort zones. I look back on my ASNY memories with great fondness and will always treasure the friendships made there.
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