These are the four cornerstones that we rely on to create "chrysalis" experiences that help to set free the enormous potential within people, communities, and the arts.
We use the natural act and spirit of play in many different ways to help students to learn performance skills, to develop and overcome obstacles personally, to create a family bond and culture among students, and to maintain the kind of positive, loving, energetic, creative, supportive, playful environment that is so crucial to everything we do. Play is, in its purest form, free from judgement, free from "good" or "bad". It's about connection and creativity and expression and fun. It allows peoples' true personalities to shine forth, helps people to learn and discover new things without fear of being judged. It gets people moving and thinking and interacting without worrying about what they look like, or what other people think about them. It also teaches people naturally to interact and communicate genuinely, with authenticity, in a healthy manner. It builds social skills. Best of all, it puts everybody on an even playing field. It levels the walls between people. It's hard to put on airs while being silly and ridiculous. It's hard to feel self-conscious when everybody is opening up and letting loose and being silly and trusting each other.
"Family means that nobody gets left behind, or forgotten." -Lilo And Stitch
Family is incredibly important to Chrysalis, in two different ways. First is the family unit built in each group of students. Every Chrysalis class and rehearsal is designed to help different people come together as a family, to love and support each other, to embrace their differences, to treat each other with respect, to rejoice in each others' successes. The second way that family is important at Chrysalis is the involvement of parents and siblings and other family members. We believe it's vital for family members to support each other, to be involved in each others' lives, to help each other, and to foster each other's gifts and passions.
- INNOVATION AND EVALUATION
We constantly evaluate every single thing we do, asking ourselves two questions: 1.) Is this helping or hurting our participants? 2.) Is this fulfilling its fullest potential, or is there a way we could do it better, or is there something else we could do instead? That may sound like common sense, but it's amazing how many youth and performing arts programs and schools do things "just because". It's amazing how few organizations are willing to truly step outside of the box and try new things, to blaze new trails. For example, do you really truly need to have traditional auditions for youth theatre programs, or is there a better way of evaluating participants? Do you really need to have a "tech week" of 6-8 hour rehearsals every day of the final week leading into performances, or is there a better way of doing things? At Chrysalis, you'll find that we differ from other programs in countless ways due to our belief in the importance of innovation and evaluation.
- FAITH, CHARACTER, AND CONVICTION
These three principles are tremendously important, as they are so central to who each individual person is. These three principles will guide and shape your career and your personal life in so many ways. You have to know who you are, what you stand for, what you believe in, and what your values are. Those things make up the foundation on which you build your life. They impact your professional life, your relationships, who you marry, how you manage your money and other resources, and so many other things. It's extremely important for teens to safely develop and solidify this foundation while they are still young, so that they don't become broken and stripped of their self-worth, their soul, as they venture out on their own to pursue college or careers. This is especially true in the entertainment industry, but it applies just as much to all other careers, and to all other areas of your life.