Benji Goldsmith, student at Hunter College High School and composer, considers his success and offers some tips for the trade.
I’d say really get involved in whatever community theater there is where you live. Really, I think, Community Theater is one of the greatest things. Theater is something that brings people together and I think it’s a really, really valuable tool and a really great experience to work on theater with other people. I’d say definitely get involved in theater at your high school. Well, I have attended some very interesting summer programs. I spent 4 years at the King Haven in Western Vermont and what I really loved about it is that it is really just not competitive at all. It’s really just all about support and everyone there just loves to play music and I mean, what could be better than that? It was just truly so joyful. Everyone there is just having a great time playing music. and I’d say I really thrive in an atmosphere like that. There are some people who, it really works for them to go to like uber competitive kind of like a practice camp really. And for some people that’s just really, they just click there and that’s and that’s great. For me, it was more just, I needed a place that I can really just be myself and just have a genuine, just everyone there was just very genuine and appreciated that work the everyone else was doing. And so then I went on to work as well as be a camper at Acting Menetto which is a theater camp in Maine. And just like King Haven, it’s very supportive. It’s an ensemble camp, they’re not out to produce the next generation of Broadway stars. They’re really there to just teach and educate and create a really supportive environment where people can feel free to take risks. And so, I have been very lucky to have surrounded myself with situations where I haven’t been in such a competitive environment. I think competitiveness has its place. I think there’s a lot in competition that really does bring out the best in people. but on the other hand, I think having a true support system and being around people who really just appreciate you for what you do is really important. And I’m so glad that I have had experiences that I can relate to that.