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Meet Jessica Zei and Jade Clavesilla of Open Call Performing Arts in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Zei and Jade Clavesilla.

Jessica and Jade, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Jade and I met while working at a performing arts camp in the summer of 2012. I moved to California from Arizona to pursue a career on stage and in film. Jade was a public school teacher, a California native, who had participated in choirs and theatre all her life. Jade started a new job at a school in the Azusa area. She and I had enjoyed working together and asked me to come work with her as her choreographer/co-director. For the last eight years, Jade and I have collaborated on numerous concerts, show choir competitions, and theatrical productions. We found that working together was not work at all because our rehearsals were fun and productive. The fruits of our labors resulted in rewarding productions that were not only entertaining and well-executed but our students walked away with life lessons and newly instilled self-confidence. Our students from Azusa have gone on to pursue degrees in Music Education from Vanguard University, pursued dancing at AMDA College of the Performing Arts, and many other successful endeavors.

Open Call Performing Arts was a dream that I decided to finally bring to life. I began the process of creating a logo, website, and all of the steps necessary to begin a business all while being a full time “House Manager” (lovingly nicknamed by my husband Travis) to a handsome baby boy named TJ. I enlisted Jade to help me create and run the business. We often joke that we share the same brain because our work ethic and thought process are so in sync. We wanted to provide a space for kids where everyone could be included and enjoy the performance and rehearsal process. Open Call Performing Arts is a place where kids feel safe to explore performing, make new friends, and further their technique with lots of one on one attention.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
At the opening of our business, we found success in a loyal customer base who helped to bring in new faces and opportunities. We were growing and beginning to have a strong presence in the community. We performed at multiple venues around Pasadena for the holidays and established ourselves in our new performance space. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced us to cease in person operations. I closed for a couple of weeks and then we started up again online to finish out the last session. Like many small businesses, we are struggling to find our place in a COVID world. The kids weren’t able to perform their last show, and moving from an in-person business to virtual classes has been difficult. While Open Call Performing Arts is still small, we continue to persevere and find it more important now than ever to offer a chance for kids to express themselves during these difficult times.

Please tell us about Open Call Performing Arts.
Open Call Performing Arts is founded on the belief that every member of the team is important to a performance. Students will always have the opportunity to be in the show as a performer and experience the magic that is theater. Some performing arts companies will use students as techies or behind the scenes but this is not the case for OPCA. Each child who comes to Open Call Performing Arts will never be “cut” from an audition or show. They are all assigned specific repertoire to help develop their vocal, dancing, and acting skills. Open Call prides itself on our smaller class numbers. By accepting only a limited number of students to each class, the instructors are able to give a lot of one on one attention to each performer. Open Call offers voice lessons to each student with solos, duets, or group numbers selected based on the specific student’s abilities and strengths. All dance and music selections are made based on the current class of students, the repertoire is selected according to YOUR child. Students also get one on one coaching on dance and monologues. All Open Call cast members receive a quality music, movement and acting education from our professional staff. We have a passion for performance and children that brings excitement and energy to our classes.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Every Open Call Performing Arts Cast Member is set up for success. Jade and I come up with a theme for each session and then all the performance numbers in the show, which include solos, duets and group dance numbers, are chosen specifically for each individual performer and group. And because of that, there’s an investment in each student’s personal growth and they get the satisfaction of completing a show they can be proud of. Every Cast Member is given the opportunity to succeed and grow individually and as a group! This is how Open Call is able to promote self-confidence and teamwork on and off the stage.

Pricing:

  • Preschool Classes (Fairytale Theater, Princess Ballet, Mini Stars) $104/7 week LIVE virtual session
  • Musical Theater Classes (Little Stars, Shooting Stars, Rock Stars) $125/7 week LIVE virtual session
  • Dance Classes (Hip Stars Dance Jam) $125/7 week LIVE virtual session
  • Writing/Directing Classes (Write Your Own Musical) $125/7 week LIVE virtual session

Contact Info:

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