Interactive Arts Media for Kids on PBS LearningMedia. Created by Dan J. Gordon

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Hello!  Welcome to the blog!   I’m glad you’re here.

It has been suggested that I start a blog about my journey creating a performing arts TV show for kids.  It sounded like a good idea.

Conceptualization and development of Take the Stage began in 2006 sitting around the diningroom table with my father.   I had recently graduated from SMU with a Theatre Arts degree and came home to Houston for the summer.   I already had a great interest in education and in producing having taught theater classes at Main Street Theater and having run a nonprofit theatre company for the past few summers.  So, this idea of a performing arts TV show for kids originated from my personal experiences in seeing how the performing arts can positively affect people, especially kids!  The concept and first discussion was born here across the diningroom table with my father…and the discussion remains the same, it just now has a lot more people talking.

Take the Stage support videos below (2013)
Featuring: Mayor Parker, Sheriff Garcia, Superintendent Dr. Grier, Jonathon Glus, Ernie Manouse and other Houston leaders.

There have been many learning experiences while in development from 2006-2013 that have brought me to distant lands (Los Angeles), but I’m going to skip ahead a few years to begin this blog.  We’re skipping ahead to this year, 2013, because that’s when things really start to get rolling.  Maybe later on I’ll reflect more on the early development stages…but that’s for a longer conversation where I can reflect on my challenges and successes I’ve encountered along the way.  Persistence and adaptability has been key at every step so far.  But, I will say, every step has been a learning experience in its own way (albeit not always easy), and has prepared me to be where I am today.  For these experiences, I am grateful.

On January 16th, 2013, I received a letter from Houston Public Media saying that they have approved our TV show for airing!!!  Hallelujah!

This was very exciting news, as our TV show now had a definite home, and we could begin the process of pre-production.  All systems were ‘go’ and years of preparation were beginning to be put into action.

Thank you to Houston Public Media for their continuing support.

Our next step was to share what this TV program will do for youth and families in the community locally and beyond.   We knew that for Take the Stage to have the impact on kids we desired it to have, we absolutely needed the support of the community.  We brought our message to city leaders including the Mayor, Sheriff, Superintendent, and CEO’s of organizations.  They were all unanimous in their support and encouragingly enthusiastic about Take the Stage.   When they understood the potential impact this TV program would have in improving education in the city, everyone unequivocally said ‘yes’ to becoming involved and voicing their support.

Because of the limited time we had, in 3 1/2 days, I, along with my tireless cohort, Austin Welch, conducted 13 interviews in 10 different locations on the tightest of budgets.   Needless to say, him and I moved very quickly with all of his equipment in tow in his pickup truck.  After these whirlwind interviews, Austin Welch edited down 5 hours of footage into 5 powerful minutes.  He’s a talented guy and I’m glad he has decided to join the team.  We celebrated at the Spaghetti Western Italian Cafe after all these interviews – seemed appropriate.

Behind the Scenes during first test trailer in  2007

We’re now a constantly growing team and I’m very appreciative for everyone who has helped along the way so far on this journey, and I’m looking forward to meeting the new team members as we grow even more.

We’re on our path to production now.

Currently, we are gearing up to shoot the 30-minute pilot at the beginning of 2014 and then the full season the summer of 2014.  So, stay tuned for more developments that will be documented right here on this Making of Take the Stage blog!

Til next time…

Dan

ps.  I would especially like to thank my father here who has planted the seed for this TV program and who continues to be a terrific support in each stage of development.

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From the Scrapbook #1:
This video link below was created in 2007 when we initially thought of the concept, so It’s very rough and the quality is not what it will be today.   But, you can get an ideas of where we were in concept development in 2007, here it is.