Four years ago, I went to an acting workshop with Jennifer Stone. She was in the first movie I watched that made me want to be an actor (Secondhand Lions), and she was on one of my favorite TV shows (The Wizards of Waverly Place), and it was a great day.
Today, she came back to Nancy Chartier Studios here in Dallas — the place where she trained before going to Hollywood — for another great workshop. Of course, I was there bright and early. We got to spend some time catching up before the workshop, and I hung around at the end for a bit more conversation. She is not only a great actress, but she’s a good coach and a genuinely nice person, too.
We both look a little different now than we did four years ago, don’t we?
This is what I looked like four years ago, when I was 12. Jennifer was a head taller than I was back then. But even though I was just a kid and she had just turned 20, she listened to what I had to say and treated me as an equal. She said that was one of the reasons she liked being one of Nancy Chartier’s students — because Nancy listens to her actors, whether they’re kids or grownups, and works with them instead of telling them what to think and what to do without listening. It’s one of my favorite things about working with Nancy, too.
Jennifer isn’t taller than me anymore! But she’s just as kind, smart, and nice now as she was four years ago. It was a great workshop — if you get the chance to attend one of her workshops, go. She’s a great teacher.
Here are a few photos from the workshop and the Q&A session afterwords. Nancy told the group to make silly faces in some of the photos, and we did. Today started out as a rainy, gray Saturday, but ended up being a great day!
Jennifer was very patient with all the students. She answered questions, listened carefully to their ideas and questions, posed for selfies, signed autographs and even did some Facetime sessions with friends of a couple of the students.
Did you ever try to get 13 kids and teenagers to pose for a photo? This is what it looks like when a bunch of kid and teen actors are enjoying themselves a little too much. Well, Nancy Chartier DID tell us to make silly faces at one point. I think we delivered, don’t you?