FAQ

Executive Director- Vanessa Knowles
Vanessa Knowles is the founder and Executive Director of the Studio, Dynamix Competition Team, and our after-school programs, which you can find in schools in Orange County. Vanessa has over 23 years of experience working with kids in the arts and performing professionally. Vanessa is currently the National Director for Team USA for the World Championships of
Performing Arts, and will soon be casting the USA Team for 2023.

Where are you located?
Free to be Me studio holds all of its rehearsals, classes, and summer camps at our studio in Westminster, Ca. We are located right off of the 22 Fwy in the Westminster Ice Shopping center, two doors down from Magic Mike’s Pizza. 6172 Garden Grove Blvd. Westminster CA

How do you select your staff?
Our staff is all highly trained and experienced individuals. The majority of our staff have college degrees and certificates in performing arts or education. We work hard to make sure we expose our students to a diverse and inclusive staff and to people who are focused on pouring and investing in our students on and off of the stage.

What programs does Free to Be Me offer?
Free to Be Me offers classes and training for ages 2 years old to 22. We have dance, acting, singing, performance troupes, productions, and private training offered all year round. We also offer fun and exciting Summer Camps each year
themed to some of the most popular musicals.

What is the difference between Dynamix and any other Performance troupes or the Glee club? Dynamix is our competitive triple-threat team. These teams are all made up of students ages 4 and up who audition and are placed on a team. These teams have a variety of skill levels and experience and go all the way up to our “select team,” which will be made up of
approximately 24 students who will represent our studio in some elite competitions such as “Musical Theater Competitions of America.” We believe that competition is beneficial for all performers, so most students who audition for a team will be given an opportunity to compete on a team.

Does FTBME do Productions?
Yes, FTBEME does a summer musical each year and occasionally offers a fall musical and a spring black box. Our hope is to be able to do 3 musicals per year starting in 2023. These musicals require a placement audition, but we do a good job in the name of education to ensure that the majority of students get a chance to perform in our ensemble, and each student who auditions will be considered for leads.

Do you offer financial assistance or scholarships?
Yes, we have a Dynamix Parent Booster club that works hard to provide scholarships and financial assistance to students who need it. Our goal is always to be an inclusive studio that offers opportunities to every student who is interested. While these offerings are limited in certain programs, we are committed to offering them as
much assistance as possible as part of our outreach mission.

How many competitions do your teams compete at?
Our teams typically compete at anywhere from 3-5 regional competitions and one National competition each year.

What is the commitment level for the performance troupes or comp teams?
The commitment level varies depending on what team you are on or what troupe you are in. Many of our teams/troupes meet just 1-3 hours per week. Our older and select teams typically rehearse closer to 4 hours a week depending on how close we are to competition or a performance.

What types of performance opportunities do students have?
Our students perform all over our community and at amusement parks such as Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios, and the Orange County Fair. We have also performed at the Empire State Building in NYC, The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN, and the California Center for the Arts. We love to perform in local city festivals and at Holiday Parades. We also have 1-2 stage shows each year to showcase all of our hard work each season.

My child has no experience; is this a good place for them?
This is the perfect place for a child with NO experience because we have a variety of programs and troupes. FTBEME does a great job training new performers or challenging experienced performers.

What is performance technique?
Performance Technique is the main focus in all of our classes regardless of voice, acting or dance. We believe that teaching kids to commit to performance with stage presence and poise that makes whatever they are doing ENTERTAINING, so the audience will enjoy watching you on stage. Our studio is regularly complimented on how much fun our students look like they are having on stage.

What other services do you offer?
Ftbeme offers private coaching and lessons as well as audition prep, filming, and arts school applications and audition training for schools such as Orange County School of the Arts and APA. We serve students from all over Orange County, Long Beach, and surrounding areas.