(Friday, January 25th) The girls of the Ron Clark Academy (RCA) had an exciting, eye opening experience as they toured the set of the Fox television HIT show STAR, co-created by Lee Daniels. The 5th-7th graders that participated in the special field trip are part of the “Saving Our Daughter’s Cinderella” program, co-founded by actress and singer, Keke Palmer, who is also a guest star on STAR.
Going on its second year of the STAR and Saving Our Daughters special set visits; this field trip was coordinated and hosted by Assistant to James E. Williams of Star Season 3, Taylor Williams. In addition to setting up a tour of the stages and sets, Q&A with some of the crew enlightened the girls of the team effort involved in the development of the show. Tasha Smith (Actress, Director) Mack Price (Production Assistant), Rachel Guilfoyle (Costumes Coordinator), Carrie Clever (Seamstress), Natalie Rhooms (Set Director), Zoey Wang (Art Coordinator )and Aamina Gant (Music Coordinator) spoke to and visited with the RCA Cinderellas about what it is like to work on a television series, their professions and the life choices they made that led them to STAR.
“FOX Television & the STAR team’s openness to provide these opportunities are priceless. It’s takes a village to bring awareness of the possible careers in the arts and to encourage young girls to push through their challenges and pursue their dreams. Thank you again for sharing your gifts with us.” – Saving Our Daughters’ Co-Founder, Debbie Benjamin
The girls had the pleasure of meeting everyone from wardrobe, production design, photography and set decoration. They were blessed and encouraged after talking in depth with Tasha Smith. To hear Tasha’s personal testimony of overcoming bullying, childhood adversities and drug abuse in her family; to evolve into an assertive, successful actress, director and producer left a lasting impression on the students.
Watching the anticipation build as the girls were about to witness an actual rehearsal scene in the recording studio, their faces beamed with amazement, as actresses/singers Jude Demorest (Star) and Ryan Destiny (Alexandria) came out to encourage the girls, take photos and give hugs to each girl.
What some of the RCA Cinderellas had to say on their STAR Visit;
Ryann Gholston, 8th
“My visit to the set of STAR was very informational. I am so grateful for the experience! When we arrived, we were given a tour of the set where we met a few workers who all had completely different but exciting jobs. These jobs included costume design, production assistant, and set design. It was really cool for me to see how much preparation goes behind filming just one scene. We even met Jude Demorest and Ryan Destiny, two of the stars of the show. We also met the director, the one and only Ms. Tasha Smith! I really appreciate how the Saving Our Cinderellas program continues to reach out to girls like me to expose us to new things we don’t get to do or see every day!”
Sanaa Dais, 6th
“It was an honor to have been chosen to view the set of Star. The experience was awesome and the I will never forget that memory. I met some terrific and talented individuals. How many people can say they’ve met Tasha Smith? Meeting the cast was great. Thank you for an awesome experience.”
Joy Udoh, 6th
“My Savings Our Cinderella’s experience has been nothing short of amazing. I loved getting to see the tv set and seeing what goes on behind the scenes. Being a young girl, it’s truly inspiring to watch other women take the lead in fields that you didn’t even know existed. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and I absolutely loved it.”
Haley Crawley, 7th
“I was invited to the set of STAR and had the opportunity of meeting Jude (Star), Ryan (Alexandra), Taylor, and Mac. I loved the whole thing. I got to learn about the set. I learned about the roles of an assistant director, a production assistant, and a set designer. We also learned what happened in the design and art studio. My favorite part was the fashion designers. I love fashion. Thank you for the amazing experience.”
Zoey Little, 6th
“I really enjoyed being on the set of Star. I know a lot of people do not get the experience that I got to have, let alone meet two of the main characters, Star and Alexandra. My favorite part overall was going to the costume department where I got to ask questions about how many costumes one character has and about the budget. I really enjoyed this experience as it changed my outlook on how much work goes on behind the scenes in the filming industry.”