Best Practices for Promoting Your Show on Social Media

Social Media

We live in a world centered around social media. That said, let’s fully embrace it and use it to our advantage, shall we?

CYT affiliates can promote their shows on Facebook by making official event pages to create immediate buzz (read: attendance) through RSVP’s, comments, likes, and shares. The Spring semester is right around the corner so it’s the perfect time to learn how to get the word out about your upcoming shows.

CYT Affiliates:

  1. Create an official event from your Page or Group on Facebook (see example)
  2. Link it to the “Pricing Text Box” on your website (graphics can be found in CYT Box/General/Marketing/Graphics/facebook-event.jpg)
  3. Promote the event page and encourage your followers to invite friends and family
  4. Use your Twitter account to send out tweets with the Facebook link

CYT Students & Parents:

  1. Don’t create your own event!
  2. Make sure you “like” and/or become a member of your affiliate’s page or group
  3. RSVP to the event, and then invite your friends and family to the official event page (paste the link on your personal FB page, or any of your social media channels – Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc. The possibilities are clearly endless.)

Happy promoting!

Posted in Affiliates, How-to's | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heartfelt words from a CYT family

The Artistic Team at CYT Fredericksburg received the below letter from a family involved in their recent production of Peter Pan. The letter is such a lovely testament to the presence of God within the CYT Fredericksburg leadership, as well as proof of the phenomenal families involved with CYTs across the country.

Thank you once again for giving our family the privilege of participating in another amazing CYT production. This is the third time I have written this letter to you all, and it is the third time that I can confidently say that the show you have all worked so hard to put together would rival any professional show. So many people come up to us after the show and have nothing to say but “Wow!” with a shocked look on their faces. We have come to expect it from people who are attending their first CYT show. They come to the show to see a nephew or neighbor, fully expecting to be underwhelmed, and not prepared to actually be drawn into the story through amazing scenery, mesmerizing choreography, and professional music and acting.

However, as you know by now, the purpose of this letter is not to state the obvious about how great a show Peter Pan has been. Rather, it is to once again affirm the real reason we are so grateful to CYT. My kids absolutely adore each of you. There are many organizations that could teach our kids how to act, or sing, or dance. And we are sure they would do a great job. But, where CYT shines above the rest is in your faithful witness to the real reason we work hard to hone the skills and gifts God has given us – and that is to witness to His generosity.

If St. Paul were writing to a theater group, rather than to the Corinthians, his first letter may have sounded a bit like this – “If I can act so as to move audiences to tears; If I dance with the grace of the cherubim, and sing with the beauty of all the choirs of angels…but have not love…I am nothing.” And it is this spirit of true Gospel values that brings us back to CYT. Yes, we want our children to learn how to act, dance, and sing. But, more than that we want them to learn how to do these with humility, gratefulness, and love. And it is this more foundational experience that you provide at CYT. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

We know that there are many hands in this great work of yours, so we ask that you pass along these words of thanks to them as well. Please be assured of our continued prayers for your future success, not only within CYT, but also in your individual projects as well. We look forward to the next time we can participate in your amazing shows.


Patrick and Shannon Looby
(And Maggie, Colin, Tess, Helen, Vivi, and Bernadette!)

Posted in Affiliates, Testimonials | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Honoring the life of the remarkable Dottie Hamann

With heavy hearts we say goodbye to a dear member of the CYT family. Dorothy (“Dottie”) Hamann passed away on Saturday, March 29th and will be remembered as – among many other things – an integral part of CYT history.

Dottie Hamann

Bob & Dottie Hamann (married for 61 years!) were personal friends of Paul & Sheryl Russell for over 37 years, and a huge support to CYT since its inception. In addition to owning the property where CYT San Diego has its offices, the Hamann’s funded the initial seed money so CCT could produce the first Traditions of Christmas in 1992. Dottie has been a pillar of the San Diego community, a faithful prayer warrior, loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and dear friend.

Bob & Dottie on vacation in the Cayman Islands.

Bob & Dottie celebrating her birthday on vacation in the Cayman Islands

Paul & Sheryl accompanied the Hamanns on the Cayman Islands trip. They found a tea house and surprised her by taking her there for lunch.

Paul & Sheryl (front) accompanied them on the Cayman Islands trip. They found a tea house and surprised her by taking her there for lunch.

We are told that on the day of her passing, she was serenaded by a Phoenix string quartet midday and her son Gregg played the harp for her in the afternoon. In the early evening, 18 family members prayed over her that God would either return her to a reasonable quality of life or take her quickly. Her granddaughter Elita was holding her hand when she took her last breath.

You are invited to celebrate her life at a memorial service on April 19th at Covenant Presbyterian Church (2930 Howard St, San Diego) at 5:00pm. In the meantime, her family set up a lovely tribute where you can view photos, write memories, and read more details about the memorial.

On behalf of everyone who had the honor of being touched by her life, we want her family to know they are in our prayers. She will be missed immensely but we look forward to the reunion around God’s heavenly throne.

John 14:1-2
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

Posted in This & That | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The 2014 CYT Expo // details

CYT Inc’s Creative Director, Renee Kauffman, has some exciting plans for you in July:

It’s that time again! We’ve changed our clocks, the sun is shining a little bit longer each day, and warmer weather is on the horizon. Before we know it, July will be here and we’ll be watching fireworks, singing “God Bless America”, and hopping on a plane to Houston! That’s right, I said Houston. That’s where the 2014 CYT Expo is taking place, and registration is officially open.

EXPO 2014

There’s plenty in store for this year’s event, but I can hardly give away every detail just yet. One thing is certain: you don’t want to miss it. If you are a CYT Affiliate Leader (Artistic Director, Managing Director, staff member, Area Coordinator, Board Member, Production Team member, or someone who is ready to take on a larger leadership role) or a CYT student between the ages of 12-19 (students do not need to be in HYPE or Improvathon to attend), then the 2014 CYT Expo is for you!

You can get every detail you’d ever want to know and also register here. See you in Houston!

Posted in CYT EXPO, Events, HYPE, Improvathon, Programs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CYT Atlanta alum to guest star on NBC’s Parks & Recreation

Kelly Washington is a CYT Atlanta alumni who caught the acting bug and eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream…and she’s made good on that dream. Proof: Kelly guest stars on tomorrow night’s episode of Parks & Recreation (Thursday, April 3 at 8:30pm on NBC). Kelly was nice enough to let me pick her brain about her CYT days and her exciting experiences on the set of one of the most popular TV shows around…

Parks and Recreation

Kelly (center, with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman) plays a high school student leading the Prom committee facing budget limits, and works with the Parks department to overcome the challenges.

So you were a part of CYT Atlanta since its inception…any favorite roles/shows?

CYT Atlanta’s first show was mine as well. It was Tom Sawyer (Russell House) and I played Becky Thatcher. It opened my eyes to the world of acting, and I never looked back. That role also gave me my first kiss, hah! Since it was my first CYT show, it was also my favorite. I had such a blast and made some lifelong friends.

How did performing in musical theater prepare you for the world of professional acting?

Musical theater will always be a part of my life. It’s where I started performing. I even went to Pace University in NYC as a Musical Theater major, until the acting work in film took over and I decided to move to LA. Something I’ve learned in LA is the idea of people performing “big” and “over the top” can be totally foreign to many actors. So when it comes to sitcom, some of the crazy out-of-the-box opportunities that I have enjoyed are more unique than I realized. I will always geek out over great songs from musicals and sing them loudly in my car.

Okay, we’re dying for some behind-the-scenes info of working on Parks & Rec.

Parks and Recreation is truly the GREATEST show ever to be a part of. It was a blessing, and they welcomed me into their family with open arms. Getting to improv, or “fun run” as they call it, with Amy Poehler, Adam Scott, and Nick Offerman was incredible. Hard not to laugh though. They are comedy GENIUSES! It’s a lot of work and non-stop filming, but who wants to sit in an empty trailer when everyone on set always has a smile on their face, even if it’s been a 12-hour day?

Is acting your main focus at the moment?

Acting is what I live and breathe. I just graduated from Upright Citizens Brigade, the improv training center started by some of the improvisational greats, including Amy Poehler! I still take multiple acting classes every week. I think it’s important to never stop learning. And of course auditions take over your life, which I love. I have a few things in the works, that I can hopefully share soon!

I heard you also have a guest spot on tonight’s episode of The Middle (Wednesday, April 2 at 8:00 on ABC). This is a big week for you! What was it like working on that show?

Working on The Middle was great! They shoot on film, which is insanely rare now and that could be the only chance I ever get to be on actual film. I loved that everyone ate lunch together, cast and crew alike. The actors were all super professional and prepared, and not a single diva attitude in sight.

Parks and Recreation If you don’t get a chance to see the Parks & Rec episode live, fear not. You can go to after it airs and watch it online! Yesssss.

Posted in Affiliates, Alumni, Media, Q & A, This & That | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Embrace the arts: an inspiring letter

Huffington Post recently published an article featuring a letter that author Kurt Vonnegut sent in 2006 to students at Xavier High School in New York. In it, Vonnegut discusses the importance of embracing the arts – in any form – and encourages the students to “make your soul grow”. It’s incredibly inspiring, to say the least. Read & enjoy.

Kurt Vonnegut Once Sent This Amazing Letter To A High School

In 2006, a group of high school students asked celebrated author Kurt Vonnegut to visit their school. He sent them the absolute perfect response.

The students at Xavier High School in New York wrote to their favorite authors as part of an assignment. Vonnegut was the only one to respond, and while he said he would not be able to make a visit, his inspiring letter made up for it with with wit and charm.


Here’s what the letter says:

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance at home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

2006 newsletter to the high school’s alumni says the letter is authentic.

You can view the entire article here.

Posted in This & That | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 fun facts about Broadway

Who doesn’t love some interesting tidbits? Below are 10 fun facts about Broadway that you may or may not have known…

Broadway Fun Facts(Photo credit)


Posted in Infographics, This & That | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment