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On These Dream Vacations, Follow Your Passions

Want to be a writer? A chef? A clown? Take a trip to help rediscover one of your passions.

By Rita Colorito
As we get older, many of us wonder about the what-ifs in life — whether a passion we never pursued could still come true.

Some people, like David Schmidt, act on it, through a follow-your-dream vacation. Schmidt, a retired high school theater teacher in Fairfax County, Va., wanted to revive his acting career. So at 69, Schmidt headed to New York City and enrolled in a two-day Broadway Fantasy Camp. Three years later, he has starred in professional regional theater and recently auditioned for the upcoming Broadway musical production of Hello, Dolly!, starring Bette Midler.

“At the camp, relearning dance steps for Chicago with then-current members of the cast and hearing their stories inspired me to take up the torch once again,” says Schmidt, who is now waiting on his Actor’s Equity card.

Campers age 50-plus make up 70 percent of Mooseburger’s would-be clowns.

Follow-your-dream vacations, like Schmidt’s, let you check two categories on your bucket list: Things you want to accomplish and places you’d like to visit. Unlike quick one- or two-hour vacation “experiences” focused mainly on fun, these longer adventures offer an intensive immersion, taught by professionals in the field, to help you find out if you have what it takes to turn that passion into the next chapter of your life.

The World’s a Stage

Broadway Fantasy Camp: Would-be thespians can use these one- to five-day musical theater camps (rehearsal studiosin Manhattan’s Theatre District) to jump-start an acting career. “I go through a specific screening process so their expectations are met and they have a really strong sense of what they’ll be doing, and at what level,” says founder Lauren Class Schneider. During a five-day camp, you’ll experience the full pizzazz of the bright lights, from auditions to rehearsals to a full-cast opening number and solo performances. You can also invite guests to your performance. And all camps include a cast party at Sardi’s. Schneider, a long-time Broadway producer, brings in top-notch directors, choreographers, actors, singers and dancers to share their experiences and guide students. Past professionals have included Judy Kaye, Audra McDonald, Michael McGrath and John Lloyd Young—all Tony Award winners.

These Dream Vacations Let You Follow Your Dreams – Next Avenue



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Maggie Linton talks to Lauren Class Schneider about new shows opening on Broadway this spring. The two also discuss long-running international sensations including WICKED, Mamma Mia! and The Phantom of the Opera.



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