Frequently Asked Questions
1) What should students wear?
For dance classes please wear black, tan, or pink dance attire and proper dance shoes. Hair must be up and off the face. For Ballet classes, hair must be worn in a bun and ballet shoes worn. For other classes please wear "school attire" with no offensive wording or images. Jazz shoes or athletic shoes work for musical rehearsals and most dance classes unless specified. Top Billing staff reserves the right to refuse service for any reason.
2) When are payments due?
All payments for private lessons, classes, and musical theater productions are due at the start of each month. If lessons are cancelled before 24 hours, then the teacher may apply the payment to the following month or offer a make-up lesson as they are available. All make-up classes and lessons must be made up in the same semester. We have a no refund policy on musical theater production tuition.
3) How can I make payments?
We accept payments via cash, credit card, or check made payable to "Top Billing Entertainment" at our front desk during regular business hours. We accept credit card over the phone during regular business hours as well. You can also mail payment to Top Billing Entertainment 165 N. Glendora Ave. Glendora, CA 91741 or via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or Venmo to @topbillingent.
4) Are parents allowed to sit in classes?
Parents are invited to sit in the first group class only. For the privacy of our students and teachers, parents are asked to wait in the comforting room by the restrooms or in the foyer during class times.
5) Are parents allowed to sit in lessons?
Parents are invited to sit in private lessons at the teacher's and student's discretion. We prefer parents attend the first lesson and ask the teacher any questions at that time.
6) Are parents allowed to sit in musical theater rehearsals/practices?
Because of the large number of performers in our musical theater productions, parents are welcome to sit in rehearsals if there is room. We often have crafting and other show related projects we need help with during rehearsals as well. Please do not side line coach or distract your performer during rehearsals.
7) When are you closed?
Thanksgiving Weekend (Thursday - Sunday)
Christmas Holiday Break (Third week of December through second week of January)
Annual Dance Concert
4th of July
8) Do performers have to be taking lessons or classes in order to be in the shows?
No, performers do not have to be taking private lessons or enrolled in group classes to be cast in our musical productions. We do encourage leads and lead dancers to take lessons and classes so they can develop the skills needed for the shows but it is not mandatory.
9) When can we join?
Private Lesson enrollment is ongoing and you can join any time. We offer two recitals a year (November and May) at the studio for private lesson students.
Group Classes follow the school semesters: Fall, Spring, & Summer. We offer two large recitals a year (December & June) for group classes. Costumes for each class cost $30-$60. Best time to join group classes is within the first three months of the semester.
Musical Theater Productions - we do two City of Glendora productions a year, auditions are end of January and August the performances are early November & May. These productions rehearse on Tuesday and Thursdays 6-9 pm. City of Glendora shows are geared for younger kids and beginner performers. We have a Fall show for ages 14 and older which auditions in August with a performance in October and a large Broadway scale summer show which auditions in March with a performance in July. These shows rehearse Friday nights, Saturday afternoons, and Sunday afternoons. These shows are geared for more serious performers. Follow us on social media or check on the "audition" tab to find out all the details about upcoming auditions. We are a no cuts group and every performer is cast.
Summer Day Camp Musicals - we offer day camps in the summer usually June -July weekdays from 9 am - 2 pm for kids ages 4-15. The camps are usually three weeks long with a performance at the studio at the end of the camp. See the "classes/day camps" tab for more information.
10) What about other performance opportunities?
Our performers are often invited to perform at senior centers, the LA Fair, OC Fair, Disneyland, private parties, Village of Glendora events and more. Generally the performers are personally invited by their teacher based on the client's request or theme of the event. If you would like to be considered for extra performances be sure to let your instructor know.
11) How do I find out what is going on?
Best way to stay up to date is to follow us on social media and join our e-mailing list. You can email email@example.com to be added any time. Be sure to join our Facebook groups https://www.facebook.com/groups/topbillingfamily/ for all upcoming events and https://www.facebook.com/groups/TBEclasses/ for everything having to do with group classes as well as videos of the recital routines.
12) Do students need their own instruments for private lessons or group instrument classes?
Yes, in order to practice at home and make the most of the instruction each student must have their own instrument. Ask your instructor for recommendations about what kind of instrument to have and where to get it.
13) Do you offer family discounts?
Yes for group classes, show tuition, and summer camps we offer family discounts.
14) How do I help my child get a lead in one of the musicals?
The hardest part of being a director, especially of youth theater, is answering that question. But here goes.
As a “mom” of performers, I always want each of my performers to feel special and appreciated and to have a solo moment where they are the star. I remember growing up in performing arts and hearing sayings like “there are no small parts, only small actors” and “the ensemble is just as important as the lead”, but I didn’t really know that they were true until I got to the other side of the equation and became a director. At Top Billing we build a megamix at the end of every show so that all the performers who want a solo can get a solo, and we feature as many performers as possible throughout the show. We really endeavor to give each performer their moment in the spotlight, but there is still a pecking order and a ladder to climb. I like to compare the cast of a show to the human body, the leads may be like the eyes or face and get a lot of attention, but the armpits help our body to rid itself of toxins and without armpits we would die. Sometimes you have to be the armpit because it is vital to the show’s health. I know that ensemble role seems insignificant right now, but the director is always watching for future leads. If you are responsible with a small part, I will give you larger parts in the future, and if you are amazing, I may even plan a show for you. Remember a show can cost anywhere from $10-$100,000 to put on, sometimes directors have to put in their personal money to make the show happen. I want to invest in performers who are experienced, talented, trustworthy, and committed. If I can’t trust with a “small” part then why should I trust you with a large part? Also if you have not performed in musicals before, don’t take lessons and miss rehearsals, why should I go out of my way for you?
As a director, I do have to consider the chemistry of the cast and how to make the show the best. Here is where it gets hard. There are so many variables here that the individual performer cannot control. There are height, age, and look considerations, as well as past history between the performers themselves. For example, years ago when we were casting an adult production of “Guys and Dolls” we had a 50 year old male lead as our only option. We had two strong girls auditioning to play against him. One was 21 and very talented, but looked like his daughter, the other was not a strong singer but was 35 and looked more appropriate with him, so we cast her. I do not want to cast exes as leads as it will cause unnecessary drama. I do not want to cast someone who is a diva or has a family who is not willing to volunteer and help out with production needs as it causes a strain on all the other performers. Picking a cast is like picking a winning sports team. I need a few strong leaders, a few people with special skills, etc.
Sometimes there are height and clothing size concerns as well. Specifically for our production of “Beauty and the Beast” I was forced to cast to the costumes, as they were already made and were given to us for free. To rent costumes would cost between $3,000 – $5,000, which we did not have in our budget. The costume for Belle was a size 0-4 petite, so I needed to find girls who would fit it. (By the way, this is common practice at Disneyland and on Broadway.) The costumes are expensive to build so often you have to be a certain size to be considered for a role. Also, as in any company, I am going to give priority casting to performers and families who have been with me for many shows and many years. They have invested in my productions, so I am going to invest in them. I do try to give lead roles mainly to performers who are juniors or seniors in high school with the understanding that they will only get one big lead show. I have worked with other companies where the same performers got the lead in every show, and I do not want to be that company. Of course there are always extenuating circumstances, but I try to keep it fair so that each performer has a shot at a lead role.
In conclusion, if you did not get the part you wanted you should take a clear look at yourself. Were you going for a role that you were appropriate for? Have you put in the time building your performing skills? Do you take voice lessons, dance classes, acting classes? Are you in lead shape physically? If you answered no to any of these, then you should start working on that. If you answered yes to all of those then chalk it up to circumstances beyond your control. I have been in auditions where it came down to me and the director’s girlfriend. Even though I felt I out sang her, I knew they were going to cast her, but I also knew that if I did my time as a principal they may pick a show for me. They did. If you don’t get cast as the part you want, the best thing you can do is happily and eagerly spend your time in the part that you get, learn from the experience, encourage your fellow cast members, help the directors in any way you can, and be thankful that you get to be in a show. I am thankful every time I get to step out on stage and perform, you are so lucky to be healthy and living in such as time as this. One of the best lessons you can learn is that you don’t always get what you want, usually you have to work long and hard to get it. So start working harder and someday you will get that part!