VOL. II, No. 8: Tips for Setting Up Acting Classes
& CTC Volunteer Opportunities
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Raise the Bar &
Bring Down the House


Photo: The Valley of Des Moines nailed its production of the 22°, Knight Royal Axe, in Kansas City in 2013, presenting the entire degree—in song! They received a standing ovation for their efforts.*

VMAP Area 3: Setting Up an Acting Class

By Maynard Edwards, 32°, Valley of Susquehanna, Md.

Having beautifully performed degrees can mean the difference between a great reunion, and a lackluster reunion. Great performances will keep the new Brothers engaged, and give existing members a greater understanding of the important lessons in each degree. And nothing makes a Brother more eager to return to the stage than thunderous applause from an excited audience.  

To help increase the level of performance, an item from VMAP Area 3—Degree Conferral Proficiency—tasks Valleys with offering acting classes for the degree performers. Here are a few tips to get started:
  1. Ask around your Valley to see if there are any brothers who have a background in theater, public speaking, or acting. You may be surprised. If you find someone, ask him to take the reins and organize a class.
  2. If you cannot find a Brother with the proper skill set, contact a local community theater or a local college drama program. They should be able to help you find an interested actor or coach who would be willing to come to your Lodge or Temple. You may have to make a small donation or pay a small amount to get someone to come, but the investment will be worth it. 
  3. To offset any costs for materials, to compensate an acting coach, or even as a small fundraiser, consider charging attendees a small amount.  Be careful not to make the class cost-prohibitive! Remember, these Brothers already have given of their time and energy by agreeing to participate in the degree. Don’t ask too much of them by charging more than $20, and make sure they get their money’s worth.  
  4. Have the classes in the actual performance space. Whether it’s a lodge room or the Temple stage, practicing acting techniques in the performance space will make men feel more comfortable on reunion day.
  5. Make the class accessible by polling men in your Valley for the best day and time to hold the class. Also, make sure to hold the classes at least a month before your reunion. Any closer, and most actors will be prepping for the upcoming work and won’t have the time or bandwidth to get much out of a class.
  6. Make it fun! Consider giving each man who participates some kind of certificate or pin to recognize that they have gone the extra mile to make their performance as dynamic as they can.  
We hope you will use these tips to get your own acting class up and running successfully. Perhaps you already have one established and have your own suggestions. Either way, please share your experiences by writing to
*From the November/December 2013 Scottish Rite Journal. Photography by D. Brent Marchant, 32°, Valley of Kansas City, Mo., used with permission of Ill. Robert W. Cockerham, 33°, SGIG in Missouri.

Celebrating the Craft Is Less Than 1 Month Away!

Please give us a hand!
Do you live near Washington, D.C. or will you be in the area on May 16? Please consider volunteering your time with us during the Celebrating the Craft (CTC)! Contact us at or 202–777–3187 for more information. We would love to have you!

Tell Us Your Plans for CTC.
Tweet us @TheScottishRite using #CTC2015 and let us know your plans for CTC this year! Check out our social media sites by clicking here or following the links near the bottom of this message.

Remember, participating in CTC fulfills one of the tasks set forth in VMAP Subject Area 8—Philanthropy & Public Image.

Show off your Reunion Photos

Send your favorite photos of your Spring Reunion to share with other Valleys across the Jurisdiction. This can be used for something new in the VMAP Workbook #4 “Reunion Experience”.

VMAP Minute No. 4 on The Tyler's Place

Question: How will VMAP work or be implemented for new Valleys and/or Valleys that don’t have all four Bodies?

Visit select "VMAP Minute, No. 4” to hear the answer.

Do you have tips on achieving VMAP criteria you think might help your Brothers? Podcast host Bro. Maynard Edwards, 32°, wants to hear from you! Please send an email with your idea to You may be invited to share it on the air!

The "VMAP Minute" is a regular feature segment of The Tyler’s Place podcast. Each VMAP minute covers one of the 10 VMAP areas, along with other practical applications that support VMAP initiatives.
Remember, the goal of VMAP is to provide Valleys with a list of implementable activities to increase the engagement and involvement of their members.

For more information, visit the VMAP page at

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