To commemorate the launch of Samuel French Special Editions, we caught up with Sherika Gaines, the Drama Teacher at McMillen High School, who placed the very first Special Editions order.
We wanted to hear about how their production went and how she and her students were enjoying their special editions. Check out the interview below to hear what a real teacher has to say about Special Editions!
First of all, Sherika Gaines, we would like to congratulate you and your students for being the first recipients of our brand new Special Editions! The Samuel French team has been very excited about the launch of this new product and we’re so happy that you and your students are equally as excited about them! We set a goal to sell one hundred copies in one hundred days and your school was officially the first of those one hundred orders!
Q: When you first received our flyer, what were some of the unique features about the Special Editions that sparked your interest?
A: It sparked my interested because it was something that I had never heard anyone do before. I liked that pictures and the cast and crew info would be featured in this special edition script.
Q: What convinced you to order Special Editions for your production?
A: I actually talked about it with my students and they thought it all sounded so cool that they definitely wanted to be able to have something with their names in them.
Q: Did you tell your students about them before you ordered them? What was their reaction? I imagine they would love having a keepsake copy of the script with their name and pictures in it!
A: I did tell them before. I asked their opinions and they thought it was an awesome idea as they would always have a copy of the script and have their names and pictures inside.
Q: As with the launch of any new product, this first order was a learning experience for both of us. How did you feel about the ordering process? Did you find the process easy?
A: I thought you guys worked very well with me. It was a learning process for both of us and I thought this was the best handled situation that I had ever had with the company. Everything went smoothly and worked out as planned and discussed.
Q: What was your reaction when you finally received your copies? What is your favorite feature about Special Editions?
A: It was exactly as I had imagined it, but even better. I loved the feel and look of the pages and I loved the way the cover looked as it was different from our original scripts. If I had to choose my favorite part, it would have been the pictures of my cast and crew inside, along with our poster design.
Q: And what did the kids think?
A: Our acting scripts were a little different and so when we got the special edition scripts the kids thought they looked really cool. They looked so much better in this special edition script. They loved that it had their names and pictures inside.
Q: What were your reasons for ordering Special Editions for your production? Did you order Special Editions primarily for your students to sell as a fundraiser or were they ordered for keepsake purposes?
A: They were mainly used for the actors so they could have a keepsake. It wasn’t much of a fundraiser as it was just giving the students something to remember about this experience as it was one of our biggest shows as our school has only been open two years.
Q: How did your efforts selling Special Editions compare to fundraisers that you have participated in in the past?
A: It wasn’t a big money maker, but it was pretty easy to sell as everyone wanted something to share with family and friends that featured their students.
Q: What was the family and community reaction to the Special Editions? Were parents and grandparents anxious to buy a copy?
A: We did have some parents that were very anxious to purchase the scripts. They thought they were really nice and definitely had to have one.
Q: Will you order Special Editions for your next Samuel French production as well?
A: It will definitely be something I will consider, I will probably do it for the major shows each year so that it is something special.
Q: If so, do you have any tips or hints to other educators on how to sell them in your community?
A: I think doing pre-orders is the best thing to do. I would let the kids and families know ahead of time so they are expecting to get it during the show.
Q: Did you save any Special Editions for yourself?
A: I definitely did!
Q: What would you say to other educators to encourage them to order Special Editions for their students and communities?
A: It is definitely worth it to have at least once. The kids have never seen anything like this and it definitely is something to keep and be able to look back at years from now. The students have programs or posters to show they were a part of a show, but a special edition script is so different from the norm will definitely be kept longer than the posters or programs.