It's spring in Charleston, and the trouble is deciding what to choose to do. There are so many festivals, art offerings, runs and, of course, glorious beach weather that it's hard to make a decision.

So here are a couple of things that might make your life fun, both now and later this spring.

First of all are the free workshops at the Charleston International Film Festival. Ed Buckley writes about the festival in this section, but he didn't delve into several offerings for the true film buffs, or aspiring movie-makers.

The workshops planned for the seventh annual festival on April 9-13 feature insight and advice on the topics of casting, acting, video editing and virtual cinematography.

If you can only make it out to one festival workshop, The Yin & Yang of Casting & Acting is a must-attend session, according to its information material.

Professional casting director Laray Mayfield will share invaluable insight, experience, and inside knowledge gained throughout her successful career, which includes casting such remarkable features as "Fight Club," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "Footloose." She also cast the first two seasons of "House of Cards" with her partner, Julie Schubert, earning the pair an Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series.

There's also an animation workshop and a movie editing workshop that are great for those starting out, or wanting to delve a little deeper into the topics. The workshops are either at the College of Charleston or at Charleston Music Hall, so you might want to check the schedule to see what interests you (and you might want to take in a movie, too.)

For a complete festival schedule or to buy tickets online, visit

Meggett festival

If you want to get out of the packed-house atmosphere of downtown in the spring, there's always a drive in the countryside.

The town of Meggett will host its annual April in Meggett Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday.

This promises to be a true small-town affair. Meggett is located between Charleston and Edisto Beach on S.C. Highway 165 and is a quaint old railroad town with a few shops. The festival features Lowcountry artists, craft makers and food vendors, and will include a display of antique cars and tractors, as well as the Easter Bunny.

The festival will feature an Easter Egg Hunt for 1- to 4-year-olds at 11 a.m. and an obstacle course for older children. A Flag Retirement Ceremony also is planned, to be conducted at 1 p.m. by the American Legion.

Parking and entry are free.

The festival will be at 4776 Hwy 165 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, call 889-3622.

Spoleto discounts

Next weekend, Spoleto Festival USA is offering Charleston-area residents discounts on festival tickets that are purchased in person at the box office inside the Charleston Visitor Center, 375 Meeting St.

Tickets for a range of productions are on sale. And this year, students can purchase $15 tickets to numerous events on an ongoing basis. The specially priced tickets are meant to encourage more young people to attend festival presentations.

That's one of the more encouraging bits of arts news I've heard in a while.

Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto are the highlight of the Charleston arts year, May 24-June 8. A little discount on tickets is always helpful. That means one more event that we can attend.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or