To start off – the title of this column is technically a little fib. Considering my journey into the mystical and slightly terrifying world of the arts began in my A-level drama class at 16. Shout out to Mrs Carr with the constant energy level of someone who has drank five red bulls at 9am to hype us up.
I wasn’t a person who honestly thought that I might end up going into the arts. Yes, I did like musicals and went to a lot of them but I wouldn’t proclaim myself as a ‘theatre kid’. Although, to my friends dismay, I can talk about why I love Jesus Christ Superstar all day if I was allowed. But hey, art is subjective and my sister thinks it’s just a one big drug trip.
I always thought of the arts, in particular acting in theatre, as just a hobby and not something I would consider having a career in. So instead I wanted to be…an archaeologist. Mainly because of Indiana Jones. Who doesn’t want to be almost crushed by a massive rolling boulder?
But there is that moment which I believe all young people may have when they get out of school after GCSEs and they start to wonder what do they really want to do. Would they be successful in chasing a dream they have or would they rather play it safe and get, what is sadly perceived by their elders as ‘a real job’.
Especially for someone like me who hadn’t really dipped their toe in the arts world. This made the decision all the more intimidating and caused a lack of confidence. Those two factors hold a lot of people back from what they really want. That is a prominent problem for young people who may be around others who don’t take the arts seriously.
But the next time someone says to you that you won’t be successful in the arts industry or tells you it is not an actual job, I would advise you to say to them – ‘Are you successful in your ‘actual job’ then?’ As if they have a right to judge your career choice, they must be pretty secure in their own jobs.
What is the one thing I have learnt as a young performer? If you decide to go into the arts professionally it is a job and with the same amount of success rate as other occupations in different career circles.
This is where I wholeheartedly agree in the motion that having a degree or any level of schooling will not guarantee you a job in any industry. Your career is what you make of it. Which is not to discourage but instead to say to my young readers that you are able to have as much success as anyone else if you keep working towards your goal. You shouldn’t feel like the arts is a lost cause and I encourage all of you to put yourself out there if you are a young artist, actor, writer, dancer, musician, director, producer and everything in between.
I am now at University in my Second Year- studying theatre and drama and I don’t regret it one bit. I enjoy my course and learn more and more every day about the industry and add more experiences to my career. Whether it be forming relationships in my drama society or finding the confidence to pursue outer projects such as playwriting and doing performances with outside theatre companies. I believe I am already paving my way and so will you.
So, to my young readers I will leave you with this as my main introduction. Don’t give up before the race has even started- As your aspirations are valid and can lead to great things if you let them.
Get yourself out there now! Using Instagram to display your work can be used as a great online portfolio if you don’t have access to websites such as Spotlight or Backstage. (Although I would recommend investing in one in the future!)