Should I become a professional performer? It’s a question I am sometimes asked and there’s not an easy instant answer. I usually say, “There’s what you think. There’s what the people around you think like your family or your teachers and there’s what the business thinks.”
Let’s take each one of those and give the short answers.
“Talent won’t be discovered by waiting for a piece of magic – you have to make it happen.”
A powerful self-belief and some talent will carry you a long way. Your self-belief will knock on doors and keep you knocking when they remain shut. Talent won’t be discovered by waiting for a piece of magic – you have to make it happen. Does the world happen to you or do you happen to it? Without that level of enthusiasm and commitment you would see that others have more self-belief than you. And don’t confuse self-belief with self-delusion. You need to know you have what it takes. That’s a question for another day specifically about you.
If your family are behind you it helps. Presumably you will need to train full time in higher education and that costs. Love and support from that those who care about you can carry you through difficult times but there are many who did it alone and without financial support. Sometimes family can be against your plans. That can difficult to deal with and it’s time for the heart and the head to be working.
Your teacher can balance you against not only the rest of the class but against all the people they have ever taught. They ought to know whether there is something in the way you work that leads on to whether you could make a living out of it. One thing that some people overlook is that being a big fish in a little pond feels different to being a little fish in a huge lake.
“If you have the passion then get some experience, put yourself out there, follow your dreams and keep your feet on the ground.”
Finally, you don’t get to decide your destiny. Most agents in the theatre industry won’t take any interest unless you have had three year’s training at a reputable higher education school or academy. Getting selected is a step on the way but it does not mean you’ve arrived. Leaving college is only the start and what about luck and being at the right place at the right time?
These hurdles give you a sense of the self-belief that you need to get into the industry never mind succeed in it. Having taught at all levels for so many years I know there are huge benefits from following a performing arts training. It’s intensive and demanding but those skills are incredibly transferrable to other jobs. The other thing I would say is that I have been surprised many times over the years. People mature and change. Some people who I thought would be highly successful I never heard of again while others who didn’t particularly impress me turned out to be amazing. I’ve had the privilege of teaching many pupils who succeeded and I’d say it’s unwise to think there is an easy formula. If you have the passion then get some experience, put yourself out there, follow your dreams and keep your feet on the ground.
Since 1992 Theatretrain Performing Arts Schools across the United Kingdom have been providing young people with part time performing arts classes at weekends. Without the cost of attending an expensive full time stage school Theatretrain is an excellent place to start your career in the performing arts. For further information about our weekly lessons in acting, singing, and dancing visit www.theatretrain.co.uk.