When you go live online as a teacher there is a tingle of excitement. It’s like waiting in the wings to go onstage. Thoughts and anxieties crowd into your head. How do I start? What might I forget? Why ever did I agree to do this in the first place?
Then, as every performer knows, you step over the line to begin and those fears disappear because you are too busy dealing with what has to be done. You do the first thing, which leads to the second thing and so on. As you do it more and more, you build experience, gain confidence and get better at it. The fears fade somewhat although it’s wise not to get over-confident because it could all come crashing down. When a tennis player takes their eye off an easy ball and starts thinking where they are going to put it, that’s when they miss it completely. I remember watching a performer who prided himself on never dropping a line and always knowing his words. Super-confident until the time came when he did drop a line. It crushed him and he dried more and more because his head couldn’t cope with what was happening. He judged himself a failure and gave up performing.
Fortunately, most of us don’t give ourselves such high expectations and we learn to adjust if something doesn’t quite go to plan. In fact, I would argue that performers and teachers are often more adept with unexpected situations because they have to be. When they enter the classroom or the stage you feel at ease with them and feel they could handle anything; they have what we call stage presence. And this is what we like to pass on to our students – to be at ease – but not too easy with the work.
Like riding a bicycle, you may fall off a lot at first but bit by bit you balance better until it becomes second-nature. You could show off like a 14-year-old on one wheel but you soon learn it’s better to point it in the right direction and get the energy you need with the minimum of effort. Whether you are a teacher, a performer or performing arts pupil, you have a lot of mini-life experiences that help you cope with the world.
Our professional virtual theatre classes in acting, singing and dancing continue online. Theatretrain is offering FREE top-quality performing arts classes to all young people in this time of national crisis, providing them with an outlet that encourages confidence, creativity and comradeship, while also positively contributing to their overall fitness and mental health. To register for FREE visit https://bit.ly/2WXempV.