In a couple of weeks our world has changed and so has our performing arts schools. It is dawning on us that we are living through a major change in our world and that world we knew will be different in the future.
Some people are scared by this and want to cling to the past. Others are still in a state of shock not knowing quite what to do. We know that human beings survived because they adapted and moved on.
Those that couldn’t sadly got left behind – and that is hard to deal with. You can see that this is starting to happen. Who is positive? Who is negative? Who is mean? Who is generous?
Acting, dancing and singing classes may seem trivial as set against the world’s problems but I argue that the performing arts offer something that young people have a real need for – time and space to think about themselves, their world and their place in it and what they want to see for themselves in the future.
Everywhere people are having to switch their thinking about how things are done. Overnight teaching has had to change. How can you teach acting or dancing or singing classes? Surely in a virtual world it’s impossible to teach theatre skills? But it’s not. We are already finding new ways. New problems bring new solutions. It’s an amazingly creative time where you can see who really knows what they are doing and who doesn’t? And what really matters?
People are finding that learning has to start with a spark inside themselves – a curiosity, an enthusiasm, a sense of wanting to grow as a person, to understand more and create something. Every artistic person knows that surge of excitement and joy that goes through them when they come up with a new idea or master a simple skill that took a lot of effort. That sense of joy is something that will be very important in the coming months because it gives them something to look forward to when they could so easily waste their time doing nothing. This is a time for trying things out and challenging yourself. Then as the dust settles you are more resilient and better able to deal with your world.