So you have finished year 12 or decided that Uni just isn't for you despite that your parents are telling you to get a 'real' career and all you can think about is Performing on stage with Beyonce or Playing Liza Minelli in The Boy From Oz. There is that saying in life, 'Once a Performer always a Performer' or 'you can take the girl out of country but you can't take the country out of the girl.' It is the same for all Dancers, Singers and Actors. We thrive for our after school rehearsals and don't care that we can't go with our school friends to the local shopping centre on Saturdays because we have class (and it is probably one of the only classes in our life where the teacher has our undivided attention for the whole hour). But after the stress of Year 12 you realise that you are at that stage in life where you need to make the decision, what do I want to do with my life? ....
Well my response to that is why deviate from the dreams that you have had for all these years? Unless you try, how are you ever going to achieve your goals? If you find along your journey that it isn't for you, then hey, you don't have to be in tip top condition to go to a lecture at university anyway. Why not try a Full Time Performing Arts Course? The beauty of the majority of these courses is that they last from 1 to 2 years and you get to work and meet some amazing people along the way. However, it is important to choose the right course for you, so you can benefit 100%. There are so many full time Performing Art courses popping up left right and centre so it is crucial that you do your research.
When looking for a course, have a vague idea what it is that you want to do at the end of your studies. Trust me, as a Graduate of a Performing Arts course, I can tell you that the direction you think you want to take and the direction you actually take can quiet possibly be two different things!
Here is the advice that I would give to someone who can't decide what school to choose.
- Know the Faculty
It is so important to know all the faculty. It is as simple as if there are going to be teachers that you already have had classes with and you don't like their style or maybe you just don't want to do that style there is no point spending a year with them. Maybe you have worked with several of the teachers for many years. If this is the case why not try someone new?
-What does the course offer?
Make sure the course is going to offer you something that is ultimately going to help achieve your goal. Although all dance is relevant to each other if you want to be a Ballet dancer maybe a commercial course isn't right for you.
- How many people are accepted into the course?
Learning technique and new styles can be hard enough as it is, so is being in a class with 50 people going to be beneficial to you? If you are looking at going to a school that accepts large numbers it is important to ask if classes are going are going to be slip etc?
-What can you do for the school but also what can the school do for you?
It is important to work with the school you end up going to not against. Knowing people and networking is key in this industry but remember that it works both ways. This is something that can become tricky to see at first but ultimately you spend a minimum of a year at the school you choose and should develop strong relationships with those around you. If you are going to forget about those that helped you the following year or those that helped you forget about you maybe it is not the right school for you.
I wanted to tell all those thinking of doing Full Time what it can be like and honestly. Every person will have a different experience and be prepared because it is hard work, long days, no weekends, no money, lots of tears, lots of smiles, lots of life lessons, new friends and probably one of the best years of your life. It separates the true artist and those who are 100% committed from those that won't be able to sustain in the industry. Full Time encourages you to learn a lot about your self and helps you discover the person who you want to be. So if you are considering it be prepared for all of the above and enjoy the ride.