Perched on my veranda one sunny afternoon in our Adelaide home, the sight of my kids, Harrison and Cecilia, mimicking Charlie and Sprout in one of their dramatic backyard performances forced my mind on a little trip back to my days as a performing art student. Yes indeed, I, Orlando, once graced the stage, and I can tell you there are many good things about attending performing art schools.
Performing arts are a hotbed for self-discovery. As a lad, struggling to find my place within the usual mayhem of growing up, it was through my enrolment in art school that I found solace. I flourished, not just as a performer, but as a person. It was like unlocking doors within myself that I didn't know existed. This, arguably, is one of the premier goodies from performing art schools: they help in carving out our identities and enriching our personas.
Emotions can be muddled for adolescents–even adults, to be frank. Performing arts school provide an outlet for students to express their emotions without inhibition. Acting, singing, dancing, it all brings the hidden emotions to fore, allowing them to be discussed and analysed in a more abstract and cathartic way.
Admittedly, my kids Harrison and Cecilia are better at sharing when reenacting Mary Poppins than at the dinner table. Performing arts demand a high level of teamwork. You learn how to share, how to compromise, and understand the need for unity to achieve a common goal. I tell you, acting in nine school plays unlocked my collaboration dungeon faster than I could say 'teamwork'.
Performing arts create the platform to nurture leadership skills in students. It's not just about delivering lines or matching steps, but more about being responsible for a character and the trust of your colleagues. It taught me to take the reins when needed, guiding me into a resilience that has since been instrumental in my everyday life.
Public speaking frankly scared me into goosebumps. But after sweaty palms and butterflies, performing arts helped me transform this fear into excitement. I learned to express myself on stage, which boosted my confidence and self-esteem exponentially. You gradually shed your self-consciousness and begin to embrace your individuality, without any fear of criticism or judgement.
Playing different roles in performing arts teaches empathy as you literally walk in another character's shoes. I remember exactly how it felt playing 'Scrooge' – never have I valued the joy of giving so much. It’s captivating how art can make one understand and relate to emotions that you haven’t personally experienced.
Performing arts schools are like mini pressure cookers which teach students how to handle stress. The art school phase is filled with pressure elements: the constant critiquing, the late-night practices, the opening night jitters. But it serves to toughen you up, and teaches you to handle criticism constructively.
Studies have found a positive association between involvement in the arts and academic performances. The tenets of discipline, resilience, and focus built in performing arts students can benefit them acadically. It also sparks creativity, innovation, and originality, which is much sought after in today’s world. Add to this, the unbeatable elation one feels when they step off the stage, bringing not just applause but also a treasure chest of benefits that serve well throughout life.
In conclusion, from my own experience with performing arts–and probably inspired by my children’s backyard theatricals–I can positively affirm that there are numerous good things about performing art schools. So, for the next Scrooge, Othello, or the future Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright, walk into the world of performing arts - and trust me, you won't be disappointed at what you discover about yourself.