Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Stage School

This week I want to talk about stage schools. Watching the new series “Hairspray: The School Musical” got me thinking about Stage Schools as in this series Denise Van Outen is trying to get a regular school to put on a performance of the hit musical on the West End. It’s going to be interesting to see how the young people react to their school being changed in to a stage school type environment and if kids from a regular school can pull it off.

Stage schools for many years have been seen as the place for wannabe actors, dancers and singers to attend in order to achieve their dreams of making it in these industries. They have also been seen as many as a place that is for children from well to do families who can afford the yearly fees and for children with pushy parents who will do and pay anything to get their child to the top.

I know many people who have gone through some of the top stage schools in the country and I know many people who have worked at top stage schools. The majority of these people have spoken highly of their experiences in the Stage School environment. The one thing that Stage School does is make you really aware of the competition and what standard you need to be at to get roles and contracts. The energy in these places are immense as in Stage Schools everyone has the same dreams and are all working hard to achieve them which you don’t get in regular schools.

Stage School’s are brilliant for unmotivated, undedicated and undisciplined people as the environment forces it’s pupils to be all these things with the rigorous hours put in to development of their craft and the pupils being forced to keep disciplined with the hectic timetable of lessons and workshops. Many people who go to Stage School wouldn’t spend half the time they do on their craft if they weren’t in Stage School. The problem is that when you graduate from Stage School and enter in to the workplace you need to be disciplined and motivated as there will be no one there to make sure you are.

Another thing to remember in this day and age is that Stage School isn’t just for people wanting careers in theatre, TV or Movies. Nowadays many TV Presenters and Radio presenters are coming out of Stage School. We now also have pop bands who are formed from members who attended Stage Schools.

I think it is important to remember that going to a stage school isn’t a guarantee of success and they aren’t the only way to break in to performing arts. Stage Schools do however give you high class teaching and time dedicated to your craft that you wouldn’t get anywhere else, they also give you a network of contacts, invites to auditions and people working on your behalf to get you work. So I do believe going to a Stage School can really help you get a career in performing arts but it is your natural talent and dedication that are going to get you there and these are things that you either have or you don’t.

I still believe that if you don’t go to Stage School you still can have a great chance of making it in performing arts but it just means that you need to be on your toes, scouring every source you can for auditions, trying to get your talent to the best level possible and building your own network of contacts. The good thing now is that more and more companies are looking for everyday people and holding open public auditions so it gives a chance to those who don’t go to Stage School.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"
”Shaking up the Youth of Today”

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