Imagine a world without dance, music, acting….
Imagine a world without dance, musics, acting. No movies, no TV shows, no radio stations, no theatre performances, no concerts…I mean REALLY think about it. What would it mean?
The arts is often trivialised by some people.
When asked what you do and you say you are a dancer, actor, singer, musician, you are then asked:
Is that your full-time job?
What else do you do?
What!? You earn money from dancing around?
That’s not really a job though is it?
What’s your real job?
Artists in all forms, train for many, many years, often from a very young age, to develop the skills needed to be good enough to earn a living in this industry.
You are knocked back constantly. Told you are not good enough, not the ‘right look’ (Whatever that may be), too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, the rejection is endless.
You develop a very thick skin. You develop a resilience that some people will never need. You work harder, to perfect your technique. You go back time and time again, audition after audition just to get that one job…
But we continue to do it, we never give up, because it is our passion. The arts are rooted deep inside, it’s in our blood. We don’t just stop when we don’t get that job, or the next job, or the one after that. We try, try, try again, just as we’ve been taught to do.
Artists are passionate, dedicated, talented people, who deserve so much more recognition and respect than they often get. It’s not the glamorous, travelling the world ‘gig’ that many think it is. At times it is lonely and depressing. Sometimes you are away from home for long periods or you’re rehearsing for 12 hours a day with barely a break!
Then there is the other side of it… the magical, wonderful side of it. Like stepping out onto the stage for the first time for your first PROFESSIONAL gig. When you wait in the wings and are pinching yourself because you can’t believe you finally got a break! The rush of adrenaline, the excitement, the look between you and your fellow performers that says ‘Let’s rock this!’ There is nothing quite like it. I guess you could call it a craving… and maybe that’s why we don’t give up? We are desperate for our next fix…
And lets’ not forget our contribution to the economy. ‘The arts and culture industry has grown £390million in a year and now contributes £10.8billion a year to the UK economy. The sector contributes £2.8billion a year to the Treasury via taxation, and generates a further £23billion a year and 363,700 jobs.’ The Arts Council April 2019.
Seeing what’s happening to our industry is just devastating. Those poor students who have worked their butts off at college for the last three years, not only do they miss their huge graduation showcase, but they are coming out into a non-existent industry. The dancer who just got their dream job in the West End after years of trying to have it cruelly snatched away from him/her. The out of work actor who finally got a role in a movie. The role he’d been waiting all his life to get… cancelled.
I understand that everyone is feeling the effects from the pandemic and to some the arts still IS trivial. But to us performers it’s EVERYTHING. Imagine a world without dance 🙁
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I pray that somehow the theatres will get through this and things will pick up again. To all my dancer/singer/actor friends out there, I’m thinking of you all. Things will get better… Don’t give up on your dreams.
We will RISE again….