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Showing posts with label The Arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Arts. Show all posts

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What I learned at Broadwaycon

As I lay in my hotel bed with sore legs and aching feet, I feel very happy and satisfied. I have just spent 3 whole days at BroadwayCon 2017, also known as BroadwayCon #2, the year we didn't get snowed in due to a huge blizzard. It was great, and after the last couple of months, I was due a break from the issues of the world that troubled my mind.

It's not like I wasn't aware of the STUFF that has had me so upset, but I was allowed to celebrate, art, and fun, and the artists who create the fun and entertainment that is so worth celebrating. The STUFF was actually a pretty major theme throughout the weekend, but to get to look at it through the lens of artists, deep thinkers, who create and reinterpret the world around us, was a beautiful thing. It was also good to know I was surrounded by people who were pretty much of the same mind. Sure some people didn't agree and a few people left, but in this crowd, it probably less than 1% of the crowd who had a problem with the narrative. 

The opening and closing performances, for example referenced leadership that split our country and banned all that is good and threatened liberty. But in Broadway fashion, the first performance found a happy solution, and the latter gave us hope that we could in fact, survive this.... this.. that thing that would not be mentioned, but we all understood. 

So, here are the things I learned at BroadwayCon:

1. If you want to be an artist (Theatre art, visual art, writer), you need to create art... daily. 
2. You should spend half the work day in research and the other half of the day creating. 
3. You need to promote yourself using social media... it is the best way to be discovered.  Learn to use it. 
4. Never say no to an opportunity unless it makes you feel unsafe. 
5. Use your emotions to fuel art.
6. Let societal issues fuel you. 
7. Don't worry about doing derivative work. That can be paralyzing.. Create whatever comes up and then work through it to something original. 
8. Bad ideas can and will lead to wonderful ideas. 
9. What is meant for you is for you. Keep seeking opportunities, but don't get discouraged if you don't get it. 
10. Someone else's success is not your failure. 

And the bonus item: Artists are incredibly socially aware and often err on the side of compassion. 

Thank goodness I am not alone. I so feel like a fish out of water lately....  I thought the tide had turned... but it turns out I may have ended up in the wrong stream. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let talented children be talented

sketch a day #27 - 10 minutes
Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou, Elaine Stritch, Casey Kasem, Robin Williams, Geoffrey Holder Joan Rivers, Oscar de la Renta, and many, many other deeply talented people died this year.  Mike Nichols, who died this last night influenced the last Seven decades of televisions and movies. His death had me thinking... who are we replacing these people with?

Kim K. West? Miley Cyrus? Justin Beiber?  Basically, we are replacing these talented, talented, icons with people who are just as infamous as they are famous. The media is more full of narcisists, and dysfunctional stars than talented ones. Sure each has something about them that makes people swoon, and some even have staying power, but they attract more idolatry and admiration. That is a problem.

As an artistic person, and as a parent of artistic people, I feel like my parents generation did us a disservice that we have to reverse. I distinctly remember my parents telling 13 year old me that black females won't get anywhere as architects, so I should keep my sketching as a hobby. They instead pointed me towards law.  It was interesting enough, but when I changed my major in college to art, I remember, a cousin who I respected being called on to brow-beat me into changing my mind. It didn't work, but it did nothing to my confidence as an artist. I feel like this is why I have stopped and started so many times over the years. When your parents don't support you as an artist, will the world? How will you know.

This is why I have always done my best to support my kids as artist. Even though the boy is now more into programming than art,
I believe that he should integrate his talents into whatever he wants to do, and praise his work whenever he cares to show it. So what, my daughter may never make it to the Broadway stage. She may never design a costume outside of community theatre. She may not write the next great novel. She may not get her work in a gallery.  But she might.  Who am I to discourage her, especially when it is clear that her work is very good. (This isn't just me speaking.  Do you know how hard it is to get A's in creative courses in college?  Near impossible.)

I pray homeschooling parents will continue to raise children in the way they should go, and not in the way that we parents envision them. Sure, their argumentative nature as children may have us dub them little lawyers. Sure, we would love for them to be doctors, or pastors.  But, God doesn't gift EVERYONE with talents. That is quite evident based on the "talents" put before us today by the media. If your kids are talented, encourage them to pursue it, in whatever way they can and don't discourage. You will never know what dreams you are breaking.

We need hope for a future where creative people are more positively influential then negatively, don't we?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Our Weekend at CITA

 This past weekend we went to the CITA (Christians in the Theater Arts) High School Festival.

It is a competition and college fair for Theater minded Christian Students.  My daughter participated in 3 events and while she did not win in any of them, she got great feedback she can use to try again.  A bunch of her friends from her homeschool program did do very well, so we have a great time celebrating their victories.

While the kids were there to show their stuff and get feedback on their acting chops, the parents (in our case anyway) are there to hear from colleges interested in recruiting these talented kids. (This is how we found the college my son will be attending in the fall).  It was interesting to talk to these colleges with strong theater departments and hear then complement her performances and talk about what they had to offer.  It was also great to see my husband come around to accept theater as a real college major... though he still wants to see a minor in writing.

I am very thankful that we have been able to let our child focus on something she truly loves during her education.  As we approach the end of her Jr. year, I can see how much  studying theater has made her a secure, confident young woman.  If it were not for homeschooling, I don't think she could have placed as much emphasis on the arts.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Homeschoolers and The Arts

 We returned from North Carolina last night after attending the CITA (Christians in the Theatre Arts) Secondary School Theatre Festival.  Our homeschool program (Artios) and four or five others theater and musical performances of all types.  There was so much talent there, I could hardly contain myself.  All of the kids in our group got excellent or superior ratings in one or more of their performances including my daughter who got excellent ratings in both her musical solo and her group scene.  One girl in our group got a best of her category award.  Of course, I am very proud. My daughter has done performances and been in plays before, but this is the first time she has been up against such as huge number of other talented performers!  I am very proud of her performances.  ...And she is already looking for theater pieces to perform next year. 

While the school we visited over the weekend (where the event was held) had a tremendous drama and arts departments with probably 1000 costumes, 50 wigs, and hundreds of instruments, I have to say that I think that our homeschoolers have the advantage of being able to follow and focus on their passions and make the arts a large part of their homeschooling experience.

Think about it.  The kids at the festival certainly blew our minds with their level of skill and their talents.  Our students however, held their own even though and were able to compete at the same level even though they don't get daily attention from directors and teachers as the other students do.   Our kids' talents are truly driven by their own passion for the arts and lots of independent study.  While they may only have a few hours a week to hone their skills with an expert in their field, their results are still up to par with those who have an instructor 5 days a week, plus the access to all the instruments, costumes, and venues for performing that they desire.
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