Theatretrain - Doing A Proper Job
October 4, 2021

Doing A Proper Job

I met Dean Mark an ex-member of a youth theatre I ran. He has been a professional session musician for many years. He has toured with Lemar, Roy Ayers, Craig David, Lulu and many more. We talked about what makes a great performer. Obviously, you must have to have a technique and that means working at your skills daily. He was very interested to hear about my book, particularly about teaching young people how to think as professional performers.

I asked him how his early work in acting, dancing, and singing had helped him when he looked back. He said undoubtedly it gave him the confidence to believe in himself and to own his space on the stage. He thought there was a strong crossover between acting and being a musician as the act of performing, getting up in front of people, is a skill you must master.

You must step up to the plate at moments like that and show what you can do.

Then we talked about being on stage and those performers who were truly present, alive to what happened and those who were not. His first big professional job came at the age of 23 when he was suddenly playing for Boy George. You must step up to the plate at moments like that and show what you can do. That takes courage. He thought all the performances he had given when he was younger had got him to a place where he could handle that pressure.

“You must earn that right; it doesn’t just happen.”

We talked about when you work with highly skilful performers (and these aren’t always famous people) they have a way of being with you in the room. Of course, they will be polite and responsive but there comes a moment when you can tell you are accepted. You must earn that right; it doesn’t just happen. 

In Theatretrain we are working with young people on the beginning of their journey. They won’t all want to go on and become professional performers, but they all benefit from discovering that there is no substitute for working hard at performing skills. It doesn’t come to you – you must go to it. It all comes down to the attitude you have towards the work – how hard you are prepared to work and whether you can throw that switch from just having fun together and then getting serious about what you are creating and doing a proper job. That’s how you earn your dues and the respect of others.

Then I watched Dean play with Heatwave- the 70s Disco funk band. His bass playing was amazing; so assertive. melodic and powerful but other times hanging back and being part of the team. Here was someone humble enough to know exactly when to step into the limelight and when to step back. That’s a real skill and it’s mostly not only about hearing but listening. It can take a long time to learn the difference between those two little words.

Theatretrain is delighted that our schools have now reopened for the Autumn term. Our awesome classes in acting, singing, and dancing have been providing teenagers and kids alike with life skills since 1992. Taking performing arts classes are proven to improve academic achievement across the board. Our classes encourage confidence, friendship, communication skills and so much more. If you would like to find out more about our weekend theatre schools or your child has shown an interest in attending drama, dance and singing lessons then visit our website or follow us on Instagram by clicking here!

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

Related Articles

A Great Cause!

In this week's blog, Theatretrain's Artistic Director expresses gratitude to the remarkable students and parents who played a crucial role in the danceathon on October 7th. Together, they raised an impressive £48,254.00 for Theodora Children's Charity, supporting their Christmas campaign for children's mental health. The collective efforts will undoubtedly make a significant impact on Theodora's valuable work, bringing joy and laughter to children in hospitals and hospices nationwide.
Read more >

Flying through Flanders

Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain, recounts his Antwerp escapade, from coffee calamities to exploring vibrant theatres and explores how Belgium see value in the arts.
Read more >

Crazy for You

Join Theatretrain Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett as he shares the enchanting experience of watching 'Crazy for You' at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Dive into the magic of tap dancing, embrace the cheesy love stories, and discover why this musical is a perfect blend of joy and optimism.
Read more >

A Success Story

Dive into the vibrant world of theatre magic with Kevin Dowsett, Theatretrain's Artistic Director. Today, he shares the incredible journey of Callum Balmforth, a former student turned professional performer, making waves on and offstage!
Read more >

Saying Yes to Ideas

In this insightful blog, our Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett, explores the power of saying yes to ideas and the transformative impact it can have on creativity and communication.
Read more >

I Have a Dream   

In this blog post by Kevin Dowsett, the realms of reality TV and musical theatre come together. The blog provides a exploration of the inner mechanisms of a reality show, the varied skills of its contestants, and the skill of establishing a connection with an audience through song and character. His distinctive viewpoints illuminate this considerate analysis. For the complete blog post, please click on the link either above or below in the bio. ☝️👇
Read more >