To deliver the best training to any age you must cover two different things. One is the PROCESS of learning how to improve your skills of singing, dancing, and acting.
The other is the PRODUCTION of performances where you can shine as part of a team and discover how to handle yourself in front of an audience.
There are many companies out there, but most don’t do both of the above. Some of them purport to be just FUN as if that in itself was the most important thing. To me that way leads to childminding and passing the time, having a laugh with friends. We believe in FUN as well but for us the FUN is directed at doing a proper job. One of our Centre Directors used to say, “When you’re ready to do it properly – join Theatretrain.” Set your sights high.
Many young people have dreams of being a performer and why not? It doesn’t always turn out that way, but you learn loads about yourself as you go. This week an ex-student from Coventry, Stefani Zivanic, now a West End stage manager explained how Theatretrain was the place where she learnt that hard works pays off and how to respect those around you. Touring the country as Natalie in Mrs Doubtfire at the moment is current student Darcey Dean from Watford. While on ITV’s The Voice, current Isle of Wight student Millie Lake has taken herself to another level.
Not everyone like Darcey and Millie will land a starring role and some like Stefani will change direction but it’s all about discovering a professional ethos and having many opportunities to perform at a high level. That’s why Theatretrain is the only performing arts training company regularly playing the Royal Albert Hall and other West End Theatres. We know that our students gain so much from being in front of a big audience and we have the skills to take them there and achieve something special.
You need to develop a focused and professional way of working. I wrote a book about it (100 Days – Developing a Performer’s Mindset) because I wanted young people to discover how to do this. I describe it as being the difference between a sharpened and a blunt pencil. It’s focus, it’s passion and it’s commitment. You need to know what is expected of you.
What we do has been carefully thought about over many years. Of course, it’s fun but we don’t just set out to be fun – we set out to be truthful in our approach and be the best young people’s training company in the country. Strangely enough when your focus is on that it’s even more fun, but fun with a higher purpose.