To celebrate our 30th birthday, we are giving an open-air concert on Saturday 18th June at the Scoop, a venue opposite the Tower of London overlooking Tower Bridge. Over one hundred students from our centres across the country will come together to sing 13 songs.
We are often asked how we get everyone to come together on the day and give a professional performance without meeting beforehand. The answer is, like everything else in life, it all depends on how you prepare. When we were at school we all had to do our homework, and we all know that bad feeling if you didn’t do it, especially if the teacher you liked was disappointed in you.
In the performing arts it’s the same feeling, only worse. If you are singing 13 songs but you only bother with six, you are not going to enjoy the other seven. In fact, you’d probably feel really silly standing there pretending to know what you are doing when you don’t. You can’t hide when you are a performer, and not doing your homework is non-negotiable with the audience.
I used to explain it in a corny way by saying it’s like a bank account. You have to pay in before you can take some out. Every week you add a bit more. In the case of this concert this would equate to six minutes a day in the first week, going up to 30 minutes in the last few weeks.
“This is where the performing arts can make a huge difference to young peoples’ lives.”
Most people are inclined to be a bit lazy and put off doing jobs until another day. That’s fine. There’s 11 weeks and you can miss a day or so, maybe even a week, but after a while the job starts to get harder until you have a mountain to climb. This is where the performing arts can make a huge difference to young people’s lives. No-one gives it to you on a plate.
Put simply – you agree to do a show, you commit yourself, you do the at-home rehearsing, and you have a great time performing because you don’t even have to think about what you have to do. It’s become second nature. You learn that being systematic every day brings a reward. You have control over what you do and that can spread into your whole life.
“Call me old fashioned but the only real way to learn about persistence is to persist.”
The people I have a problem with are those who go halfway along and then give up because it got a bit difficult, and they couldn’t be bothered to make the effort. As parents I think it’s our job to help our kids stick at things. Sure, they can leave after the event, but didn’t they give their word, and didn’t that mean something? Call me old fashioned but the only real way to learn about persistence is to persist. That’s a life skill that could play a big part in your life. It’s certainly a big part of your character.
That’s why Theatretrain has survived all this time. Performing takes energy and enthusiasm, but without commitment it would be nothing and you can’t tell the audience that your dog ate your homework.
For almost 30 years Theatretrain has been providing kids and teenagers with exceptional classes in dancing, acting and singing as well as providing first-class opportunities to perform in venues such as The London Palladium, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and of course the beloved Royal Albert Hall. If you would like further information on our international award-winning performing arts schools at over 80 locations across the UK, then visit www.theatretrain.co.uk