Is it worth getting real life performance experience? Or is the anxiety, commitment and challenge too much?
We’re a little biased, but we think that there is so much to be gained from real performance experience that everyone should have the chance to try it.
So, if your child loves an adventure, loves to express themselves and has a flair for the dramatic then joining a theatre company where performance is at the core is richly rewarding.
Performing is an experience like no other, and children who have the chance to take part in a show benefit in so many ways.
Here’s why we think real performing experience is so important for children and young people…
No matter how rehearsed a performance is, something unexpected will happen. A missed cue, a broken prop or a line said wrong.
It’s these things that give young performers a chance to practise quick thinking. They can adapt to what’s happening and recover the performance.
It’s something that they then carry through life, being able to assess a situation and react quickly. This kind of mental ability is hard-won. Not everyone is able to think quickly in a moment of pressure or anxiety.
But it is a skill that can be transferred across every aspect of life. A child who practises fast thinking and independent problem-solving in a theatre setting creates neural pathways that will be used in other environments.
They can more easily adapt to challenging moments and even just the everyday obstacles life throws at them.
Live audiences are a distraction. Shuffling in seats, crinkling packets, crying babies – even beaming grandparents – can be a distraction for a performer. A loud, cacophonous musical sequence is one of the most distracting and overwhelming things you can imagine.
So how do performers keep their cool? No matter the noise level, audience movements or mistakes happening on stage, a trained performer can maintain their focus.
This is no easy task, as we all know as adults, yet your child can learn how to overcome these distractions like a professional.
This is done through repetition in rehearsals, where the theatre and stage environment is mimicked realistically. Theatretrain shows sometimes have a “putting you off” week where the creatives attempt to distract the students from giving a good performance – they learn a lot that day about focus! By making mistakes and experiencing the real-world distractions that will inevitably pop up, your child can become a dialled-in performer as well as a focused individual in their daily life.
Feel All the Feelings
There’s nothing like performing, but it’s a journey. Your child will feel excitement, happiness, anxiety, disappointment, frustration, anger – pretty much the whole spectrum!
Performing is all-encompassing. You can reach the highest of highs and lowest of lows all in one show.
From the first rehearsals to the final performance, your child will not only be put in situations where they’ll experience these feelings, but they’ll also discover how to express and communicate them.
It’s one thing to feel angry; it’s another thing to let that anger be released and overcome in order to continue a performance. The same goes for feeling anxious or exhilarated. By feeling these emotions in a safe space, they’re more equipped for dealing with them in the future in a real life situation.
Emotionally mature children go on to become well-balanced and self-regulating adults, which is an invaluable thing to learn while young.
Committed To Commitment
Signing up to being in a show means committing to hours and hours of rehearsing. No matter how big or small a role is, everyone must work together to pull it off. The theatre training experience is a rewarding, engaging and fun one, but it’s still tough work.
Hours of rehearsals are required for any performer to reach a level of confidence and ability before a particular show. The large-scale performances we put on at enormous venues like the Royal Albert Hall need months of training in the lead-up, so that your little performers are prepared and able to take on the event and everything involved.
Through those months your child will face a huge array of things that might make them want to give up or not give their all. But the training process teaches them that by sticking with it and refining their skills, they will feel the thrill of performing on world-renowned stages.
Students need support, especially when they start to think about whether they want to carry on with performing arts. If your child starts to question their commitment, remind them of all the reasons why they started initially and encourage them to stick with it. This will help them to build grit and confidence – both valuable life skills !
They might need to practise at home as well as in their weekly sessions. They’ll certainly be learning lines, songs and routines as they improve their dancing, singing and acting abilities. Commitment like this takes a lot of character, but it also gives your child a better memory, a sense of responsibility and allows them to practise the valuable skill of self-motivation.
With all of this behind them, your child is set to be an impressive performer and a well-prepared person overall.
Not even a rollercoaster can give the same feeling as standing on stage, hearing the applause and cheers from an audience that has been entertained by the performance you just gave.
Your child will feel the absolute joy, pride and satisfaction that performing brings.
But exhilaration comes from a place of dedication and fear. You can’t have the thrill without the fear. When your child is stood behind the curtains, awaiting their cue to go on stage and perform the parts they’ve been practising for months, they’ll undoubtedly feel some hesitation.
They may even wish to back out before they get to that point. But by persevering, allowing themselves to continue on while feeling that apprehension, they’ll find an incredible sense of achievement that they won’t find in many other situations.
Want Your Child To Reap The Benefits Of Performance Arts?
Performing has no other comparison, you can’t match the benefits with anything else. But you reap the rewards from the hard work put in and the experiences lived. Your child will gain so many life skills and lifelong memories from something that is enjoyable and fun, and we think that makes performing a worthwhile endeavour for any young person.
If you’d like your child to experience being a part of a real theatre company, find a Theatretrain session near you using our online tool. See you on the stage!