3 Contributing Factors to Achieving Artistic Education of Excellence:
“For almost 40 years of my teaching life, I have been both fascinated and intrigued by what inhibits and what releases an indivudual’s deepest creative drive and achievement. What are the key contributors and/or conspirators which allow someone to step into their rich inner resources and huge untapped potential?
3 essential factors come to mind:
An environment that calls you to account:
This means a vibrant, challenging yet resolute dynamic surrounds you which helps move you from what you think is possible to what is indeed possible. The very nature of the creative enquiry around you needs to be both robust and powerful, so both you and others around you can leave the comfort zone (where only the past can repeat itself) and enter the stretch zone (where real growth and development resides). Once there, self-perceived boundaries and limitations can fall away as new possibilities of engagement and connection are embraced. Authentic exploration can easily then be activated as each person’s natural ability and instinct simply kicks in.
An enquiry worth pursuing:
There is no cure for curiosity and once a creative mind and appetite is alerted to something more, something bigger, something new, the rest takes care of itself. But the outcome must be something enticing and enriching. The pursuit of why we do what we do as humans, what drives us and how we react under certain stimuli, has and always will fascinate actors and audiences alike. Indeed, it is the only real reason theatre/film and TV exist – to hold a mirror up to nature – our human nature – and for us to contemplate who we really are and what we’re really capable of – good and bad, enlightened and toxic. My life’s pursuit has been exploring these ideas with actors around the world and forging the very best performance understandings and skills in order to create stories which compel and magnetise.
Now this is a fascinating dynamic: to be truly free, creatively and imaginatively, you must be free from obligation – free from looking ‘good’, free from avoiding looking ‘bad’, free from pleasing, being worthy, free from the obligation of trying to be ‘right’ or valid or straining and striving in order to be ‘enough’.
Yes, we all have pressures, goals and desired outcomes born from what we wish to achieve in the pursuit of art. But nothing must come in the way of our authentic interface with the material at hand. We are committed yes, but not tied to nor manipulated by external or internal obligations. Any educational environment of note understands this intrinsically, and because of this, true education and achievement can flourish.
Australian actors have been making an enormous contribution on the world’s stages and screens for more than 4 decades: none more so than the last 15 or more years.
Take your artistic education seriously. Make sure you know the culture of the school you are applying for. Know what they stand for and hold true and value most. This is an extraordinary industry and a school’s combined focus should be giving every student every chance of making an extraordinary contribution to it.”