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So You Think You Can.....


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#1 casime

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:44 PM

Just watching SYTYCD and it had me thinking (yes, I know... ouch!).   If your child came to you and said that they want to be a dancer/actor/singer/artist/etc, what would your response be?   Would you support them no matter what?  Would you discourage them?  Would you encourage them and also suggest they have a backup plan?

#2 SlinkyMalinki

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

I'd encourage them, but would probably prefer they have a backup plan - uni degree or trade as well.

#3 Laborious Nicety

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:51 PM

I discouraged my DSD strongly.  Her parents supported her in her dream to be an actor/dancer.  My grounds for discouraging her was that it is such a hard hard life and all she had to do was look at her parents to see how hard it was wink.gif.

She's in her thirties now, mildly successful in a quiet sort of a way, has done theatre, some tv series, involved in a theatre company, works in a talent agency to pay the bills, does some teaching as well.  Financially?  Eh.  I don't think it's financially as stable as we would wish for her.

I think we were *all* right.  She's made it work though.

#4 ~DrSeussRules~

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:54 PM

I would want them to have a good fallback plan and to give themselves a time limit.

#5 BadCat

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:55 PM

My children?  I'd tell them in the most gentle way I could think of that they are barking up the wrong tree.  They have no artisitc talent at all.

I would support a child with some amount of talent but not really encourage.  I'd push them to have a backup.

A really talented child I would encourage and even then I'd still urge a backup plan.

#6 BobTony

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:59 PM

It would depend on the amount of talent possessed by said child. There is no way I'm going to go all "Yes! You CAN achieve your dreams" if she wants to be a singer but can't sing a note in tune.

And even if she was talented, I'd still want a backup plan. There are a hell of a lot of people with a mass of talent out there, and nowhere near the number of jobs needed to keep them clothed and fed.

#7 *-*

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

DD1  wants to be a Singer/Actor.

She has talent.  She takes part in local productions.  We support her dream, all the way.

But she also knows that this must all come second to a "real" job.  Singing/Acting remains a hobby at all times.... if it takes her further - then so be it.  But chances are, it wont.

I don't want to take away her dreams, but I don't want to slap her in the face with reality just yet.

Edited by *~Katrina~*, 09 November 2012 - 10:02 PM.


#8 my serenity

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

Encourage with reality..... Currently doing so with my DD who's want to be Olympic gymnast and currently doing an invited class :/

#9 Quill

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

If you're talking about a career musician?

Well. My three kids have been exposed to this their whole lives. They've seen me perform. They've seen me teaching other peoples kids. For a start, only the youngest is musical, and the big two know exactly what it takes and it's not for them.

Encouragement has huge shades of grey.

Yes, a child should be taken seriously. But not after a passing comment. You need to see that they're serious. That the interest is manifesting at school, in their imaginative play. Preferably, before you do anything, you want to be seeing comments from their classroom teachers, reports or pre school directors.

At that point, go looking for specialist assessment. In music, you want to see an excellent sense of pitch and rhythm, whatever the instrument. You also want to see that basic rhythmic ability for young classical dancers. In artists you'd look for a heightened sense of colour and the ability to break apart what the child sees into sections of texture.

Many of the kids I teach virtually give up their childhoods for their music. Nobody can practice for them. They do it because they love it. The kids who do that are exceptional, and everyone around them can see it. I work 80 hour weeks because it's so rewarding to help encourage and teach them.

Not sure if it answers your question. This is my 'hot button topic', so I'm going to try to stay out of it and not get on my soapbox too much. blush.gif

Edited by Quill, 09 November 2012 - 08:17 PM.


#10 codswallop

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

I find this topic really interesting and agree with much of what Quill has posted above.

One of my closest friends has a child who is a talented musician.  Parents are both musical and one is involved professionally.  I really admire the way that they are doing all that they can to encourage the gift but also grounding it in reality so that their child makes an informed choice, knowing that it's a hard and often uncertain existence.  Encouragingly the specialists and professionals who've heard this child play have all agreed that there'll be no issue with making a living from music should that be the decision made.

I have a friend from school who was trained as a classical vocalist and who makes a living as a professional in music theatre.  Her classical training and music education experience have stood her in very good stead as she has the technique and knowledge to give her longevity and good vocal health where others with talent have not endured.  

So the lesson there is by all means have a back-up plan even if it's in a related field;  follow your dream but on a solid base and only if the dream isn't completely beyond reality.

#11 ZombieMum

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:29 PM

My 10 year old DD is very passionate in one area, and originally she wasn't that good talent wise, (in fact I thought she was awful!) and I tried to discourage her as gently as I could. wink.gif

It didn't stop her though, and she kept begging and begging us to join a group. We allowed her to participate in the free school group thinking they'd ask her to leave  ph34r.gif , but refused to pay $$ to join up with another group that she had her heart set on, because I thought it would be a massive waste of money.
12 months later, she was still very passionate, so my DH convinced me she needed to join up to the 2nd group. Oh how I was wrong about my ignorant beliefs - In the last 2 years, she's come a LONG way and this year she has had 2 opportunities to have a short solo performance in front of a larger audience. (one opportunity in both groups she is part of - the biggest audience was around 2000 people).

She's still very passionate and I'm so glad she's improved immensely with her talent - thanks to great teachers. She's hoping to get another solo opportunity later this year, and she also has an opportunity to audition for a 3rd group that could set her up with a scholarship for the rest of her school life. (just have to remember to post the audition application form.  blush.gif )

It's not something I really want her to pursue as a career, I will encourage her to have a backup plan and this passion can be her hobby on the side. Although she could study arts in high school - and I won't be discouraging her there, but I guess that might conflict with my hopes for her after Year 12 - I have a few more years before that bridge needs to be crossed. wink.gif

#12 countrymel

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:30 PM

My parents encouraged me, they also made sure I had a backup plan but really they have been unquestioningly encouraging.

My Dad was so proud when he first came in to the gallery where I was first 'properly' professional and saw all my work out on display that he burst into tears.  It had taken a long time and a lot of work to get there I they knew it.

I know that they believed in me and believed in the 'talent' that I had.  




#13 kadoodle

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:39 PM

I encourage my kids to enjoy the musical, artistic, athletic and otherwise creative aspects of their lives.  I also encourage them not to put all their eggs in one basket.

I've had friends who fell hard when injury killed off the sporting careers they'd been pushed towards since they were in nappies.  Being washed up at fifteen in a very hard place to be in.

I also have friends and family members who make a living from visual and performing arts.  My kids see their auntie onstage with her violin and are amazed that she's a "real live musician", but the sheer amount of work she put into it - from when she was a five year old - puts them right off.

#14 SnazzySass

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:45 PM


For the young who want to
By Marge Piercy


Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.


Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.


Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don’t have a baby,
call you a bum.


The reason people want M.F.A.’s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else’s mannerisms


is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you’re certified a dentist.


The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.


I hope to always encorage and support my DS in anything he works toward.

#15 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

----

Edited by Tyrone Finkelmeyer, 26 March 2013 - 09:00 PM.


#16 Quill

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

QUOTE
My Dad was so proud when he first came in to the gallery where I was first 'properly' professional and saw all my work out on display that he burst into tears. It had taken a long time and a lot of work to get there I they knew it.


Many parents of exceptionally gifted children in the Arts don't realise quite how talented their child is until the child actually performs, after extended preparation.

I have parents who have never heard their child play a concerto from start to finish - they may work on it for a year or more. Each bar is broken apart and dissected from every angle. In one week the child may only have 1 line of music they're working on. So it's hard for their parents to get a handle on the magnitude of the achievement.

The very best parents are the ones who quietly and softly cheer from the sidelines. They show up on time for lessons. They're understated about their child and quietly optimistic about their potential. They have uncompromising standards for general academics. They're easy and relaxed to deal with.

TigerFilly - I'm glad you're on EB. I always hope you'll post in threads like this. You mention having multiple jobs. Exactly right.  wub.gif

Edited by Quill, 09 November 2012 - 09:03 PM.


#17 Magnus

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

I agree with most people, but I don't really believe that someone needs to be an absolute genius to be encouraged. I'm sure a lot of the child actors who ended up as successful Hollywood actors weren't straight out amazing as actors. I'm sure they were cute or fit well into the assigned role of 'nerdy kid' or 'pretty girl number 1', or whatever. Then they probably gained skills over time. You probably don't have to sing absolutely brilliantly to end up as the next pop sensation, either. I think it would be worth encouraging kids who were well above average, but not necessarily brilliant and seeing whether their talents developed.

I can see that classical music and sport at a high level would probably require an amazing natural talent to begin with, though.

#18 Propaganda

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:03 PM

I'd let my child. No dropping out of school for it though.

I'd encourage her, but I don't think she'd actually be any good.

#19 Chocolate Addict

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

I wouldn't discourage but would want them to have other skills to fall back on.

My bestie is a singer/dancer/actor and though he had some fame when younger it wasn't until his 30s that he really got noticed. He is now very famous and in demand in his chosen career. original.gif Lucky he hasn't lost his looks for a man in his 40s! lol (in fact, I think he improved with age - b*st*rd) Tounge1.gif

My 7yo boy thinks he can sing and dance. He can but I don't think he is superstar talented! lol He also thinks he knows all about karate cos he can do a high kick. wink.gif

#20 Owl_Little_Girls

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:09 PM

QUOTE (my serenity @ 09/11/2012, 09:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Encourage with reality.....


This is what I would do if DD wanted to do this. I will support her, but also let her know it is a tough world and there will always be bills that need to be paid. Lucky for me, she is only 5, so I am sure we will play the 'when I grow up I want to be a' game a number of times.  laughing2.gif

#21 kadoodle

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:14 PM

Quill - my parents would just shake their heads in amazement at how they - both people who's sum total of musical ability is singing in the shower - managed to produce my sister.  

I'm of the "more determination than talent" catagory.  I'd love for my kids to be talented, but the show biz world of "x factor" et al is such a nasty place, with media waiting, salivating, ready to rip you to shreads.  I'd much rather they stayed away from that kind of destruction.  It's not about talent, it's about feeding the public's need for car crash tv.

#22 *-*

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

I appreciate the honesty **Tiger*Filly** - But seriously, some things are nicer said different ways.  Rude comes to mind.

I never said she has "exceptional talent" - I said she has talent.  She is 10.  She has had about 6 Months of lessons.  Seriously, shooting her down now is a bit soon... and I certainly aint going to be telling her that she "has an ordinary voice and sings out of tune" - Cause that's just not what you do to a 10 year old - Ya know?  You give them opportunities, rather than shoot them down.


I am all for constructive critisim, don't get me wrong.... that said, I never suggested great things for her - just that we would encourage her dream as long as it remained a hobby.




#23 SeaPrincess

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:16 PM

One of my biggest disappointments is that my parents weren't more supportive of our less mainstream interests - I wasn't allowed to do dancing.  My brother would dearly have loved to be a photographer, and he does do some photography and has even had a couple of exhibitions, but he still has to work in his "day job".

DD asked me if she could do ballet.  She started lessons as soon as she was old enough, and is loving them and doing well.  She will probably start doing another dance class next year.  Yes, I will also encourage her to do well at school, and to have a back-up plan, but if she is good, I will support her 100%.

#24 Carabosse

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:17 PM

I would definitely encourage them within reason.
I would also encourage them to enter the industry of their choice in another way (working 'behind the scenes' in some capacity). My own life experience has taught me that in many of these kinds of 'creative jobs' it can not only be talent but who you know and opportunity can present itself if you are in the right place at the right time.
There is nothing worse for a creative person to be stuck in a non creative job 9-5. So I would think very carefully about the kind of 'backup' plan you encourage them to have original.gif

#25 Quill

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:27 PM

Yeah, I don't have a lot of time for all the singing reality shows. The kids don't either so they're not on the box a lot at our place.

The determination aspect is a huge factor, absolutely. But it's qualified determination. A kid just has to have the self awareness and I suppose, a perfectionist streak, because that way they're driven to improve. They'll practice for an hour, be satisfied and tired, but come away from it talking about what they might be able to do even better next time.

If they have determination, but without the self awareness, they'll be blind to their own faults as an artist and have an ego that's a bit big for them. There are a few musicians that don't need to practice hard, but not many (and all of the ones I can think of have already earned their stripes and are full grown!).

I think a sense of humour and a really creative imagination are must haves, as well. Quite often a kid who is gifted in one field, will be gifted in another, related field. The bigger the imagination, the more empathy and emotion that child will be able to inject into their work.

I feel like a might need a box for my own safety in this thread. tongue.gif




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