I am catching up on the last week of theatrosphere blog posts, and while Scott Walter’s whole blog post is a must read, his comment about what he tells his theater students, is what stuck out to me.
I say: “You are getting a degree at a liberal arts university. I am not offering you ‘pre-professional training’ because, frankly, there IS no profession. I am educating you, not training you. I am offering you a lens to see the world through that, should you decide to try to make a life of artistry (which is different from a CAREER in the arts), then you will have four years of reflection and experiment from which to work. If you want to be buffed up for the so-called profession, you need to go down I-40 to Winston-Salem and the NC School of the Arts.” Now, what are others saying? I conjecture that they are selling the Cinderella Myth, pointing at a couple alums who are working occasionally, and teaching their students that what separates the successful from the unsuccessful is that the successful want it more (which is a huge lie, but that shifts the blame for their failure to the students’ shoulders and absolves the teacher entirely). It is a con game, plain and simple.