Anxiety is the scourge of today's younger generation. And parents can have a tough time knowing what to do and how to help. Here's our CEO of Perform Australia explaining how participation in the performing arts can make a huge difference in the life of a child. If you want to help your child with anxiety, get your child started in a drama class.
Book your child in today!
For the emerging actor, being a short film can be a way to gain experience, secure material for a showreel, and to be seen, with the hope of future employment.
Many short films are made on tiny budgets or rely entirely on the goodwill of all involved – student films among them. This blog is about the pros and cons of acting in a student film.
Here are some of the pros of being in a student film:
1. The experience
If you’re new to acting, a student film usually allows you to experience what it’s like to work on set, with lighting, sound, and a range of personnel present.
2. Networking Opportunity
Being on a student film allows you to meet and make friends with the filmmakers of tomorrow. Just as student actors are interested in making contacts, so are student filmmakers.
3. Practising your audition and "meet and greet" skills
Sometimes student filmmakers are just desperate to find actors – and will take anyone! Certainly, you may have to audition for a role, but sometimes in a student film you can bypass this altogether. A student filmmaker may need to round up a number of characters and if you fit what they’re looking for, you’re in! So whether you have to audition or just apply, you get to practise these important industry skills on first contact.
4. Sometimes the part is written for you
If you’re a friend of a student filmmaker, they may write a part in their script with you in mind. Not only is that very flattering, it’s also a great opportunity for you to give it what you’ve got.
5. Getting a copy of the film
You may be able to ask for a copy of the film that you can use to promote yourself. Make sure you ask permission, though, before you go posting someone else’s film on social media. Sometimes if a filmmaker is putting their film in a competition, there will be an embargo on its distribution prior to the competition. Publishing it on social media might disqualify it from the comp. So make sure you don’t rub anyone up the wrong way by making this mistake. Likewise, if you want to use an extract for your own showreel or website, make sure you ask first, and give credit to the filmmaker.
6. You can develop more confidence in front of the camera
If you’ve not yet had a lot of screen acting experience, a student film is a fairly safe way to build self-confidence. The stakes aren’t super-high if you mess up.
Here are some of the cons of being in a student film:
1. You'll work for nothing
On the whole, student films tend to offer no pay for the time you spend. Sometimes there’s no catering either!
2. The experience
Sometimes student filmmakers take a very long time to make films. As they are in the process of learning their craft, it can take them ages to achieve what they want to achieve. Setting up lights, correcting sound levels, and doing re-takes can seem to take forever. Actors on student films can spend excessively long times waiting for the student filmmakers to do the tasks that would normally take a professional a couple of minutes.
3. Film equipment used by student filmmakers is often unreliable
Sometimes if they’re borrowing equipment from their educational institution, student filmmakers are using equipment that has been through many hands. And because students are learning how to organise themselves, how to work the equipment, and how to think through problems, sometimes they make technical mistakes. They accidentally delete important footage. Or a camera stops working. Or they didn’t make a backup of their material. Or they lose their SD card. These are all common foibles of student filmmakers!
4. Sometimes students films are never finished
If the reason you’re acting in a student film is the hope that you’ll get a good snippet of footage for your own showreel, you might be disappointed if you never get a copy. Like all other kinds of students, sometimes student filmmakers never finish and hand in their assignments. Films can be complex projects and sometimes a student filmmaker will decide they’ve chosen the wrong career and drop out of their course midway through a project. So in this instance, a film you were in may never see the light of day.
5. Roles may be limited
Lecturers in filmmaking frequently chuckle about the fact that student filmmakers love writing horror films – especially zombie films, but also films about dark social themes. So there’s not a huge variety of material in the student filmmaking landscape. If you come across a student film that’s quite different, you can be sure you’ve hit on something special.
So a student filmmaking experience can either be negative or positive – or a mixture of both. If everything does go according to plan, though – you may meet a great contact. You may have a fun time. You may learn something new. And you may walk away with a copy of the film as a memento of your experience.
Acting students in our Advanced Diploma of Performance program occasionally get to collaborate with student filmmakers as part of their course.
A New Year is always a good time to review your goals as an actor, and make some plans.
You may have good acting technique, stage presence, and a look that's amazing on camera - but if you don't take steps to actually build a career, no one's going to find out about what you've got to offer!
Any acting school worth its chops will train you not only in acting technique, but also in how to find professional gigs. At Perform Australia, our qualifications have significant components on sourcing, auditioning for, and creating your own work.
Or, if you want a tailor-made plan for your own advancement, you can have one-on-one counselling with us to help develop a personalised career plan to get started.
In the meantime, here are some extra tips on getting your career under way this year:
Find out about our Certificate in acting here.
Find out about our Musical Theatre Certificate here.
Find out about our short courses here.
Find out about our programs for children and young people here.
Sometimes drama class isn’t the first thing parents think of when they’re looking for something to help their child’s development. But here are seven reasons why drama class is the best thing ever for childhood and teenage development.
#1 Drama helps kids make friends.
#2 Drama develops self-confidence
#3 Drama helps kids become more creative.
#4 Drama helps kids become more empathetic.
#5 Drama develops communication skills
#6 Drama builds team skills
#7 Drama creates precious memories
I’d say it’s time to enrol your child in drama classes, wouldn’t you?!
Do it today:
Click here for Brisbane drama classes with Perform Australia
Click here for Canberra drama classes with Perform Australia
Click here for Perform Australia's drama classes in NSW.
Are you a musical theatre lover? Then you’ll want to check out the soundtracks for these Christmas musicals:
Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Based on the children’s book of the same name, this musical with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and score by Mel Marvin first opened in 1994 in Minneapolis in the US. It later transferred to Broadway and became the first musical to run 12 shows a week, pushing Schwartz’s Wicked off the charts as the top-grossing musical in December 2006.
Songs include: I Hate Christmas Eve, Whatchama Who, You’re A Mean One Mr Grinch, and Santa For A Day
Elf The Musical
Based on the film starring Will Ferrell, this is the story of a young orphan who as a child, crawls into Santa’s sack and is taken back to the North Pole. Santa raises him as an elf, until one day he sets off to New York City in search of his real dad. With script by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan, and a score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, it’s a family favourite. Did you know that students from Perform Australia are performing ‘Elf The Musical Jr’ this December?
Songs include: Sparklejollytwinklejingley, I’ll Believe In You, World’s Greatest Dad
Nativity! The Musical
Written by Debbi Isitt and co-composed with Nicky Ager, Nativity! The Musical tells of teachers Mr Maddens and Mr Poppy staging a musical version of the Biblical Christmas story at St Bernadette’s Primary School. Things don’t flow as smoothly as they’d like! It opened in Birmingham, UK, in 2017, and has so far enjoyed three UK tours.
Songs include: Dear Father Christmas, Our School Nativity, Sparkle and Shine, She’s The Brightest Star.
Holiday Inn is a musical based on the 1942 movie of the same name. The musical premiered in Connecticut, US in 2014. The libretto was written by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. The main character Jim leaves show business to settle down at his farmhouse, but he finds he misses song and dance. He’s lucky to meet Linda, herself a talented performer, and together they turn the farmhouse into an inn with its own dazzling entertainment.
Songs include:White Christmas, Cheek to Cheek, Blue Skies, Steppin’ Out With My Baby.
Scrooge: The Musical
The book, music and lyrics of Scrooge: The Musical were written by noted musical theatre practitioner, Leslie Bricusse. Based on Charles Dickens’ original story, the musical was adapted from the screenplay of the 1970 film Scrooge starring Albert Finney. It came to the stage in 1992 and has experienced a number of revivals since that time.
Songs include: I Hate People, Sing A Christmas Carol, The Milk Of Human Kindness, The Minister’s Cat and I’ll Begin Again
Would YOU like to be in a musical? At Perform Australia, we have a number of opportunities based in Canberra:
Writers from Perform Australia contribute to these posts