Here we ask members of our community to reflect on their experience with youth drama and discuss how it has impacted their life and career. In Volume 2, we hear from Photographer and Graphic Designer, Michael Vu.
HOW YOUTH DRAMA CHANGED MY LIFE
By Michael Vu (Photographer and Graphic Designer)
“Throughout my life I’ve always been interested in storytelling. Whether it’d be writing or drawing or just verbalizing what was inside of me, I always wanted an outlet to play with. So naturally, performing was something I was interested in from the get-go growing up, having done a Rock Eisteddfod or two at school. Though I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to focus on as I was getting older, I continued to develop this “theatre-kid” side of me throughout high-school and early on into university whilst juggling other creative ventures such as graphic design and photography and my studies. Now working in digital media and the communications industry, I can reflect on what having an interest in theatre and performing has taught me.
It may not occur to you at first, but a lot of the roles we take in our life are somewhat of a performance. Whether it’d be at school or at your job; that role doesn’t necessarily define you per say, but you do draw aspects of yourself into it to fulfil what is required of you. Being a “theatre kid” is synonymous of this, and, speaking from experience, theatre has definitely helped me find out more about myself. We all have different sides to ourselves. Theatre is a great way to explore this.
Despite the theatre life not being for me, it was still so valuable to my development and understanding of the human condition; our emotions and thought processes. One of the earliest things I learnt whilst taking a drama elective at university was the concept of Jacques Lecoq’s “le jeu” or “play”, which I often come back to in my day-to-day life. Playfulness. Children are open and spontaneous and can create something out of nothing. As we grow older though, that playfulness diminishes. I think this is an important concept for all to be aware of. Sometimes there is no wrong or right or “perfect”. A lot of people get stuck in their heads – even in the professional world – about having the best end result. But, if having dabbled in theatre has told me anything, it’s that the creative process – the collaborating and saying yes to ideas and trying them out – is just as fulfilling, if not more, than the end result. That’s how you learn in life. From trying. Sometimes we have to improvise (and yes, coming from an improvisation student, I highly recommend it!). Improvising isn’t a bad thing, you know.
So, whatever you do, just give it a try. Find humour in things, say yes to things (as long as you’re not pressured and you’re comfortable with it). At the end of the day, life is all a performance anyway.”
Tell Us Your Story
We want to hear from YOU! Send your story on the topic of HOW YOUTH DRAMA CHANGED MY LIFE, and an accompanying photo, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Not sure what to say? Here’s some ideas:
- How did you get involved in drama?
- How did drama it benefited you at the time / your development as a young person?
- What you do now?
- How you applied the skills or benefits of drama to your life as an adult and/or in your career?
We can’t wait to hear from you!