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Art For Arts Sake

There is a well-worn expression from the arts world that resonates with me – ‘art for art’s sake’. What this means of course is that any kind of art, painting, performing, dancing, singing and acting, has an intrinsic value in its own right. It is not done necessarily for reward or wealth. And that is why some street art is so revered as people with a statement to make and talent to back their creativity produce wonderful work. And among a lot of the online nonsense of people becoming overnight sensations because of a second rate poem they have written, you can also find real talent pursuing the art for art’s sake dream.

And it got me thinking about Make Believe and why we do our work. Sure, businesses operate to make profits but one thing I have always stressed is that we also operate to make a difference to young people’s lives – and we do. We are a meritocracy where the most talented youngsters get a chance of acting, singing and dancing at the highest level. But more importantly we serve the community by providing a service that helps all our students with
confidence and self-esteem. The outcome may well be that people use the skills to perform but there are many settings in everyday life which will help our students. The feedback we get from old students is revealing; from interviews for university and jobs to having the confidence to ask a work colleague out for a drink, we ensure all our students have the self-worth and confidence to make their way in the world.

But of course the magic of the moment of performing is what drives most of our students, the thrill of standing on a stage under a spotlight with hundreds of people hanging on every movement they make, every word they speak and chord they reach. And to reach that magic moment demands hundreds of hours practice to hone skills and importantly have the mental strength to overcome fear and apprehensions because what goes on in the mind can have a negative effect on what the voice or feet do on a stage. This is why art is indeed for arts sake and that we should pursue our dreams with vigour, however mundane our lives may seem. And that is Make Believe’s raison d’etre, to give people the creative tools to take the world by storm.

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