We all know that the performing arts are good for children because it boosts confidence and provides outlets for self-expression. But there are a few more benefits that spring to mind!
A lot of people think that if you have anxiety, the stage is not for you. That isn’t necessarily true! Over time, people can learn to conquer their fear of being in front of an audience. Taking it one step at a time is the best way to overcome it. Performers can do a range of things before going on stage to lessen the nerves such as deep breathing and mindfulness. These tricks can also be applied to other times in your life when you feel anxious. Being able to conquer your fears, ease your own nerves, and talk about anxiety freely are incredible skills that performers acquire which apply to all areas of life.
Playing different characters means that we are able to put ourselves in situations that we may never have been in before in real life. From heartbreak to adventure, performers practice major empathy in order to convincingly “experience” what their character is going through. This practice in empathy gives performers the skills to put themselves in other people’s shoes, which is a key skill for much of life. Additionally, we can learn from the emotional experiences of our characters. When you’re nervous about doing something, you can think back to when your character was nervous, what they did about it, and how it turned out for them.
Compared to school and sports, the performing arts makes you think in completely new ways. In school, we’re sitting at desks and thinking about science problems, writing about books, or memorising science. With performing arts, your brain uses entirely different parts to develop muscle memory, singing and movement abilities, teamwork and collaboration, and so much more. It’s extremely important for your brain to several different avenues of thought so that you can practice thinking in new ways. There is no one way of thinking that is superior to another, therefore it’s good to have a grasp on a bunch of different ways of looking at something.
No matter how much you rehearse, there is always the possibility of something going wrong during a performance. With this inevitability comes the important skill of improvisation/thinking on your feet. Performers are good at running with the situation no matter what since the show must go on. This is yet another skill that is applicable to nearly every part of life. Life can throw some unexpected curveballs, and quick thinking is one of the best skills performers develop to help them in school, sports, and work.