Dispelling the Myth of the Performing Arts Major

27 Jun 2017

 Don Kruszka | March Consulting Arts Specialist

 

Performing Arts.

These are two of the scariest words for a parent to hear when their child is thinking about going to college and declaring a major. When parents think of college, they think of the expense, the time commitment, the whole overwhelming process. And, understandably, they want their college-bound progeny to be thinking about the most practical way to make the best of that investment, so they can hit the real world at a run after they graduate.

For many parents, the thought of a performing arts major brings images of their 20-something graduating only to end up waiting tables or going to endless unsuccessful auditions as they chase pie-in-the-sky dreams of stardom that will inevitably lead their son or daughter back to live in the family basement.

But, before you lose too much sleep over what gloom and doom the future might hold, consider this: while it is true that only a small percentage of drama majors end up on Broadway or in Hollywood, that is not necessarily the end-product of what can come from a major in the arts. Those who study the arts learn myriad skills that can help them thrive in the world after college. And these skills can lead them in countless career directions.

To be effective in the arts, they have to develop a talent for excellent written and oral communication. They learn to work within the structure of a team, both as a leader and a follower. Performing arts majors are able to handle pressure and meet deadlines. Attention to detail is a must.

They follow directions, think critically, manage their time (between projects and class study) and creatively solve problems. They hone interpersonal skills and the ability to talk to people individually or in groups. They bring initiative and dedication to everything they attempt, along with a certain pride in doing the job right. Name one employer NOT looking for these qualities.

And, of course, they act, they sing, they paint, they play music, they design: all the things that drew them to this calling in the first place, and gives them the expressive freedom that defines them as individuals.

Performing artists can become teachers, attorneys, public relations directors, talent agents, writers, editors, life coaches, business managers. They can deal with people of all stripes and social strata.  The possibilities are endless. They can even become professional performers, and earn a pretty good living at that, too.

So, rest easy, Mom and Dad. Your kid isn’t crazy. They’re entering into a world that opens a universe of possibilities. And they’re having fun doing it. Just give them love, support and encouragement. Mix well. And watch as the cake rises to meet its infinite potential.

March Consulting is excited to welcome Don Kruszka to our team of consultants. With more than 30 years professional experience, Don provides students with valuable insight into  performance arts programs, strategic audition techniques, and knowledge of specified scholarship opportunities. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your student’s future in the arts!

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