To hold, as ‘twee, the mirror up to nature” – William Shakespeare
In about 1599, Shakespeare said that all the world’s a stage and that men and women are just players playing several roles in one lifetime.
He defined through art and theater what we humans hold on to, between life and death. While development continues its leaps, it is art that grows along time to nurture humanity.
When this art finds expression in performance, a performing artist is born. A member of one such community that finds its religion on stage.
Performing Arts deals with the many artistic expressions portrayed through performance. It is considered as an honor in many religions to be able to perform artistic expressions.
Is Performing Art Means Dance and Theater?
Popular culture has streamlined the expanse of Performing Arts to a great extent because there is much more to performing arts. Any kind of artistic expression in performance with a live audience comes under performing arts.
A live audience, in fact, is a key factor separating Performing Arts from Visual Arts. In a nutshell, a performing artist could be anyone who performs on the stage. This could range from theater artists, dancers, singers, musicians, opera artists, choirs, bands, street artists, etc.
Fundamental Basics of Performing Art
- Precision and command
- Audience involvement
Because performance arts involve a lot of passion and dedication, the respective talents that feature under this stream of art require constant rehearsing and exploration.
Art, in general, tends to grow more seasoned with practice. That is how a lot of people that are interested in a sub-field of performance arts start out early, so as to gain quality experience in time.
Eligibility Criteria to Become a Performing Artist
+2: No restrictions. Students from either stream (Science, Commerce, Arts) are eligible.
Bachelor’s Degree: Bachelor’s level Diploma in Performing Arts
Master’s Degree: Master’s level Diploma in Performing Arts
As performing arts extend across vivid art forms, there are many institutions across India and outside that facilitate courses in varying arts in performance.
Drama enthusiasts can apply for a graduate level Diploma course in their choice of performing art, at any college offering a Performing Arts degree.
Some notable Institutions are
- National School of Drama (NSD, New Delhi)
- Film and Television Institute of India (FTII, Pune)
- Bharatendu Natya Academy (BNA, Lucknow)
Institutes covering other Performing Arts like Dance and Music
- Visva Bharati University (West Bengal)
- Bhatkhande Music University (Lucknow)
- Shaimak Davar Dance Academy (New Delhi)
During the tenure of their college, performing artists are introduced to modern and traditional themes of their respective art forms. They are then made to exercise, rehearse and perform innumerable times before they are ready for the stage.
It is during these times of practice that performing artists evolve and realize what kind of artists they want to be.
A Day in the Life of a Performing Artist
Hi, I’m a performing artist. I perform on stage, before an audience. Performing artists are people that bring out art in a performance. The art that I bring to life is that of music.
I’m a professional guitarist for a band, and I play both electric and acoustic guitars, with the hope of playing at The Royal Albert Hall someday. To make living a little more comfortable until that happens, I provide guitar lessons to the city students.
It’s not really the easiest life that you could imagine. Moreover, in India when you play an instrument and you realize that you want to do that for the rest of your life, you don’t usually get the emotional and sometimes, even financial support from your family and friends. Sure, it’s a fancy life.
Most people start looking at you the moment you open your guitar case. But we’re of an age where there’s survival of the fittest, and that refers to every kind of fitness.
There’s not a lot of money for starters unless you’re a prodigy or you just happen to be at the right place at the right time and get picked.
But as you start growing as a performing artist, you learn to play to the gallery and that is what gets you by in the long run.
There’s an awful lot of compartmentalization that my life runs on and sometimes it’s not easy managing things. But my life still revolves around my guitar. Here’s how a normal day in my life goes:
8:30 AM: Time to start my day. I freshen up and get some breakfast. I have two classes to take and a jam later in the evening.
9:00 AM: I start with my regular warm-up. This includes a few typical styles of music, timing exercises and the fundamentals of music theory.
11:00 AM: I have a jam with my band in the evening. We are planning on some specific kinds of sounds, so I need to adjust my electric guitar processor and make suitable sound patches (the types of sound my guitar will make during the jam).
This could be time-taking as sometimes it’s hard getting the exact sound that a guitarist is looking for.
2:30 PM: I’m almost done here. It wouldn’t hurt to get some lunch now. I better get ready to leave as I need to reach my studio for the first class that assembles at 4:00 PM.
4:00 PM: My first class begins with four students; all of them being beginners. In my second class, I have four advance level guitar students. There are three basic levels of guitar playing:
Working and instructing young guitarists provides me the chance to keep myself updated with the contemporary styles of music that are prevalent. It also keeps me in practice on a daily basis, apart from the time I devote personally to my work. Lastly, it gives me the privilege of introducing some great music to young, art-hungry minds.
7:15 PM: I’m headed to my friend’s basement that is our jam-pad for the last two years.
9:15 PM: Waiting for my drummer. Doorbell rings. It’s pizza! This is gonna be a long night.
2:45 AM: The jam just got over. Most of us are pretty exhausted but it was a very productive session. I’m crashing here for the night.
Do you think that you have a talent to be called as a performance artist? Do you have enough confidence to face the live audience? Still confused? We hope this article helped you in your search for this profession. Have your say in the comment box below. Enjoy Reading!