DD unsure whether to pursue FT training at sixth form

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DD unsure whether to pursue FT training at sixth form

Post by Hilltop » Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:28 pm

Hello, my DD is 15 and has been into musical theatre since she was around 10 and was set on auditioning at two local performing arts sixth forms next year. However over the last year she’s starting to have doubts. These are due to: coronavirus (so not really being in that environment enough/uncertainty), potential low pay of career, making lots new friends recently at school and having fun with them and not wanting to leave them at the end of GCSEs, thinking that the only other things she can do to supplement her career is teach as that’s all she’s seeing with performing arts in the school environment, a couple of older students quitting their training due to bullying/coronavirus and thinking that because she’s not 100% sure, it’s not the right career for her.

I talk to her about this quite a lot and I feel like I’m trying to talk her into it - I’m not sure whether I’m being a sounding board and being supportive by encouraging her to keep going with it or whether I’m projecting my own wishes for her to do it when it’s not right for her.

I just wondered whether anyone else has been in a similar situation? Does the fact that she having doubts mean it’s not for her? Is it being supportive when you keep encouraging it when there is so much doubt?

She says when we go to see shows, it makes her want to do it again, but I guess it’s the presssure of the big decision next year. Also she doesn’t like change and leaving school would be quite a big step. I have suggested she stay to do A levels and apply afterwards but I get the feeling that she’s decided that it’s performing arts 6th form or not at all. We are lucky to have two good ones near by so it would a shame to not use them. Though they do offer foundation courses aswell.

Any advice gratefully received!

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Re: DD unsure whether to pursue FT training at sixth form

Post by jasmine2 » Fri Jul 23, 2021 5:25 pm

It is a tough one for sure.. I would say get into local am dram/panto if she is not already involved.. . are the local colleges free courses? If so then maybe she could try it to see if she gets her passion reignited. It has been a strange year or two, with lots of people having second thoughts etc.. My DD is a triple threat and has been lucky enough to have worked since graduating a few years ago, but she also has a teaching qualification which has really boosted her income massively.. I am sure your DD will find her path.. good luck :D
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Re: DD unsure whether to pursue FT training at sixth form

Post by Elle’smom » Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:29 am

At this point last year my DD suffered terrible anxiety that she had made the wrong choice doing performing arts for sixth form. But two days at college reminded her that it was for her.
I hadn’t realised how much school wasn’t for her until she went to college. She had always gone to school and worked hard, but I now realise she wasn’t truly happy.

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Re: DD unsure whether to pursue FT training at sixth form

Post by Grace03 » Sun Jul 25, 2021 9:36 am

I think there is too much pressure at age 16 to make a final decision about your whole future.
It’s normal to change your mind at this age.
Nobody thinks anything of it when someone doing A level maths decides to do a totally unrelated degree at uni so why should it be any different for performing arts?

My daughter has just finished her 6th form performing arts course. Most of her class are moving on to something related - drama, dance teaching, musical theatre etc.
But there is quite a large minority who are doing other things.
Some are doing degrees in stage management and costume design- and there are a few who have been offered totally unrelated degrees / apprenticeships as they have chosen a whole new direction.

It’s a difficult decision but you can reassure her that if she does decide to go ahead with performing arts at 6th form she can still go on to do something else afterwards if she wants to (with a caution that some degrees may require specific A levels) .

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Re: DD unsure whether to pursue FT training at sixth form

Post by 2dancersmum » Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:14 pm

To be honest, I think doubts are quite normal and especially given your DD's age and especially given the past year of covid when normal life has been very different.
I think at this stage you are probably best to encourage her to audition but with the assurance that she is merely keeping her options open and has a year yet to decide. As life returns to normal she might regain her passion or it might be time to move on and keep performing as a hobby. As my user name suggests I've got 2 DDs - one chose to go onto professional training aged 16 and is now a professional dancer, one decided aged about 15 that she was unsure and would wait and do A levels first. Ultimately she went onto university to study something completely unrelated to performing but was an active member of her university dance team, choosing her university as much on dance clubs as course.

I would reassure your DD though that nothing is fixed in life and there are other options available to her than teaching if she does follow on with performing arts. This past year has seen many of DDs performing friends deciding to leave the world of performing and she knows many who have dropped out of training at some stage - work ranges from IT, marketing, travel agents, primary school teachers, art gallery worker, nurse, newspaper journalist.

The key thing is that your DD knows you support her in whatever she decides and whenever she makes the decision.

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Re: DD unsure whether to pursue FT training at sixth form

Post by lawn » Mon Jul 26, 2021 5:47 pm

This is just my opinion but I think if auditioning at 18+ you either need to have spent the sixth form years at a good calibre college in a related performing arts course OR if doing something else eg A levels, you need to be able to keep up your dance/acting/singing classes outside of your education and it also be at a very high standard (or even both).

Which you do is very dependant on what's available in your area and affordability.

Competition is incredibly tough to get into the drama schools and it's been even more so this year, with self tapes and bumper amounts of applicants and not being able to 'show' yourself other than on-screen.

My daughter had health issue during the latter of yr10 and into yr11, on-going when she auditioned for her 'dream' sixth form place, with the consequence she didn't get in and reluctantly took a place at her 2nd choice. Still good calibre, we knew people who'd gone and got good offers afterwards and for 6 months she was ok. Then covid struck, the course tutor went on maternity and the cover seems out of her depth - with the consequence I have already not recommended the place to some younger students. Daughter has got somewhere to go now (she's an actor rather than MT performer) but she's had to keep going with the auditions, trying and trying and we were in a position to be able to fund a year's foundation, which has now turned to degree offer. Daughter knows someone, well regarded as a performer, winning many things and they have been shocked by how tough it's been. They now have a foundation offer and intend trying again but for a while it looked like they were going to have to take a gap year.

If your daughter is no longer keen, that's absolutely find. Many change their minds at this age regardless of what career path they've previously thought of. If she does want to keep her options open to performing arts at a later stage, then she needs to be aware she needs to keep her training up sufficiently.

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