One shoe size does not fit all. Very fortunate for some of us.
Some seem to think they should. Especially those who use the term normal to describe themselves in comparison to others they think are odd.
Normal people do this or that. Normal people act this way. That is what a normal person would do.
Please define normal.
Perhaps we are all normal, just in different ways.
Some of us tend to think differently, enjoy life differently, and at an important fork in the road, walk a different path then most.
Robert Frost was a high school class poet.
How many high school class poets have you met?
Now that is a different path.
Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was one of the United States most famous poets.
His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech, Mr. Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.
Mr. Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He became one of America’s rare “public literary figures, almost an artistic institution.” He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poetic works. On July 22, 1961, Frost was named poet laureate of Vermont.
He made us think much about the pathway that many feel is the normal way to go with his famous poem titled, The Road Not Taken.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
There is a conventional wisdom that every young person should attend and graduate from high school and afterwards graduate from the best college that they can.
In terms of average future earnings and career choices, we understand that thinking.
But it is not for everyone.
“Adversity is the first path to truth.”… Lord Byron
Youths who are dedicated members to an organized religion may delay college and go on a mission.
Others following in the footsteps of a parent may decide to enroll in a trade school or the military.
What about young artists? Especially those who love acting, dance or music. Are there other options for them?
As often as they are depicted in films regarding dream pursuit, we would hope so.
Save The Last Dance was a film that started so much of the youthful dance oriented films to come.
It was a beautiful film that intertwined, love, dream pursuit, team work and pursing the road less traveled to live a life that the star wanted.
Then there was Step Up.
Step Up is a 2006 American romantic dance film directed by Anne Fletcher starring Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan. Set in Baltimore, Maryland, the film follows the tale of the disadvantaged Tyler Gage (Tatum) and the privileged modern dancer Nora Clark (Dewan), who find themselves paired up in a showcase that determines both of their futures.
Very inspiring film.
One school that seems to stand out above others in helping artists at a young age pursue their artistic dreams is Juilliard.
It is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading drama, music and dance schools, with some of the most prestigious arts programs. In 2016, QS Quacquarelli Symonds ranked it as the world’s best institution for Performing Arts in their inaugural global ranking of the discipline.
It is extremely competitive to get in.
In 2007, the school received 2,138 applications for admission, of which 162 were admitted for a 7.6% acceptance rate. For the fall semester of 2009, the school had an 8.0% acceptance rate. In 2011, the school accepted 5.5% of applicants. For fall 2012, 2,657 undergraduate applicants were received by the college division and 7.2% were accepted.
Now that is very competitive.
But please don’t be disheartened because they do offer so much.
When visiting their site at juilliard.edu they explain, “Founded in 1905, The Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. The school’s mission is to provide the highest caliber of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers, and actors from around the world so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens.
Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, Juilliard offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in dance, drama (acting and playwriting), and music (classical, jazz, historical performance, and vocal arts).
Currently more than 800 artists from 44 states and 42 countries and regions are enrolled at Juilliard, where they appear in over 700 annual performances in the school’s five theaters; at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and David Geffen halls and at Carnegie Hall; as well as other venues around New York City, the country, and the world.
Beyond its New York campus, Juilliard is defining new directions in global performing arts education for a range of learners and enthusiasts through The Tianjin Juilliard School and K-12 educational curricula.”
So you see, if you are a very young artist, there is another option for artistic dream pursuit.
Check out this link to see some of the famous actresses, actors and musicians who attended or graduated from there. You will be amazed and possibly surprised.
As of this February 25, 2019 writing, unlike many other music schools, Juilliard does not require students to submit ACT or SAT scores, unless the student is homeschooled.
In order to be accepted into any Juilliard program, you do need a very distinct high level of pre-college training.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”… Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you are a young artist, you do have options.
Please carefully consider them all. The traditional and that which is not but seems to be ideal for your goals and dreams.
Even if your road chosen is the less conventional, it is no less important.
Think about it. After blazing your trail?
You might just redefine normal.
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