Performing Arts Careers

< Back to Ballerina – Kiara Felder

Performing Arts Careers (2:03)

“To be able to create a character and display that on stage is so rewarding. And to just dance in front of an audience and to hear their applause at the end is just magnificent because you know that you did your best. And they appreciated that.”

Role models in order of appearance: Sadie Yarrington, Chloe Davis, Jamila Glass, Susan Wulff, Marion Kuszyk, Allison Jewett, Susan V. Booth, Loretta Greco, and Kiara Felder.

Quick Start

1) The first artist in the video said that performing is magical, nerve wracking, and exciting. Do you agree with her statement? Explain your answer. Tell about a time you had to perform and were very nervous. Did you feel better when the performance began?

2) Performing artists communicate feelings and stories to an audience. The audience then shows appreciation to the performers. What feelings do you think that dancers, musicians, or actors share as they perform? As an audience member, how do you show your appreciation for a performer’s talents and efforts?

3) Musicians and singers are performing artists who use music to help the audience feel feelings. Why do so many people share the same feelings when they hear a particular song or a special piece of music? Tell about a song or a piece of music that helps you feel happy and about one that makes you feel sad. What is it about these songs that make you feel that way?

4) A performance artist who plays an instrument in a band or an orchestra works with other musicians. This is sort of like working on a team where everyone must contribute to a larger project. What are some of the benefits of working with other performing artists on a project that is greater than just a single performer? If you were a performing artist, do you think you would rather work alone or with others? Why?

5) Performing artists who are actors in a play or a film or television show come together to work with other actors. They use their imaginations to answer questions that begin with, “What if…” The story they perform answers the “What if?” question. Which of the following “What if?” questions would you want to act out?

  • What if girls ruled the world?
  • What if I owned a horse as big as a house?
  • What if I invented a homework machine?
  • What if I had all the money in the world?

Can you think of other “What if?” questions that you would want to act out?

6) The producer/director says that when artists perform stories (on the stage or on screen) they help people think about what they could become. What do you think this artist meant when she said that? Tell about a play, a movie, or a TV show that inspired you to be the best you can be.

7) The ballerina said that we can all connect through the performing arts. How can an artistic performance connect artists with audience members? How can an artistic performance connect artists to each other? How can an artistic performance connect audience members to each other?

Video Transcript

Performing is magical. Performing is nerve wracking and exciting. It’s a safe space for me specifically as a performer and a creator. It’s a chance to communicate something really special.

To be able to create a character and display that on stage is so rewarding. And to just dance in front of an audience and to hear their applause at the end is just magnificent because you know that you did your best. And they appreciated that.

When the audience is giving you that positive energy, it’s just the best thing ever. You’re doing something right when you have people’s attention, and that positive feedback is exhilarating.

I love to help the audience to feel different emotions that they may not even know that they have. It helps me feel like I’m connecting with people by way of my music.

If you play an instrument well enough to be in a band or an orchestra, all the better, because then you learn how to be a part of something that’s greater than yourself.

The best thing about being a musician is just sharing your passion with so many people. And you can’t describe what a great feeling it is to get dressed up and go out on stage and see all the people out there in the audience that are getting ready to listen to you play.

The beauty of working in theater is we all come in a room together and we say, “What if? What if it were different? What if women ruled the world?”

There could be no finer endeavor than to make stories come alive for people that reminded them of their humanity and what they could be and what they could become.

As humans, we have our jobs and our work that we have to do. But at the end of the day, we’re still expressing and we still need to connect with each other and relate to each other through art.

Discussion Guide

Independent Learning Guide: This all-purpose guide can be used by educators, parents, and mentors to jumpstart a lively discussion about careers in the performing arts.

Classroom Lesson Plan

Do you love being on stage? Is making it in music, dance, or acting your dream? If you’ve performed for an audience, you know that it can be magical, nerve-wracking, and exciting — sometimes all at the same time! Find out what it’s like to have a career in the performing arts, from the role models in this video who work as dancers, actors, musicians, and more.

Classroom Lesson Plan: This step-by-step lesson plan is available to guide a more in-depth “before, during, and after” learning experience when viewing the video with students. This lesson plan is also suitable for use in after-school programs and other educational settings.

Empowerment Activities

Use Empowerment Activities as a fun way to reinforce the video topic and build community with your students.

Related Empowerment Activities:

Fun Page Activity

Fun Page Activity: What if you won the lottery? What if you woke up as a dog? Give the performing arts a try with this fun acting activity that you can do with friends.