Arts grad­u­ates need sup­port to get go­ing

The Sunday Independent - - WORLD - Masebe is an award-win­ning ac­tor and a cre­ator and pro­ducer of tele­vi­sion and film con­tent

THIS is a note to my­self and those whose loved ones have just com­pleted art school. I should in­clude my­self here be­cause I am guard­ing my own thoughts and ac­tions as my daugh­ter ven­tures into life out­side mu­sic school.

I find my­self want­ing to write down ev­ery not-so-sup­port­ive thing I was told by loved ones as I em­barked on life out­side drama school. The mean things, I know, came from a lack of un­der­stand­ing rather than mean in­ten­tions, but they stuck with me for many years.

This might be one of the main rea­sons why I find my­self want­ing to give young cre­ative arts prac­ti­tion­ers a chance when­ever I am in a po­si­tion to em­power.

To the arts grad­u­ates... congratulations! Hope­fully you were taught about the rough side of this in­dus­try at some point dur­ing your train­ing. It’s an ex­cit­ing world. It needs a lot of hard work and at times pure luck. When luck strikes in your favour, don’t waste it. Prove that you’re the next best thing.

Take ev­ery lit­tle op­por­tu­nity that comes your way and keep busy. Should you find your­self in an in­tern­ship, use it to learn all you can. If you are a writer, carry on writ­ing, even when you have no com­mis­sioned work. If you are pain­ter, paint. If you are a com­poser, please keep on mak­ing new mu­sic.

Find part­ner­ships with other young peo­ple and cre­ate your own projects if you can. Through all this, keep your ex­pec­ta­tions real. Please do not be de­ceived by the in­stant suc­cess pre­sented by tele­vi­sion ta­lent-search shows. Work on your craft and don’t give up on your dream. All this, though, would be much eas­ier if you re­ceived the right sup­port.

So, par­ents, fam­ily, loved ones... here’s your lot. Be sup­port­ive in ev­ery way you can. If you can af­ford to, please in­vest in what­ever tools your art grad­u­ate might need to get go­ing. Some­times sup­port comes in a dif­fer­ent form. Be pa­tient. Peo­ple who aren’t in the arts tend to be quick to point to the chal­lenges of the sec­tor with­out look­ing to how they can help their loved ones through the rough phases.

If you can, please as­sist them with busi­ness plans and ap­pli­ca­tions for fund­ing. Help them set up a small com­pany or co-op­er­a­tive. Above all hold their hand and help them keep hope alive. It’s a jun­gle out here. And oh, if they need sup­port with mov­ing to the big city, do your best. There re­ally aren’t op­por­tu­ni­ties else­where.

Most im­por­tantly, what­ever their art, don’t ever ask them for free­bies.

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