Be Your Own Spotlight

The Performing Arts is a space of constant change, creativity and innovation. To keep up, artists train for years, refining their talents in order to achieve professional excellence.

But is that enough?

It is often said that the arts are a crowded profession, with lots of extraordinary talent. Especially for young people taking their first steps into a creative career, thinking about the competition can be nothing short of daunting. 

Whether on a stage or in a classroom, it’s never too early to start honing your craft. A fundamental aspect of performing arts training at Lundstrum is versatility. By equipping young artists with a diverse range of skills in dance, acting and musical theatre, we prepare artists for a world that knows no limits.  

Along with training, another important aspect of every young artist's development is participation. Programs like Hennepin Theater Trust’s Spotlight Program give young artists an opportunity to actively engage with their community. The Spotlight Program has recognized several Lundstrum students, and provided performance opportunities that help build a strong foundation.

At Lundstrum Performing Arts, we value range of talent in students so they can be their own spotlight. We recently spoke with Jane Casserly McMonagle, Lundstrum's Director of Dance to ask what it takes to stand out from the crowd.  

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"The world is versatile and performers need to be ready for whatever is thrown at them."

Throughout her career, Janie has worked extensively in the dance, film, theater and modeling industries. A multi-dimensional performer herself, Janie has experienced first-hand the importance of continually training as an artist. Here's the advice she shared with us:

What can young artists do now that will better prepare them for the future?

As a developing artist, the most important thing you can do is train. That means dance classes as often as possible, especially ballet beginning at a young age - 5 or 6 is not too early to start. By age 7 or 8, students can begin voice lessons, join a choir or find an acting class. I always recommend a place that is safe and trustworthy. Personally, I believe it's important to start dancing early  because it takes many years to develop solid technique. A creative teacher will develop your child as a playful creative dancer and will open your child to explore the world of make-believe, even in dance class.

Why is it important for young artists to step outside of their comfort zone, such as trying a new dance style or acting genre, in developing themselves for a professional career?

The Broadway experience just keeps expanding in new ways. Today's performers need to be comfortable going beyond ballet, tap, jazz and hip-hop to acrobatics, skateboarding, juggling and just about any special skill you can imagine. Performers need to be ready for whatever the director/choreographer may throw at them, and training is so important because auditions require artists to take a risk. Solid training gives performers the confidence to shine.

How is the industry changing? 

Technology has changed the industry when it comes to the ways you audition. Everything is instantaneous! Online submissions to casting directors and agents may get you a coveted audition spot or may rule you out. Your website or picture/resume must always be up to date. I think the way it will always stay the same is when it comes down to the actual audition…are you ready to present your most prepared authentic self?
Destiny A. DavisonComment