The subject of Drama is classed by the National Curriculum as a broad creative arts subject and taught by many secondary schools and colleges as a formal subject, so it comes as no surprise that learning about acting techniques helps you to become more experimental with your core approaches, like thinking, performing, and your conversation skills (i.e. speaking and listening). But what is creativity and what examples of increased imagination and greater innovation can you expect to see in yourself after attending drama workshops?
Keep reading to discover how your personal, social and professional lives can be changed by exploring creativity and bringing fundamental happiness into it with well rounded lesson plans and skills training. Being a learner in the classroom will help you to put things into perspective and see how you can focus on, enhance and demonstrate your musical abilities, your poetry skills or you literary expertise and use this as a foundation to seek excellence in your communication and your interaction with creativity.
Good organisation and a relevant framework set up by your faculty in line with the curriculum will contribute to your academic journey, from registration as a prospective student assessment and preparation for the implementation of practical and academic skills learned.
The English Oxford Living Dictionaries define the term ‘creative‘ as ‘relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something’, along with ‘having good imagination or original ideas’.
But while most people see being creative as something positive to demonstrate and to be proud of, what are the attributes that effectively make someone a ‘creative’ person? Who is to say that an idea that you have come up with is unique and therefore imaginative in relation to someone else’s competencies or talents?
The truth is that there are no specific actions or characteristics that make you creative or not, and the ability to be creative and inspire lies within all of us, no matter how diverse our talents are. Some individuals may be much better at expressing and placing emphasis on their unique styles and ideas yet others may need a little encouragement and may shy away from promoting their due to low self esteem. But even if no one gets to see and acknowledge their ideas, the thoughts are still very much there in there! Psychology experts would say that being creative can be just as much an inward, personal awareness of new ideas as it can be showing off expression and standing out from the crowd.
Just as creativity has no clear and concise definition, it also has no comprehensive boundaries. As such, being creative for one person might be completely different to another, and will always depend upon the context. If you are a dancer, and spend time rehearsing your moves and steps each week, then coming up with an idea for a piece of music that goes perfectly well with your dance solo presentation might just be an enjoyable creative task in your objective opinion. Meanwhile, if you live a very ordinary life with no interaction with the creative arts, then simply sketching an idea with a biro on to a notepad can feel like you’ve turned a corner and expressed yourself in an unprecedented visual way, with a positive outcome on your self belief.
Attending a workshop or various workshops for actors can significantly help to open up the doors on the creative side of your brain and work on unleashing your true originality. Just you wait and see after your first introduction to dramatic theatre!
In theory, creativity is not something that you’d usually associate with the everyday aspects and mundane themes. If you want to innovate and create, you really need to be in a suitable cognitive and productive head space. You also need to be in a specific state of open-mindedness and have a positive attitude, allowing your brain to engage with the multiplying ideas that will begin to formulate once you open yourself up to the endless possibilities. Commitment to the celebration of your personality and diversity is key for your developmental mission and the improvement of your interpersonal skills.
The arts, with drama included, contribute to your mood, and happiness goes hand in hand with creativity.
I know what you are thinking: “why were so many famous artists depressed then?”
Doing something creative like painting, sculpting, drawing, singing, dancing or taking on acting roles can affect how we feel about and respond to those around us; so to be engaged in a cultural activity can bring out strengths and a passion and therefore make one feel completely happy in that particular moment in time. Although still using the feelings to transfer into their piece of engaging art, the practitioner is usually able to detach themselves from the emotions and become almost like a spectator in the audience of the experiences being presented to them (this can be applied to situations whereby the subject is using artistic or performing methods).
The feeling of escape and therefore an insight into euphoria can often last long after the act of being creative and turn into excitement in preparation for the next time that they paint, sculpt, draw, sing, dance or take to the stage to present and to build on their talents.
Keep your happiness alight with the help of Drama lessons. Photo on VisualHunt.com
Creativity as a term is quite hard to define, as we have discovered, but most agree that it is linked to the ability to come up with and work with unique ideas, create intelligent links between ideas, and find inspired solutions to problems. Research also suggests that those who live creatively, welcoming the arts into numerous aspects of their lives (including basic principles like problem solving), are actually happier than everyone else in their communities.
Experts are also led to believe that creativity has strong links to emotional outcome and physical well being, so if you have the sharpness and perseverance to take a journey down a creative route then you are likely to continue down a road of life satisfaction. When you are positive and in good spirits, your mind becomes broader as you aren’t focusing your attention on certain things and putting up barriers. To achieve this strong viewpoint will certainly benefit you in your professional life as well as interpersonal areas such as your romantic relationships and social life.
Just like doing creative activities can make someone feel happier, such distractions can also play a part in preventing someone from feeling sad or stressed. Research by Boston College has shown that acting classes can help people prone to depression or unhealthy behaviours to understand and spark recognition of their problem and use strategic policies to adopt healthier attitudes and more positive emotions.
Many people of all ages suffering from anxiety or depression showcase introvert traits and characteristics, almost as if they are being suppressed or inhibited. By learning how to act as part of a theater arts program, these people, young and old, can turn this situation around for themselves with intervention and counter negative feelings by learning from techniques they have learned from their acting instructor and even the characters that they are portraying.
Other reports have shown that teenagers in acting classes for kids not only became more confident in their own skin, but they were seen improving in a number of other ways. For example, they became more intellectual in their interpretation, in turn making them more sympathetic to other people, giving back much more than they had before they started to learn about critical soft skills. They not only broadened their junior social skills, they were able to adapt the way they thought and thus allowed themselves to get in touch with their inner creativity and imagination. This competence and awareness taught to them by drama school is something they will take with them from childhood through their time as a youth in school and to adulthood.
Other skills and qualities that can be gained from high school drama or courses at universities relate to teamwork, writing, speaking, presenting, performing, directing, engagement, behaviour, audience participation, vocabulary, literature, programming events and improvisation. Moreover, there’s the opportunity to gain an educational certificate or qualifications in arts education so that they can leave the campus with new knowledge and skills, continuing their undergraduate journey towards a Bachelor’s degree or another certificate program that enables them to work in a theatrical environment.
They may choose to be a playwright writing plays or tragedies about conflict, get a teachers qualification in order to become an educator so that they can teach theater skills or they may want to consider directing to allow them to participate in all aspects of drama theatre, like playwriting, developing, leadership, audition, rehearsal, guidance and tuition.
Acting can be very important for rehabilitation. Photo credit: Jlhopgood on Visualhunt
But will adult acting classes have as much effectiveness as after school activities has on helping teens? I’m sure of it! Experiencing mentoring at an arts center can do nothing but facilitate your readiness to pursue professional development and your expectation of what it is you want to be achieving. People skills don’t just enhance your integrating, they help you on a daily basis by clarifying how to solve problems, to voice opinions, understanding criticism, identify ways of collaborating and to build on behavioral ethics to improve outreach and how we work with each other to succeed at what we do.
Drama skills are a fantastic addition to anyone’s life, and a particularly impressive hobby to have on one’s resume. By displaying your talent in other fields and your passion for something outside of their line of business, you are not only showing your employer that you have individual interests outside of the workplace, but they also highlight to them that you have the potential to bring a range of additional, versatile (and very useful) skills to their company.
Acting classes can teach individuals about the art of listening, but they also encourage self-expression, confidence and creativity, all of which can really benefit most workplaces. Regardless of whether your prospective employer knows just how valuable you could be to their department, there’s no harm in telling them a bit more about yourself, even if only to help them understand you better.
Be sure to tell them at your job interview about your interests outside of work, like attending drama workshops. Photo credit: Alex France on Visualhunt.com
What your managers will eventually realise is that your sharp, intuitive and creatively-tuned mind can come up with better thought out ideas and smart yet logical suggestions for improvements. What’s more, as someone who is a creative thinker, you could be far more influential over your peers and be able to inspire those around you during staff meetings.
This is why so many corporate team building activities involve role-play – this and acting are one and the same!
So if you are impressed by the astounding knock-on effects that a bit of drama training can have on your work life, then why not go to your manager and suggest that the company considers booking a creative activity like acting workshops to help staff to improve their productivity and creativity?
By searching online or by contacting events teams in your area, you will find a number of tailor-made activities for specific corporate teams that are designed to bring out the best in them whilst also teaching them valuable skills that can be used well into the future. The entire day may not be geared around playing out scenes, but your trainer will most likely use their knowledge of acting techniques to their advantage by helping you to interact freely and learn to share ideas more creatively.
Alternatively, you could use your own initiative and get yourself down to your nearest drama class to see and experience the full effects for yourself here and now!