Is it a positive or negative influence for a child? Is it a realistic goal and/or a worthwhile one? Is it about the love of performing and the gift they have been given OR becoming ‘famous’?
These are really interesting questions to consider if your child dreams of auditioning for a programme of this nature or has aspirations to perform professionally in this arena. They are certainly the questions that we occasionally find discussed in Little Voices lessons.
Since the emergence of reality TV shows in the 1990s there has been a whole surge of children wanting to become the next big star. For me and my team, as teachers, it is important to lay the foundations of good dramatic and vocal technique as well as give advice on the best route to take if a child is determined to follow a path in the industry. The industry is not reality TV!! But sadly it is so influential these days that this is what some children believe to be the case.
You see in the eyes of a child they are filled with confidence from watching Reality TVs shows. In their minds Cheryl Cole managed to do it and the likes of One Direction and therefore children are really very influenced by these ‘performers’. They see no reason NOT to seek the same. But what about the hundreds of others that have appeared – often won – these shows from Pop Idol, to Fame Academy, to Popstars the Rivals, Britain’s Got Talent, X Factor and more recently The Voice. What have they gone on to do after the cameras stopped rolling. How are those individuals feeling now?
The reality is sadly not fame for all or a life of performing. The only winners are the producers and the likes of Simon Cowell’s bank account. The individuals that have lived a whirlwind few months are often left crushed and lacking in confidence to pursue their passion.
This makes me very sad and as myself and my team of tutors work incredibly hard every week in the academic term time to build children’s confidence and nurture talent. I am very realistic when a child approaches me with dreams of auditioning for programmes (businesses) such as X Factor.
I always say that reality TV is incredibly entertaining for the British public and makes great family viewing on a weekend but that is where it should stop for most children, on the whole.
The Co Founder of Little Voices taught Diana Vickers drama at school and we obviously followed her journey on X Factor with great interest. This was a positive experience on the whole and therefore there is a flip side to every debate. No right or wrong answer but ultimately it is down to the individual child. We get to know your child really well in our lessons and will always give honest feedback and advice with your child’s best interests at heart!