For love or money [Sunday, Mar. 04, 2007, 6:20 pm]
I read an interesting article on MSN today, written by a guy explaining the struggles involved in trying to become an actor. He says that, "I signed up for a class at one of New York City's many wannabe-actor farms, wherein people who didn't make it as actors teach other people how not to make it as actors."
That made me chuckle, because it's something I've often thought about during my limited exposure to education in other forms of art. I remember one of my photography professors saying something like, "don't give me bad marks on the evaluation for this, but the only real reason that I'm into teaching is so I'll have the money to continue photographing."
He wasn't a bad teacher, and he knew what he was doing, but it begs the question - could he really teach us how to "make it" when it seems that he hadn't quite "made it" yet either? Of course, a lot of us simply wanted to learn the particular skills and then apply them to our own situations in life, in which case "making it" had nothing to do with what we were being taught because everyone's definition for it would have been different.
But I do wonder about the artistic side of things - how many teachers really do what they do because they've had good careers and want to impart their knowledge to others, or because that was just the best way they could find to make money. I mean, I suppose it shouldn't make much of a difference as far as teaching goes. You can't teach success - it's something that has to happen individually.
I don't really know where I'm going with this - I guess that quote just got me thinking about whether the backgrounds of the teachers I've had have made their teaching different. I mean, I guess in the long run there are really no "secrets." Some people know how to teach their craft, and others don't. Really successful artists can be bad teachers, and there are plenty of excellent teachers out there who never "made it big" - that doesn't have to mean that that's the only reason they're teaching.
In the end I think you just have to love whatever you're doing. I would hope that it's worth only making a meager salary and buying everything second-hand, if that's how things end up. I'm kinda doing that anyway...
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009