This past Saturday, I was invited to provide a 10-minute presentation to youth that were potentially pursuing a future education in the arts at Emily Carr. It was actually an interesting challenge because I had to remember some of the questions and problems that I had when I was a teenager. A lot of concerns or issues that I faced in my 20s were not even comparable at the age of 16 years old. How do you make your story relevant to teenagers?
So I gave some straight-forward tips about being connected to the arts community. That’s open to interpretation, as a teen’s community is much different than the artist run centre community and can be even more different than the general arts community in Vancouver. I emphasized the importance of creating a peer group that supported your arts practice but also challenged your way of thinking so that one could continuously be growing.
Of course, this sounds incredibly articulate written in a blog. In reality, I am continuing my struggle to improve my public speaking skills.
It was great to actually talk to youth, one on one. The most predictable question came up by a young person, about how does a person get a job out of working in the arts. This is a tough one, it’s hard to explain that you have to compromise your life to ensure you will work in the arts, that it’s a constant struggle. A worthwhile one, for sure, but still a struggle.
Anyways, it was a good experience because it really got me thinking about what teenagers want to know. I think my presentation hit only a portion of what they were truly curious about. I forget what is important at that age, it makes me want to read some of my old highschool journals. I remember having a career was a really important one for myself, ‘job = life’ at that age.
In other news, Heather Tam interviewed me on my zines a few weeks ago for a podcast. It’s really exciting because it will be published online soon, I will post the link when I get it.