From Peter Barlow, Executive Director Sharjah Performing Arts Academy.
In the western world entertainment has spiralled into the depths of voyeurism because we are losing the art of invention. Invention requires many ingredients: imagination, skills and another ingredient which we all find difficult to define – talent. In the world of performing arts I believe true talent to be a subtle combination of instinct for storytelling and an ability to set aside one’s own ego. Talent alone is not enough because it has no basis in knowledge or skill and that is why talent shows ultimately fail to produce sustainable and credible actors and performers.
Performing Arts and drama schools take talented individuals and turn them into credible performers, directors, designers, technicians and stage managers through a deep exploration of the world of theatre and performance. Learning about and practicing the skills required for the creative industries requires hours of practice and dedication. It is not possible to do this just by reading books, understanding theories or through critical academic study and you will soon fail if you try to rely on talent alone.
The very best professional preparation for the performing arts world is to gain a place at an academy which is dedicated to training and educating the most highly skilled creative citizens of the world.
If you are thinking of joining this highly competitive, precarious, passionate, dangerous, rewarding, engaging, magical profession then you must fight for and gain a place at an academy which opens doors to global opportunities in Performing arts.
Professor Peter Barlow FRSA (Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts), has been teaching and training actors, performers, and technicians for more than 30 years. He is the Director and Chief Executive of Sharjah Performing Arts Academy and former Director and CEO of Guildford School of Acting. Peter has also worked at prestigious drama and dance schools in the UK such as Laine Theatre Arts, Trinity Laban, ALRA, and also in the USA, Norway and Italy. He was Chair of the Conference of Drama Schools, An Oliver Award professional Judge, a judge for short film competitions and festivals in the UK and USA, a consultant for Trinity College London on professional qualifications and an external examiner for universities in the UK. He is an accomplished director and teacher of acting and has directed musicals in English, Italian and Norwegian. He has been an invited guest speaker at conferences on musical theatre in Seoul, Beijing, London, Oslo, and New York.