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Jo'burg North West - The Self Motivated Student

South Africa
04 June

What motivates you? What gets you up in the morning? When I was growing up I was a committed swimmer. I trained twice a day, 5 days a week and once on a Saturday. I was an extremely competitive human and the need to win was my motivation. Fast forward to my teen years and swimming became a bit too competitive for me.  I was in need of something that lit up my day. Swimming had become something that I was not very good at anymore, and my world became a bit depressing... That's when I found drama class :)  

In high school, we were able to select drama as a subject and that is when I found my true love for playwrights, performance and group preparation. I truly miss the interactive side of drama! I had a friend who took the same subjects as I did through to to matric - I can honestly say that we messed around in biology, history and sometimes english, but when it came to drama we put our game faces on. The stakes were too high when it came to practical work. First of all, you need to work hard otherwise the proof will be in the performance... if you mess around you will look silly in front of your peers. Last year I had a group of youth theatre students who messed around during rehearsals, despite all my encouraging and motivating they just couldnt get focused, until productions. We had just completed an average rehearsal and had an hour to go until the performance; all of a sudden the cool kid of the group was focused, he was encouraging his peers to step up and he was determined to make the show a success. I have no idea what they did back stage in that 1 hour but man, did they shine on that stage! They decided to step up... and that's what I love about drama and performance.

We as teachers do our best to motivate and encourage but we try to resist too much nagging or pushing from our side - we want the students to be self motivated. They need to make a decision for themselves to work hard and commit. In school, students battle to find motivation but in drama class it's them up on that stage confronting the world! Eventually the need to not look like a fool on stage fades away and all students want to do is perform with passion. Drama is a feeling activity, where one's hard work and commitment gets seen by one's loved ones, peers and friends!

The self-belief and self-motivation an individual gets from each performance cannot be measured but it can be felt! It's not about winning awards or breaking records, it's about an exploration of creativity and self.

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"«Hier était incroyable, nous avons vraiment apprécié le spectacle. Je me suis même régalé comme les enfants ! Merci pour les grands efforts et le plaisir et la joie que vous répartissez.""

- Parent, Caire, Égypte