The Three Types of Knowledge You Need to be a Fan of the Arts

The Three Types of Knowledge You Need to be a Fan of the Arts

So… I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m so pumped to teach you how to love the fine arts more than you ever knew you could. The bad news is that you have to put in the work to get there.

Sorry! (And sorry for the “sorry” – I’m Canadian, I can’t help it.) The fine arts take time to understand. Sure, there are lots of effortless ways to start being a fan of the arts, and I love to share those here and through social media. That stuff is gold, for sure. But to get to the real juiciness that is loving the arts, you’re going to have to put in some effort.

To my mind, at least, that’s a good thing. A lot of things that are quick and easy to understand and derive pleasure from are shallow. They’re not the interests, hobbies, and passions that sustain you and colour your whole life; instead, they’re reality TV and snack food (which have their time and place, but man cannot live on Love Island and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos alone).

So, what exactly do you need to learn before you can truly appreciate the fine arts? Three things. For each of the fine arts – to be a true fan – you need to develop three areas of knowledge…

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The Biggest Skill Non-Performers Can Learn From Performing Artists

The Biggest Skill Non-Performers Can Learn From Performing Artists

I’m currently reading an incredible book about, in essence, releasing the ego and stopping the voice in your head from messing everything up. It’s called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, by Joe Dispenza (the bleakest title ever, I know), and it is extremely woo woo, but extremely good. And it’s got me thinking about performing artists, and the biggest skill everyone could learn from them.

Dispenza’s work is essentially about visualizing the type of person you want to be in such vivid detail that you feel it in your body. To do this, one of the essential skills you need to learn is how to be master over your thoughts and quiet down that voice in your head that talks to you all day...

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Think you don’t like theatre? Here are 10 awesome (non-Shakespearean) movies that were originally plays

Think you don’t like theatre? Here are 10 awesome (non-Shakespearean) movies that were originally plays

There was a time, not too long ago, when a LOT of the blockbuster movies that came out were actually adaptations of plays. I think that this was extremely beneficial for theatre (and theatregoers!) because it made the line between “high art” and “popular art” a lot more blurry. If you saw the movie version of a Tennessee Williams play and liked it, you might have been a lot less hesitant to try seeing another of his plays on stage.

Well, never fear, because I’m going to make that line blurry again for you! Even some really great recent films are actually adaptations of wonderful, hugely celebrated plays, and you might not even know it. Plus, there are a bazillion classic films that were also originally written for the stage. Ready to discover (or reignite) your love of the theatre? Why not start with one of these exceptional films based on plays!

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How to figure out what kind of theatre you like

How to figure out what kind of theatre you like

I’d like to return to one of my favourite topics that I affectionately call, “Plays: They’re just like Movies!”

All art forms have a kind of “psych out” factor – that intangible thing about them that makes people turn off their brains and go “whoa whoa whoa, the thee-yay-tur! I am not fancy or smart enough for that. I will definitely not get it, and it will be dumb, and I will be dumb, and I will fall asleep. Harrr har har har harrrr.”

Have you ever, ever had that reaction looking at movie listings? No? I didn’t think so. How about flipping through Netflix?…

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10 Plays You’re VERY Likely To See, and Why You Should See Them

10 Plays You’re VERY Likely To See, and Why You Should See Them

Before I tell you about ten of the most commonly produced plays and why you should definitely take the opportunity to see one of them the next time it arises, I want to briefly talk about why I love the classics.

Those of you who have more than a beginner’s level of knowledge about music, dance, theatre, or visual art will know that there’s a huge movement underway in the arts to create more space and time for underrepresented artists – both historical and living. That means less space on concert programs and in museum square footage to what we currently consider “the canon” – the famous masters like Beethoven and Michelangelo and Balanchine who are almost all white men. I am EXTREMELY on board with this. Absolutely incredible female artists, artists of colour, gay artists, trans artists, and other historically marginalized artists have been left off everyone’s collective radar to our absolute detriment as audience members for WAY too long. By virtue of our Eurocentric, Patriarchal society, we have been denied access to some of the finest art ever created, not to mention the injustices committed against these artists, both living and dead, as well as the massive amounts of appropriation that corrupt a good chunk of the canon as well…

But – that doesn’t mean all the “classics” should go away (some people think it does; I do not think that). To me, in an ideal world, the best of the works we have pushed to the edges or lost should surface to equal prominence with those we celebrate most right now. We can only understand works of art by what came before them – what the creators would have heard, seen, and studied themselves – which is why we simply must know the canon...

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