Saturday, September 26, 2009

“Art is the imagination expressed through the senses”

The topic that I am going to focus on is something that has been brought up many times before, and has once again become one of Canada’s recent issues. There are so many people that are talented in the arts who will not be able to get the full experience and education they need because of the lack of funding in this field. I disagree with people who say that it is impossible to have a prosperous future in the arts, because if you are passionate and driven you will be able to succeed at anything you set your mind to.

It has been said that “ordinary people do not care about the arts” and there have been cuts made to the funding that has been given to artists… about $45 million to be exact. Today’s entertainment industry is following the trend of giving fame to adolescents that have zero talent, just so people can make fun of them. If people think that art isn’t good enough then they should not reward bad artists for their failure. If there was funding of the arts, I believe that this will stop and people who actually have genuine talent will get their chance to shine.

Just a few weeks ago, there were some more major cuts made to the arts funding in British Columbia. On September 9th, members and supporters of the arts met on the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery to protest. I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who feels that the arts should be pushed aside, but I am upset that the government had to once again cause this uprising.

I am a student who is heavily involved in the arts. I took dance lessons for seven years, I am highly interested in visual art and photography, I have acted in short plays in front of hundreds of people, and I sing and play two instruments. As you can see, the arts are a very important part of my life and it is something that I am serious about. People with interests and talents in these categories will only be able to apply themselves so far until the government cuts get in the way of their future as artists. Having the ability to excel in any form of the arts is a great accomplishment and privilege for anyone. By taking away money to help support the arts the government is also taking away the opportunity for teenagers to express themselves, and celebrate that art can bring out the best in people. Believe it or not, music, dance, drama, and art can bring people together. When a group of people with a common interest join forces and discover one another’s talents, great things can happen. It is horrible to have the knowledge that the government is preventing all of this.

I believe that providing money to support these teenagers’ gifts is completely worth it, as it comes with many advantages. Many students that have gone to art schools have said that it was the best experience of their lives, and that their grades were not only high in their art courses, but in their regular academics as well. Being involved in extra curricular activities such as the arts helps get teenagers off the street causing trouble and into the studio to develop their talents. The funding of the arts also will help broaden our Canadian popular culture, as there are many talented young artists out there that are ready to represent our country well. There would be so many great opportunities for potential artists to expand their knowledge and get involved in programs that can help them further their talent, if only there was more money put towards the arts.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

From Instant Stardom, to Insant Stalking

It's 7:00 am Monday morning. I'm tired, I don't want to move, and I have hit the snooze button three times already. My alarm clock begins go off again and I'm shocked at what I hear blasting through the radio speaker. The song that I wrote last year has hit number one on the charts! My energy kicks in, as I jump out of bed and get ready. That was last week.

This past summer I released my debut album, and have been traveling all over playing small shows and promoting it. My hard work paid off because not even a week ago, my first single blew up all over the media, and has somehow hit number one in Canada! This has to be about the BEST thing that has ever happened to me. I finally have the chance share my music with the world!

However, I wasn't sure what to expect during the first week of school, since I know have thousands of fans. I never thought I would have fame in my school since the kids are used to me. That all changed once people started to find out where I lived. By people I mean the media, better known as the paparazzi.

People have started to not only want to know who I am, but have decided to follow my every move. I first noticed I was being followed when I was walking to school one morning, and I heard a camera shutter go off. I turned around to see a man hiding behind a bush, dressed in dark colours, and holding up a huge camera. Behold the paparazzi. At first I couldn't understand why this was happening to me because I am just a normal girl. As I approached the front doors about five cars came out of no where, blocking parent's from dropping off their children. Suddenly the paparazzi ran up and surrounded me, blocking my entrance from the school. After a few minutes I managed to push my way into the school, annoyed and confused, only to have them follow me in there as well. They took pictures of me going into my locker, SPEEDING down the hallway, and darting into my first period class which I was almost late to. I had computer class, and I was shocked when I opened the internet and there was a picture they JUST of me on the home page of MSN entertainment. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and it almost seemed surreal to me.

The paparazzi followed my friends and I everywhere we went. We simply could not escape from them. They found out where we buy our lunch, and they now know our favourite hang out spots. It was amazing to see the patience of my friends, but I knew that sooner or later they will get tired of being followed. At least they can escape from it. The paparazzi would not leave me for a second, and they were waiting for me when I got home. It seemed like they should be getting tired of taking pictures of me by now. As soon as I got inside my house I locked all of the doors and made sure that they could not see into my house through any windows. I then stayed inside the whole night despite having to run errands for my mother because I did not want to face them again. By night time, I went on the internet only to find pictures of my day ALL over different websites.

Unfortunately this hasn't died down, but I have changed a few things in my daily schedule to make sure I avoid the paps as much as possible. I take a car with all tinted windows to school, enter through a secret back entrance, and the blinds in my classes are always down. Outsiders aren't allowed to go in my school because it's against the law, so I eat lunch in the cafeteria. I then take the same car back home and make sure that if I need to leave the house, I wear sunglasses and a hat to cover my face from them.

Although these methods of avoiding the paparazzi are helping a little, I can't help but wonder if this is how it always has to be. The pictures in the magazines, newspaper, and on the internet have still been constant. I just do not see how my life is so interesting that I need to be followed 24/7. I'm just a musician who got lucky, and I didn't sign up for this. I'm okay with having pictures taken of me when I'm out promoting, but I deserve to have my privacy.