Artsy kids are awesome. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it, artsy kids rock the world like it ain’t no big thing. However, with all informal contractions aside, artsy kids are also really under appreciated. Not only are they deprived of the support that any passionate kid should have, their incredible talent and passion is constantly undermined.
I know the word “special” is spread around quite liberally, but in this case, I mean it. Artsy kids are wonderful. Every one of them! The band kids, the ones who pull together whole paintings, the kids who sing their hearts out because they love it and, yes, even the group that feels alive on a stage (that’s my group, so you could say it’s a conflict of interest, but still).
Please don’t tell your child who wants to be in choir that they would be “better off going after something more stable like engineering.” Most of the time, what you’re saying comes from a part of you that wants to protect your child and you’re right, not everyone gets the big break they want in the entertainment industry. But right now, artsy kids need your support. All they ask for is a little of your time and probably a ride to and from practices/rehearsals, unless they carpool with Debra’s kids, but they really secretly hate Debra’s kids, so could you just drive me instead?
And when it comes down to it, yes, you’re right, the salary of a pediatrician is much more impressive than an actor who volunteers for small parts at fringe festivals that nobody’s heard off. It really does suck that money has to define our futures and I really wish it weren’t like this, but I guess this is how it goes. My reasoning is that if I’m going to do something for money, I’d hope it’s something that I’m good at, and honestly I think I’m better at fake crying than being a surgeon so I have made the promise that film will be in my future. And there should be no reason for your kid to feel discouraged by their own parents, because support should come from a person’s family.
It’s more than possible too that an artsy kid will evolve. Maybe the artsy kid switches interests and becomes a science-y kid. There’s no reason for that science-y kid to lack support too—now come on, isn’t that the whole point of this article? What I’m saying is, no matter what career your children want to pursue, no matter what it is, be it singer, comedian, firefighter, lumberjack, cowboy or princess, a parent’s responsibility (and privilege, I should hope) is to give bottomless support to that ambition.
Now go hug your kid and tell them you’re excited to see their showcase next week. Tell her the crazy lady in the Observer (through a lack of sleep and cluster of muddled thoughts) is their biggest fan, because I am. I really am.