Oh My Goooodness!!! High School artist or any artists like me who are 18 and in their first year of college looking for scholarships…This is a place that will support you.
Read This If You ARE A Passionate Artist
I was chosen as a finalist by YoungArts through NFAA ( National Foundation For Advancement In The Arts). YoungARts is this amazing scholarship program that paid for me to go to Miami all expense payed and be apart of panelists from USC who taught me a week of master classes. I was submitted my film entitled ” Sounds of Silence” ( which is on my blog below) and was accepted along with 6 other finalists. Finalists were chosen this year out of over 6,000 people from all over the united states.
I flew all expenses paid to Miami. Miami Babe!!! I wore a t-shirt they had sent to me so they could find me in the airport. The t-shirt is really cool, a really nice cotton, and has all the artistic disciplines on the outside. The artistic disiplines that had young arts finalists were: Cinematic Arts [Me : ) ] , Dance, Jazz, Music, Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Voice, and Writing.
Miami was surprisingly COLD! I could see my breath as we waited outside for the bus!
I stayed at the Marriot hotel for the week. The hotel was very artistic and very MIAMI. There were lots of silks in pink and orange and crazy hanging blown glass balls from the ceilings. When you walked to the banquet hall with chandeliers for meals there was a floor to ceiling neon wall that changed colors according to mood.
The second night everyone arrived and it was mind-blowing. Everywhere I went, Everyone I looked at was the best in Dance, Jazz, Music , Photography, Theater, Visual Arts, Voice, Writing and Cinematic Arts and we were all interesting and unique because we were all from different parts of the United States. The fun part was that each artistic discipline had their own lanyard to classify which group they were from. So it was like solving a great mystery. We would see a color then say for example,” Ok, your color is yellow…your.. Music. Ok what do you play,” and their answers constantly amazed me; one girl played the piccolo!
Every night we got to see two of the artistic disciplines perform. The first night was Voice and Jazz. The Voice majors were like men and women straight out of the opera, singing in Italian and French with full ranging vibrato. The Jazz performance had a full Jazz ensemble, made up of YoungARts finalists like me, that accompanied Jazz performers that did skat and sang like Etta James and Frank Sinatra.
The second night was the performance from the Theater finalists. Each finalist sat in a chair under blue and black lights and when it was their turn they took their chair to center stage and did a full blown monologue. Not one was better than the other. Each monologue sucked you in and twisted your mind around. The third night was a display of the Writing Finalists, Photography Finalists, and Visual Art Finalists in an art gallery. Hidden as gallery’s mostly are, this place was hidden and was a shack next to “Miami Shoe”, well that’s what it looked like on the outside! On the inside was a modern/ posh art gallery full of artists work form all around Miami. A professional reading was set up. We all sat in the middle of the gallery in front of a raised platform stage and microphone. The writers descended form the stairs and mad a border around us, sitting in chairs. One by one they rose to the stage and read poems, short-stories and a screenplay. The way they crafted their words were so creative and striking! Next we journeyed upstairs and witnessed the photography and visual arts. The Photographers were few, four, but their work filled in for their lack of people. One photographer a girl, followed a woman with cancer around for a year and photojounnaled her life in order to capture her picture. Another took pictures that , with no effects, made nine duplicates of himself onscreen by changing his shutter speed. And the other two photographers took pictures of mathematical architecture and the other of people that looked good enough to be in a magazine.
The Visual Arts was a mind game itself. You would not know a professional artist from these finalists. There was full portraits in paint that looked as good as Picasso’s early work. There was also alternative art. What stuck out the most to me in this category was a girl who was able to capture the human body on a canvas by using smoke as her draw tool. I spent the whole time upstairs just gazing into each painting.
The final night ( my night) was the Dance and Cinematic Arts performance. By the way all of the performances besides the art gallery are held in a beautiful indoor theater that is designed to look like a roman amphitheater. My film was screened here. So the dancers performed beautifully! There were about six that exhibited ballet to modern dance. Then a screen dropped form the top of the stage and an old fashioned film reel sound followed images projected on the screen that spelled out ” Cinematic Arts”. The crowd went wild. My group was made out of seven and all seven of us sat in a row 6 seats up and held hands excitingly as the movies showed. Before each one of out pieces showed there was an intro that we all created that introduced us. In mine I projected “Sounds of Silence” on my hand and then the camera zoomed away. Then the lights went on and revealed that my hand was in front of my mouth. I started speaking and said, ” Hello My Name is Grace Samson,” then started to close up my hand and said, “I’m and filmmaker, and this is my film…” and pulled my hand in so it looked like I grasped the images playing on my hand like I was grabbing a pixie. When MY film showed people started clapping for my store clerk character when she went out into the rain. The audience loved Sound of Silence.
It was also interesting seeing the other cinematic artists work we hadn’t seen it. At YoungArts we all created a story and shot a movie with real actresses in a restaurant in the hotel and cut it. We created a Dramedy (drama/comedy) about two sisters who fight over a box they inherited from their deceased father. After argument and chaos ensues the box breaks open to reveal that they were fighting over the ashes of a dog. Feeling silly and guilty they look up at each other and realized how childish they were. We did this film all in one week! Along with this amazing accomplishment, were were able to get to know each person and then see the work they submitted, what they were accepted to YoungArts with, at the big screening at the Gussman Theater.
At the end of the showing of the films all seven of us went on stage and held hands and bowed. The audience stood up and cheered and we had to bow twice!!
The dancers followed and exhibited amazing dance moves and feeling.
The final night we had a banquet set up to look like the 1950′s. We all dressed up period. The guests were ushered into an old bank where we were. The Gala was a live event. So the crowd was able to walk around and see dancers dancing in closets, the jazz musicials were on a roof insde the bank performing, the writers read their writing in a vault and I got to be a director on a mock 1950′s movie set.
In the end we all danced at the Gala and had a crazy goodbye dance party in the banquet hall at the Marriot.
I made so many friends and connections!
I really experienced an “Art Cloud 9″ at YoungArts. I have a family that is at the same artistic place as me!!!
LA STAGE ARTICLE
For all you artists out there…it is possible and there is support!!!!