The Benefits of Doing Online School as a Performer

Throughout the years, students have become more invested in the performing arts.  Due to the advance in technology and academic schooling, kids in the performing arts aren’t just doing theatre in school, as there are over 30 theatres in North Texas alone. With the higher demand of commitment from the theater, most students homeschool or do online school to practice their craft more.  More than 57% of homeschoolers and online school students are active performers in the arts, and most of them plan to do some type of performing arts based career. 

I did an interview with Sophomore, Jessica Gabrillo, who attends the North Texas Performing Arts Academy and is a student at iUniversity Prep.  Jessica decided that performing was going to be her career since she was in 7th grade. She has been doing theatre with her brother, Matthew Gabrillo, for 10 years.  I asked her, “Do you think it is more beneficial as a performing arts student to do online school, or go to a regular school and do school theater?”  Her response was, “Online school since it is more flexible.”  I then asked the question, “What about it makes it more flexible and how does that help you as a performer?” She stated, “If I can’t make it to a live lesson, I can just watch the recording when I get the chance to.  There is no set schedule for when you have to complete classes in the day.  I like how I can finish half of the lessons in the morning and the rest in the evening.  It helps me as a performer because I can always put some time out of the day to rehearse or work on my material, whether that be for a show or theatre class.” 

iUniversity Prep allows students to create a schedule that works for them and their needs.  As a performer you have to have time to rehearse on the side; not everything can be done in a rehearsal.  There is always work to do to help you improve, whether it is simply stretching everyday,  running lines with family, or even taking a break from school work to practice choreography.  That brings me to my last question for Jessica: “What skills have you learned from doing online school that will help you in the future as a performer?”  Her honest response was this: “Right now, I have to learn how to manage my time in multiple different areas, which is sometimes difficult, but practicing and honing that skill will definitely help me later on when I have different theatre schedules.” 

Most New York performers do eight shows a week, have a full time job, and most are attending college at the same time.  Time management is everything to a performer.  Most sophomores in public school do not think about these things.  It’s not their fault they just never had the need to create their own schedule and learn what works for them and what doesn’t.  Jessica shows a great example of how to really use the opportunity of doing online school well and how we can benefit from it in the future.