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Careers in the Arts: Demystifying the Journey of an Arts Professional - 8 Feb, 2021

A conversation introducing different careers in the realms of performing arts where we discovered life beyond a few mainstream careers by listening to professionals from the sector.

The panel included Ashutosh Phatak - Founder, True School of Music, Bruce Guthrie - Head of Theatre and Films, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Leela Samson - Dancer and Former Director, Kalakshetra and Sameera Iyengar - Cultural Innovator, Theatre Storyteller. Ashutosh Phatak started the conversation by sharing how a serendipitous offer to write a jingle started his career in the industry. He talked about the various people who contribute to creating music like lyricists, sound engineers, artists managers and so on. Sameera Iyengar spoke about shifting from studying Mathematics and finding her true calling in the stimulating and challenging world of theatre. She mentioned how there are various jobs which require attention to create thought-provoking theatre. Leela Samson shared stories from her idyllic days in Kalakshetra as a student. She credited dance as teaching her the philosophy of life and talked about the various alternative careers in dance, ranging from research to costume styling.

Bruce Guthrie talked about the theatre economy and how you need a team of people doing various tasks from technical production to support staff who contribute to the success of any show. The session ended with a panel discussion moderated by Rashmi Dhanwani where all the speakers unanimously agreed on the importance of arts, spotting right opportunities, practising your craft and surrounding yourself with the right support. They discussed why a practitioner should have multiple skills and take the plunge and go all-in, instead of working on plan Bs.


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