Why is it that those who can play a piece by Mozart or recite a monologue by Shakespeare are looked less upon than those who can kick a ball into a net? As someone who played two sports, three instruments, and did theatre all throughout high school, names from both ends of the spectrum was given. Personally, the arts are just as much fun and exciting as the rush of adrenaline while slamming a ball over a net to get the final kill. If this is to be true why do musicians and actors tend to be the “dorky” or “lame” ones while the athletes are the “popular” and “talented” ones? What’s the real difference between people involved in the arts and people involved in sports?
Athletes spend hours and hours conditioning and practicing to hone in on their skills for the court or field. It takes both physical and mental work and mashing the two together isn’t always easy. Nathaniel Weaver, a Music Education major at GU says, “I think theater and music can strengthen a person’s confidence in oneself and in others. I won’t deny that sports and athletics can help boost confidence in oneself but it’s more than likely it will always be a confidence in the team not in yourself individually.” It takes work ethic and selflessness to be able to better oneself for their team.
Sports, however, can only take one so far. At the age of 74 years old with a bad back and shaking hands, one cannot get right back on the court and pick up where left off. Music, on the other hand, can be taken on through all stages of life and can help calm and occupy the mind. Weaver says, “the ability to sing or play an instrument is something that changes over time but it will always be a part of you and will almost always still exist unless tragedy happens. The same goes with theater.” Having an athletic career doesn’t usually last as long as a musical or theatrical career because of the physical wear down.
Musicians exercise their brain power more than athletes do. Music is more complex and thought out. It takes years to master the skill of playing an instrument. “People can try all they want, but the truth is if you mess up a note in a concert or a line in a play then it will mess up your fellow costar which in turn leaves you to fix the problem yourself,” Weaver says. Musicians and actors have no one else to rely on but themselves. This alone is enough to prove the power in being able to play an instrument or act on stage.
Both sports and the arts take great time and patience, but what’s interesting is the studies on how much more academically prepared people who take part in the arts are. “Memorization is a key factor when it comes to academics because you have to memorize facts for tests and other homework assignments. This comes without thinking because of my ability to memorize lines for plays and music for concerts,” says Weaver.
Actors and actresses spend a lot of mental and physical work to be able to change who a person actually is into someone they are not in order to tell a story. It takes grace and courage to step out on a stage with blazing eyes staring at you. “Let’s say you get the lead role in a play, only you can do that roll and no one else can help you with that. Most athletics even if you don’t do so well you can rely on your teammates to pick you up. That is a lot harder to do in theatrics and music because if you mess up there is no one can cover for you as well as if you didn’t mess up,” Weaver says. Theatre and Music almost always focus on the talent of an individual rather than multiple people. This creates a confidence in one’s self that others may not receive.
The skills of the arts trump athletics for the fact of this and its ability to help you academically, boost your confidence, and support you even when you’re grey and old. Seeing one’s progress as an individual and how far they’ve come creates a feeling one cannot get from a sport.
Media by: Di’Mond Salmond.