Breaking into the Performing Arts Field

Breaking into the Performing Arts Field


>>Welcome to New York State
PROMISE, Emerging Voices. Today’s topic is Breaking Into
the Performing Arts Field. 16-year-old New York State
PROMISE student Malcolm has a promising future in the
performing arts sector. This past summer, he
was hired to be an actor by an independent movie company and is also a talented
singer and performer. PROMISE has connected him with professional
development opportunities to further his budding
career in the midst of his health challenges. PROMISE is also helping
Malcolm’s entire family prepare for the future.>>My artistic ability is I
like to write, and I’m a writer and I’m a rapper, and I
guess you could put poetry in there too, because, you
know, it ties together. And some of the things
that I’ve done, I performed at Radio City Music
Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Barclays Center,
just to name a few. But I’ve done a lot of
community shows also, you know, for the youth.>>Malcolm is a natural actor. He’s a natural performer. He knows it. He feels it. And the most important
thing is that his family, his father in this case,
he believes in him. He believes in the
special gift that he has.>>My son Malcolm has
sickle cell anemia, and that’s been a major
challenge throughout his life. But what we’ve been able to do
is use music and entertainment as a way to overcome
those challenges, which is why the name of our group is called
Kicking Down Walls. And what we try to show other
people is that you can kick down any obstacle or
anything that’s in your way. And music and entertainment
has been our way to do that.>>This past summer, Malcolm
secured a paid acting position in the independent film
called “Dear Bully.”>>Over the recent
years, not only — music has not only
been my passion, I’ve also dove into acting. Also, I’m actually in a movie — well, a short film
— about bullying. And I’m the star and my
little sister’s co-starring in a film called “Dear Bully.” And so acting is a big
one of my passions.>>PROMISE staff have
connected Malcolm with the Brooklyn Academy of
Music, to help him delve deeper into the industry, as well help
the family to think not only about their hopes and
dreams for Malcolm, but also develop a backup plan.>>I know my kids want to
do entertainment, rapping and acting, but to me they got to have a plan B
as well, you know. As much as we want those things
to happen, what are you going to do if they don’t
happen, you know? So it’s very important
for me to talk to them about employment opportunities,
find out what skills they have, so that they can have
a successful career, whether that’s entertainment
or a business or whatever they want to do. So I like the fact
that PROMISE forces us into those conversations
at a pretty early age.>>Malcolm says he’s
looking forward to future work experiences
that he can access through PROMISE now that he’s
turning 17, as he continues to pursue his passion.>>When I started
my music group — it’s called Kicking Down
Walls — I was at — I was fighting in the
hospital constantly. You know, I would sometimes
do music in the hospital. And that’s what led me to, you
know, keep going and pushing and pushing, you know,
because that was my passion. And I want the kids to
know that, you know, whatever passion they have,
to go fight for it, because, you know — like even if
they’re going through hardships, that passion can
overcome the hardship, and that you can make
something spectacular out of it.>>The New York State PROMISE
Project produced this video under a cooperative agreement with the US Department
of Education.

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