Teen Turns From ArtsEd Participant to ArtsEd Spokesperson
I had no idea that art would even be one of my passions or interests. I quickly figured out that I loved to dance, play the clarinet, and that the stage felt a little like home. Now, as an eighteen year-old college student, I find that educating younger students like me is also one of my passions. Teaching dance is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. I know what it is like to not have an outlet or activity to channel your emotions or feelings. Art can serve as this outlet for many. The importance of art for young inner-city kids like myself is substantial, but I believe it goes beyond that; art is a necessity for everyone.
This video project is the realization of one of my goals. There was a script, lighting, a director, a crew, and, most importantly, passion. The professionalism behind this project was beyond what I’d pictured and it was much different than the videos I usually record with my phone for my Instagram account. Being a part of a project like this was definitely something out of my comfort zone. I’m not someone who hides in their comfort zone, however, this project was something that threw me off my center. The crew and director were amazing and supportive, which eased my racing mind and jitters. Ultimately, this was a dream come true; I enjoyed every last minute of working on this project.
My favorite part of being a part of this project definitely had to be the feeling and sense of pride it gave me. Being able to give back to something that has given me everything is what I take pride in. The voice in the back of my head that often leads me to find the courage to get through every scene also told me that I was doing something good for kids in America. I was giving them opportunities and a voice.
I also learned much more than I’d expected while working on this project. I learned some of the terminology that professional filmmakers and artists use while on set. I learned more about myself, and learned that the passion I have for art is greater than any passion I’ve ever known. I strongly feel that one can continue to learn more about art, and in turn, more about life - when given the chance.
I hope that others will realize the importance of art and education, especially when the two are linked together. I cannot emphasize how important it is for people to have access to art--the smallest exposure goes a long way. I have become a better person, student, citizen, and teacher because of the exposure and access I have had to art. If it had been made easier to participate in arts activities, I would have started sooner. My wish for future generations is that they get to experience the things that make life so great: a music class, a theatre performance, a dance recital, a sculpting class, or an art show.
For the artists who are struggling or just beginning, keep going. Art, like your talent and knowledge, will never leave you. For those of you who haven’t experienced the wonderful world of art, reach for it, find your calling, explore your talent, and free your mind. Art and creativity are everywhere. You only need to define it through yourself and your expression.
I hope that these videos will show you what art means to some of us. And what it could mean to you.
Watch Natalie Resendiz in one of four new Encourage Creativity videos from Americans for the Arts:
A Note from director Scott Cronan:
Most non-profit video projects have two things in common: A big message, and a small budget. Generally, that means doing more with less, pinching a few pennies here, cutting a few corners there.
In this instance especially, we knew we wanted to do the best possible work we could with what we had available. Americans for the Arts recommended we speak to Natalie as a possible subject for our short-documentary. We met with her and chose to have her be more of a spokesperson.
We knew it would be a lot for her. A long script with mostly monologue. Long days filming indoor and out, battling ambient sound like airplanes, kids on the playground, and school bells. She’d have hot lights in her face, and a boom microphone just over her head. She’d be tested. With most of her acting experience in theater instead of film, we weren’t sure she’d be able to handle all that the project was demanding. And because our window of time to film was slim, we didn’t have time to camera test all the way. We had to trust.
And trust we did.
Natalie was a total pro. She worked with us for two days, filming out of sequence. If you’re not clear on what that means, here goes: A script is written in logical order (hopes the writer), yet the crew and cast film in order of camera set-ups and locations.
This meant Natalie had to memorize the script and the “tone” behind each line, so that when the footage is edited together, the piece makes sense both logically and emotionally.
It is a rare talent to appear natural on camera even at the end of a full day of filming. It is even more rare to do that without any lapses in professionalism, attention, energy, or poise.
Bottom line: Natalie was a pro!