Amateur is a French word for passion

…so avoid the pretentions of deciding you know it all and putting yourself under the pressure of being the font of all knowledge…the ‘master and student’ approach is far more rewarding- share your knowledge but be ready to have your students surpass you and also educate you- a satisfying and creative process that is in itself a credit to the teacher; there is nothing better than to see the students I have taught excelling in their own fields and offering me advice and support.

See ‘Show Your Work’ is a great book by Austin Kellon with a chapter on the idea of the ‘amateur’

Amateur is a word I have formerly hated,

especially as an actor- it conjures up, for me, images of badly constructed sets; old Gladis at the back trying to tap dance, vulgar ‘hobby’ists…the list goes on…the key concern is that this is how Joe Public perceives drama and theatre- a joke- and confirming that it is something to be laughed and a momentary diversion from the ‘telly’. In fact all it means is that as a once amateur actor it just meant I was not getting paid and only amateur on paper but professional in approach! The companies I have been involved in expect good time keeping, socialising after rehearsal (not in it!), private line learning and prep..Thank God for Old Joint Stock Musical Theatre Company and Crescent Theatre. So…do something with a passion, get involved in those fringe societies and be ‘amateur’!

See: ‘Show Your Work’ by Austin Kellon; and for a less serious look at the struggles of thespians both professional and amateur try ‘West End Producer’ and The Art of Course Acting by Michael Green