Fame factories, talent schools and pushy mothers have always been there for those who love to perform. But what about those who want to be insta-famous? They’re catered for as well.
Talent or no talent, anyone can be famous these days. We live in era where celebrity doesn’t really have a clear definition and where people find fame through reality TV, with 'leaked' sex tapes, by being a global embarrassment and even by commenting on the talent of others via YouTube. If you are one of the unfortunate souls who doesn’t own a video camera or you find yourself being rather plain and unable to provoke national uproar, than help is at hand; a school in the UK has launched a course, thought to be the first of its kind, aimed at teaching young hopefuls how to impress the X-Factor judges. So, if you fancy stepping on to the famous stage in front of the likes of Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and maybe even Britney Spears (please say she returns to the show this year) and being ridiculed by the public, then here is your answer.
Okay okay, maybe the words above were a little harsh as the course that is being offered to the prospective students of Bishop Auckland College is aimed at those who feel that the X-Factor is the perfect platform on which to share their talent. What’s more is that the 17-week course only costs £95. The rest of the fees will be paid by government funding, making the course accessible to those who can’t get into talent schools but need their singing skills honed by mentors.
Mike Jinks, the head of art, music and performing arts said, ‘‘Many applicants have talent but need to work on key things such as their singing technique and confidence. People auditioning also need to know that the ones who succeed on X Factor don’t just walk in there blind.’
So what does this mean? The course has been criticised by many, stating that government funding should be spent on courses that’ll teach students actual talent rather than teaching them to bank their futures on the hope of winning a talent show. A fair point, no? We are living in a time in which we are inundated with semi-talented hopefuls hoping to make it big, using sob stories to win over the publics vote rather than displaying good old solid talent.
It is natural that people are inspired by the success stories of those that made it off the back of The X-Factor like the globally successful One Direction, who can't take a step outside without being mobbed by crying girls and boys.
This course, believed to be the first of its kind, is already underway and it won’t be long until we will be hearing about the young hopefuls that were lucky enough to secure a place on it. Mike Jinks says that the course will also prepare the students for worst case scenarios and ‘some home truths’ about the X-Factor business and those that audition, adding, ‘“What they’ll get is a lot of really useful transferable skills. Whether they develop the confidence to take on an audition or take on a job interview, I don’t see much difference between the skills that you need.”
So, is this crash course in talent and confidence really what the U.K. needs? Or is it just feeding students the wrong impression of an industry that is difficult to crack, with or without the existence of reality tv shows like the X-Factor?
We, at Swide, can’t wait to hear what Simon Cowell has to say on the subject.