Interview: Performing Artist and Educator Dorothy May
Next up in our Brisbane Local Artists interview segment is Dorothy (Dot) Mae. Working as a performing artist and teacher, and as a Captain Starlight, Dot is very passionate about teaching youth about the arts and helping them release their creativity. Not only that, but she is one of the loveliest and supportive humans that I've ever met. Here is what we had a chat about...
VIRAG: How has the coronavirus impacted your own creative practice?
DOT: It's really amped it up. I have a lot more time on my hands and I'm using it to make content, build my business and work on my craft. I need to take a chill pill. It's almost like every artists/entrepreneur's dream is to have time to work on your passions so there is this urgency to make the most of it. For me, that's because I am aware of how precious time is within the creative process. On the flip side, last week I was suffering from income losses so that had a negative effect on my creativity. It is hard to be creative when your basic needs are under threat of not being met.
VIRAG: A large number of artists are offering virtual performances and workshops online. Is this an avenue that you're exploring as well?
DOT: At the moment I am working on a few things, I have virtual singing lessons available which is exciting. I am starting to make some dance aerobic and fitness content (an extra skill I can use). I have also been using Instagram live to practice my singing and storytelling. It doesn't compare to being in a room with an audience but you are still able to get real-time feedback and responses. That is wonderful in terms of flexing those muscles.
VIRAG: How did you become involved with the arts? Was it a passion from a young age or a passion developed later in life?
DOT: I could never really catch or throw a ball: which surprisingly takes a lot of hobbies out of the equation. Haha, how bizarre when you think of it like that. I struggled to focus in class. As soon as someone put a movie on though I was completely absorbed and my imagination could go nuts. You put a movie musical on for little Dot and it'd be another level, I'd be in the living room dancing and singing pretending I was there. With my people.
VIRAG: What's something you'd say to someone who at the moment is doubting whether or not to follow their creative dreams?
DOT: Haha. This question made me laugh because I am that person. I am that person a lot. The days when I am able to focus on my creative work are the best days of my life, I don't have to think because I'm just in it. The hard days where I feel limited or cut off from my potential suck, they are always gunna suck. When I find myself having a dark day I have to remember there is only one of me (unique: with a passion to offer the world) but there will always be many jobs stacking shelves at the supermarket. It's important to take those chances because the fear will tell you you're doomed if you fail but the truth is, the safety net is huge (the safety net is coles, woollies and Aldi). I have a long way to go on my journey: to make a living and to do my dream work. The important thing is that I am on the way there and that's really cool.
This month Dorothy has begun her own Voice Tuition Business and is putting in the ground work for when the world is running at full capacity again. She is looking forward to what opportunities lie ahead when the pandemic is over. More importantly, Dot believes that there is real importance in seeing the opportunities the pandemic is offering us now.
For Online Singing Tuition head to www.facebook.com/voicewithdorothy