Aspiring actors, directors, musicians and creatives need look no further than their own backyard for their inspiration, a Kawerau kaiako says.
Forget Hollywood, all the motivation you need to go places on the stage, music or television is right here, says Hamuera Hudson who teaches Māori Performing Arts Toi Paematua – Diploma in Māori and Indigenous Art at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Kawerau.
“Look at what Taika Waititi winning at the Academy Awards achieved and what he said about encouraging all indigenous people around the world to get involved in creative things,” says
Hamuera (Ngāi Tuhoe, Te Whakatōhea).
“You can also look at Rob Ruha and the pathway he’s opened up for young Māori and music. And LAB are Whakatāne boys and we see them walking around here ...they’re an inspiration.
You can start off in a garage and the next thing you’re on the world stage.”
Hamuera runs the production side of the 38-week programme. The course is open to all New Zealanders and merges Māori culture with performance and creativity.
Tauira (students) on the programme learn performance techniques, music, kapa haka, stage production and management, lighting and sound and project management.
Hamuera, whose performing arts days involved touring overseas with a kapa haka contingent and managing a kapa haka group for Tamaki Tours in Rotorua for 10 years, said tauira gained many practical skills for the stage and television on the programme.
They also gained confidence and the resilience necessary for the industry.
“My wero (challenge) to inspire tauira (students) is to not be afraid to give it a go and to really find out where this industry can take you.”
“But if you really want to pursue something you have to put yourself in a bit of an uncomfortable position but don’t be afraid to step out on the water and give it a go.”
“You have to put yourself out there and believe in the potential you have. As Māori we often doubt ourselves, but that’s what performing arts provides, an opportunity to provide confidence.”
The programme starts in early March and is taking enrolments.