I went to see Gypsy last night at Chichester Festival Theatre, and was particularly excited as one of my young male students was performing in it. I also took one of my 13 year old female pupils along to watch. Before we went in, my pupil asked me how I got my pupils auditions for shows. I explained (realising that what she was actually saying was that she would like to be considered) that casting agents tended to contact me with very specific requirements concerning age, sex, height etc. “Oh” she said, a little deflated. We settled down for Act one, and I watched my pupil on stage, singing and dancing with obvious enjoyment, and thought, after a month of this, he has to go back to ‘normal’ life again. I felt a pang of pressure to find him his next challenge, whether it be auditioning for another role or for vocational training. In the interval, my pupil sitting with me told me she desperately wanted to go into full time training when she was 16. She is particularly keen to go to Bird College, but will also consider Laine Theatre Arts, Performers and others! I currently have ex-pupils at all of these colleges, and at the moment have six pupils preparing to audition, and her own sister and cousin were pupils of mine and are now professional dancers, so I can understand her own aspirations, and the reality of them in her mind. Despite the fact that she is a lovely dancer, motivated and hard-working, again I had this pang of responsibility. These colleges are so difficult to get into, let alone finding work on graduating. Then, this morning, I received a text from my receptionist saying another pupil wanted to add extra classes because she had been inspired by one of my ex-pupils down from Bird College for the half term, and now wants to go to there! She is a painfully shy 14 year old , who has a lot of potential! I now feel a huge responsibility on my shoulders as I endeavour to find a way to facilitate their dreams, without crushing them! I have been here many times before, and will be again, and it doesn’t get any easier. And some days it just hits me.