When musical comedy schools judge performance teachers and courses…

It fascinates, it irritates, it excites… One thing is certain: this Star Academy made a successful return to TF1, rediscovering the codes that made it brilliant twenty years ago. The show, which was created in 2001, “changed gears so that it became a school of singing” over the seasons, said producer Mathieu Vergne on the microphone of Europe 1 in mid-October, before the broadcast of the first bonus of the new vintage. “Students are the flavor of the program […] art learners, to become full artists with the faculty,” he emphasized.

The show’s teams insist that it’s no longer a reality show, but a music school. If star academics are in jail, it’s because “they have their courses because they have an academy,” recently confirmed host (and former candidate) Karima Charni on set. C Media, for France 5. Candidates are “students” accompanied by “teachers” and marked during the weekly “evaluation”. A complete lexicon helps the viewer understand that budding artists are there to learn how to become the “stars” the program’s title promises.

But what do real musical comedy schools think about this device that films their students 24 hours a day and broadcasts what they learn in a daily program? 20 minutes he asked a few of them.

“We don’t work with sound anyway”

Laurent Mercou, director of the Professional School of Musical Comedy (ECPM) in Paris, said immediately, “Meeting a skilled teacher, even for a short period of time, can lead to an evolution.” Marlène Schaff, one of the teachers at her institution, is also a coach with stellar academics.

Claire Jomard, director of the International Academy of Musical Comedy (Aicom) in Paris, confirms that the team of coaches who guide the young artists are made up of “real professionals”. “It’s really nice, because it shows that we don’t use our voices and bodies anyway,” she enthuses.

For Nathalie Lefèvre, director and founder of Unclassified Professional Seminars (API), the show needs to be more transparent about the experience of its candidates. “Many of them already have a long training course behind them. It would be nice if they explained how many years they were in musical comedy school so the audience would understand that we don’t get to that level in a few weeks. Instead, he feels the show works like a multi-stage “big cast” similar to what happens in the industry.

“I think the evaluations are ridiculous”

Students submit an assessment test every Tuesday to determine their “named” risky elimination during the Saturday bonus. Facing the teachers, they perform choreography and sing one or more songs. They are then scored and categorized. The lowest ranked students are then voted on by the audience. “I think it’s ridiculous,” said Sylvia Besnault, director of the Poitiers Broadway School, a school that teaches musical comedy as a hobby for two hours a week. “We do not evaluate with a note from our side. I come from National Education and I see so much damage that this kind of assessment makes no sense. The appreciation for us is the stage during our shows. »

At Aicom, 300 students follow a special education program to achieve goals such as “knowing how to raise your voice and have good diction”, “being able to do a demi-plie in dance”… These skills are observed. in constant supervision and during “white casts” in each course, “because every student deserves their own individual feedback”, insists Claire Jomard. He adds: “We don’t categorize people. »

Regarding the temporality of learning Star Academy, all professionals agree that this does not allow for true artistic development. “You can learn a lot in six weeks, that’s for sure. But it’s more like coaching… It takes years to master the profession,” assures Nathalie Lefèvre. “It’s like comparing antibiotics with routine care, one will be quick and effective, the other will have a more permanent effect,” he smiles.

Cameras, a brake on nature

Sixty cameras record the students’ movements during class and daily life in the palace. Laurent Mercou believes that this “distorts the naturalness necessary for an artistic approach”. “The fact of being followed in the process of evolution is biased, not natural. According to this professional, evolution requires introspection, which is not possible with the pressure of cameras that brake naturalness.

“We do the opposite Star Academy, We believe that progress should be achieved silently, without being threatened as soon as it is pushed aside, “explains Nathalie Lefèvre. She draws an analogy by bringing up the issue of a child who cannot write well: “If we expose his shortcomings, he will not write anymore. »

Learning to be an artist is ‘possible’

“The candidates are going through something absolutely crazy, that’s for sure,” he continues. Even if the pedagogy deviates from the curriculum of true art schools, directors of musical comedy schools confirm the interest of the program. “It provides a springboard for visibility, for highlighting artists,” emphasizes Claire Jomard. He notes that Stanislas, who is currently a tenant of the castle, passed through the benches of Aicom before integrating. Star Academy.

“It’s not a school like ours, but it remains a particularly rewarding experience, a catalyst for entry into the art profession. It also allows you to quickly create an address book,” says Sylvie Besnault.

Laurent Mercou says that the context of constant pressure due to cameras and bonuses also “allows us to make important changes”. When he looked Star Academy, he sees more fun than music school: “Everything is set up for the game, I just hope the production is careful not to be too violent for the artists. »

The play focuses on the possibility of becoming an artist through training. “It can raise awareness that everyone can have access to singing, dancing and theatre,” enthuses Claire Jomard. And I hope that because of this, young people think that they can come to schools like ours and train. »

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