My Pop Culture Teachers Part 3 (Artsy Fartsy)

by 
 | August 4, 2022

If you haven’t read Part One and Two, I don’t know why you’re starting here. But either way, let’s have fun! I have returned with my weird nerdy choices for my pop culture teachers, where I pick out fictional characters to teach me in various forms of education. For this batch, we are diving into the extracurricular activities that fuel the right side of our brains. And these fictional characters could help anyone get creative.

Art 

I need this class so I can stop losing money commissioning drawings. The basic form of “art” is essentially using tools to create pictures by hand. You can use pencils, paint, salt, coffee, whatever you want! The talent never stopped with these artists, and I need to get some of that!

He will draw you like one of his French girls. This passionate poor artist fell in love with a crestfallen aristocrat, and their worlds were never the same. Jack Dawson’s skill and fascination with Rose Bukater perfectly translated on pencil. Titanic was an epic yet tragic story, but his drawing of Rose survived the disaster and remained beautiful. If an artist’s work can look flawless after sinking to the bottom of the ocean, I would for sure commission them.

Frida Kahlo used art, as it should always be used; as a creative outlet to express culture, politics, and emotion. Polio at six and a bus accident at 18 resulted in lifelong pain for Frida. You could track her health and state of mind through her paintings. But she never changed her style when told to or entertained politics she didn’t agree with. She actually was a teacher in Mexico who encouraged students to embrace their heritage. I wish we hadn’t lost her so soon, for her mark would have been greater than it already is.

Art pieces don't always need a flat surface or normal hands. Edward Scissorhands used the tools given to him to create instead to destroy. Edward, an artificial human created from Tim Burton’s workshop, was viewed by the angry suburban public as a danger. Even though he created beautiful sculptures of hedges, ice, and simple haircuts. Most impactful artists are misunderstood just because they are different. Well, I thrive on Edward’s quirkiness and innocence! And I would happily make the drive up to his gothic mansion to watch him make snow.

Choir 

Raise your hand if you like to sing, even if you don’t think you’re good. Most everyone has a chance to use their voice. But unless you have golden pipes, you might not know how to use them. Luckily, these songbirds already love to teach the beauty of song. (Me first, please!)

A Disney Princess is typically kind, positive, beautiful in anything, an animal magnet, and a fantastic singer. Giselle is the ultimate princess parody. She is plucked from an Enchanted fairytale and plunged into the real world. Her magical energy doesn’t crack our cold reality until she starts singing. She turns New York into a musical, proving that the power of song can bring joy to anyone. We could all use a ray of sunshine like Giselle to encourage our voices.

Deloris can’t stop herself from creating a good show, even when she’s in witness protection. She goes from being a club singer to a choir nun in Sister Act 1 and 2. Her performing profession teaches her sisters to fuse other music genres with gospel and improve their singing. And later on, ignites the passion for song in run-down school students. Both times meet disapproval, but she doesn’t stop. Having a sassy show-nun as the stubborn teacher who wants me to do my best is what I need for a choir teacher.

He is the Angel of Music, otherwise known as The Phantom of the Opera. (And no, I am not linking the Hollywood version, only the best one.) This isolated man is multi-talented, especially in the music department. His voice is powerful enough to woo any lady. Ask Christine or any chick into musicals. But we aren’t the only horny ones. He yearned to teach Christine because she wooed him with her voice. So he would need to be checked for student-teacher relationships and for the occasional murder. But other than that, he qualifies!

Band/Orchestra 

If you aren’t confident in your organic instrument, pick up a man-made one! Music connects everyone in ways that philosophy and deep stuff often fail at. The beauty of it keeps these hard-working musicians going.

Dewey Finn kicked the desks out of the School of Rock. Pushed from his rock n’ roll dream, he originally took the teaching job just to pay the bills. But recognizing the potential in his elementary class gave him a second shot at it. No matter the genre, music is powerful and for everyone. Back then, being in a rock band wasn’t considered a “real career.” Dewey teaches his students to embrace the beat, and that dreams should be fulfilled. Jack Black is a rocking icon in real life, so he fits the role perfectly. 

Music is magical, and Link knows how to utilize it. He is the protagonist of the long-running Legend of Zelda video game franchise. Most fantasy-based heroes can learn to be masters of swords, but *I* think what makes Zelda fun (among many things, of course) is how music is used to save the day. Link plays a multitude of instruments with an integral part in succeeding in his adventures. Hell, there’s a whole game called Ocarina of Time. If I could tap into some magic when playing music, I need Link to head the class.

Lisa Simpson is a child prodigy, but her escape is music. She is one of the most intelligent people in Springfield and could choose to do whatever she wants. It is difficult to communicate her struggles to her parents since they are basically idiots. So she only finds peace in her various instruments, particularly in jazz music. Although still technically eight years old, after about 30 years, I would want Lisa to teach me anything/everything she knows. But I encourage her passion first.

Dance 

A perfect transition from our last batch of subjects; dancing is the art of telling a story through your body. There are many forms you can take to express your style. My picks for dancing coaches will certainly whip you into shape. And have even saved the day with their moves. 

Who knew a dance battle would save the galaxy? Peter Jason Quill, aka Star Lord, was abducted by space smugglers at a young age to become a rogue playboy. But he never lost his love of music. Whenever his favorite tunes pulled up, he danced the night away. He may not have the best moves, but Peter ain’t afraid to let his inner Footloose free. That willingness to let go and just jam out is what many fail to accept in dance class. I will look worse while doing it, but I believe Star Lord’s lesson might also help me stop a planet from blowing up.

I don’t know whose idea it was to make a singing/dancing penguin movie, but thank you! Mumble is a humble Emperor penguin who got a pair of Happy Feet instead of golden pipes. Everyone else thinks he is defective for not having the same gifts as the rest of his kind, sending him away. However, his dancing attracts the attention of humans. If Mumble never had a love for dance, mankind would have continued to overfish, and the penguins would have starved. Once again, dance saved the day! And I suck at tap dancing, so Mumble can help me there.

Pick any Gene Kelly movie, and he’d be my choreographer. I could solely gush about his character from Singin’ in the Rain (as seen above), but I think the real guy is awesome enough. Kelly was one of the most talented dancers to ever live. There is a lot of dancing in Singin’ and he choreographed all of it! He has won several Academy awards for his work, not just in dancing. Although his methods were harsh and required hard work in practice. Debbie Reynolds said her work with him was more painful than childbirth. But damn, if I could dance like that, I would accept the bloody feet.

Drama 

Now, this was my after-school escape, and BITCH did I love it! As silly as it may seem, being onstage takes integrity and the pristine skill of pretending. Who wouldn’t love to weave stories through pretty lies to entertain an audience? I had some good theatre teachers, but I would push them offstage if I had these hotties.

If you want to challenge a totalitarian government, be theatrical. V understood the assignment. He memorized soliloquies, recited movie scenes with a dummy, bought matching costumes for a whole country, and blew up buildings. Okay, maybe that last one is a bit far, but he knows how to wow a crowd. His traumatic past left him empty, with only books, plays, and music to fill the void. V exudes passion in everything he does. Exactly what you need on the stage. 

Chicago is full of delicious drama. And Velma Kelly milked every scene she was in. She doesn’t miss her show nor screw it up, even while the cops roll in to arrest her for murder. And she never stopped performing for the public; she romanticized her crime like a soap opera and got away with it! Acting is all about painting lies with beauty and sandwiching them in between your truths. And Velma never failed to charm her audience with that technique. 

David Bowie will get you addicted to his fantasy. Jareth, the Goblin King, rules over a Labyrinth filled with riddles and wonder. This place was birthed from a story Sarah recites in the park, like a play. Although frustrating for her, Jareth plays the part she needs him to be. He sings, dances, enchants and distracts Sarah from the real world. Jareth (and Bowie) committed to his role and left you in awe of this fairytale. I hope to be as enchanting as him when I perform in the park.

Phew! We made it! I’m so exhausted but overjoyed. These subjects were my life savers in reality. Thank you for tuning in once again! I will be back for yet another batch later (sorry, not sorry). Who do YOU want to be your mentor in the arts? Did any fictional characters inspire you to pursue dancing or playing instruments? Let me know, and don’t let your dreams be dreams, kids!

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