20 Lessons Theatre Has Taught Me

20 Lessons Theatre Has Taught Me

Not everyone has had the opportunity to participate in theatre, but for those who have, they have learned every single one of these

Many wonder what REALLY goes into making a theatrical production and what goes on behind the scenes. While we can't give away all of our trade secrets, here are some lessons I have learned that may give everyone a glimpse into the lives of actors.

1. How to embrace the butterflies

Speaking in front of an auditorium full of people is scary. Like, really scary. Stage fright is something you learn to control because if you let it control you, you will crash and burn on the stage.

2. How to be confident in my own skin

As weird as it may sound, you learn to be comfortable with yourself by pretending to be someone you are not.

3. Not everyone is judgemental

Theatre kids are the most accepting "clique" you will ever meet. Theatre kids are composed of all walks of life with varying personalities that will accept you for who you are.

4. How to laugh

By working so closely together, your castmates will become your best friends and practices usually turn into hours of little work with lots of laughter instead.

5. How NOT to laugh

ESPECIALLY when you are performing a comedy. Learning how NOT to laugh at the things that will have the audience rolling on the floor is a special skill that takes months to perfect, and that is only for the funny jokes and actions in that specific performance. Unfortunately, you cannot break character on stage in front of the entire audience to laugh at the silly antics, even though everything inside you is screaming too.

6. How to function in heels all day, every day

Boys, this doesn't apply to you. But girls, you get EXACTLY what I mean. For hours and hours, you have to function in heels daily. By the time the performances roll around, you're immune to the pinching and blisters associated with the heels.

7. How nice it feels to finally take your heels off

Girls, can I get an AMEN.

8. How to apply makeup

No matter your gender, this applies. We do not get special makeup artists to do everything for you, nor do your castmates have time to do it for you. So boys, pick up that foundation and get going!You

9. How well I can procrastinate

If you have not waited until the night before to memorize every line of an ENTIRE PLAY, then you have not truly procrastinated. It is truly an art form to do it the night before. And yes, I have been there. Many times.

10. How scary the dark is

Ever walk across a stage filled with furniture in the pitch black, not knowing where the edge of the stage is? Scariest. Thing. Ever.

11. How many costumes can suck

Costume malfunctions are the worst. If you don't exit the stage for the entire act, you're forced to try and act nonchalant while your costume is falling apart and something is threatening to be exposed.

12. How fun costumes can be

Okay but seriously, we all loved playing dress up as a kid and it's even BETTER when you're an adult and it's socially acceptable. Say hello to princess dresses.

13. How stage makeup differs from everyday makeup

When an actor is on the stage, you don't realize how much makeup they really have on until they are off the stage and in person. The bright stage lights wash out a person's features so when applying stage makeup, you apply twice as much and twice as noticeable until you look like a freak in person.

14. How much makeup can ruin your skin

The week of performances you uncontrollably break out and your skin is so dry from all of the makeup wipes you use to scrub everything off each night.

15. How awful nylons really are

I have never made it through a performance without ripping my nylons and once that happens, there's no going back.

16. How to be a leader

I once had the chance to fully direct a production, and I probably would never do it again. Stepping up to be a leader was the hardest thing I've had to do and I would much prefer to be on the stage.

17. How to have patience

Again, being a director was difficult. Not every cast member would take the production seriously and it took every ounce of patience I had not to give up.

18. How to keep pushing when everything goes wrong

Mistakes happen all the time while on stage, the audience just doesn't know it. When something goes wrong you learn not to beat yourself up about it.

19. How to think on your feet

When something DOES go wrong, you have to just roll with it and the audience will never know.

20. And finally, the difference between a play and a musical

Apparently, the rest of the world doesn't understand this.

These are just a few of the many lessons I have taken from the theatre, and I wouldn't change it for the world. Theatre has many benefits and I encourage anyone to give it a try if given the chance, but don't say I didn't warn you!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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