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
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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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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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