Since my childhood, I have always been attracted to the performing arts. This caused me to grow up taking voice lessons, different types of dance, etc. I went to Fiorello H. LaGuardia Arts High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts for vocal music, where I learned a great deal of what I know. Even to this day, my second major in college is music, and I absolutely have no idea why I am taking it. Honestly though, music is all I have ever known, so why not make a career of it? Trust me, I love what I have been doing and will be doing for years to come, but it sometimes gets frustrating to be a performer. However, the daily struggles are worth it once you are on the stage doing exactly what you love for other people. It truly is one of the best and worst things in the world, and here’s why:
1. Being sick means that you are not at your best, but you still have to work through it.
Being a performer means no off days at times. You have to work your butt off unless you are practically dying, or can cause other people to die. It teaches you a lot of discipline and the need to stay healthy. It is such a bargain in your head, like how I always want to eat ice cream for lunch, but I have chorus soon and I know that will not help my voice at all. Also, singing and dancing at the same time is a lot harder than you may think. I like to think that I am good at both of them separately, but with the show that I am in now, it seems like my cardio workouts have also turned into belting exercises.
2. You deal with rejection pretty well.
Everyone knows that you are not going to receive every role you audition for. It sucks because it can sometimes feel like you did the absolute best and you are exactly what they were looking for. However, this feeling becomes normal, and you get to apply it in everyday life. It is truly nice to be able to try to “shoot your shot” when you have feelings for someone and not expect anything. It helps shorten the idea of heartbreak as well.
3. You get to be different people, but in a good way.
A lot of the time, performing can turn you into a different person. For me, it provided me with a different kind of confidence that I never had growing up. You get to try out different personalities without ever truly changing who you are. Some people may consider it a bad thing, but it is quite the feeling to let out my inner sassy persona that does not match my regular one.
4. The people skills that you have to learn are a lifelong tool.
Shall we be honest? We do not like everyone we meet. In a show where you spend many hours around your castmates, this can sometimes be the case. However you sometimes just have to suck it up and work with them for the greater good of the show. You definitely have a right and probably a valid reason to not like someone, but hey just because they are not your cup of tea does not mean that you cannot work with them for a short production.
Overall, being a performer is one of the most stressful jobs in the world, but also the most fun. You and your castmates may have went through hell in back from your childhood up to this very moment, but nothing beats the feeling of when the spotlight is on you, and you get to show everyone everything you have worked for. Trust me, the sweat, tears, and (sometimes) blood is all worth it once you hear the audience clap for you.