Many people love theater and the magic of seeing a live show, but not many people know much about the behind the scenes work. There is a lot that goes into a show and every step is a learning experience. I have been doing theater for 14 years and have been in a total of 34 shows. Here are some of the things that theater teaches you.
1. How to get at lightspeed.
No one likes to get up early, especially for class. I usually set my alarm for 20 min before I have to be in class. That gives me 5-10 minutes to get ready and 10-15 minutes for me to walk to class. I can do this because I have been in shows where I have had less than five minutes to get ready. One show I had to change from an ogre to Mr. Tumuns and be back onstage in 30 seconds. Getting ready fast is nothing.
2. Functioning on little-to-no sleep.
Late night rehearsals and school the next morning, plus homework have taught me to function with little to no sleep. When I got to college, I didn’t have to adjust to staying up late to do homework and waking up dead the next morning. I still wake up dead, but I know how to get through my day half asleep.
3. Public speaking like a seasoned veteran.
Sure, I still get nervous when I have to perform or speak in front of people, but that’s normal. If you don’t get nervous, are you really human? Now, I know how to convert those butterflies into energy. In theater, there are also other people on stage with you so it’s not as overwhelming. When you do have to speak alone, it’s not as bad.
4. Juggling a zillion different things and still getting it all done.
Being involved in theater has given me great time management skills. There have been times where I've had school during the day, practice and rehearsal right after school, voice or piano lessons, plus homework. I've learned to do my homework during down time in rehearsal and eat between activities. This is extremely helpful in college because I am always on the go.
Not only is theater a learning experience, it is also a lot of fun. You meet so many amazing friends and even make a family, all while getting an education!