5 Things Being a Theatre Kid Taught Me

5 Things Being a Theatre Kid Taught Me

"As performers, we're insecure. That's why we get up on stage." -Audra McDonald
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1. The Show Must Go On

Whether it's a skipped line, a flat note, a ripped costume piece, or a missing prop, every show has their fair share of mistakes. Even Broadway Legends like Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Barbra Streisand, and Bernadette Peters could probably tell you horror stories from the mistakes that have been made in their shows. In my high school's production of "Annie," Annie's iconic red dress ripped right before "I Don't Need Anything But You." Now, if you know Annie (and most everyone should), you know that this red dress is famous and can absolutely cannot be ripped. After a moment of panic, she ran onstage anyway and switched up her blocking so nobody saw her exposed back. In "All Shook Up," I had one friend whose skirt dropped in the middle of the performance. Instead of freaking out, she picked it back up, fastened the belt, and danced her way off the stage (where she then proceeded to have a much deserved cry). In "Seussical," we had a long moment of silence when we realized that we had skipped over a good chunk of lines. As everyone froze in fear, not knowing what to do, someone swooped in with lines that connected the story line. Mistakes happen in every single show. However, that's the fun aspect of live theatre: You never know what's going to happen. It takes a truly great actor or actress to recover from them gracefully and not let it affect the show.

2. Everything Happens for a Reason

There is nothing more disappointing than working for what you want, only to come up empty-handed. It's even worse when you're the only one of your friends in the ensemble. It's hard to swallow your pride and congratulate someone that you're jealous of -- especially if they got the part that you wanted. However, after auditioning for many shows and not having the cast list go my way, I have realized this: Everything happens for a reason. As cliche as it may sound, I wholeheartedly believe in that. If I had been cast as a part in "Grease," I would never have been paired with a dance partner that showed me that my curvy body was strong and beautiful and was capable of much more than I thought it was. If I had been cast at all in "Pirates of Penzance," I would never have found my passion for writing. And if I hadn't been cast as the Gym Teacher in "Hairspray," I never would have met my best friend.

3. The Definition of Family Includes Friends

I have never felt closer to theatre kids. Maybe it's because I've seen all my cast members in their underwear, or maybe it's because I've never met a theatre kid that hasn't welcomed me with open arms. Either way, my theatre friends have somehow morphed into my theatre family. They have been by my side through my parents' divorce, countless crushes, the really horrible middle school years that we will never, ever talk about, and they were there the day that I got accepted into my dream college. Yes, we fight and we have our differences (it's called drama for a reason), but what family doesn't?

4. Patience

OK. I admit. This one might be a lie. I don't care how many times you've waited for a cast list, the wait will never get easier. I don't think there is one theatre kid that can say they don't constantly check every social media platform for the cast list. And it's even worse when it's posted later than expected (I'm looking at you, high school directors).

5. In the Words of Rachel Berry from "Glee," "Being a part of something special, makes you special."

If you want to see magic, go backstage on opening night. There's a certain buzz in the air as the cast rushes around in an excited frenzy, everyone trying to put the finishing touches on their performance in a matter of minutes. The leads secure their mics with countless bobby pins and sticky mic tape, running over their lines in their head again and again and again, praying that they don't sing flat or screw up a scene. The ensemble gathers in whatever open space they can find and go through the dance moves because they know that, even though they're not leads, they're just as important. The cast comes together in the orchestra room and sings over the songs they've had trouble with, perfecting the notes, rhythm and lyrics. When they're done, the director stands in front of the costumed characters and smiles. They make a short speech about how proud they are of us for putting together such a hard show in so little time. They make a comment about how we have to keep getting better and better every night. They tell us to break a leg. And then they let us loose to take what we've learned in the last three months and put on a show in front of an audience of people that are waiting to escape their life for two hours and feel the magic that we have been feeling the whole time.

Cover Image Credit: http://theanokan.smugmug.com/A-Coat-of-Grooves/i-pTm7nrp/A

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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5 Songs to Add to Your Playlist This Month

Spring into finals week (and the summer) by "cleaning up" your playlist

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Here are some fun, fresh new tracks to check out as you finish out the rest of the school year and help you get out of your "music comfort zone!"

“Patience” by Tame Impala 

Genre: Electronic/Alternative

Tame Impala FINALLY released new music (!!), and this track is absolutely stunning. With frontrunner Kevin Parker staying on brand with the band's psychedelic, seemingly ethereal style, it sounds like a combination of 70s soft rock and waves of modern-day electronica, with Parker's voice drifting in and out in a kind of otherworldly, mellowed-out manner.

“Harmony Hall” by Vampire Weekend 

Genre: Alternative/Indie Pop

Vampire Weekend is also releasing an album, entitled "Father of the Bride", on May 3rd. From the looks of it, this track relates to the theme of marriage/weddings present in the album's title, and it is a fun, upbeat song that I have been listening to a lot in the morning as I'm getting ready for class! Ezra Koenig's voice is so unique and can cover a broad range, and I highly recommend listening to some of the band's other work as well ("Step" from their 2013 release "Modern Vampires of the City" is one of my all-time favorite songs!).

“Ready to Let Go” by Cage the Elephant 

Genre: Alternative/Alternative Rock

So many great artists are (finally) releasing new albums this year, and Cage the Elephant falls into this category. This track is an absolute banger and doesn't stray much from the band's style in that it includes a lot of loud guitar and dynamic vocals. Like Vampire Weekend, Cage the Elephant has been around since the early 2000s, and I highly recommend checking out some of their earlier work as well (big fan of their most recent album, actually!)

“Apple Orchard” by Beach House 

Genre: Indie/Electronic

Beach House is one of my favorite bands of all time, as I find a kind of an ethereal, beautiful sadness in the dreamy style of instrumentalist Alex Scally and lucid vocals of singer Victoria Legrand. This track is from their 2006 self-titled debut and is probably one of my favorite songs they've ever released. The lyrics are poetic and perfect for the post-finals enjoyment of spring weather, in that they preach relaxation and restfulness, and the song's electronic rhythms echo the essence of spring as well. If you like this song, then I highly recommend checking out the band's other albums as well (Depression Cherry is one of my favorite albums of all time).

“April Come She Will” by Simon & Garfunkel 

Genre: 60s Pop

No spring playlist is complete without a little Simon & Garfunkel! This song is a classic, its timeless, poetic lyrics capturing the epitome of the coming of spring and all its glory. In fact, I consider the entire album (entitled Sound of Silence) to be perfect for the pleasantness and feelings of renewal/natural revitalization associated with the coming months, so be sure to give it a listen if you haven't heard it before!

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