People often talk about how much you learn at college. This is true for me, but it’s also true that not all of the lessons I’ve learned have been in the classroom; many have come from my experiences with my community. This year, a big part of my community exists in my living area — a house which I share with seven other girls. Of those seven, three are theatre majors, and one of these three is also dating another theatre major (who is around enough that it sure feels like he lives with us).
It’s only been roughly two months since we moved into our house, but I’ve already learned so many things from living with these wonderful fools. Allow me to share seven of those things with you now:
1. ANY moment is a worthy enough moment to sing.
Whether it be from a musical, the radio or even a children's TV show, there is always a song to be sung loudly and with a lot of enthusiasm. We seem to have somehow telepathically figured out each person's roles in these songs without ever even actually talking about it. Singing is a natural right in this house, and any song being sung is also an invitation to join in on the singing.
2. Sarcasm shall only be served in the highest and thickest quality.
I'm a pretty good detector of sarcasm, but even I struggle with always being able to tell when my housemates are being sarcastic or not. A good example of this is when I sometimes insert my opinion in conversation, and one particular housemate always responds "Did I ask what your opinion was?" It sounds so real that I never know how to respond, even though she's completely kidding. Every instance of sarcasm is just another opportunity for them to practice staying composed.
3. All conversations have the potential to be turned into a recitation of scripts.
It doesn't really matter the conversation, my theatre housemates can turn any sort of talk into a time to practice their scripts. They have mass amounts of scripts logged in their brains, and they can whip them out in the middle of any conversation and apply them. It's really quite impressive — and also sometimes annoying. But, ya, it's impressive.
4. Allow room in your life for spontaneity.
Here's a little story. The other night, while two of my three theatre housemates were at rehearsal, the third one came up to me in the living room with a bunch of food in her hand and said "HEY YOU WANNA HELP ME GO TAKE THIS FOOD TO CORA AT REHEARSAL!? COME ON LET'S GO!" And just like that, I was walking outside barefoot and without a coat into the rain, holding a bowl of mac 'n cheese and headed across campus without a second thought. When we got to the theater, we had to run backstage, amidst all the random planks of wood and sawdust and props to get to the other side of the stage, throw the food at our housemate and run away into the dark and the rain once again. I just submit to spontaneity at this point. It's good for the soul.
5. If you’re going to speak in an accent, you better commit to it — for at least two hours.
In this house, we use accents more often than we change clothes. If you use an accent, it better be good and you better be prepared to use it for at least another hour or two. It doesn't matter the time of day or the topic of conversation, you just use that accent like you were born with it. Even in the kitchen at 1 a.m. on a Sunday night when using a broken tape dispenser is a good enough time to use a British accent for two hours.
6. The sass … is so real.
The quality and quantity of sass in this house is actually really impeccable. It cannot be denied that theatre majors possess dignity and individuality, and they are sure to remind you of it too. There's a certain skill in sass that I've learned to appreciate. You really have to put in the work to dish out sass and commit to it. I'm just glad I'm able to keep up with the sass even though I'm not a theatre major.
7. Even the most casual story-telling is an art.
Telling a story about an annoying classmate you have? Or maybe a story of one of your most embarrassing epic failures? You better make it good. Have the whole room engaged in your story, or don't even bother telling it. Also, yelling at the whole room to quiet down so you can tell your story is quite an effective way to get them to sit down and listen, even if they regularly interrupt your story being the peanut gallery they are. Telling stories is a serious practice.
There you have it. How did I come to live with so many theatre majors, you ask? Well, they just sort of appear to be my kind of people. I quite plainly just plain get along with them. What does it say about my personality and my level of dramatization that I get along so well with theatre people and yet am not one myself? I’m not sure. But that’s another question for another article.
What I do know is that I love these people, and living with them has been such a cool and educational experience. I hope you enjoyed hearing these seven things as much as I've enjoyed learning them.