Being a Theatre major is anything other than easy. It takes a BOATLOAD of work - spending several hours per day working on and/or performing for productions - critical thinking - yes, believe it or not, our classes actually require us to work hard - and patience; oh boy, the patience we have to learn how to obtain, then maintain.
The anticipation after auditions and callbacks to hear if you got cast or not, the countless hours or days it takes to finish creating set pieces in the scene shop, the discovery that the cabling for a light wasn't correctly done so now you have to redo that whole thing just on one section of the stage, all demand a lot of patience - and this is just to name a few of the things people have to do. So to anyone who thinks this major is easy - I promise you that you're wrong.
Here are a few things Theatre majors have heard in their lives:
1) "Oh, so you want to be an actor/actress?"
Not every Theatre major likes to perform on stage. In fact, many majors choose this field because they like the creativity backstage.
2) *If you actually do want to be an actor* "Ha, good luck."
Thanks. Good luck to you too in getting any job with that attitude. Belittling someone for something you don't understand only makes you look like an idiot. And a bully - no one likes a bully.
3) "So you want to move to Hollywood or New York?"
There are opportunities for Theatre majors across the country - across the world even. Some people who really understand this business know that the place to be is really anywhere. You don't need to move to a completely different place to find work just to call yourself a working actor, or a stage manager, or a theater electrician, or a props artist, or a set designer, or a director, or even eventually working in film, etcetera.
4) "Why do you want to be famous?"
Literally, this is one of the main things we hear. First of all, fame isn't always a goal. If you do want to be famous in this industry, then that's cool. People who don't fully understand the business automatically think that anyone who wants to be an actor is looking for fame. Not true. You don't need fame to call yourself a working actor.
5) "Wow, you don't seem snobby like everyone else in the business."
This is a serious stereotype. Yes, some people can seem a little high-strung. While everyone in any career field needs to be able to keep a neutral face and attitude, people in the arts industry are considered to be rude, snobby, bossy...While it's true that all of us have met people that exemplify this stereotype (I definitely have), not all of us are jerks.
6) "It makes sense that you're in Theatre; you're loud."
While most of the time, this is something that's said humorously, with no bad intentions at all, not all of us are loud when we generally speak. It's true that a lot of us are taught to project our voices for the stage, but that doesn't mean all of us talk abnormally loud all the time. And if you think that, then maybe you just talk way too quiet for anyone to hear, and that's why you think people around you are loud.
7) "Guess you can't do math, haha."
Haha, funny...but not when you hear something like this all the time. It becomes annoying. For people that say that, they're probably the ones that can't do math and they just found you to "innocently" blame for that. Yes everyone needs to learn how to take a joke once in awhile, but not when it's repeated. Especially if it's the same person repeating it - you're not funny by the way.
8) "You're supposed to sing and dance."
OH MY GOD. I can't tell you how many times that happens to us. Some majors don't like to sing and/or dance. This goes back to the fact that there are other jobs in the industry other than stage performance. This can be insulting to majors that aren't performers, and it can definitely be insulting to performers in general. Singing and/or dancing aren't the only things Theatre majors can learn.
9) "You should think realistically about what you're career options are."
Oh, we do think realistically. As a matter of fact. that's something we're trained to do. Actors are usually the main targets for this statement, but people tend to undermine the other opportunities we have in this industry. This goes back to the whole idea that you should change your major to "something more practical" like becoming a stock broker because you know, any other job is a better path.
My whole point here is that as Theatre majors, we have an edge to applying for many other jobs that aren't even in the industry technically. We have communication and interpersonal skills - how do I know that? Because if we don't, we won't get anywhere in the Theatre business without those skills. We also are really good at thinking about things from several different angles - that's an edge some people weren't necessarily taught.
So to anyone who thinks this major is a joke, you clearly have a one-track mind, which won't get you anywhere in life. Sorry, not sorry.