5 Pieces Of Advice From A Former Theatre Kid

5 Pieces Of Advice From A Former Theatre Kid

"Cuz I'm so much better, hello much better, than BEFORE!"

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When I was younger, I thought I was going to make it big someday on Broadway. It was always a dream of mine to live in New York and perform under the lights on a big stage for thousands of people. Musical Theater was my life, and somehow I had managed to convince myself that making it to the Big Apple was what I was my sole purpose in life. I'm sure every theater kid goes through this phase, and some never make it out.

Fortunately for me, I eventually saw where my life could no longer go down the path I had so desperately hoped it would. I always think about the things I would have told myself at that age, sometimes I wish I could go back and shake some sense into the timid theater kid I used to be, because now I realize that while I loved theater, I was more attached to the friendships I made while performing that was not the best for me personally. Here are a few things I learned when I left my theater past behind me.

1. It's Not a Feasible Career Choice

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I'm sure a million Fine Arts majors are yelling at me right now, but listen. There is a difference between being a triple threat at school or community theater than there is when it comes to the real world. Many of the stars that make it big on Broadway have been training from birth or are just magically very talented. While I took lessons and worked my butt off to have the musical, theatrical, and dance abilities that I have now, I was never gonna be the most talented person in the room. I'm also not the type of girl who wants to play into the politics of what goes on behind the scenes. (aka nepotism or bribery.) Think the college scam but on a smaller level.

2. Friendships Don't Last Forever

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I found myself being so attached to the friendships I made during my time as a theater kid. If you've ever been in theater you'll know that theater kids are very emotional and touchy-feely when it comes to friendships. Just like a team, everyone is close and you really do get to know so many people on a deeper level. I was so young when I did theater that I didn't take into account that people would come and ago, and change directions in your life. This isn't Glee, people lose contact and it's just part of life.

3. Theater Boys Aren't It Sis

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Don't even get me started on this. The biggest piece of advice I have for theater kids, but predominantly my past self is to stay away from a backstage romance. They're nothing but drama, and there's a whole world of different people to meet and connect with in a romantic way. Just trust me.

4. The Music Doesn't Die

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Just because you decide to try something new, it doesn't necessarily mean that your artistic lifestyle has to go away either. You can still enjoy the thespian elements of life or find ways to stay connected to your local theater or even consider it as just a hobby. It doesn't have to be your world, and it's not bad if you put that passion to the side for some time.

5. Get Out There and Find Yourself

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The most important thing I could pass down to my fellow thespians, gleeks, and drama kids is to branch out and discover the world to it's fullest. Packing yourself full of rehearsals and commitments to people only in theater will not make you a better actor. Having life experience is the best thing not only for your acting career but for yourself if your endeavors fail.

Leaving your theater past behind you can hurt, but experiencing more than just a curtain call will grow you as a person. I will always love that feeling of getting ready for opening night, the rush of adrenaline as I step into the spotlight to sing my solo, the anticipation for my favorite musical number, I could go on and on. I'm grateful for the memories, and the life lessons. The theater life, in general, was just not right for me and was making me limit myself in lifestyle and my relationships with people outside of the cast and crew. I would trade it all over again in a heartbeat because I know that I have met such amazing friends, have the most amazing boyfriend and a prospering career. In the famous words of Elle Woods from the Legally Blonde Musical, "I am so much better than before." as a result of letting go of the theater kid I once was. All the world's a stage, so go out there and be a shining star.

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The 11 Most Meaningful 'Dear Evan Hansen' Quotes

Eleven of my favorite quotes from the new musical "Dear Evan Hansen" that changed my perspective after seeing the musical live.
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The new musical Dear Evan Hansen, showing on Broadway's Music Box Theater is a suprisingly uplifting story about a boy who kills himself, and the star of the show (Evan Hansen played by Ben Platt) getting caught up in a messy lie, pretending to be best friends with the boy who took his life.

The story, however, is much more than one of sadness or suicide. It is one of love, the unconditional kind and the kind that you find yourself falling into. It is a story of friendship and forgiveness and owning up to your mistakes. But most importantly it is a story of accepting yourself and becoming confident in your own skin.

I was given the opportunity to see Dear Evan Hansen live on Broadway, and after hearing the songs live, the lyrics gave me a whole new meaning than when I would listen to them in my room through my headphones.

1. "I've learned to slam on the break, before I even turn the key."

Coming from the first song that was released off of the soundtrack "Waving Through a Window," this line helps charactarize Evan as anxious and nervous during interactions with others. Hitting the brake while starting a car is not necessary for it to start, but he creates this metaphor by saying he takes extra and unnecessary cautions before entering any seemingly simple and easy situation. As Evan is characterized, the audience or the listeners are able to connect better to him and to the story because more people than we may know must go through anxious thoughts and actions, that can be very difficult to live with.

2. "No one should stick it out or have any doubt that it matters that they are here."

"Dissappear," a song sung by Evan and his two friends as a proposal to Connor's (boy who committed suicide and was presumably best friends with Evan) parents about a project they are beginning to keep Connor's legacy alive, is a straightforward remark that "no one deserves to dissappear." This quote recognizes the struggles that many people face of hiding their struggles and not doing anything to fix them because they think it would be easier to hide it. It recognizes that people should not have to do this, and it is a request for people who are going through the things that Connor did to reach out and tell people that they are struggling, because it really does get better and asking for help is the first step.

3. "It takes a little patience, takes a little time. A little perseverance and a little uphill climb."

I believe this quote can relate to many things. It is a duet sung by Connor's father and Evan, titled "To Break in A Glove." Though it is literally talking about the correct way to break in a baseball glove, it can also be talking about parenting, school, or recovery from depression, anxiety, or any other mental disorders that can be consuming. Connor's dad was not anything of a prime parent to Connor, and this quote can mean that parenting a kid to your full potential takes patience and time. School, another big struggle in Evan's life as well as Connor's, takes patience but as does the most consuming and memorable aspect that the musical is addressing: overcoming depression and anxiety so that it does not consume you and lead to the decision that Connor ended up making. Though it may seem like a neverending cycle of depressing thoughts, to overcome them it takes patience and perseverance, much like any other accomplishment.

4. "Even when the dark comes crashing through, and when you need a friend to carry you, when you're broken on the ground you will be found."

From what is most definitely my favorite song from the soundtrack, "You Will Be Found" addresses the fact that so many people feel alone and feel as though Connor did. This line shows that even though you may feel alone and you may be at your darkest, deepest point, there will always be help and support and someone to care for you. You are not alone.

5. "I'd rather pretend I'm something better than these broken parts, pretend I'm something other than this mess that I am."

The line from "Words Fail" shows Evan at his most vulnerable. It shows the side of him that he wishes no one to witness because it is his worst side. I find this song to be the most emotional, and most importantly because the lyrics can be related to so well. With depression and anxiety, people can act out and do things as they see fit to make themselves feel better, which is partly what Evan did, pretending to be Connor's friend. This quote shows the reasons behind those actions, helping people in the same position feel relieved for the things that they think are going wrong only for them.

6. "When you're falling in a forest and there's nobody around do you evern really crash or even make a sound?"

This line is another from "Waving Through a Window" and ties to Evan's anxiety as well. It shows the slow deterioration of one's mind, and how no one even notices when someone is going through things like that, hence the metaphor to the tree falling in a forest and no one hearing it because no one is there. It is making a notion to the fact, also, that people are so afraid to discuss the issues of suicide and depression and anxiety, and that it is a problem especially among youth.

7. "Why should I play the grieving girl and lie saying that I miss you and that my world has gone dark without your light?"

This line from "Requiem," sung by Connor's sister and parents, is a different perspective of what happened to Connor, a more cynical perspective. While it may seem insensitive, I enjoy that Zoe (Connor's sister) stands her ground with her relationship with her brother and remains indifferent, instead of lying about loving him just because she isn't able to anymore.

8. "If I could tell her how she's everything to me, but we're a million worlds apart and I don't know how I would even start."

Although this is about how Evan feels about Zoe - not Connor - it shows how crippling it can be to wish you could be able to tell someone something, especially about your mental disablities, but you feel like you can't because you aren't close enough or don't know where to begin.

9. "So you got what you always wanted, so you got your dream come true, good for you."

This song is a turning point in the musical where Evan's actions begin to creep back up on him. It shows that even though you get what you wish for, it isni't always perfect all together. This line shows also that what you first think you want isn't always going to lead to the perfect life or the perfect girl or the perfect family, and you must not face your struggles with lies as Evan did.

10. "Your mom isn't going anywhere your mom is staying right here no matter what, I'll be here."

This comes from the song "So Big/So Small," when Evan apoligizes to his mother about abandoning her essentially for Connor's parents and she confesses to the hardships she has faced as a single mother who doesn't make much money. This is one of my favorite quotes, because it displays unconditional love from your family, and shows that no matter what it is you go through and no matter how much loathe you may feel for yourself, your family loves you and supports you.

11. "Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be a great day and here's why: because today at least you're you and, well, that's enough."

These opening words to the finale close up the message of the show: that you are enough, no matter what anyone tells you and no matter what you begin to tell yourself. Making mistakes is human, as is having depression or anxiety, and just because you make mistakes or you have depressed thoughts does not mean that you are any less of a person than someone who doesn't feel the same as you. This musical and this line taught me that no matter what, you are wanted, you are needed, and you are worth it no matter what you do or what you go through.

Cover Image Credit: Dear Evan Hansen Official Website

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We Need To Give Theatre At Festivals A Chance

Watching theater being performed outdoors and in smaller places is the old way of watching shows.

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With May being about Mental Health awareness, It shows that we need to expose people to the arts more often. The Orlando Fringe Festival is the longest running festival in the Orlando area. It provides an accessible and affordable outlet to bring the community together to create experiences through the arts. This festival takes place around the Loch Haven Park for about 2 weeks leading up to Memorial Day. It has around 500 uncensored performances each year and has something for all ages. Imagine something like this in every city. I feel like it would bring up the morale of each of the populations and get that vitamin D that everyone needs.

The artists that put in for the Orlando Fringe go through an application process and the cool part is for those outside Orlando that there is housing guaranteed for up to 4 people. That's something you don't hear everyday especially if the event lasts about two weeks. A festival like this is good for the soul and also good for the wallet. It gets people out into the community and provides exposure to the arts in an age-appropriate way. It provides an opportunity for people to go outside and enjoy the weather as we transition into summer. It's a perfect way for artists to showcase their craft and to expand their creativity. Its a prime example of why we should never stop learning.

If you are heading to Orlando Fringe from May 13th to 26th. I would check out multiple shows. Through talking to some of the artists, I found that the "How to Eat A Bear" Show is one of the shows to see. Luke Balagia and Mack Stine are the directors of the show. The show is based off a weird joke on a dating profile for Luke. These two met in an improv class 4 years ago and have been creating material ever since. They refuse to call it working because of it not being "Baller." It is a perfect example of if you do something you love, you never work a day in your life. With all of the love and care put into this, why wouldn't you want to go see it? The alternative is two men in the theater crying...

How To Eat A Bear Flyer Orlando Fringe

Imagine if the world was exposed to more of the arts, how much less mental health issues. Why do you think there is art therapy for those with mental health therapy. I've noticed that when people attend any celebration of the arts that they are happier people and make the best conversationalists. Being able to provide an alternative perspective on life is a beautiful gift that not a lot of people can give. With festivals like The Orlando Fringe, it provides a cheaper way to view the arts while going out into the community. Would you rather be stuck inside doing nothing or go out into the community and learn something about the arts?

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