If you're reading this and you're still in high school, or if even if you're past that and the "drama kid" stereotype still rings true in your head, hear me out
The stigma around people who are involved with putting on a production at any level is perpetuated constantly without any context, I can promise you that much. You and I both know the stereotype that I'm talking about pertaining to theater arts. Not everyone who is involved with drama club is a psychopath.
I didn't join drama until halfway through my sophomore year in high school
I knew nothing about shows, I didn't know how audition processes worked, and I was essentially going in blind and rolling with the punches. All I knew was that it seemed like fun and it was something to get me out of the house, so I worked my ass off with what I had for auditions. I ended up getting a pretty decent role, and the rest is history. I worked my way up through the ranks, and just before my senior year I was elected President of the club. Therefore, I technically represented my school's faction of your stereotype in high school. As the student figurehead of that club, I was tasked with "recruiting" other students to join the club, whether that was through audition or behind the scenes work with tech crew, stage crew or production assistants. Essentially, this meant I had to go out and defeat the stigma. That's a hard thing to do, because students go throughout high school with preconceived notions about any club or team that are hard to get combat. NHS are all of the bookworms. The Football kids are always at the top of the social ladder and can seem removed from reality. The people in Key Club are the ones that want easy community service hours so they can put them on their college applications. And the drama kids? Well, they're just weird.
All of these stereotypes run rampant through any school, but I can tell you that being in one of these clubs shouldn't define who you are
You don't necessarily have to fit into the stereotype perpetuated around whatever club you're interested in joining. Some people choose to fit into that stereotype, but that's OK. That's their choice, they aren't any less of a person than you are. Putting shows on stage and conveying an art is the main goal theater arts. It puts smiles on the faces in the audience, and it puts smiles on the faces onstage. The experience and everything that goes into it is so much more than surface level. The friendships you make, the things that you learn about yourself and the people around you, the opportunities that you create for yourself, and everything in between are all invaluable. I know because I lived it.
All of my friends that I made throughout my journey in that club aren't just "drama kids"... They're students
They're sons and daughters. They're kids just trying to have fun, or trying to escape their home life, or trying to be active and healthy, or following their passion and trying to set up a possible career in the performance art field, or all of those things combined. We are all just like the rest of you. Anyone that's involved with any club or team is just like the rest of us. They should be defined by the stereotypes that surround whatever group they're a part of. It's what they choose to do for themselves. I was drama club president, sure. But I was also myself. I never let those two words define me or shape me. Though I will say that that club saved my life. It brought me through my darkest moments and gave me something to look forward to every day. It was the one constant in my life for a long, long time. I know that a lot of my friends are in the same boat, whether it was with drama or any other school organization. It was an escape. So, before you go and write someone off purely because of a school club affiliation and the stereotype that surrounds it, before you poke fun at people purely because they have a passion for something, think about this article. Think about what they could be going through. And most of all, consider how your own life would change if you were to join that club (without lying to yourself). If it could change your life for the better, why not give it a shot? Who's stopping you? Because a stigma definitely shouldn't.