I am a theatre nerd, there is no doubt about it. I'm constantly listening to show tunes and I love certain Broadway stars more than I love myself. And, of course, I did theatre all four years of high school. Yep, I was that kid.
But throughout those four years, I discovered three major lessons that changed my whole outlook on life.
The ensemble is important.
I got my first lead in a play in my junior year of high school, and I couldn't get enough of it. Of course, once I became a lead, I never wanted to go back to the chorus. The next show I auditioned for, I automatically thought that I would be cast as the lead, and, to be honest, I slacked off a little bit. I found out a week later that I was cast as an ensemble member. I dropped out of the show for other reasons, but it also became a way to mask my shame into being a lead in one show and an ensemble member the next.
But here's the thing, to all of you theatre kids out there: the ensemble is the most important part of the show. They're the backbone of every show; those who get to dance, those who get to sing the cool harmonies, those who react, and those who get to be in every scene. So if you're hoping for a lead but get put in the chorus, don't fret. You may have more fun than you think.
You don’t have to go into theatre professionally.
I love theatre, there's no doubt about it. Since I'd been performing for so long, my peers, whether adult or student, would always ask me if I would be going into it professionally. As much as I would like to, I know that I will never have the amount of talent that those who act professionally have. And one thing that people sometimes don't understand is that theatre can be just a hobby. If acting is something that you can never live without and you can't see yourself doing anything else, go right ahead, go into acting, live your dreams… I can't wait to see what you can do! If you've done high school drama for all four years and can recite the whole Hamilton soundtrack in your sleep, but also have a knack for architecture and design, you can do that too. You can still love it and not be a part of it. Since I finished my last show in May, I realized that I don't miss it at all. The experiences will be something that I'll always remember and look back on fondly, but will probably never do again. And that's okay.
Family is everything.
Okay, time to get sappy. Without high school theatre, I don't know where I'd be. Any team dynamic is important, and that simply goes to show when you look at a cast of a play or musical. I wouldn't have met some of my best friends if I didn't do drama. Heck, I met my current best friend while doing a play our sophomore year. Theatre kids are some of the nicest, craziest, most accepting people on the planet, and newcomers are always welcome. I think that's what I liked the best, especially as I got older. Welcoming the newbies in with open arms, showing them the ropes, and molding them into people that will do the same thing to the newbies after we've gone.
Without my high school drama program, I'd be nothing. Even if I get to the point that I no longer see the shows there, it will still continue to be a piece of who I am as a person. For that, I am grateful.