The 10 Most Common Musical Theater Stereotypes
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The 10 Most Common Musical Theater Stereotypes

What people think theater people are, and what we really are.

The 10 Most Common Musical Theater Stereotypes

From "High School Musical" to "Glee," TV and movies have been creating an image of the stereotypical musical theater students and performers. Society has made its own assumptions as well, most of which are not necessarily true. While some of them are just silly, others can be frustrating and sometimes hurtful when brought up constantly to a performer. So I think its time someone broke down the stereotypes of musical theater people and bust the myths that continue to plague the name of actors.

1. All Males in Musical Theater Are Gay

While there is a large population of gay males in the musical theater community, not all of them are gay. People of many sexual orientations are actors; not all males are gay, not all females are straight, and vice versa!

2. All We Do is Sing and Dance, It Must Be So Easy!

Oh, no. There is so much work that goes into putting on a wonderful, moving, or show-stopping performance. Between mentally preparing to get into the mindset of the character, really developing the story, and continuing to train and work on our vocals, dancing, and acting, we work very hard! If we make it look easy, we're doing our job right. But just because it looks easy doesn't mean it always is.

3. The Lead is the Most Important Part Of A Show

Although the lead(s) of a show are who the audience spends most of their time hearing and seeing, the ensemble and supporting actors are very important. Without them, the story would not be able to be fully developed, and huge dance numbers would never be a possibility. Don't get me wrong, the leads are important, but shows are a team effort. Your cast can only be as strong as the weakest link!

4. Actors Don't Get Nervous In Front Of Crowds

I think I can speak on behalf of a good portion of the musical theatre community when I say that yes, a good amount of us definitely get nervous before or after performances. Sometimes its just butterflies in our stomach, sometimes we think we have to pee when we don't, or sometimes all we can say is "I'm so nervous, why am I so nervous?" There are endless ways we can feel when it comes to performing, and how we each deal with it can get even crazier!

5. Dancers Are Just Skinny/Petite Girls

As a "larger" dancer myself, I know it can be very frustrating to have your abilities questioned based solely off of your size or gender. There are also so many extremely talented male dancers, which people often forget to think about. Dancing is a skill, not a size or gender.

6. We Are All Divas

I have definitely seen my share of movies where the performer demands crazily ridiculous things in their contracts or have a huge dressing room, or where the actor treats the stage manager poorly. This is often the case in comedy movies or television shows, but it is surely not the case for all performers! Most of us have a very high level of respect for other performers, crew, and audiences. We appreciate the craft and anyone who decides to take part in any aspect of theater.

7. We Sleep

As much as we love to get our rest, there often isn't time, especially if you're still in school! I typically get four to five hours of sleep on good nights, and it usually results in a lot of coffee the next day! It's quite an ongoing cycle, but it could be worse.

8. We Are Loud

This one happens to be true quite often. As a result of having to keep up our vocal energy and volume during scenes and songs, we tend to speak at a louder volume than most people. It's not on purpose and most of the time if we're yelling, we don't realize it. But a simple "shut up" usually does the trick.

9. We Spontaneously Break Into Song

This is half true. Ninety-nine percent of the time a phrase that comes up in conversation triggers a reflex to sing a song with that phrase in it. That's when we need to use our judgement and decide if its a good time or place to start singing the song for what seems to be no reason. Our brains are a scary place. Welcome.

10. We Need A Backup Plan or Career

Before going to college, people often asked me "Oh, theater school, thats nice! What's your backup plan?" We don't need a backup plan. Theatre is a full-time job. There may be complications, and we may not always be in a show, but our work is never done. This is a lifelong journey and we are glad we hopped on for the ride.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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