Life Lessons From The Theatre

Life Lessons From The Theatre

When you mess up a dance number, just smile and keep going.
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I grew up performing in musicals and plays with local community theatres. This has fostered a lifelong love of the theatre in me for what will probably be the rest of my life. I can honestly say that participating in these shows have provided me with some of the best memories of my life. And not only that, but I also know a lot more about life from doing these shows as well. So, here are some of the lessons from the theatre that I carry with me throughout my daily life.

1. Don't touch anyone else's props.

This is a sacred rule in the theatre. If you see any props backstage, sometimes it can be incredibly tempted to touch them, out of pure curiosity. However, you should NEVER touch anything backstage that is not yours. For me, this translates in real life as "mind your own business." Don't touch things that are not yours, and do not ask about things that are not yours to know about.

2. Do not gossip about fellow cast members.

This is another important rule in the theatre, and in life. Nobody likes a gossiper, especially in the theatre. During a show, it is you and your cast members duty to put on a wonderful performance, and this is easiest when everyone is kind to one another. You should also remember to be kind to the people in your everyday life!

3. Remember to include everyone.

I have been in shows before when people who do hard work for the show are not credited how they should be. This makes me a little upset, because, if someone helped out with the show, they should receive the same recognition as everyone else. For example, the ensemble of the musical is just as important as the leading role. The same goes for daily life. The janitor in the school is just as important as the teacher.

4. You will not get every role you audition for.

I have learned this one the hard way, as many actors have. I have auditioned for many shows in my life, and sometimes, I do not receive the role I want. Sometimes, I am not even cast in shows. Sometimes in life, you will not get something you really want or something you worked really hard for. For example, you may not get that job you applied for and was hoping to get. This is an important lesson to learn in life, and I believe that the theatre has given me thicker skin for all of those rejections in life.

5. There is always going to be someone better than you.

You have to remember, that no matter how good you think you are for a role, or for anything, there is always someone better. And even though you are talented, someone more talented will eventually come along. This is true for anything. No matter what you do in life, someone will always be better at it. Always stay humble in everything that you do.

6. Don't be a sore loser.

I have learned this lesson throughout my life in the theatre. Like I said, sometimes you will not get the role you want. And this is OK, because you went out and auditioned, and tried your best. That is all that matters. Just because you didn't get a role, does not mean you are not talented. There will be many other times, and you should never give up. The same goes with life. Try not to be jealous of the things other people receive. Your time will come.

7. Always be open to constructive criticisms.

When you do not get a role you want, ask why. Ask what you could do to improve for your next audition. When you are cast in a role, ask questions. Ask for critiques. Constructive criticisms are just a way for you to be better. This is true in life as well. Whether be in a new job, or in a new relationship, ask questions, and be open to advice from others.

8. It's OK to improvise.

If theatre has taught me anything, it's that it is OK to improvise. If you forget a line or a lyric, just make it up. It may be scary at first, but you will get the hang of it. In life, things will not always work out how you plan. When this happens, just make it up as you go. Everything will be OK in the end.

9. Confidence is key.

In theatre, and in everything, confidence is all you really need to succeed. In my opinion, if you are confident in yourself, you will be successful. Always hold your head up high, and remember that you can do anything.

10. THE SHOW MUST GO ON.

This is probably the most memorable lesson I have learned. No matter what happens during a show, or in life, keep on going!

Cover Image Credit: Ogena

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

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There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

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I Didn't Choose To Be A Dance Major, It Chose Me

How my passion became my purpose

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I don't remember the exact moment, but I do remember the process. I remember moments in time and the way joy has manifested itself into my life. Perhaps this is the meaning of life—a slow growing journey of finding yourself through experiences and delightfully long conversations with people we care about, long nights filled with laughter, early mornings with dew beneath our toes, waves of utter joy, followed by waves of somber; it's all just part of it. And within these waves and moments of our lives, we begin to see with clarity—a slow but steady process. Clarity occurs when the fog is lifted. It's when you find that thing you're passionate about, and you do it relentlessly. This is the art of becoming.

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I have not chosen to become a dancer, but inevitably dance has so gracefully chosen me. And with great appreciation, I've accepted the invitation. I've since made the mindful choice to immerse myself in this art form, because to me this is how joy has chosen to manifest itself in my life. Through movement, and love of music, and love of creating, this is how I've chosen joy.

It recently dawned on me that dance is what we as humans use to declare our vitality. It's an appreciation of being alive. And more so, it's a celebration: of being alive, of our bodies, of human contact, but mostly just of life. We as humans dance to celebrate life.

So with this joy that I've been so lucky to find, I am compelled to study dance. And not just take classes, and not just take notes, but to really study—to really understand what it means to be alive, and to feel gratitude for every ounce of my life.

This is why I'm a dance major.

So before you question me, and perhaps tell me that my major is useless or is not setting me up for a successful life, maybe consider that I've chosen a life of joy. I've chosen to be passionate and throw myself into gaining a greater kinesthetic awareness, a more profound appreciation for music, and for art, and for culture, and just life in general.

I have chosen to celebrate my life, and celebrate what my body allows me to do every day. And through my choices, I've begun to master the art of becoming.

Author's note: The theme of "becoming" was subconsciously inspired by Michelle Obama.

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