Before you get angry at this headline, I'm going to preface this with a fact about myself: I love sports. I myself played volleyball and tennis all throughout junior high and high school, and I am forever grateful for the lessons I learned while participating in those sports, and I will always remember the joy they brought me.
But there is another thing that has been a part of my life longer than sports, and that's theater.
I've been in love with the stage since I was five. I was constantly in shows as a young student, and I loved every second of it. And while I may not do theater anymore, I have never stopped loving it and recognizing how much work goes into every show. Theater deserves way more credit and recognition than it is currently given to it, and I believe that starts with theater scholarships. In order to raise up the next generation of artists, they need to be given the proper tools in order to succeed. Here are thirteen reasons why I believe theater scholarships should be more popular than sports scholarships.
1. Theater is more competitive than sports, maybe even more.Giphy
Sports try-outs are stressful, but I guarantee you there's nothing more stressful than competing against almost a hundred other people for a single role. At least with sports, there are multiple spots for people to try out for.
2. Athletes are not chosen for teams based on their appearance.Giphy
Sure, height is a part of the criteria for getting chosen for a team, but the main component of getting on a sports team is ability. With theater, you have to be talented enough to have the role and look the part, as well. I can't tell you how many times I've been rejected from roles because I have red hair.
3. The people who work behind the scenes are just as important as the actors themselves.
Sports teams have managers, but they tend to be more out in the open. In theater, there are stage managers, props masters, costume designers, lighting crews, and set designers. Without them, there would be no show. All their hard work should definitely be recognized.
4. Actors are just as committed to theater as athletes are to sports.
Actors have to follow a vigorous rehearsal and show schedule, as well as staying on top of their assignments, jobs, and spending time with their friends and family. Sometimes rehearsals go until midnight. This is very much like a practice schedule for athletes.
5. Theater requires actors to have many skills, not just one.Giphy
Athletes need to have all the basic athletic skills, but they usually just learn skills that are specific to their position. Actors have to be able to sing, dance, and act if they want to receive the roles they want.
6. Actors devote themselves to theater for years.Giphy
Actors don't just develop their talent overnight! It takes years and years of practice in order to become the best they can be. This means constantly attending all kinds of lessons and rehearsals in order to become one of the best of the best.
7. Memorizing lines, lyrics, cues, etc. is not easy.Giphy
Actors have to remember their lines, choreography, and cues all within a split second. This comes from hours of rehearsal and complete and total dedication to their role.
8. Theater helps people to develop a sense of drive.Giphy
If any actor wants to succeed in theater, they need to give each role their all, whether they're the lead or in the ensemble. Just like any athlete who wants a top spot on their team needs to put all the effort they can into it, actors need to put all the effort they can into becoming the best they can be.
9. Theatrical productions are a great way to give back to the young community.
So many kids look up to actors and actresses, and their stories of pursuing their dreams help kids to realize they can achieve those dreams too. Without actors and actresses to give back to the community, so many kids would be without great role models in the art world.
10. Theater is a great way to escape.Giphy
When actors perform in a show (and the audience comes to see a show), they find themselves being transported to a brand new place they've never been to before. They can find themselves in turn-of-the-century New York, Ancient Egypt, or even Oz. Sports still leave people in reality, but theater helps people forget reality for a while.
11. Theater brings so many people joy.
It's nearly impossible not to smile when you either watch or are a part of a show. Sports definitely make people (especially myself) happy, but theater has a special kind of joy that's all its own. And that definitely deserves some recognition.