Things They Don't Tell You About Theatre
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Things They Don't Tell You About Theatre

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Things They Don't Tell You About Theatre

The world of theatre is often portrayed as a cutthroat place that's eerily familiar to the bloodshed of Game of Thrones rather than anything someone would willingly want to participate in. It's filled with divas, techies, people who would rather be anywhere else and the completely clueless, often gum chewing blonde who's there for an attractive guy. In reality, being a thespian isn't really that bad. So what is it really like? To start, here's a list of 10 things that they never tell you about theatre.

1. You will almost always make friends

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Media would have you believe that you'll be totally alone in a world full of divas and better-than-thous. In reality, you'll find friends at auditions, in your cast and crew, and people who are just involved in theatre. These bonds can last for years afterwards.

2. There will always be glitter somewhere

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This is seen as a stereotype, but seriously, you will find glitter on almost everything you own. Nothing will be untouched, and you won't remember having rainbow glitter showered on your thighs, but it's on your favorite pair of jeans and there's no way it's ever leaving. Just accept it and move on, mon ami.

3. Black will become your new favorite color fast

Black is the unofficial color of thespians everywhere. It covers a multitude of sins, including the aforementioned glitter. If you work backstage, you want black to go unseen as you do your job. You're in rehearsal and you've forgotten a line? Black has your back. If something happens and you get hurt, you can rarely see blood on a black shirt. Whatever can go wrong, with the exception of glow-tape, black can hide it.

4. Stage managers will save your life, and you will owe them everything

Everyone thinks the director is the vital part of crew. This is wrong. The SM and their crew are actually the ones in control. They know all your cues, your lines, what can possibly go wrong, and will have things to handle almost every disaster that can happen. They'll have pain medication, band-aids, cough drops, tissues, an extra highlighter and the blessed "take ten" when you need it. They will also remind you that you as an actual person matter more than the show. They often become your unofficial theatre parent and they are pretty amazing.

5. Your cast is your new family

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It's actually a bit like The Godfather. You may not want to be involved, you only did the show because you refused to do some other extracurricular, but it's a habit you can't kick and a family you can't leave. You can't leave, and mostly, you don't want to. These are people who sing off-key at 3am with you, who tell all the embarrassing times you tripped and lost your shoe, who have seen you run through the green room in a t-shirt because you forgot to go pee. They have cursed Shakespeare with you, gotten bruises from stage combat, and squealed with delight over costumes with you. They've seen you at your best, shining with pride as the show goes on, and your absolute worse, in the green room panicking, or exhausted, or injured by accident and you've sworn. They were there when you broke theatre code- seriously, did you have to say the M word?- and laughed at the traditions. These people love you no matter what, and you wouldn't change it for anything in the world. They cheer you on, despite all the blisters, skipped lines, torn costumes and shouted swear words when you trip backstage. And you're there for them too. If the Avengers had a black-clad support group, you'd be a critical member. Phil Coulson has nothing on you.

6. You will never smell "normal" again

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At any given time, you will smell like seven perfumes, two deodorants that aren't yours, sawdust, paint, hairspray and slightly musty costumes. It's just a thing, and most of the time, it's not even that bad. You like the smell because it means you're back in your element. Sure you only got two seconds warning before someone filled the dressing room with a cloud of hairspray, and okay, maybe it's been three weeks since strike and you shouldn't smell like sawdust, but you do. And it's a distinct theatre kid smell, and you'll probably wear it with pride.

7. You will know more musical theatre than ever anticipated

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Whether you love musical theatre and wish you were a hobo on Broadway, you're a straight play person, or have never been subjected to a musical before, you will sing a song you don't know at least once. You have never heard Hamilton, Wicked, Pippin, or Urinetown, but it's in your head and you can't stop humming it. You don't know anything about Andrew Lloyd Webber versus Stephen Sondheim, but you've got both composers in your head. And it can usually be pinpointed back to a certain person who never stops about their preferred musical.

8. Being in the tech doesn't actually suck

If you were to follow the classic portrayal, getting stuck in the crew would be a fate worse than death for a theatre kid. But actually you get to make the magic happen, and it's pretty awesome. No matter what you're doing, be it fly-op, costumer, stage manager or props master, it gets to be pretty cool. You get to make the set move, the lights go, the actors get into place so they can wow the audience, you make it magic for everyone who sees. Just because you run the spotlight instead of stand in it doesn't mean you aren't a real thespian.

9. There is always one person in the company you love more than the others

This isn't anything against the rest of the cast and crew, but it just is. Someone will make every rehearsal a little more special because they're there. They will feel like your personal spotlight, and sometimes it pushes you to give a better performance. If you're lucky, they love you too and you've gotten a special friend in the theatre. You will have inside jokes, someone to talk to, and someone you can always embarrass at cast parties.

10. It is the best of times and worst of times

If you aren't in a play, you probably have PPD- Post-Play Depression. You have nothing to do with your life now that rehearsal is over. Something feels wrong because you aren't doing a matinee on Saturday or arriving at 6:30 Wednesday night to spray extreme levels of hairspray everywhere and put on enough makeup to shame Dr Frank-N-Furter.

Of course, each rehearsal and play is a sort of high you can't replace. You love it, the lines, the lights, the absolute terror of getting onstage or watching a set change. Even if you deny it and tell people you'll never audition again, there's nothing like being in a show, and it's one of the best feelings ever.

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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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