Why Your Theatre Family IS Your Family
Many people work in theatre throughout their lives. For a theatre nerd, most of the friends you make will be met through the performing arts. While it is hard for many people outside of the arts community to understand, the people you work with become a close-knit family unit. You form a special bond with these people. When those outside of the theatre ask you why everyone is so close, why you devote all that time for just a show, why you cry when it's all said and done, tell them this:
1. You share a common love.
While many people have passions such as sports or their jobs, having a love of theatre and the arts is something much different and much more special. While sports may make you happy, the arts affect you as a person. Music and performing affects your mood, your heart, your soul. It is hard to find people with whom you share that connection; when you do, you never let it go.
2. Theatre makes unbreakable bonds.
When you find something you love in theatre, music, and art, it binds to you in an unbreakable manner. Someone who has also formed this bond with this art will be connected to you through this love. This bond cannot be broken, no matter how far away you travel or how long you are apart. You can always come back together and reconnect as if the time had been days, not years.
3. You spend all of your time with them.
From rehearsals 3 times a week for hours a day to experiencing hell week together, you can never get rid of these people, no matter how hard you try. Not that you would want to anyhow.
4. You live the story together.
When you experience a life story for days on end with a group of people, it's hard to shake the bond you form from living through the story line. When you live through the smiles, the laughs, and the tears of the characters you bring to life on that stage, their bonds become yours; their laughs, tears, and emotions carry onto you.
5. You live through the director's ever-changing emotions together.
From the moment your director walks into the theatre, you can tell what kind of day it will be. If they are in a good mood, you all let loose together and crack jokes with them. If they walk in with a trail of fire behind them ready to rip into anyone who speaks, you all huddle into the corner together and become each other's human shields. The directors whirlwind of emotions can mean a day of either big laughs or big terrors, but they will be lived together.
6. Your cast mates' achievements feel like your own.
Whenever a cast mate is given an award, compliment, or word of encouragement from someone inside the production or out, you feel the joys they feel. You are happy for them, and their energy and success gives you the energy and encouragement to push yourself on and better the show. Even after the show, when they go on to bigger and better things, hearing of these accomplishments makes your day that much better.
7. The list of inside jokes is a mile long (at least).
As soon as you hear a line from a show you have performed, a slew of lines from the show flow into your head. But so do the list of jokes that came from those lines. Whether it be the way in which someone delivered that line to the way that line was twisted and manipulated off stage to make it as funny and unusual as possible, when you get that little reminder of shows past, all you want to do is share in the laughs all over again.
8. You have never laughed more.
If one thing is for sure, your theatre family holds the record for the most times making you laugh. When you spend so much time with a group of people, they know what will always make you laugh.
9. The pre-show rituals are like a religion.
These rituals can be as simple as a prayer before a production or as complex as standing on chairs in the dressing room and dancing into your costumes. Whatever the ritual, when these things are done, it brings everyone closer together. There is no one else in the world who will know what a "PSP" is or how to properly execute an "underwear dance". These become a part of who you are as a performer and as a person.
10. No one else has seen you at your best (and worst).
When you walk into the theatre on the third or fourth day of hell week and nothing is going right, it shows. When mics are malfunctioning, makeup is all over the place, and lines are being fudged up left and right. You may break down and cry. You may snap at someone for no reason. You may even seclude yourself and deal with the mistakes made that night. But one thing is for certain: your cast mates will have your back no matter what and will pick you up every time.