Don’t ever get involved in theatre. Nothing good could possibly come of it. I mean, we all know the stereotype, right? Overly enthusiastic about absolutely EVERYTHING, but especially anything regarding Broadway and those supposedly famous performers that normal people have never heard of.
“But Carolyn, aren’t you heavily involved in theatre?” I hear you all asking at this exact moment. Yes, I am. And I love it with every fiber of my being. But enough with the credentials. This isn’t about me, this is about you. Theatre is a time-consuming art form, and who has time for that these days? Surely not you or I, or anyone for that matter. It’s high risk, and what’s the reward, really?
Well, one thing is for sure. Don’t get involved in theatre if you want to gain a lot of confidence. The very trait that attracts us to one another these days is knowing that the other person is just as insecure as we are, and that’s what makes us a perfect match! Plus, chances are pretty good if neither of us has confidence, we will be too timid to end things if they ever get weird. It’s a win-win really. Plus, it’s just so much easier to not have to worry about getting up in front of a bunch of strangers and pretend to be someone else. Isn’t that practice a little outdated, anyway? If you really need confidence, you can just post something on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/you get the picture. With the amount of “likes” you get on whatever you say, your confidence will definitely permanently go up, so don’t bother wasting your time in a dumb show when your needs can be immediately satisfied via social media.
Another reason to avoid this monstrosity is because of the lessons you learn working as a team and the friendships you make as a result of that. Come on, you know you have enough friends already. And once you have an established repertoire of friends, you definitely never need more. And as for teamwork, we get enough of that nonsense in class with assigned group projects, which we all just loooooooove. Working on having strong “people skills” is so overrated. It just comes naturally to all of us. I mean, the best way to gauge the number of our close interpersonal relationships is to look at how many Facebook friends or Twitter followers we have. Duh! It’s a numbers game. You don’t need to join a tight knit social group to have people that will “have your back” for everything. Keep the lecture coming.
As you wish. If theatrical performances are live, can’t things go wrong? And that’s, like, so scary. We definitely would never need to practice the arts of flexibility and improvisation, the world is so regimented and predictable that nothing ever happens that is out of our control. Essentially, practicing improvisational games for a theatrical performance is a waste of time. Because theatre mirrors life, nothing in theatre actually ever goes wrong either! It’s a well-kept secret of all actors everywhere, but I guess the cat is out of the bag now. Sorry to be the one to shatter the illusion.
If you haven’t picked up on it by now, there is absolutely no reason why everyone shouldn’t at least try being in one theatre production in their lifetime. Besides the few skills listed above, there are so many reasons to get involved in this live art form.
But what prompted my writing has nothing to do with the practical lessons theatre offers. I was inspired by my realization that almost everyone I have ever met through various performances, companies, etc. has one amazing thing in common – they have some of the biggest dreams of everyone I have ever met. This is not to say that every single person who enjoys theatre wishes to pursue a career on Broadway, or even in acting. Rather, they are insanely passionate about whatever their chosen discipline is. I know people that will pursue acting careers, and they are just as excited about their future as those that I know pursuing speech therapy or law.
We, as the collective theatre community, are some of the greatest dreamers. We are confident in our ability to pursue what we love and give it our absolute all. The greater the dream, the greater the risk. But, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Our lives are rich with passion, and we want to share it with everyone we meet. We are going to change the world, one jazz square at a time.