17 Things Only Theater Majors Understand
People don't get how time consuming, soul consuming and life consuming our profession is. It takes balls to get up on stage, and get back stage to run a show. Don't hate, appreciate!
I went to Ohio University's Division of Theater. It was incredible. I laughed, I cried, I made mistakes and ultimately I learned a lot about living and the possibility of happiness.
Studying acting for four years was the best decision of my life. I made lifelong friends and learned a lot about myself, but ultimately I learned that there are just some things that only theater people understand. When people walk by the theater building or classroom, they're going to hear screaming and crying. It's totally normal.
Some people think that you are all crazy, but you're making art damn it! One minute you're laughing, the next you're crying. It's all apart of the job. Classes can be pretty damn draining. The most real emotion that ever happens is when the cast list goes up.
We can try our damndest to live authentically through imaginary circumstances on stage, but we will laugh, cry, scream, and live extremely truthfully when we see what part we've gotten. Whether good or bad, each part has its challenges and rewards. Tech week is the closest thing to hell you'll see.
Nothing is closer to hell than tech week.The hours are long and the tensions are at an all time high. There's always that moment where you're like, "THE SHOW IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN." and then, somehow, magically it comes together. Shakespeare...
Oh, the Bard, one of the most frustrating and incredible people on the planet. You never feel more alive or more terrified then when you're reciting his immortal words. Don't mess up the rhythm and don't fuck up the words. Each one is so important that your teacher will ultimately try and slit your throat if you mess up. As they should, for nothing is as important as Shakespeare. Counter space in the dressing room is like your home.
Counter space is like currency, especially in the women's dressing room. Some people dress them up with photos and flowers, and others throw their shit everywhere in hopes of finding the right eyeliner for the period piece you are always thrown into. Dress rehearsals always suck, and that means the show is going to be amazing.
If you come out of a final dress or tech rehearsal feeling like you've got a kickass show, you better watch out. The nerves and everything else culminate on that oh so important opening night and everything becomes real. It's amazing. Meisner technique...
Basically you cry, scream, throw things, stab things, fight, kiss, stab things, make messes and hate yourself afterward. It teaches you to be extremely truthful, which you might carry over into your real life. Whoops, it's just acting right? You will become best friends with your cast mates / tech crew. You have to be a family.
Some pretty personal things go down during rehearsals, and backstage. Because you're bearing your soul and giving everything you have emotionally, you have to be open and available. Vulnerability is key, and when you need help you can ask your theater family. The people in your classes will know everything there is to know about you.
Being in an acting studio will really teach you to trust people. It's all about falling through the air and realizing that you have people to catch you. There are a lot of rituals.
The opening night songs, the flowers, the "break a leg" phrase. Everyone has their own superstitions in the theater, and it's all in hopes of being authentic, honest and completely stellar on stage. Anyone who doesn't have a little ritual they do before they go on stage, isn't in the theater. No matter what, the show must go on, and that is the truth.
There is always something happening, whether it's backstage or on the stage, we have to have back-up plans and procedures. People get sick, injured and sometimes they can't even stand, but somehow the muster up the courage to get through it. The show must go on. And theater builds character. The theory and literature classes are really exciting at first, but coupled with rehearsals and projects...ugh. No.
And those teachers are all, "these classes are important too!" They are! But when you're running on 4 hours of sleep...no. No. Blocking is a major pain in the ass, but it's necessary.
Yes. I walk here, but I want to walk there, can I change it? Lighting, sound COSTUMES and the set are VERY VERY important.
There's nothing like seeing everything come together, and it makes you appreciate the talents of everyone in the bulding, actors, tech and beyond.
There is nothing like putting on your costume for the first time! Trust me, it really gets you into character. Showmances.
Romeo falls in love with Juliet blah blah blah. If you spend a lot of time acting like you love someone, you just might start to love them off stage too. Cast and crew hook-ups sometimes lead to amazing chemistry, and others just go down in flames. Whatever the result, they're exciting right. And theater majors love drama! Everyone's always like: Why aren't you on Broadway yet!?
Because some of us want to teach, or help people, or act in films. Not everyone who goes to theater or acting school wants to end up on Broadway. There are millions of things you can do with a theater degree! Hell, I write! People always say: What can you do with that degree?
I learned more from being a theater major than a lot of my friends did in business school. It's all about discovering yourself and learning through experience. I don't regret a thing. Lots of my friends are in business, marketing, writing and are going to graduate schools. Theater changes lives and minds. Don't let anyone sway you from majoring in it!
Theater is hard, rewarding and scary, and everyone who studies it learns to have no regrets. Because leaving it all on the stage, giving everything you have and knowing that you have a chance to be someone else for a while makes it all worth it.
Break a leg!