I think that the theatre fandom can be a bit misunderstood at times. We can be loud and overly dramatic, and we also do a lot of hugging. We tend to have at least a little superstition in our bones. But we all unite under a shared love of the theatre and how it's impacted us. What has theatre taught me? Here are a few things.
1. There's so much more than meets the eye.
Every time I go see a musical or play, I'm simply amazed by the subtlety that the actors are able to put into it. Even background characters are always doing something. As an actor myself, it's really, really hard to be able to do that, and I applaud everyone everywhere who does it successfully. It's taught me to really look at the people around me and notice things about them.
2. Sometimes you just have to burst into song.
It's an essential of life. (Also, I just found out that singing is a stress reducer. So much yes.)
3. Theatre has helped me feel understood.
It's difficult to recall the exact amount of times this has happened to me, but there have been so many times when I've seen a musical or a play and have felt understood in a very strange way. When someone puts their soul on display like that...it's simply astonishing.
Theatre is a collection of all the different sides of humanity squished together into a beautiful mess.
4. Being in theatre has helped me to learn to work harder at everything I do.
Being in a musical is a ton of hard work. Not only do we have practice for 2-3 hours, 5 or 6 days a week, but we're pretty much moving the entire time. It's basically just one super fun, but at the same time super frustrating, workout. Have you ever danced with a glass bottle on your head? It's hard, and there are many times when I want to quit. But I never have, and the hard work just makes us stronger.
5. Theatre has taught me empathy.
When a character is on stage, it's easy to see all sides of them emotionally. That's why we can't dislike Javert or Aaron Burr, even if they are the antagonists in their respective musicals. Everyone has motives or situations in their lives that we can't always see.
6. Theatre taught me about community.
Even before I was in fandom, I was in theatre. Theatre gave me my first taste of what it's like to be surrounded by people with common goals and interests, all working towards the same thing. And it's truly a marvelous feeling.
Do you like theatre? What has it taught you?