When you were young, have you ever thought of being an actor? Or anything related to acting or performing? When you see good movies or watch great plays, did you ever think that you could be one of those people on screen or on stage? No? Me neither. However, they are and always will be the most fascinating works of art. Seeing the lives of different characters from my history books to five centuries in the future? There’s nothing like it.
Stepping into high school changed my views in theater after attending different classes. When one steps into a drama session, you begin to realize that acting isn’t just about pretending. It’s about living the truth in imaginary circumstances.
The average person who has never done theater in her entire life would laugh at the thought of even taking an acting workshop. Why should you even try if you don’t want to be an actor, nor had experience?
But drama students know that the theater is a place of understanding, creativity, and family. Whether you’ve devoted your entire life to the performing arts, or you’re just considering taking an acting or technical class or two, theater experiences hold valuable lessons that can serve you well in business, relationships, and life—some even call it therapy. Here’s why:
It builds confidence
This would be the most obvious reason. Contrary to popular belief, not all theater performers are extroverts. The courage to perform in front of hundreds of people does not erase shyness or insecurity. What it builds is morale—the confidence to know that you are capable of working hard and strive for something bigger than yourself.
Rejection sucks… but it’s not the end of the world
If you think you’ve been rejected more than enough, well you haven’t. An actor receives rejection twice more than the average person. Every rejected audition or casting is tough, but you know what they say: The show must go on. Theater toughens your resolve and strengthens your emotions. You’re a tough b*tch and you can handle anything.
Not everything is about you
Contrary to popular belief that all actors do is think about themselves, the greatest thing you’ll learn about performing is that not everything is about you. In fact, everything you do will have to be for your scene parter. It’s your job to make them look good, and achieve their objective. You bring it with you in real life too.
Yes, when you perform in theater, then you typically have to project your voice onstage. That might be daunting, but once you’ve done it once, you’ll more than likely fall in love with it. It’s kind of like riding a rollercoaster: Once you do it, you’ll want to go again and again.
Theater workshops value teamwork. While one-woman plays exist, most shows consist of an ensemble, and you’re going to have to learn how to move as one. Drama teaches you that as much as you should live your life like you’re the hero in your own movie, heroes don’t succeed alone. The connection you make with other actors is what will really sell the show, and in doing so, will help you build teamwork skills.
You learn how to take criticism
This is how it works: After most rehearsals, the director gives theater students notes on their performance. Students quickly learn that the intention of this is not to tear them down, but help them create and build their character in the best way possible. The response to a director’s note should never be arguing or excuses, it should simply be “thank you.” Imagine if people in the workplace accepted feedback that way.
Voices are heard
Theater tackles anything. Drama, history, romance, politics—absolutely anything the world has to offer. It always has a voice, something that it stands and fights for. It is always a performer’s job to make their audience feel. Whether it be extremely uncomfortable or deliriously happy, theater always has something to say, and allows stories to be heard.
Art by Tricia Guevarra
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