Being a theatre kid in High School can be great! You have a bunch of friends who understand your love for all things Broadway, who know the difference between theatRE and theatER, and who can have a battle of who’s more attractive, Jeremy Jordan or Aaron Tveit. Unfortunately, being involved in theatre also leaves many people to have misunderstandings about the nuances of being in theatre. It’s not just jazz hands people! (Well…some of it is.)
- “Have fun at practice!”
Thanks, but it’s actually called rehearsal. We rehearse our shows. Practice is for the football team!
- After telling someone you’re in the musical and they go “What’s the name of the play?”
It’s a musical, not a play. A musical has singing. A play is just dialogue. If you’re not sure which the person is in, stick with the word “show”. It’s theater-neutral!
- 3. “Have you been in Wicked?” (Or any other incredibly popular show.)
I perform a one man show of Wicked in the shower every morning but it is still on Broadway and since I still go to high school thousands of miles from New York City, no. I’ve not been in Wicked or on Broadway. But I wish.
- “What’s your favorite band?”
You mean cast album, right? Or would you prefer I respond with musical? How about composer? Lyrist! Maybe my favorite solo album by my favorite Broadway veteran!
- “How can you compete in theater?”
The same way you can compete in a singing competition. Except with a lot more RENT and Legally Blonde: the Musical! You pick a scene/song, work your butt off to perfect it, and then perform it in front of a panel of judges!
- “If you didn’t get the part, then why don’t you quit? I wouldn’t want to be a back up singer.”
Being in the ensemble is one of the most fun experiences you can ever have! You get to bond with your fellow ensemble members, do a lot more dancing, and you have super cool harmonies you can rock!
- “You’re always drinking tea.”
Tea with honey and lemon is a theater kids’ antidote to the wear and tear tech week can bring! Tea is practically a super hero all by itself! Thank you tea for protecting our vocals from sounding like Broadway-legend Harvey Fierstein!
- “Is there a lot of drama in the drama department?”
You’d be surprised that there is actually a lot less drama in the drama department than you’d think! Most drama departments get really close and are really civil with each other. Yes, we occasionally have our spats and disagreements, but we sing “Seasons of Love” and we’re all okay again.
- “If you hate going to rehearsal so much, why are you still doing drama?”
Okay, we don’t hate rehearsal, we just complain about it a lot! When we’re not doing a show, we actually miss it! Yeah, it sucks that during lighting rehearsals, we have to stand in the same place for a really long time and not even get to say our lines! But it’s all worth it!
- 10. “You’re a what?”
A thespian. I am a thespian. T-H-E-S-P-I-A-N. Being a Thespian is a major honor! The International Thespian Society is no joke and it’s an absolutely wonderful thing! It took a lot of hard work to get there, so please don’t undermine it by making jokes about it.
Even though there may be some misconceptions about what goes on in terms of being a theater kid, we still love our little community, even if we have to explain some of what we say…multiple times. It’s all worth it in the end!