By Sami DeSocio
Being an actor is difficult. There’s no easy way to find success, and it causes us to miss countless events in our real lives. Parties, birthdays, and other special occasions with family members. It also means that your family might not understand or even support your desire to be an actor.
Fortunately and unfortunately, you can find a new kind of family in theater! I’m not saying to replace your blood-related family, they’ll be there for you no matter what if they’re a good family. But, having a theater family is something that you can’t understand or explain. The amount of love and closeness in a theater family is almost rivaled by that of a real family.
Think about it! You spend hours together, see each other in compromising positions on and off stage, and have even said ‘I love you’ to more than one member of your theater family. They understand the inside jokes, the quirks of being an actor, and in some aspects, might even know you better than your own parents do.
I’ve been very fortunate to find not one, but two wonderful theater families! I was quickly adopted into the theater companies and immediately loved and accepted like I had never been anywhere else. We hang out together, perform together, go to dinner together and bug each other on facebook together!
There’s a great line in Rent that says “Friendship is thicker than blood”, and in some respects, I’ve felt that in my own theater families. We love like a family, fight like a family and play like a family. And I couldn’t be happier.
For some people, a theater family can also serve as an escape from a family at home that is less than family-like. Theater families offer a safe environment to be yourself in, and to do what you love with people who love you and whom you love. It can be the place where you feel the most love and the most appreciated, and sometimes that’s what you need to get through the day. And that’s okay! That’s why they’re there.
I’ve been very fortunate to find two theater families whom I love very much (and they know who they are!). To all of you reading this, I wish you to find the same love and acceptance I have found in my own theater family.