As promised, here is the conclusion to my riveting essay.  I’m sure you were all waiting with bated breath.

 

6.  Theatre kids are theatre critics: Theatre kids, once they have been in a few shows, feel qualified to critique any show they happen to see, be it another local production or a professional troupe.  They’ll sit around chatting about how good this person was, and how poorly this part was cast.  They are often of the firm belief that they could have done a better job playing Mrs. Potts (despite the fact that “they” may be a guy who’s not even remotely English.) or singing this solo, or dancing this number; or if they’re not they know someone who is.

7.  Theatre kids have a flair for the dramatic:  This may seem like stating the obvious, but I’m not talking about drama in relation to the stage; I mean all the time.  Everything is a production with theatre kids.  A new hair cut is grounds not only for lots of oohing and ahhing, but also promises of an entire photo shoot just to highlight the way it frames your face.  If anything goes wrong  everyone knows about it, and it becomes everyone’s job to find a solution.  Level-headed is probably not the best descriptive word for theatre kids.

8.  Theatre kids come with theatre moms: One of the best parts of being a theatre kid and hanging out with other theatre kids is the theatre moms.   They’re the ones standing backstage cheering  everyone in the cast on, not just their own kids, the ones who host the best cast parties, the ones with the best sense of humor.   Theatre moms also have a tendency to think that their child is the most talented being in the world.  They’re just certain that little Susie will make the perfect Annie, or that Jimmy was born to play Oliver.  When their child is in a play, every acquaintance living within a fifty mile radius knows the exact dates, times, ticket prices, and the closest places to park.  Some people have whole theatre families, where the collective life of the family revolves around this child’s career,  with mom and dad doing whatever it takes to get them the agent, the audition, the part.  Many theatre moms are grown up theatre kids, not so far away from that age that they don’t remember the hopes and dreams, making them want to do their very best to help their children achieve these goals.

9.  Theatre kids don’t exist apart from theatre: Life for theatre kids very quickly becomes one revolving stage.  If you’re not in this show you’re in another, and while you’re in one show you’re already talking about the next.  There’s always another show to audition for, always another “best part ever”.  Towards the end of one play everyone starts asking everyone else; “Are you auditioning for…?” in the hopes that they’ll get to work with their friends again.  When not in a play or auditioning for a play, theatre kids look back on past plays with an air of nostalgic wistfulness beyond their years.  Then they’ll call up a friend and say “Do you remember when we were in Aladdin and so-and-so did…”

10.  Theatre kids will take whatever part they can get: Theatre kids are not snobbish in the parts they play, they just need to be in a production of some sort.  They will audition for anything that comes their way and take whatever part they’re offered.  Let’s say you’re at a production of “Beauty and the Beast.”  See that dancing spoon in the back of the chorus?  The kid performing that role is more than happy to have gotten the part.  In fact he probably beat out a couple other people for it.  He’s proud just to be in the show and although it’s true he may have rather been the Beast, he’ll still walk away from the production feeling fortunate and enriched to have been a part of it.

I’ll always be a theatre kid at heart.   Years from now I’m sure I’ll be walking down a hallway on my way to class, I’ll glance both ways to make sure no one is coming and then I’ll start dancing down the hall, humming a tune.  If someone catches me I’ll blush and glance down pretending like I wasn’t just traipsing down the hallway.  But if they give me a smile and walk down the hall, jumping in the air and clicking their heels just before disappearing from sight, I’ll smile to myself  and know they understood, because the biggest truth about theatre kids: it takes one to know one.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” –William Shakespeare

 

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