The theatre has been an important part of my life starting from a young age. Growing up, my mother was always involved with community theatre, and I would attend her rehearsals and performances. The very first live theatre performance I went to see my mom in was A Grand Night For Singing, and from the first note of the overture, I was hooked. There was something that drew me into theatre and made me want to be a part of it. As I grew older, I eventually was able to be apart of theatrical productions myself and experience the rush and excitement of live theatre.
Theatre became a family affair when my father and older brother became involved in the technical side of theatre and our local stagehands union. From then on, the theatre became a second home for me. I grew to love theatre even more when my high school theatre teacher For me, theatre is a place where a person can safely build relationships and express themselves in front of others while telling stories that have a significant meaning and purpose. Hearing all of the success stories from the faculty members was inspiring to me because a lot of my family has been telling me that theatre is not something I can make a career out of.
While my family has been supportive of my interest in theatre as a hobby, anytime I mention a possible career out of it, they say that if I do this, then I will not be able to provide for my future family, much less have one to begin with. They tell me horror stories of how their old theatre major friends are poor and unsuccessful in their lives, or how fine art positions are always the first positions to get cut in the education field. They then urge me to consider a safer career choice, and keep theatre as a hobby.
Hearing the successes from professionals in the field has made me consider my options: to do what I want and enjoy, or do what is safe. While I realize that my family is correct when they say theatre takes a lot of time and hard work, they are also incorrect when they say that I would be unable to make a living and have a family if I make this my career. Yes, it may be difficult to make ends meet sometimes, I do not care if I struggle financially in my life as long as I am happy and doing what I love to do.
There are so many functions that theatre serves in our society. Theatre’s purpose is so much more than just to entertain; theatre serves to question, to affirm/celebrate, to incite change, to instruct, and lastly to reveal character. Yes, theatre entertains large groups of people. It makes them laugh during comedies and cry during dramas. Theatre can make people happy or sad, or whatever emotion a playwright wants their audience to feel. Theatre can question cultural norms by making people see these norms in a different light.
It can affirm or celebrate morals, values, and traditions that we, as a culture, value ourselves. Or theatre can incite change by highlighting characteristics that are not so great about our society. Theatre can instruct people about values that we should be promoting, or cause people to think in a different way. It praises differences and diversity in society and promotes comradery. Theatre causes people to reflect inward and think about themselves, their peers, their family, and their culture.
There is so much more to theatre than entertainment because it does so much for our culture. I’m most interested in making theatre that leaves the audience with goosebumps on their arms, that changes the mood of the audience and makes them leave with a sense of inspiration or reflection. I love the shows that are bone-chilling good, that keep me on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what will come next. I love the productions that inspire me to do something differently in my life, or causes me to reflect about myself and my life.
I’m also looking forward to the different type of theatre that I will be able to be a part of now that I’m in college. Collegiate theatre is extremely different from the theatre that gets done in high schools. While I loved doing theatre in high school, I am ready to experience the rest of the theatrical world, and not just the kind that gets shown to high school students. Theatre has given me a lot of things throughout my life, such as new experiences and relationships, but most importantly, it has taught me many valuable life lessons.
Theatre has taught me how to interact with others, as well as how not to interact with others. It has taught me important skills like responsibility, respect, time management, critical thinking, problem solving, and how to work well with others. Theatre has also taught me to be punctual and flexible, and it has taught me to be more confident in myself and my talents. I value theatre so much because it has been a very influential part of my life, and has helped shape me into the person I am today. I want to give the experience of theatre to others.
I want to inspire high school students the same way my high school theatre teacher inspired me. I want to give these students a safe place to explore themselves and develop their talents and their personality. I want to give to others connections and relationships that the theatre has given me, specifically friendships that have lasted several years and a sense of extended family. Theatre has given me so much in my life, and I, ultimately, want to give back to the institution that has made me who I am today, through the teaching of theatre to high school students.
Theatre is unique among other arts because it is one of the most humanized art forms around, and it is one of the most visible. Theatre is the combination of several art forms, such as art and music, and has led to the development of film and videography. Theatre is able to show audiences the human experience through its performances; it showcases the best and worst of humanity and tells a story. Other art forms are able to do this as well, but live theatre gives people a more emotional experience because people can connect with the actors onstage.
In terms of a career and future I hope to have in theatre, I really want to teach theatre in a high school setting because my high school theatre teacher was such an inspiration and influence on me as a person and as an actor. I want to inspire high schools students to love and appreciate theatre as much as I do, and I want to give them a good experience with theatre so they will be involved and stay involved throughout their lives.
Like my theatre teacher, I want to make connections with these students and help them grow, not only as actors and technicians, but as individuals too. But if teaching does not work out, I would seek a job within the industry. I have worked at a local haunted house for the past six years and would be interested in seeing what jobs are available in the haunt/horror side of the theatre industry, either as an actor, or as a technician.