Life lessons at the theater…


I’m not going to write about how good the show was (again).  I’m just going to write a little bit about some life lessons I’ve learned over the years at our little theater.

Many hands make light work.  After the shows we usually need to tear down the set to make room and clean up for the next production coming in.  This is much easier with a large cast.  Many people working on various parts of the set will bring it down quickly.  Smaller shows, we beg and plead for people to come and help.

Help others when needed.  At times people will forget their lines, or forget to enter when needed.  It is up to the rest of the cast to keep the show going.  Ad-lib lines here and there,  line prompting during a hug, someone else saying the line (if this works), or just smoothly skipping by the flub, are ways we help each other on stage.

Not everyone is a Star.  You can’t always have top billing. Sometimes you need to support the front people.  It is part of theater, it is part of life.

Even the Star needs support.   Even in shows with only one actor on stage, usually has many people behind the scenes.  From lighting to props there is always somebody looking out for you.

All jobs are important.  That backstage manager that never shows up on stage is sometimes seen as unneeded, until the day they can’t make the show.  Then the props aren’t on stage where they should be, and the flow of the show just goes down.

Satisfy the customer.  If you don’t do a good job, and leave the customer satisfied, they won’t be back.  Repeat business is  essential.

Relax, have fun! One of the most important things I’ve learned.  If you are relaxed and having fun on stage everything flows more smoothly.  It works in the real world as well.  You can’t always have fun in theater or real life (some jobs are just the pits), but you can try relax and make the best of the situation.

Be ready for the unexpected.  In live performances almost anything can happen.  Be prepared for it.  You may never need to know what to do when something on stage breaks, but you have to go with the flow.  In life, this makes very good sense too.

Do your best.   No matter what job/part you have do your best, it makes it easier for you and for those around you.

Do your job.  If your job is telling people what to do, do that.  If that isn’t in your job/part description, refrain from doing it.   Sometimes it is nice for new actors to get a helpful hint from other actors, sometimes not.  Make sure that your helpful hints are just that.  They should not sound like directives, those should come from the director.

But then again,  Share your knowledge.  An additional note about the above.  Telling someone what you do to help remember lines, or stage directions is a good thing.  Helping someone get over a bit of stage fright, also good.  Knowledge of any field (except secret stuff) is best shared.

Goodbyes can be hard.  We all need to say goodbye to someone every so often.  Sometimes you know you may never see the person again.  Make the best of the time you have with people, it will show benefits in  your life.

Life is a stage, where we are the actors and the audience…

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