BWW Blog - Try Everything!
I wanted to be an actor for a really long time. I still love performing, and it's something I try to do fairly regularly. I've had so many people tell me how happy I seemed when I was in the rehearsal process or after shows. For most of my life, I was very much of the mindset "this is it for me. I'm going to be an actor, and I don't need to try anything else, because nothing will ever make me feel as happy and fulfilled as acting does." As you may have guessed from the title of this article, I was wrong.
A friend of mine asked me to assistant direct a show he was pitching to a theatre organization on campus, and having done some PA work on some children's theatre shows in high school, I felt comfortable enough to agree to do it. I was leaning more towards production work at that time, but it was more to get a foot in the door, so to speak. I wanted to be an actor, but I figured I'd pursue production until/if I got work performing. I would never have guessed how much I would love doing directorial and dramaturgical work.
Participating in that show opened my eyes to how much I love analyzing theatrical texts, keeping track of blocking, and solving problems generally speaking that arise in production process. Was it stressful? Absolutely. I shed some frustrated tears and yelled on the phone to my mom and dad a few times. Even with those stressful moments though, the process confirmed something for me. Working on shows, helping performances come together, and selecting a group of actors to make a script as captivating as possible is what I love most in this world. It's something I am even more passionate about than performing.
I never would have known that if I didn't try other things. If I hadn't said "yes" to that position and production my sophomore year, I would never had known how much I love researching for scripts, blocking things in my mind, casting, and watching all of that come together thanks to actors I trust. Not only that, but it brought me closer to people I will love and admire for the rest of my life.
I was friends with all of the people on the creative team for that musical, but we were not anywhere near as close as we are now. We'd only known each other for a year or less, and we bonded so immensely over this production and how much we wanted it to succeed. I came to appreciate that collaboration, and so look forward to it every time I work on a creative team now. That is my favorite part. That is the reason I made the decision to keep pursuing this. I want more than anything to collaborate with people to make theatre. This is why I so firmly believe that trying everything in theatre, at least once, is so necessary and important. I thought I'd narrowed it down, and I hadn't. I still love performing, but my passion in theatre lies in production. Regardless of what it is you decide to do in this industry, I think knowing for sure because you tried a little bit of everything sets you up for the most success. Doing it all makes you positive that what you decide is exactly the right fit.