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Student Blog: Advice To Those Who Want To Do Theatre

For everyone who loves theatre, but feels like it might be a little late to join.

Hi! If you're stumbling across my blog or you're here by chance, it is lovely to "meet" you. My name is Danielle and I am a junior in college right now. Despite what my blog may seem, I am not a theatre major, so if you're looking to do that, I may not be the right choice for you. I joined theatre at my university as an extracurricular, feeling like this was the last chance I had to try and do theatre. I liked theatre throughout high school and very much enjoy going to see shows, however, I never had the guts to audition. I was always a sports kid.

So, if you're like me and you're looking to get involved in theatre, I am here to do the best I can to help you take that leap of faith. Trust me, I took that leap and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Now, I am on the executive board for Alpha Psi Omega (The National Theatre Honor Society) at my university and I am very active in the theatre organizations on campus. I've spoken a little bit about how I was a new theatre kid in my other blog, Take That Opportunity, but genuinely I believe if you want to try anything new, there should be nothing and no one stopping you. In the words of Nike, just do it!

So, my first piece of advice is to go to the first meeting. If anything is going to draw you into theatre, it's the first general body meeting or first meeting the club has at the beginning of the semester. They'll probably announce the shows they're doing and explain who they are as an organization. I was lucky enough to be basically dragged to this first meeting. If you have friends, bring them. It makes the whole situation less frightening if you're scared. If you want to audition for the first show, go for it! If you don't, don't force yourself, maybe join something smaller like a small tech position or a committee if they have them. Something where you can still see and be a part of the organization without throwing yourself out of your comfort zone.

Student Blog: Advice To Those Who Want To Do Theatre
This was my first Shakespeare production.
This was one of my roles as the Apothecary.

My next piece of advice is when you go to reach for something out of your comfort zone, remember, more people want you to succeed than your brain might make you think! No one watches you walk in to audition or start a new tech position and goes: "Oh boy, I hope they stink!" No! No one does that (and if they do, they are not the kind of person you want to associate yourself with). I have really bad stage fright. To this day, every time I audition I shake, sometimes I cry, sometimes I have anxiety attacks, and on occasion, yes I have thrown up in the bathroom before. It's okay, trust me when I tell you there are people who have been there before. You may feel as though you're at a disadvantage because you have never done this before, but you are most likely not. The directors and producers are looking at you during your audition not how many accents you can do or how many notes you can hit, they're looking at you in that moment, so take anything that you think matters out of your head because all that matters is right then.

My other piece of advice is it is okay to be nervous and go find friends who help you. Some of the greatest friends I met while doing theatre all did theatre for years before they met me, and those people have been some of my most helpful mentors, so I don't psych myself out at auditions. They'll understand you're nervous, but at the same time, if they know you want something or that you can do something, they'll push you to do it so you won't regret it later. Explaining your anxiety and stage fright will be difficult to someone who has done theatre long before you, but at the end of the day, nerves are natural, if they do not directly relate and empathize or sympathize with your feelings, they'll at least support you and try to make you feel a little bit better.

Student Blog: Advice To Those Who Want To Do Theatre
Also, from Shakespeare, I played Abram in the first scene in
Romeo and Juliet, where I started the first fight scene.

That is my small piece of advice. As someone who does both tech and auditions onstage occasionally, I know the feeling of being nervous to try something and essentially be the "new kid". You won't be the best in the room at first either, all you can do is keep trying and being a part of it, and eventually, everything that you're meant to do in theatre will fall into place.

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From This Author - Student Blogger: Danielle Urban