BWW Blog: I Can't, I Have Rehearsal
Every person who has done theater can relate to the feeling of having to say "I'm sorry, I'm busy, I have rehearsal!" or "I can't, I have a show." While musical theater can have extreme demands on your time in your life before college, once you are pursuing it as a major it can feel like that is all your life is, especially if you attend a conservatory or a conservatory style program. If you are studying theater in college you are obviously passionate about it, but something I have found in my own experience so far is that it can start to feel overwhelming. I have talked to a lot of my friends about it here as well, and we can all agree: healthy, balanced life as a theatre major cannot only be made up of your classes, time in the practice room/dance studio on your own, and productions. It is totally okay and actually encouraged by all of my professors to find and nurture your hobbies and passions that may have to do with a different kind of art or have absolutely nothing to do with art at all! Being a theater major does not mean being a theater robot. Here at BoCo I've found lots of things to do that get me out of my MT bubble!
Exploring the new area where you live can be really fun if you go to school in a city that's new to you. I am a huge history nerd so I am so lucky to live in Boston, which is full of so much fascinating history. One weekend I walked the freedom trail with my friend Catherine and then another we went and explored Salem, the site of the infamous Witch Trials. Moral of the story: go explore! Don't just stay on your campus all the time.
I have rediscovered my love for reading now that I do not constantly have books I need to be reading for an English class. It's so nice to just settle in to my dorm with a book on a rainy day when I don't have any homework. I know a lot of my friends also love to draw and journal. I also practice meditation regularly, partially because it's part of my spiritual practice, but also it's a holistic way to approach a healthy lifestyle. Moral of the story: find something chill and introspective and make it a part of your week! Theater majors can be lovingly rambunctious to it's good to find relaxing time for yourself.
I can guarantee that all schools have at least some student clubs and groups that anyone would find interesting. While it's been hard for me to fit them in my schedule this year because I have a crazy credit load, I know when I do have more time that I'll be joining clubs like the Berklee Feminist Coalition and I'll be auditioning for one of our many a capella choirs! Moral of the story: join student-led groups and meet people outside of your major!
While it's technically a requirement, I am currently working tech for one of our mainstage operas, and earlier this semester I stage managed a senior-directed one act. I'm finding it really fun to experience a performance from a different perspective, and it's also important from an educational standpoint to be knowledgeable about other jobs in theatre besides that of an actor. Moral of the story: get out of your comfort zone even when it comes to your major! Work tech and experience a show in a new light.
Lastly, be aware of what discounts for performances you can get as a student, as well as all of the free art you can experience that your peers create. Go to a cello recital, see your friends in a show, or go see a performance that has no affiliation with your school. Earlier this year, I was able to get a student rush ticket to see Chita Rivera and Seth Rudetsky for only $20. Take advantages of discounts to see things before you graduate suddenly you have to pay as much as everyone else.
Musical theater is an amazing major but a busy one, so finding time to pursue other interests can be hard but it is so worth it. I love theater, but there is more to me than my art. There is more to all of us, and it's so important to nourish those parts of us too.