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BWW Blog: The Theatre Kid's Guide To Gift-Giving

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There is one sort-of-holiday on the horizon that may provide some solution  for shopping on a college budget: Black Friday!

BWW Blog: The Theatre Kid's Guide To Gift-Giving


I'm just kidding. No matter what the aisles of Michael's Craft Stores may imply, we've still got a month or so before commercialism's favorite holiday. Lately I've been trying to figure out good gifts to get my friends on a college student budget. I was very excited to learn that there is an actual plant called a money tree, and subsequently very disappointed to learn that it does not actually grow crisp twenties but plain old leaves.

On that note, though, there is one sort-of-holiday on the horizon that may provide some solution for shopping on a college budget: Black Friday! What better time to find a great theatre gift for your friends than when you can get it half off! I've assembled some tips for buying for the favorite theater major in your life.

For actors, I would advise you to steer clear of the typical gifts like tea, or any food for that matter. Odds are most actors have already told you about their "extensive vocal care routine, which relies on manuka honey farmed from bees raised on platypus milk, a solid gold Neti Pot, and a steamer infused with the spirit of Ethel Merman herself." I got lost at the word "extensive." Go for something out of the box- something that'll really test their acting skills and prowess. I recommend a DVD of Adam Sandler's best movies. That way they'll really have to act when they tell you they absolutely love it and they are still your friend, of course!

If you have a stage manager who you're gifting to, here's a tip. Stage managers are literally always busy and always stressed. Look for gifts that are great stress-relievers. I once gave my stage manager friend a pillow and she inevitably found a way to use the pillowcase as a replacement costume and the pillow as a tech week stress punching bag and portable nap machine. What can I say? Stage managers know how to multitask. If it comes with a pre-written thank you card, bonus points, because we sure as heck don't have time to write them.

Buying for technicians can be tricky because the gifts they usually ask for are really specific. I had a lighting designer friend one year ask Santa for an Ion ColorSource 20 AV light board with DMX input/output Control Faders and 7" integrated multi-touch display. I can't even joke about that because I literally have no idea what it means. He was very helpful and explained that it's a type of light board with fancy switches and a touchscreen! So I bought him some socks because I have $3 in my bank account.

In all reality, though, it's hard to go wrong when shopping for drama enthusiasts. (That's what I started saying instead of telling people I was a "theatre geek," because contrary to popular opinion the latter term does not impress literally anybody in the world.) You've got plenty of options: theater merch, cast albums, craft supplies, or even just money towards our next ticket. We're inherently creative people, too, which means one thing is for sure: we will inevitably find ways to turn anything you buy us into our next prop. Happy spending!

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From This Author Student Blogger: Maggie Cummins