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BWW Blog: Just Say No.

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BWW Blog: Just Say No.
Photo Credit: Grammarly

As an artist, I feel such a deep sense of commitment towards theatre. Theatre gives me a purpose to live, along with endless comfort, joy, and growth. These feelings often fuel my drive and ambition in rehearsal rooms and performance spaces. Although my loyalty to theatre is indestructible, my loyalty to myself has often been sacrificed.

Too many a time have I been put in distressing, harmful situations due to saying "yes." From wearing a costume that makes me feel uncomfortable to overworking myself, I have allowed theatre to cause pain in my life. However, in my senior year of high school, I started to learn the beauty of the word "no" and why saying "no" is so important.

When others pressure you into doing something in theatre that makes you sacrifice yourself, your well-being, or your morals THAT speaks something about their professionalism, or lack thereof. That is why I have found it better to just say "no." I found comfort during my freshman year of college listening and watching my professors suggest the same and my peers doing so.

I wish I learned this earlier: It is okay to express your true emotions and do what is best for YOU. I'm still learning and practicing, but here are some scenarios I've decided to say no to:

Can we actually rehearse another day? No.

Can we switch costumes? No.

Can you skip lunch to help paint the set? No.

Can you be more physical with your scene partner? No.

Can I put the mic pack on for you? No.

Can you play a race other than your own? No. No. No. Absolutely not.

*If for some reason you have been put in a situation where the character's race does not reflect your own, please consider removing that role from your resume. That work does not reflect your true artistry.*

I am not stating nor am I suggesting that one should be a difficult artist to work with. Rather, I am stating that theatre should be a safe space filled with authenticity and truthful work. If you find yourself in a situation where theatre is not, perhaps consider reevaluating the situation. During college, it is important to discover your boundaries, your morals, and your goals. Saying "no" to a situation that is not going to benefit you is okay. In fact, in the future, you will be happy for standing up for yourself and the artist you want to be.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Mary Felix