BWW Blog: How to Be Successful in your College Theatre Department
As soon as you can, get involved. Don't wait to get your name circulating around your department. Volunteer and offer your assistance to others. The best way to get familiar and comfortable is to GET INVOLVED.
There is so much to learn whether its sound, lights, costumes, set design, rigging, and everything else. Figure out what you like, what you're good at, and what power tools you should never touch again. When you learn what kind of hard work that goes into every area of a production, you respect the individuals who work in that area and develop more humility. Never stop learning, even after you graduate, there is always something to learn.
Opportunities are presented to you for a reason. Take advantage of a new opportunity, no matter the size is incredibly beneficial. New or stronger connections can be made, you can learn a new skill or perfect an old one, and add another experience to your resume. Don't add too much to your plate but learn the value of taking new opportunities.
Be Kind to Everyone
I know this seems obvious, but you never know who you are going to run into again. You never know if that graduating senior is going to be your roommate at summer stock this year (yes, I am speaking from experience). You want to be remembered as a positive and pleasant. This includes professors and classmates. Encourage others and surround yourself with alike people.
Do something that's outside of your comfort zone. Volunteer to be a dresser during your next production. Go to that masterclass. Pick challenging material. You will never grow if you just do what you are comfortable with. Might as well grow as much as you can since you are paying to be there.
Be observant. Especially if you are in the ensemble or are an ASM. If you are just sitting in rehearsal when the director is focused on someone else, learn some choreography, learn that harmony line, watch their blocking. Accidents happen all the time, you may find yourself in a position where you fill in or replace someone because you paid attention.
Share Your Resources
We are all here trying to learn. Share your monologues, plays, and scores. It is so important that we support one another while we all reach our goals. You never know who may return the favor in the future because you shared something.
Work hard and do it silently. Trust me, your hard work will not go unnoticed. Nobody likes someone who brags or complains about how many hours they were working at the theatre that night.
It is so important to know about the industry we are in. Do your research. Know who and what inspires you. Dedicate some time each week to discovering something new within the industry. Your knowledge shows passion, and that may get you farther than others.
Don't Give Up
Time and time again you will be told no. That is the cold hard truth. Yes, it will hurt. You are allowed to be upset but then brush yourself off and do better next time. Don't be afraid to evaluate what went wrong but also be curious about what went right. Then forget it and be more prepared for the next one.
There are so many people who wish that they could be in your position. It may be the role you have, the class you're taking, or the program you are in. Be grateful to have the opportunity and let that show.