Ever since I can remember I have loved being onstage. My parents put me in dance class in kindergarten and ever since I’ve been in at least one performance a year. It never gets old. When I finished that first performance, something inside of me unlocked. Singing, dancing, acting… I had to do it all. I still do.
Theater has always been a huge part of my life. But within the past year or so I’ve started having to shift from constantly updating my acting resume to updating my professional resume.
It has proven to be a lot harder that I was expecting.
While I have ample experience in theater, I am have absolutely have no official experience in my field. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am involved in a lot of organizations and projects in the community so I’m not sitting around doing nothing. However, my professional resume is not something I’d hang on my wall.
On my resume, all those years of theater are summed up in one line that says, “extensive theater experience.” Let me just take a minute if your time and explain what that means.
1. I work really well in team situations.
Putting on a show is a team effort if I’ve ever seen one. Taking a production from nothing but a cast and a script to a full-blown show is a huge deal. As an actor, I collaborate with so many different people; directors, stage managers, set designers, lighting designers, carpenters, choreographers and more.
These are all diverse people with various skills. I learn from them and work with them and each production I’m involved in, I learn new skills and experience new things. I also learn when to stand back and let the experts handle things.
2. I’m knowledgeable about a wide range of things.
I can use a power saw. I can turn Styrofoam into just about anything with paint and glue and a knife. I know my way around an electrical outlet. My knowledge of Shakespeare is extensive.
3. I know how to take constructive criticism.
A huge part of acting is learning how to take direction. While I may have one interpretation for my character, not all of my character is my responsibility. The director has a vision and everyone else is supposed to contribute to the vision of the director.
As an actor, I do not decide what I wear or what my character’s home looks like. I learn what I can change and what I cannot change and work from there. The idea is to take my interpretation for the work I am doing and incorporate my director’s input and make something believable and real and beautiful.
Acting also is learning process sometimes, so when I do something wrong or something isn’t coming across correctly, I have to figure out how to make it all work.
4. I am confident.
This is my biggest aspect as far. Theater has given me the confidence to do all of the things I do in life. Whether it’s journalism, theater, or just meeting new people. I have something that is mine that makes me an interesting, capable person and has taught me many things about myself. It makes me self-aware and confident in my ability and inability to do anything I need to do.
I love theater. It is what makes me, me. It makes me a better person on paper and off. It’s something everyone should try. Life shouldn’t be all about making money and just surviving. Arts help us thrive. I am proud to say that theater helps me thrive.