Written by Maci Sepp. Media by Jack Dawdy.
I have always been one to participate in random events and experiment with different extracurricular activities. Admittedly, I have a
small problem with getting carried away and becoming a little too ambitious for my own good. When you have big expectations for yourself, you often have to push past your limits in order to feel even the slightest sense of accomplishment or moment of satisfaction. Needless to say, it’s led me to a few ridiculous life choices. I tried playing tennis when I wasn’t the least bit athletic; I tried baking Martha Stewart cakes when my only specialty was eating them; and I tried theater when I couldn’t act, sing, or dance. But after years of being in shows, I have never been more invested in theater than I have been in the past few months. Since embarking on my journey through theater, I never miraculously woke up with any new musical talents or acting abilities. In fact, they’ve probably only gotten worse. You’d think this would discourage me from my continuation in theater productions, but if anything, lacking in these departments has helped me appreciate it more. So no matter what your passions are or where your skills lie, theater is something anyone can try and experience for themselves. Here are some reasons why theater will completely change your life.
And it came true. I am a person who loves a great story, and that’s exactly what plays and musicals are: stories come to life. To watch these stories performed live on a stage can only be described as magical. Every performance is special and offers something new. I knew I wanted to get involved, but I quickly realized that actually being on stage was not for me. So to fulfill my wish, I became a student director in high school and later a stage manager at Greenville’s very own Factory Theatre. I would be lying if I didn’t believe it was the best job in the entire theater. Not only do I get to be with the shows every step of the way, but I also get to watch each performance without ever having to embarrass myself in front of an audience.
Or three, or four. Or fifty! I have been a part of productions with as large of a cast as one hundred people and as small of a cast as eight. Both have been extraordinary to experience for myself. When you’re stuck with a group of people for hours running through rehearsals and building sets, you become good friends. Fast. People from all kinds of different circles of friends and social groups seem to always find a way to bond over their passion for theater. Sometimes, it’s scary how well we all get along.
Theater people have a way of pulling back their layers when they’re together. We aren’t afraid to step out of our bubbles and be a little weird. I have been told that most actors and performers are introverts, yet they can be on a stage in front of more than two hundred people. That’s because being in theater gives you an inexplicable energy that only be explained through experience. The rush of being in a production, whether you’re onstage, offstage, or backstage, is unique to every person. It’s a feeling worth discovering for your own.
Being in a show can be extremely hard, no matter what role or task you’re given. Stress is something we all experience, but that’s mostly just because we’re a bunch of drama kings and queens. There are times we just get worked up over absolutely nothing. But once the show is over, all that anxiety evolves into immense relief, gratitude, and pride. Being involved in a theater production is unlike anything you could ever experience. It’s something that I have cherished for years, and I encourage others to do it as well. Ease into it. Start by attending a show or two and get a sense of the environment. The Factory Theatre has events going on all throughout the semester! Take time to fully revel in the experience. You’ll be surprised by what you might find.