What you really learn in drama class

I went to an arts school for drama. Everyday for four years I went to drama class and spent 74 minutes with the most interesting group of people I have ever met. You’d assume I left highschool with a deep understanding of the dramatic arts and the ability to act my way through any situation. Not exactly. The things I took away for the drama program are not what you’d expect, or even what I would have expected 5 years ago when I was just a terrified young niner. This is what you really learn in drama class.

Tolerance

There are many types of people in this world and each one of them, like the Arthur theme song says ‘ everybody has an original point of view’. Those words never rang more true in drama class. Sitting in alpha circle having one of our deep conversations about the afterlife, having people scream at each other, leaving someone, inevitably, in tears at the end, not only makes you more open to other people’s view points, but bonded us in strange and mysterious ways. Don’t agree with someone? Too bad. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The sooner you learn that the better.

Shit happens.

You will forget your lines. You will miss your cues. Your togas will fall off mid performance leaving your entire group tripping over eachother. You will attempt an “interpretive dance” and fail miserably. All of that is ok. Yeah it sucks in the moment and all you may want to do is crawl under a rock, but it the grand scheme of things, it is irrelevant. Years later you really will look back and laugh. I promise.

Show nights are always the best, not matter how rough the road there was.

There is nothing more satisfying in my opinion then show day. The feeling you get knowing you actually accomplished something will never get old. At the end of the day, the long rehearsals, arguments over junior drama night themes and forgotten lines don’t matter. All that matters is that applause and the feeling a job well done, or at least a mediocre job well done.

Life’s tough, get a helmet.

In this world, people are going to tell you no. They will reject you and tear you apart and make you feel like you are two feet tall. Learning to take criticism and handle rejection is an art. Every part in the play I didn’t get, every time my performance was picked apart by a classmate, only made me stronger. In this world, chances are you’ll going to hear a million no’s before finally hearing that one yes.

Drama class holds some of my fondest high school memories. It is the place I met some of my best friends, a place where I laughed until my face hurt and screamed at the top of my lungs; it was the place I called home for four years. I didn’t come out of drama class an oscar winning actress, or even a decent one to be honest, but I did leave a better person.

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