Ten things a theatre enthusiast must know before starting theatre

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If you are reading this, I am pretty sure that you are one of those people who wish to start a fulfilling career in theatre. This is a profession that requires you to be passionate and follow your heart, rather than slaving over any other routine job. However, if you think your dreams are going to come true, it is better you read these points before you embark on the journey.

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The Spotlight is not as easy and fun a place to be as you think it is

1. It doesn’t get glamorous on its own.

Yes, that’s right. You must be aware that delivering a performance is not something that just anybody can do. Performing in a theatre requires lot of practice and hard work. It doesn’t just get glamorous; you have to make it glamorous. And it’s not just acting, be it any kind of theatre art, such as dance, drama, music, you have to be the best among numerous other passionate souls like you, in order to move up on the ladder.

2. Looking for a good role? You have to earn it.

One doesn’t just land into a theatre as a lead performer. You have got to give many auditions and make a name for yourself before you are identified as a lead artist. Be ready for rejections, they will be your practice sessions. Moreover, even if you join a theatre group as an actor, you have to be prepared to give enough time till you reach a respectable position, as most of the famous theatre groups out there have been forged out of the flames of perseverance and other tribulations.

3. Being Versatile:

This one is specifically for actors. Want to increase your chances? Be versatile. Apart from acting and dancing, you have got to know how to be a little comic, serious, and enthusiastic, while you perform. You shouldn’t just be suited for one role, but have to be prepared to be able to fit into all of them.

4. Money:

It is hard to say that you’ll make some money in your first performance itself. Not a lot of people work in the theatre industry for money. If you can make it big, it will surely fetch you financial benefits, but if you are in it only for the dough, there are better options out there.

5. Volunteer:

To find the right inspiration, you may have to take up a profession which is way below your personally assumed level of talent. This could include becoming a spot-boy for a renowned theatre group, an extra in a local theatre, or even a stationary prop on stage like a tree! Being in such a position can be a huge learning experience and can even help you approach your career with the humility that is required for such an arduous journey.

6. Work Experience:

Even if you find yourself getting de-motivated after reading the above points, make sure you take the first step, which is work experience. This is where the real learning happens, where you have the time to start from the basics and understand your strengths and weaknesses. With every performance of yours, you will improve, learn from your mistakes and take another step towards making it big.

7. Agent:

It’s not necessary to have an agent, but it helps. Agents are people who watch your performance and then help you find work. Their job is to know where an audition is going on, to put your name up for audition and follow up with them later. They send your CV to people, negotiate your pay and for all this you will be charged a percentage of your earnings. Agents don’t charge upfront, so make sure no one fools you into believing that they’ll get you work only if you pay them upfront.

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Having a trainer can be powerful for your journey

8. Training:

Training is one of the key things you should pay attention to before pursuing a career in theatre. Having a trainer to guide you on the path that you are about to take can always be beneficial. Trainers know where you may go wrong and will also prepare you for the pitfalls. Throughout your journey, a trainer will be your guide, friend and parent.

9. Talk to your Parents:

A majority of talent is lost because parents and family are not supportive. If you think you can pursue a career in theatre, talk to your parents. Make them realize that this is one of your dreams and you will do what it takes to make it big. Parents are the ones who will support you in your pursuit.

10. This is Business:

Like any other industry, theatre is also an industry. You must know what the industry expects so that you can deliver the same. You have to learn the rules of game and walk through corruption and muck patiently, to score well in all the right places.