Six Real-Life Lessons Theatre Can Teach You

We are excited to be sharing today's guest post from Wavestage company member Emily Powell. Emily has been seen performing in Wavestage productions such as Legally Blonde, Guys and Dolls, Follies, Peter Pan and most recently, The Wizard of Oz (January 2016). Read on to see her picks for the six real-life lessons you'll learn by participating in theatre!

Being a part of the theatre is tons of fun! However, whether you’re cast or crew, there is no denying that there are plenty of lessons we learn in the theatre that can apply to our real lives!  

1. The Audition: Tackling Nerves

An audition is very much like a job interview. Someone is on the other side of a table judging you. Judging your every move. “Oh no. Is my hair a mess? I forgot to put on deodorant. I totally forgot to put on deodorant!”

Don’t let your nerves get the best of you!  You just have to give yourself a pep talk before heading in. “Okay. I can do this! If I forget the words to my song, breaking out in interpretive dance is always a safe bet!” Some things in life are scary, but confidence is always key in any situation!

Legally Blonde The Musical  (2014)

Legally Blonde The Musical (2014)

2. Set Building: Learning New Skills

Sets don’t build themselves. Cast and crew must band together to make fantastic sets to go alongside their equally fantastic performances! But, what If you’ve never held a drill? Fake it ‘till you make it, baby! Take advantage of this opportunity to learn something now. Hover around people and talk the talk. “Can you pass me that, uh, um, that spirally, thing? Oh, right! A screw.” Learning new skills in all areas of your life will get you far! 

3. The Ensemble: Taking on Different RESPONSIBILITIES

Being a part of the ensemble in any show is tons of fun. More often than not, ensemble players get to play many different roles! Just remember which one comes first. “Alright, time to make my debut as a poppy! Wait, no! That comes after I’m a Winkie, but before I’m a jitterbug! Right? Right?! Who has my script!?” We all play many different roles in life: friend, mother, sister. Sometimes things can get a little crazy, but if your organized in life like you are in theatre, things will go a lot more smoothly! 

The Wizard of Oz  (2016)

The Wizard of Oz (2016)

4. Harmonies: Finding Your Place

If you have been blessed with an alto voice like I have, you will often be singing harmonies! Harmonies sound beautiful when they are sung correctly, but when they’re not, it’s a different story! “Okay Emily, don’t sing the melody, don’t sing the melody, don’t sing the – dang it!” Don’t be hard on yourself! Like anything in life, practice makes perfect. Finding your place in the world, both literally in figuratively, can be a little overwhelming. But when you do find your place, things work together beautifully!

5. The Jargon: Asking Questions

There are plenty of theatre terms that take some getting used to! “Upstage? That’s forward right? No wait, backwards? Stage right? Is that the same as ‘regular’ right?” There a plenty of things in life that take some getting used to; a new job, new friends, a new school. Just hang in there and ask for help when you need it! Asking questions and taking corrections will help you excel in the long run! 

Guys and Dolls  (2014)

Guys and Dolls (2014)

6. There's No People Like Show People!

One of the best things about theatre, hands down, are the people you meet! Like-minded individuals who work together to make something beautiful. Expanding your horizons and meeting all kinds of different people will make your life so much richer.

Take chances, seize opportunities and perform your heart out!



Emily is a fine arts lover from Markham. She is currently a a student of Creative Advertising at Seneca College and has a Film Production and Screenwriting BFA from York University. Emily loves to sing, dance and act whenever she can. She is so happy to be a part of the Wavestage Family!

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