The Golden Rule(s) of Theatre
Happy #TheatreThursday my lovely readers 🎭
While I was in school, we often talked about the three golden rules of the theatre. It was said that if you posses at least two of these three qualities, you will never struggle to find work. However, I strive (and encourage everyone to strive) to try to always follow all three of these rules. Because why not strive to be the best you can be?
So what are these three golden rules of theatre that I speak of? They are listed below in order of importance (based on my opinion- would love to hear if you agree with me, but especially if you disagree)
1. Be good.
This may seem like it's the most important factor when it comes to booking a job. But honestly, I am of the opinion it's not. Obviously, you have to be qualified to do the job. A company is most likely not going to hire you to be a master electrician if you have never touched a light before. However, I would argue 9 times out of 10, companies will hire someone who may have less experience but who is positive and willing to learn, over the more qualified candidate.
2. Be on time.
This should go with out saying, but if you are constantly late to rehearsal or half-hour, it is going to leave a sour taste in everybody's mouth. Now sometimes things happen that are unavoidable. But that should be a RARE OCCASION and only be a once in a blue moon situation. Everybody in theatre is super busy and does a million other things and managed to get there on time. So show that you care about the project/show and be there ready to work when it is time to go. As a stage manager and generally type-A person I'm of the following opinion:
Early is on-time, on-time is late, and late is unacceptable.
3. Be kind.
This is hands down the most important rule in theatre. No matter how much you may hate your job or how much you dislike a co-worker, you must always always be kind. Now I'm not saying you have to be a suck up and pretend to like everyone. Because that is called being fake, and nobody likes that my friends. But it's like the golden rule in life:
If you do not have anything nice to say, don't say it at all.
The theatre world is so (so so so) small. Everyone knows everyone and it will get back to future employers that you are a jerk. We spend so much time with each other in theatre and nobody wants to work with negative, energy-sucking people. No matter how talented you are.
While I always try to remember these three golden rules, sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of them in times of stress and frustration. However, in times of stress I like to always take a step back and focus on these three rules and how I can get better at achieving each one.
Now that I think back, I remember first hearing these ideals on the tour of the theatre building on my second (more on that another time) interview day. I am so lucky to have found a theatre program full of professors that wanted to make good people and not just good artists. I thank my lucky stars each and every day for JMU's Theatre and Dance Department for many reasons, but mostly for instilling these values early on in my career.
Much love always,