The worn wooden floor, the bright lights shining down on you, the smell of hairspray, and the crackle of the microphones being turned on. Sights and sounds ingrained in our minds (and hearts) forever. Calling every high school thespian out there, here are 20 signs you lived on the stage in high school.
1. You call the people you perform with your “family”
You spend long hours sitting together, talking, laughing, singing, and complaining to each other. It’s only natural to start treating your cast mates as your brothers and sisters! The occasional slip up in calling your director “dad” (or by his first name) is surprisingly forgivable.
2. Your theater family knows more about you than your actual family
They know about the major test you had last class, and the presentation you nailed. They know about the 99.9/100 your teacher gave you on your final paper, and they know the trouble you’ve been having trying to hit that high note in the Act 1 finale number. Your actual family knows that your day was “fine.”
3. “Hell Week”? More like Hell Month.
“Hell week” is a theater term that describes the worst week of performers, stage crew members, and orchestra members’ lives. It’s the week when everyone comes together and tries to put the show together. Practices are usually 3 hours long, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The amount of coffee cups in the trash can would make your eyes pop out of your head. There’s an unmeasurable lack of sleep during this week, the week before the curtain officially opens. Sure, the first time you partake in these long rehearsals is really cool! But then you realize you still have 2 hours of homework left to do, plus study, and shower. Time management is a thing, ladies and gentlemen.
4. You have a crush on the leading man
Okay, ladies, we’ve all had this happen to us at least once in our 4 years of high school. The men on stage are confident in themselves, eager to help, and look incredible with eyeliner and concealer on. You two meet, share a laugh, and BOOM – you’re crushing. Only problem? A day later you find out he’s gay. You may be distraught, but stay hopeful – you might get cast as his leading lady!
5. You freeze anytime a snip of a show tune comes on the radio
Hearing show tunes on the radio can be terrifying or exciting, depending on your feelings about the show, so here are some ways to deal if you’re terrified. If you’re at a restaurant: drop the utensils and run. Just run. If you’re driving, stop the car. If you’re exercising, change the station. Quickly. Just breathe: Pocketful of Sunshine is next on your playlist!
6. Show tunes begin to relate to your life in ways you never knew existed
Interning or working in New York? “I’m the King of New York” is a great mood booster! Accepting a breakup? “I’m Still Hurting” is a good one to cry over. Nothing seems to be going your way? “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life” is right for you! Getting over someone? “Forget About the Boy” is such a jam. Do you see what I mean? Broadway can be your best friend.
7. You fall asleep running dance routines in your head
Just running them on stage is exhausting enough! Now you’re losing sleep because you keep waking up, tangled and unable to breathe. Students invest in some heavy duty sheets and comforters. You never know how high your high kicks can be when you’re in REM sleep!
8. You hear the sound of tap shoes in your sleep
You also hear the sound of your director’s voice, yelling from a distance. AND A 5, A 6, A 5, 6, 7, 8!
9. You find mic tape residue on the back of your neck for weeks after a show ends
This is probably one of the most frustrating things about being mic’d on stage (and one of the most hurtful if it gets into your hair.) The mic tape never actually totally comes off. Everyone asks you if you have dirt on the back of your neck, which makes you feel really insecure because they’re basically asking you if you’re a clean human being- and you can’t answer “DUH!” without sounding mean. So, you just have to accept the fact that it will never come off- no matter how much soap, makeup remover, or even rubbing alcohol you use.
10. You have to train yourself to stop putting on stage makeup for weeks after the show ends
Stage makeup is really intense- it’s multiple shades darker than your actual skin tone. False eyelashes and bright red lipstick are necessities. If you go out after the show, people will ask you: Do you really need that much eyeliner? Hold your tan face and red lips high and say Yes. Yes, I do.
11. The guy at Dunkin Donuts already has your order ready
Your usual barista has it and your name memorized, and always gives you service with a smile! How sweet is he? He must know you’re in a rush.
12. You reach Gold Status on the Starbucks app within a month
Because sometimes Dunkin just isn’t enough, and you need more than just sugar and an extra shot of espresso to get you going.
13. The week the show is announced and the week the cast list comes out are the weeks you go through 5 tissue boxes
You might never have known about anxiety beforehand, or that you had it, but waiting for the cast list to be posted is like sitting on pins and needles. Once it comes out is when your fake smile usually appears. Be happy for your friend who got the lead and cry in your room about being cast as a tree.
14. The infamous Cast Party.
The seniors have their pre-party while the freshmen sit in a circle in a corner playing heads up. Need I say more?
15. Your memories of freshman year are from the back row
There are no small parts, only small actors. The back row is a great, safe spot to be, especially if you’re a lowly freshman. Always remember: Swaying in the background makes all the difference, and your fingers have to be outstretched in order for the hands to truly be counted as jazz hands. Never fear my dears, no matter where you are, your mom will always be your biggest fan.
16. Your shoe closet inventory consists of Capezio and Bloch
When it comes to character shoes, the biggest question you’re going to face is what style to get. We all know that T-Straps are the best.
17. You have accepted the fact that you will never get rid of your blisters, and yes, that they are going to pop no matter what shoes you put on
It’s the same 4 blisters every time, in the same spots. Give up the flip flop idea, no one wants to see bleeding blisters. And forget about a pedicure! Your poor toes will always be broken, and your ankles might be a little swollen sometimes… but that’s okay because #dancerprobs
18. You start betting on how many people will sing those basic audition songs right after you pick your own song
Audition season is now upon us ladies and gents, so that means it’s time to pick audition songs. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not pick songs from Hamilton, Wicked, or Les Mis… because no matter what you say, the songs don’t only pertain to you. Remember that our is pronounced HOUR, and good luck picking your 16-32 measures!
19. You feel the crippling darkness of self-doubt, wondering whether or not you could have made it big time, as you sit in your low- level management office at age 36
Because anything is better than typing more numbers into spreadsheets
20. You see videos of yourself from freshman year and realize you couldn’t.
Better luck in your next life, kid.
Can you relate to these signs you lived on the stage in high school?! Share in the comments below!
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own!
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