10 things performers will always have to explain to their non-theatre friends

1. Yes, I have rehearsal again this week. And next week. And the week after that.

Completely breaking the perception that shows just magically come together on the night, some people are often astounded at just how often rehearsals are held. You still train with your sports team every week, don’t you? Yep, same story here, buddy.

2. Post-show depression/sickness

It’s a simple equation. You devote two to three nights/afternoons a week to rehearsals for a number of months (totalling around 10 hours per week) and then spend a few weeks for sitzprobe, tech, dress rehearsals and performances. Most people also fit this in around full time work, uni or school. There’s a fair degree of adrenaline fuelling you by the end and when this all ends abruptly on closing night, the subsequent let-down often has some serious symptoms. Namely: crying, obsessively Facebook-spamming fellow cast members and falling in a heap of self-inflicted flu.


3. Quick bonding with cast members

See above. Go through that whole process with the same group of people and it’s no surprise you get to know each other quickly. “But you’ve only known them a few months!” “Yes Mum, and I spend more time with them than I do with some of my relatives.”

HUGS by RayMorris1, Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

4. No, the romantic leads aren’t going out ‘in real life’.

Not always, at least.

5. No, I can’t sing Wicked for my audition

While we appreciate your efforts to engage with our choice of pastime, there are some feats that should not be attempted in the audition room. Defying Gravity is one of them.

6. No, I don’t want to audition for X factor

Some may, but not all theatre people are looking for their reality TV ‘break’. Somehow I don’t think Team Redfoo would be too impressed by showtunes.

7. Yes, we share dressing rooms. No, it’s not weird.

‘Nuff said.

dressing room

8. Sitzprobe is not a dirty word

We’ve all been there: you tell someone you have sitzprobe on the weekend and they look at you like you’ve sworn at them. Explaining that it’s a German term referring to the first rehearsal or ‘sing-through’ with the full band generally doesn’t inspire the same excitement in non-theatre friends as it does in those who’ve been through it themselves.

9. No, it’s not ‘like on Glee’

Love it or loathe it, Glee has become a lot of people’s go-to reference for musicals. People just start singing in the middle of conversations, right? Like on Glee?

Yes. But we do it live.

10. Movie musicals are not the epitome of musical theatre talent

Two words: Amanda Seyfried.



Over to you, theatre peeps. What have I missed?


Image credits:

LDC_0546 by Duke Lin, Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
sad eyes by Hannah k, Licensed under CC BY 2.0
HUGS by RayMorris1, Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Backstage – Isabela Capeto by André Batista, Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
DSC_0069.jpg by Andreas Lupp, Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0



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