Column: Why you should do Theatre
Written by Nicolas Fierro on October 3, 2023
Nicolas Fierro / Staff Writer
Less than a year ago, I was in disbelief to the point where I told myself, “wow this is actually happening.” I was about to act in front of a live audience for the first time in my life. Moments before stepping out on stage for “The Gift of the Magi” premiere I never would have imagined to be ever be apart of a theatrical performance, but I am grateful that I did so and I encourage you to do the same. Theatre has taught me some things I did not expect to learn from. These are the things I learned:
First, being able to relate to the character by empathizing and gaining the perspective of who I am portraying. Next, my public speaking skills improved. Finally, I learned about the importance of collaboration with all departments to accomplish a great performance.
When you are casted a role in a play, your job is to understand the character that you were assigned. This is important because you are not acting as yourself anymore, you are becoming someone that you are not and this can be challenging. If you act as yourself on stage, the character you are playing is not going to be present because the story does not evolve around you, but your character.
Once you have understood the premise of your character, it becomes easier to act on stage and your perspective changes as well. These characters are real people. You start to personalize the character within yourself and empathize with whatever the character is going through in the story. Putting yourself into the shoes of that character will help you understand other people around the world as well. You will become more patient, selfless. humbled and aware once you have experienced that character of your own.
Public speaking is the greatest fear in the world, but guess what you can overcome this great fear. This fear is common and not everyone can overcome it. People would rather die, than to speak in front of a live audience and that baffles me. We are made to overcome, not to cave into the world’s fears and I would be lying to you if I said I have no fears. Public speaking was a fear of mine, but I learned to overcome it through theatre. I learned to be confident on stage by getting past the fear of judgement. People are always going to say something, whether it is good or bad and when you accept that reality, you can accomplish insurmountable things. You learn to embrace and accept whatever comes at you and the fear of public speaking will vanish.
Once, you get past that fear your pronunciation and conversational skills actually improve as well. Remember the audience is trying to listen to what you are saying, so speak at a pace where they can understand you.
The aspect I find significant about theatre is the collaboration it takes to produce the best performance. Without the help and contribution of the director, stage manager, props manager/designer, costume designer, playwright, intimacy coordinator, set designer/manager, producer and so forth, the play would happen. Although the actors may receive all the praise, the credit goes to all the departments behind the curtain as well. These departments are at hand with what actually happens in the play, the actors are just simply the instrument that puts out the performance. Theatre is a team that needs collaboration and demands everyone’s best. I learned you cannot do anything alone.
That night of “The Gift of the Magi”, was a performance I put on that would not have happened with the help and guidance of others. Theatre has changed my life, and it could do the same for you.
Nicolas Fierro is an El Paso Senior majoring in Communications.