1. It improves your public speaking skills.
Forcing yourself to speak in front of people will help you get better at it! Volume, enunciation, pitch, inflection – they come in handy in a professional setting. And it can teach you how to recover when you’ve screwed up.
2. You learn the value of teamwork.
In school they try to teach this skill with group projects, but it isn’t nearly as effective. In theater, you learn to compromise and collaborate with many different kinds of people, or there’s no show. Theater people know — every individual is valuable, not just the stars.
3. It teaches you empathy.
Studying a character in-depth over the months it takes to put on a show is a unique experience you don’t usually have the time to explore. When you immerse yourself in a story the way you do in theater, you walk away with a deeper understanding of people who can be very different from you.
4. You become a master of stress management.
If you can learn how to put on a great show when seemingly everything goes wrong, you’ll be able to handle any college all-nighter or insane work presentation. You’ll be way more collected because you already know the payoff is worth the stress.
5. You’ll gain confidence.
The theater environment is unique in that it supports and encourages participants to be weird and try new things, even if you make a fool of yourself. Learning to shed your ego is a skill few people are willing to commit to in the real world. You will find more success when you are conditioned to embarrass yourself a little to find it.
6. But you’ll also learn some humility.
There often isn’t time for sugarcoating in theater. The spirit of theater is supportive, but you better believe you will get some honest, critical feedback that you must meet with an open mind. You’ll learn how to have your weaknesses pointed out to you and how to work on them without taking it personally.
7. It teaches you how to deal with rejection.
Anyone who hasn’t gotten the part they wanted in a play knows the feeling of heartbreak. Being an adult is also full of ups and downs – you may not always get that dream job or apartment. But when you’ve learned how to bounce back, you already know that the next big thing is out there waiting for you.
8. You’ll know how to work on a deadline.
In school there are make-up tests and project extensions, but in theater the show must always go on, whether or not you’re ready. Being in a play teaches you (forces you, actually) to find creative ways of meeting your deadline and coming up with effective shortcuts in your work.
9. It is a surefire way of gaining reading skills.
The great thing about theater is that one piece of text can be interpreted in infinite ways. You will find new ways to approach analysis because you get to act it out instead of just reading it at a desk. Not to mention, there’s nothing like “have this memorized by next week” that will force you to improve your reading skills fast.
10. You’ll gain a higher appreciation of the written (and spoken) word.
Theater has informed culture all over the world throughout history. Studying it exposes you to many great works of literature and ideas you may not otherwise encounter. Even if you don’t end up pursuing it for the rest of your life, there are few directions in life you can take that haven’t been influenced by the artform.
11. It makes you more charismatic.
Rehearsing lines and conversational speech (and watching your peers do it) can benefit the way you socialize. But besides just acting, much of working in theater is about communication. So many people need to work together for such a massive project, that you’ll be forced to master those skills in order for it to work.
12. Your memorization skills will be on point.
It’s a lot more than just remembering words and lighting cues. The memorization tricks you teach yourself, and the way you learn to multitask on stage can inform the ways you study, work, and organize your mind later on in life.
13. It gets you in the habit of staying physically active.
For a lot of kids who aren’t drawn to the sports scene, it can be hard to find a good outlet for physical activity. But whether it’s dance choreography, building sets, or changing scenery, theater is very physically demanding. The difference is that you’re having so much fun, you don’t notice how you’re staying in shape.
14. It teaches you some real-world professionalism.
For many kids, theater is their first exposure to behaving professionally. You have to make a good impression, show enthusiasm, work hard, compromise, keep your emotions in check, support your peers, and treat your superiors with respect. All skills you have to master if you want to be taken seriously in your professional life.
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