back to top

22 Secrets Musical Theatre Actors Will Never Tell You

No, I can't go for a drink. I've got a temp job to get to in the morning.

Posted on

1. We never know what day of the week it is.

northbrookpl.tumblr.com

We just know if it's a one-show day, a two-show day, an audition day, or a long-awaited day off.

2. In between scenes, we’re not going over lines or practising dance moves.

Gossip Girl / redqueenscreamsforicecream.tumblr.com / Via giphy.com

We're just eating Haribo, putting more make-up on, and playing Candy Crush.

3. That hot leading man you’re swooning over? Probably gay.

Via giphy.com

And if he is straight, he's almost certainly in a love hexagon with half of the ensemble. Yet still, we wait.

4. Backstage can be a cold, lonely place...

5. ...but we're experts at turning Soviet-style dressing rooms into the cosiest corners EVER.

Opening night flowers and good luck cards always help.
Sarah McNicholas / BuzzFeed

Opening night flowers and good luck cards always help.

6. Everyone we work with has seen us quick-changing in our underwear.

And that's before we even mention posing for the West End Bares charity calendar.
The Commitments / Via Twitter: @thecommitments

And that's before we even mention posing for the West End Bares charity calendar.

7. We get really bad post-show blues.

ericazach.tumblr.com

Even one day away from the bright lights of the theatre can leave us feeling kind of ill.

8. We’re ever hopeful that every missed call is someone trying to offer us a job.

It rarely is.
Channel 4 / Via unitedagents.co.uk

It rarely is.

9. We dream of the day we're important enough to have two small plastic microphones coming out of our forehead.

Once we've got a double mic pack, we know we've made it.
Gina Beck / Via Twitter: @Gina_Beck

Once we've got a double mic pack, we know we've made it.

10. That little black-and-white photo in the programme is way more than a casual selfie.

Actually, it's the result of a three-month scientific analysis of our casting bracket, 48 hours shopping for tops, two hours posing in a cold studio, and one week sifting through 352 thumbnail options.
englishrosefrommanchester.com

Actually, it's the result of a three-month scientific analysis of our casting bracket, 48 hours shopping for tops, two hours posing in a cold studio, and one week sifting through 352 thumbnail options.

11. Sometimes we go to the gym and just sit in the steam room for an hour.

The steam helps stop our voices from drying out. But we'll probably still tweet to say we've had the best workout ever.
Flickr: mattimattila

The steam helps stop our voices from drying out. But we'll probably still tweet to say we've had the best workout ever.

12. If our backstage track is disrupted, we freak out.

princess-briar-rose-x.tumblr.com

If we don’t pass the exact same person at the exact same time in the exact same place every time we do the show, our control freak sensibilities will kick in and we’ll think something bad is going to happen.

13. Everyone looks like they love one another on stage, but behind the scenes it's a different story.

I mean, sometimes we really do. But that's not a guarantee.
NBC / Via neontommy.com

I mean, sometimes we really do. But that's not a guarantee.

14. Whenever we do our tax returns, we realise we make more money from teaching and temping than acting.

Paramount Pictures / Via hijacked.com.au

But don't ask us if this means we're giving up. It doesn't.

15. When you are surreptitiously texting in a dark theatre, we can see you.

And we hate you.
broadwaybaby.com / Via broadwaybaby.com

And we hate you.

16. We've been known to say our lines really fast to shave 13 vital minutes off a show.

Via giphy.com

If a cast, band, or crew member has a hot date and needs to get out a few minutes early, we'll do our best to get them there.

17. Thursday is the best night to see a musical.

Via giphy.com

Saturday night tickets are always most in demand, but by the time we've done eight shows, we're knackered. We have much more energy on a Thursday.

18. We do roughly nine auditions over three months to get one job.

And the waiting game is the hardest part.
Michael Harlan / Via achoruslinelondon.com

And the waiting game is the hardest part.

19. We dream of being thrown on for the lead at a moment's notice.

Of course we pretend to be perfectly happy with our current role. And we don't want anyone to hurt themselves. But if they do, we want to save the day even if we've had no rehearsal. Because that's showbiz.
42nd Street

Of course we pretend to be perfectly happy with our current role. And we don't want anyone to hurt themselves. But if they do, we want to save the day even if we've had no rehearsal. Because that's showbiz.

20. We're definitely not vain, but we never ever tire of talking about The Business.

Via sharegif.com

And ourselves. And how we're doing within The Business.

21. But sometimes we take a costume selfie and wonder, What am I doing with my life?

Especially if we're not playing a human.
Amy Bird / BuzzFeed / Via Twitter: @DiscoBirdy

Especially if we're not playing a human.

22. But every time the phone rings with a job offer, the feelings of elation flood back.

We're so happy we could burst! All our insecurities melt away and we can't wait to hit Twitter to start bragging about rehearsals. #Blessed.
Johan Persson / Via legallyblondethemusical.co.uk

We're so happy we could burst! All our insecurities melt away and we can't wait to hit Twitter to start bragging about rehearsals. #Blessed.