Why Being a Theater Kid Helps Your Career

In the professional world, many people want to obtain as many skills as possible to stand out against competition for potential employers. They may study whatever certificate is most demanded or take a workshop to learn new methods of design. However, there is one secret that aids many people that others aren’t aware of: theatre.


In the coming months I will graduate, and I find myself reflecting on what skills I gained from theater that aided me in my college career.


1. Public Speaking


This might be a no-brainer, but theater has helped me quell my fear of public speaking. Giving class presentations and pitching ideas as an advertising major has become much easier thanks to theatre. I know what it’s like to speak to a crowd in a way that will elicit a response. I’m no longer afraid to make a fool of myself—I’ve done many silly things in high school theatre, like speaking in ridiculous British accents or pretending to be a tap-dancing cruiser. Anything after that is a breeze.


2. Working with Others and Intense Schedules


Theatre requires you to spend a lot of time working with others throughout the year. Outside of class projects, there are many competitions in the fall that come with plenty of rehearsal time. That doesn’t even include the time you spend during the spring musicals as well. I could say aside from lunch and class, I spent an additional three hours a day with my classmates—sometimes even on weekends. 


Every spring, we gave up a portion of our break to work on the spring musical. So to say I know how to collaborate with others is an understatement—especially when we were all so loud and vocal about our ideas. My skills from theatre have supported me in many different group projects in college, especially in my advertising creativity courses. It made me more confident in taking on leadership positions with my extracurriculars as well. Working so many hours outside of school prepared me for the intense lifestyle that comes with being a college student with a demanding workload.


3. Being Professional


While it may sound surprising that you can gain professional experience in a world of sparkly costumes, everything executed in theatre is expected to be top tier. The aim was always to be as close to Broadway as we possibly could—to stand out against high school theatre troupes. We had ways to promote our shows by formally going to businesses and convincing them to let us hang posters for the show. Every dance routine or scene would be staged and adapted to maximum perfection. Everyone had sequences to follow and roles—without function, the whole production would collapse. Similar functions would be applied in competitions in front of judges to advance from district to statewide victors. Everything had to be perfect.


As a former theatre kid myself, I can say that I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if I had never taken high school theatre. Being in high school theatre helped me in already thinking ahead in college: to be able to speak well, work with others under time constraints, and be the best version I can be. 


In all seriousness, though, plenty of laughs and memories were along the way as well. With theatre shut down during the reign of the COVID-19 pandemic, this theater kid knows how many life experiences are currently being missed. Hopefully soon, we can return to the stage door—because there is no business without show business.