Five things the musical has taught me

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Meredith VanSkiver

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Five things the musical has taught me

In the early days of a seemingly lack-luster December, I made the decision to try out for the spring musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I had been vacillating between whether or not I would even try; I didn’t even select the sheet music for my audition until 11:30 pm the night before.

This very much not premeditated decision was one of the most impactful choices I made in high school. I was taught countless lessons and discovered things that I trust will stay with me for a very long time. So, here are five things that I learned from joining the musical.

1) Confidence

Perhaps the most predictable lesson on this list is having confidence. However, those who know me will understand that I was already a fairly confident person. I’m not one to care all that much about what people think of me. Confidence was already a part of my character, or so I thought. Being on stage revealed that what I thought of confidence was only the tip of the iceberg that went much deeper into the sea.

While being on stage, in front of a teeming crowd, you don’t have the liberty to be yourself. You’re playing a character. That requires a whole new level of confidence that I am very grateful for.

2) Gratitude

The cast of the show was incredibly talented and was composed of 35 other individuals, all of whom I love very dearly. I am so incredibly honored to count myself among their ranks. However, I also recognize the fact that many who tried out for the show did not make the cut. I am completely humbled by the fact that I did make it into the show, and I consider myself eternally grateful because of this.

3) Time Management

I often had rehearsal. The closer and closer the days ticked to opening night, the more frequent the rehearsals became. Every day of the week. Seven-hour rehearsals. AP classes. Writing for TCT.  Maintaining a social life. My normal schedule can sometimes feel like a lot to keep up with, and the added process of Joseph only gave me more to balance. But, I think that the show gave me a better opportunity to practice and get better at my time management skills.

4) Friendship skills

There were definitely people in the cast and in the crew that I had never met or that I knew of but had never talked to before. Spending such a prolonged amount of time with these people gave me so many opportunities to start conversations with new people and find common interests between us. It has been such a blessing; Not only am I more prepared to interact and form friendships with new people, but I have also gained so many wonderful, new friends that I am blessed to have in my life.

5) Responsibility

This trait is one that I think many possess, but the way it was applied to the world of theater was very different from anything that I have ever experienced before. The artistic director of the show was telling us a story of how he had read a newspaper that highlighted an elderly couple, one of the two being in the late stages of hospice care, spending one of their final dates seeing a musical. He then told the entire cast that you never know exactly who is in the audience, and that it was our responsibility to put on the best show we could.

This is something that really stuck with me. I had the opportunity to play a part in people’s lives, no matter how small or large that role may be. It brought a whole new dimension to my outlook on theater and life in general. I have since thought about how it is always our responsibility to help others, even if we don’t know exactly how we are helping them.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has shifted my viewpoint in many ways. I am incredibly grateful for it. Though I am quite sad that the show is over, I know that the lessons I have learned will stay with me long past today.

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