Although the bright lights, days-old mic tape stains and mothball-smelling costumes may entice some to the theatre, for the rest of us there’s the people who make the whole process worthwhile.
How many friends have you found in your theatre travels so far?
The Techie Friend
Dressed head to toe in black with sensible, hard-wearing boots your techie friend will always have your back. Whether it’s glow tape you need to avoid falling down the stairs backstage or liquid nails for your deteriorating chorus shoes, you can always rely on this friend to help you with any sticky situation. Not only that, they can usually be relied upon for sarcastic one-liners when you need a pick-me-up in tech week.
The Mum Friend
This friend can be either a real mother to actual children or in other cases just someone who loves to nurture the people around them. You probably call them “Mum” and run to their make-up kit when you’re in need of safety pins, scissors or ibuprofen. This friend can usually be found caring for cast members with a tendency to over-indulge at cast parties.
The Horse of a Different Colour
The Shrinking Violet, the Gay Best Friend, the Shark to your Jet. The theatre is such a safe and diverse space you’re bound to make beautiful connections with people of backgrounds different to your own. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll learn so much about the lives of others. This will make you a better actor, but most importantly, it will see you strive to be a more inclusive and respectful member of society.
The Named Group
Sometimes, usually due to social anxiety, you attach yourself to a small group of people in the cast and a clique forms from out of nowhere. The Four Flautists of the Apocalypse, Team Awesome Extreme, The Mean Girls. These names give you notoriety among the cast, people somehow fear and admire you. But you all know there’s really no logical reason for it, you’re just a bunch of awkward theatre geeks like everyone else.
A close friendship that advances in the intense whirlwind that is the rehearsal period. Sometimes the showmance works out for the best, but more often than not the passion burns fierce and fast leading to some awkward interactions. Take heart though, some of these situations can be resolved by a good D&M (“deep and meaningful” conversation) at the closing night cast party. You’ll be back on track with your wholesome friendship in no time.
(Sidebar: Can you tell we like High School Musical?)
The Real-Life Friends
Every now and then you make connections that last beyond the theatre. These are the 3am phone calls to London when you go through a break up, your future bridesmaids, the Godparents to any potential children. You daydream about all of this and more because you’re growing up together, finding yourselves and making mistakes along the way. These are the friends you cannot live without and while the thrill of applause and the glory of stardom might be the reason you chose to pursue a life on the stage, the relationships you make will be the reason you keep showing up even when times get tough.
Julianne has performed in over 50 productions in a wide range of styles from children’s theatre to Burlesque and almost everything in between. She completed a Bachelor of Music Theatre at Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2003. Since then Julianne has performed in many shows both in Australia and overseas.