by DMR Student Hannah Z.
Do you love theater, but stage fright keeps you from owning the stage? You’ve acted before, and you want to try your hand at the light board or building sets, or maybe you just think acting is boring? Well, whatever the case, technical theater is a subject that anyone (yes, even you!) can get involved in. So, without further ado, here are ten reasons being a techie totally rocks!
1. Building a Community
If you thought the acting community was close, try being a techie! Techies are known to be some of the most loyal, creative friends out there. Working together to create the perfect dress or light scheme will bring any people on a team closer together and, while sometimes stressful, there’s no better community than the tech scene. If you’re trying to break into a theater community, tech has got to be the route for you. It’s almost hard not to connect when surrounded by such amazing, open-minded people.
2. Bringing the Show Together
There’s something truly magical about seeing a show come together, and being a huge part of it! Be it costumes, lighting, sound design, props, run crew, set, microphones, or anything else, there are so many options for you to choose from! Hone your skills with DMR Adventures this summer at one of the many tech camps and watch as the show transforms from a few people saying lines to a truly ethereal experience.
3. Extra-Curricular Experience
Having tech experience on your resume looks amazing for potential colleges and employers; especially in Charlottesville, there are tons of opportunities to flex your tech muscles with any of our local theaters. As the age of information progresses, colleges are getting pickier than ever. Nowadays, near-perfect grades aren't always enough! Having these extracurriculars on an application can be a complete game-changer.
4. Becoming a Valuable Asset
Knowing how to operate a sound board, light a stage, or just merely fix buttons can be invaluable to potential employers and community theaters. Often, theaters lack experienced techies and being one of those techies can make you a valuable asset. Depending on your level, some theaters will even pay you! Not to mention it’s fun work.
5. YLP Program
Once you’ve done a few camps at DMR, you can join the esteemed YLP (Youth Leadership Program). Depending on your age, you can apply for the program and become a Junior Intern or a YLP. Take it from a member of the executive board (me!), being a YLP is great. The community is so wholesome and our meetings are, in a word, riveting. From scavenger hunts (yes, that was the paper cutter) to spontaneous dance parties, the DMR Youth Leadership Program is the way to go.
6. Working with Kids
If you’re like me, working with kids can be a challenge at times. From dealing with difficult attitudes to the occasional batch of tears, knowing what to do in tough situations is definitely an acquired skill. Well, no better time to start learning than right now! Having the experience of working with kids can be a very valuable skill in the grand scheme of life. I can attest to this; when I first started working at DMR, I felt lost and overwhelmed by kids. Now, after having worked over ten shows in the short time I’ve been here, I feel like I actually know what I’m doing. I owe that to DMR.
Even if none of these reasons spoke to you, technical theater is such a valuable and amazing experience and it’s definitely worth trying. Feeling like you own the stage, even if you aren’t on it, is a great way to discover who you are and where your passions lie. Trying new things can, of course, be scary. But there’s no better place to truly be yourself and build lifelong bonds than theater, and regardless of whether you’re onstage or behind it, those values still carry.