1. The messiness of the counters in the dressing room have nothing to do with the overall cleanliness of the cast and crew. During showtime, it just becomes an explosion of stage makeup, hairspray cans, and shopping bags from the emergency runs for bobby pins.
2. You will be finding bobby pins everywhere, every day, for the rest of your life.
3. The moment before the cast decisions are posted is the longest, most painful, Hunger Games-like moment that life can offer. You are basically ready to kill someone if their name shows up next to the part you wanted.
4. At most theaters, there is at least one “relative of [insert either director, board member, or important investor here],” and you are just going to have to accept that they get a lot of roles they objectively should not be getting.
5. Everyone knows when someone got new head shots done, because they post the 72 best outtakes on their Facebook page one by one, and then make the most flattering one their profile picture.
6. Head shots are a Facebook “like” collection system.
7. Techies are your best friends, the key to your eventual success or failure, and not to be treated like your personal maids/moving services. If you upset them, they will remember, and it will not be pretty.
8. Getting your costume fitted is never a pleasant experience, and you will be stuck with about a thousand pins in the process of getting a shirt resized, but you just stand there and take it like the stoic thespian that you are.
9. There are always the one or two arteests who cannot be bothered to enjoy musicals because they are too “commercial,” and will somewhat look down on you for doing them exclusively/in addition to straight plays.
10. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are also the Musical Theatre Kids™ who go about their lives with that permanent gummy smile and are liable to break into song at random times (much to the chagrin of everyone unlucky enough to be around them at that moment).
11. You will yell lines from the play you’re currently doing to one another, and see nothing weird about it.
12. Two cast members (and rarely a techie or so) will be making out backstage nearly at all times, and it’s never the couple you want to see making out.
13. You will come to know what an ingenue is, and hate the entire concept with a fiery passion.
14. There are certain parents, and everyone knows who they are, that need to be banned from ever getting within 100 yards of a theater, because they are ruining the institution itself with their overbearing insanity.
15. You go to your friends’ shows, and they come out to yours. That’s just the way it works, and you can’t break the chain.
16. A personal shout out in a good review is one of the best feelings you can have, and you will all tear the newspaper out of each other’s hands trying to see if you were mentioned.
17. There are whole sections of your social media that are strictly “Theatre people,” and it’s a familiar stream of pictures from their latest show, calls for donations to their Kickstarters, and humblebrags about getting an off-Broadway/national commercial audition.
18. You have a deep love/hate relationship with Inside the Actor’s Studio.
19. You’ve already practiced most of your acceptance speeches/tell-all interviews with people such as Oprah or Barbara Walters.
20. There is at least one play that you love so much that you get semi-mad when other people love it, too, because you secretly imagine that they can’t get it the same way you can.
21. You have an insane collection of playbills in your house, and you’re not exactly sure what you’re going to do with them.
22. Everyone knows that one actor who needs to “get into character” to play waiter #2 whose one line is asking if the lead wants a refill on their drink. Ok, Daniel Day-Lewis.
23. There are certain directors whose notes you look forward to from the first table reading, and certain ones whose notes make everyone want to cringe right into their chair. (And some who give you 50 pages of direction for two lines of dialogue and you’re just like, okay, I will keep this in mind.)
24. There might be arguments here and there, or hurt feelings over parts, but the real friends you make in theatre are the kind that last for years and support you through an endless amount of projects. Even if you may never do a show together again, you always keep out the hope that you might, because you never know when your next role is right around the corner.