To The Class Of 2018 – The Life Of A High School Theatre Nerd

High school can be tough.

Chris Colfer in his “laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart” novel, “Struck by Lightning” said it best:

[It’s] “Society’s bright idea to put all their aggressive, naive youth into one environment to torment and emotionally scar each other for life.”

Now do I think this is a bit of a stretch? Most defiantly. But do I believe kids are lost until they find their “thing?” Of course. Some students are drawn to the math wing of their school where they will find a club to fulfill their heart’s desire for everything numbers. Others become student-athletes and build their high school career off of the friends they make on their team and the sense of pride they feel when they walk through the school in their jersey on game day.

And then, there are the kids like us, who, since we have walked through the doors the first day of our Freshman year, have lived or more or less hid out, in the music wing and auditorium, and it’s made our past three years worth it.

It’s the only place you will see a girl pull a blanket and pillow out of her locker and take a nap in the middle of the hall because of her exhaustion from “Hell Week” (@me). It’s the only place where it will seem like two students are fighting when they’re actually cast members practicing their stage combat. And it’s the only place that a true second family can blossom over sharing dinner from Subway or helping someone zip, button, Velcro, or clasp the ugliest costume in the world. We’re all just some high school students, but we share the same passion of the incredible art form that is musical theatre.

This upcoming year, as a senior, I will perform in my final two shows for the high school, as will you. No more late night rehearsals, costume fittings, or cuddle puddles between scenes. This year we will say goodbye to the educators and directors and musicians that have changed our lives for good (sorry, I had too) and our lives as “High School Theatre Nerds” will come to a close. But those memories will never leave us.

The moments you cherish in the theater are ones you cannot and will not forget.

I will always remember when our Danny in “Grease” slipped on stage from a spilled “wine” bottle and twisted his ankle and the nightmare of hand prints on the school wall from all that white paint during “The Addams Family.” And the inside jokes, of course (we all have them), are unforgettable even if we try. Each and every production for us is unique in it’s own way and although our days of performing on our high school stage will soon be over, a little piece of all those characters we’ve played over the years will remain in our hearts.

Thanks to theatre, we might have found who we are; a purpose. High school isn’t as tough as it could be when you’re doing what you love. For me, as for many of you, it’s an escape. Without it, I don’t know how I would get through the trials of high school. In the words of Oscar Wilde,

“It was only in the theatre that I lived.”

So Class of 2018, this is it. Love your cast hard, enjoy every moment of singing and dancing to the songs you love, keep calm in the present and don’t rush it away for dreams about your future. It’ll come soon enough and everything will work out how it’s supposed to. So let’s enjoy our Senior year! Let’s make the best out of it, work hard, have fun and always go out of our way to be a leader and friend to the underclassmen. We all were that new freshman aspiring for a lead or trying to hit that note once, and that’s where our journey began. We are “High School Theatre Nerds,” and we love what we do. So break legs my darlings, shine bright and don’t cry too hard on closing night, we’re all in this together 😉

See you backstage.

Musically Yours, Bailey Thompson

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Written by Bailey Thompson

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