Speaking words of wisdom | Inquirer Entertainment

Speaking words of wisdom

By: - Columnist
/ 12:35 AM November 17, 2016

Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald

There’s always an opportunity to get to know one’s cast mates better, whenever someone works on a show. Sometimes, the relationship doesn’t extend further than merely sharing space onstage. No pleasantries are exchanged. Not even a hello or goodbye.

However, there are times when, despite or because of those long hours together, you transcend being just coworkers—you become family. It’s not always the case that a company of actors chooses to spend time together outside the workplace for lunch, a dance class, a movie, a walk in the park. Whenever this happens, consider yourself incredibly blessed.


In conversation with these said coworkers, a lot of stories are exchanged. You get to know one another on not just a superficial level. You discover recipes, crafting patterns, political alliances, deep thoughts and opinions about everything. And it’s in their storytelling that I learn a thing or two about life. Allow me to share some of them with you.

No names will be revealed, as the sources are less important than the lessons themselves, which I won’t elaborate on. Plus, I don’t want to get any of my friends in trouble for revealing what they know.

  1. Doesn’t matter how talented you are, you can get demoted. Or fired. Or never hired again.
  1. It takes years to build a reputation, and only seconds to destroy it.
  1. Your character is displayed not when things are rosy, but when things are going bad. Especially during tech, when it seems it takes forever to get things right.
  1. Not everyone is built for theater. If you are unable to handle criticism or can’t remember your cues or lines, a different line of work might be the way to go.
  1. Please don’t walk into rehearsals with a sense of entitlement. It reeks, and the director can smell it from a mile away.
  1. Be a team player. It doesn’t matter if you’re a principal, in the ensemble, or pushing around furniture. You’re on the same team with no one more or less important than the other.
  1. Always exercise kindness and empathy. You don’t always know what another person is going through, or what their story is.
  1. We all live in glass houses. All of us.
  1. A person’s departure from your life isn’t always an occasion to mourn. Sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise.
  1. Have a sense of humor. And don’t sweat the small stuff.
  1. It’s a big deal when you show up prepared and ready to get to work. Rehearsals are not primarily an opportunity to socialize, so don’t treat it as such.
  1. And to our kids, don’t try to be the next Audra or Idina; you don’t need that kind of pressure. Instead, endeavor to be the first you. Blaze your own trail. Carve your own path. But of course, your faves can inspire you, and that’s always OK.
Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel

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TAGS: Backstory, Entertainment, Lea Salonga, performance, Theater

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