I’ve mentioned before that I do theater, and I thought it was finally time to go on my little rant about the arts at schools sometimes.
Today one of our cast members was officially given the title of “Cheer Caption” for the MVPS Allstars. A few rehearsals ago he had wanted us to do a drama cheer at the end of rehearsal where we all put our hands in the middle and then said “Allstars” on three. Today our cheer got a little more complicated, and we had different groups saying things and there was timing and different words involved, which was all very interesting to attempt. Apparently actors are bad at doing cheers which I find pretty ironic. However, we were all laughing and smiling, so it was okay. We will just have to work on the cheer a little more.
When doing the cheer we all pointed out how we were “acting like a sports team” (the “acting” pun was not intended, but I laughed once I wrote it). Why is it that only sports can have cheers? Are athletes the only ones that need encouragement? Why is it that only sports teams get recognized at school pep rallies? There are other groups at school that work just as hard as any athlete to pursue their passion.
At drama we do physical work to actually build our set for each new production. (We have a black box that is flexible to change for different stage arrangements.) Athletes as well as actors have to memorize plays and game plans. Both take a large amount of commitment in order to be done correctly. Both can compete against other schools. (Their is a drama one act competition that we are participating in.) The team members can also receive awards and special recognition in their field. So why don’t both get the same amount of support from the rest of the school?
This isn’t just about drama kids either. My best friend, Marz, is a debater, and she feels similarly but about debate. The students on the debate team (as well as drama) put in hours of work to learn their skills so they can compete against others. It isn’t something that you can just decide to join at any point in the year. You have to really be serious and willing to work hard for not just yourself, but also for your team.
Drama and debate are as much of a team activity as any sport. If you don’t work well with your team everything will fall apart. That is what makes it different from just some club that anyone can join at any time so that they can put it on a college resume that they participated.
While a typical generalization about actors and debaters is that they are all shy, weird people who would rather go by unnoticed, this isn’t entirely, if at all, true. I think it would be nice to consider debate and drama like a sports team, and to have the teams recognized at pep rallies for a change.