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Pitfalls of Being a Musical Theater Nerd

Pitfalls of Being a Musical Theater Nerd

By Christi Chiello

It's bad enough we're associated with the word "nerd." On top of that, we have to spend hundreds of dollars every year on flesh-colored stockings. Here are the top pitfalls of being a singing, dancing, recitative-ing musical theater nerd!

Highs and Lows

The disappointment and almost clinical depression that comes after watching a musical theatre movie (Ahem... Les Mis).

Dating Blows

Realizing that all the boyfriends you had at theatre camp growing up now have boyfriends of their own.  (No true lady nerd spends a lifetime doing theatre and doesn’t date a closeted gay man. It’s a fact).

When you start to refer to first dates as auditions. “Oh my date with Brad? I asked him to sing an up-tempo but he didn’t end up getting a callback.”

Alienation

Having to explain why you’re making all those weird noises in the shower. "No No! That wasn't a bear growl! That was a vocal run in my lower register. A vocal run? It's like... a vocal warm-up. Yunno, just like a runner stretches before a race, I warm up my voice in order to.... (discovers the blank look on their face) ...Nevermind. It was a growl. A bear growl. Pretty good, right?"

Ends of Eras

A set strike? More like an emotional strike. Literally having to tear down the set that just supported you for six weeks despite your knee-injury during A Chorus Line. WHY. WOULD. THAT. HAPPEN?

Sad Things

Speaking of emotional… Top 3 saddest things in life

  1. Death
  2. A bad breakup
  3. CLOSING NIGHT OF A SHOW.

(… Close 4. Movie version of Les Mis.)

People Taking Exception to Your Jazz Hands

Every family member, friend and partner tells you you’re “too dramatic.” Too. Dramatic. As if having a God-given ability to EMOTE is a crime? Oh, I’m sorry… I’m feeling too much for you?  Am I supposed to apologize because I experience emotions on a very deep, very raw level un-parallel to probably anything you’ve ever experienced in your musical-less-life? There is no such thing as too dramatic. In fact, I’m not dramatic enough!!

Inspeak

You calling to your friend in the other room: “ You almost ready???”

Your friend: “Five minutes!”

You: “Thank you 5.”

Performance Pains

But in your head that note sounded so good... :( :(

Scheduling

Wishing there was an auto-response on text & all social media that reads, “I can’t… I have rehearsal.”

Slips of the Tongue

When you slip and accidently give a driver stage directions to a destination. “At the Dunkin you’re gonna want to make a stage left.”

A typical convo with your history teacher:

“But Mr. D I couldn’t memorize Civil War facts last night. I’m working on not one but TWO monologues for Thursday’s audition. They’re contemporary contrasting. I’m going to be on Broadway Mr. D, I’m not going to grow up to become a war-expert! No offense. I’m only one girl, what do you want from me?” (turns & directs this line to the entire class for dramatic effect) “How come no one understands me???”

… Feeling like no one understands you.

Party Fouls

It’s Saturday night, you’re throwing a party and so-far your party playlist is a HIT! But wait… what’s that you hear? Is that an organ? Is your iPod playing the sounds of unusually large woodwind and brass instruments?? Oh no! You didn’t add Usher’s “OMG” to your party playlist, you added Phantom of the Opera’s “Overture.” Party foul!  You quickly skip to the next track only to discover it’s a “Defying Gravity” cover track you made as a thankyou gift to your vocal coach! Major party foul! You need to fix this and fast. You put on Taylor Swift knowing full well her range is nothing compared to yours, but all the non-musical nerds at your party couldn’t possibly possess the same level of musical knowledge that you do. Party on, simple minds, party on. Crisis averted!

When you stumble while practicing your Tony acceptance speech in front of your mirror and it upsets you just as much as stumbling a real acceptance speech would. “I’d like to thank Gid. God! I’d like to thank God!!!! God D@#%&^ Christi you’ve worked on this!!  ... LINE! Can someone give me my line??”

Tech Week

The crippling anxiety that comes with the words TECH and WEEK aka TECH WEEK aka HELL WEEK aka NO-SLEEP-FOR-A-WEEK.

Impossibly High Standards

Never being satisfied by conventional attempts of romance. “Awe Ryan you wrote me a poem, how sweet!” (you pause, waiting for the musical number) “… Oh. There’s no performance piece that comes with this poem?” Flash forward to later that night when you’re crelting (a mixture of crying and belting) to Rent’s “I’ll Cover You.” If it’s not a tear-jerking ballad, it doesn’t really count as anything. Romance isn’t romance unless it makes you crelt, Ryan.

And the biggest pitfall of being a musical nerd:

Having to deal with celebrity stunt casting on Broadway. No, John Stamos. No!

Have you suffered for your (musical theater) art?

Topics: Life
Tags: musical theater, broadway, performing, co-curriculars, suffering for your art

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About the Author
Christi Chiello

Armed with a quirky voice, intense musical theatre background and ridiculous love for pop culture; Christi Chiello disarms you with cuteness while slinging her unique, hilarious brand of absurd humor – making her one of New York City’s fastest rising comics. Christi has performed in The New York Comedy Festival, The Women in Comedy Festival & The Jersey City Comedy Festival. She's featured at major comedy clubs in New York & Los Angeles and her outlandish original characters have generated over 20 million views on YouTube. You can hear Christi's many voices in the upcoming animated feature "The Champion."

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.