The Bonds We Make During a Show

Cristina D'Almeida

To me, there is always a specific mental and emotional bond that happens between people when they work on a production together in the theatre world. This goes for the actors as well as the production team. You spend so much time together, bonding in different ways, making connections and getting to know people on a more personal level. It’s a way of working with people that does not happen in every industry because of the personal, relevant journey it takes you on. Emotional topics come up, challenging topics are discussed and performed. It is anything but superficial and surface like when doing a show. If you’re doing one for the first time, be prepared for a strong, emotional journey.

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Of course, it’s not always that deep and there are definitely some “surface level” shows out there. I think sometimes if you’re doing a straight play (versus a musical) things can get especially emotional and raw depending on the content of the show and then how you relate to it is the next factor. Musicals tend to be more fun, but that’s not to say there aren’t more serious topics that can be discussed in a musical. Many musicals have a political message or a message of some other sort. Either way, you become attached to the people you’re working within a unique way. For example (this is an interesting thought/concept I often think about) from an actor’s point of view, let’s say two people are playing a romantic couple on stage. The two people as actors and human beings may not be in love with each other off stage, but the two characters are, and when you play the role, at that moment, you’re in love with what is in front of you. If you can really transition into the mindset of the character, and not think about the person you really are or who the person really is in front of you,  but rather the characters you’re both playing, then you’re doing it right. You shouldn’t have to think. If you’re thinking, you’re not acting. It just flows. A certain unique, creative bond forms between the two actors when this happens. That’s called chemistry, but it’s certain bonds like these that you won’t find in other workplaces, careers and industries. It’s such a fascinating concept.

From the perspective of the production team, the same kind of magic can happen, but in a different way. I think when you work side by side with someone, whether it be the choreographer and the director or the director and the stage manager, it’s important to totally be on the same page with your visions or opinions and when you’re on the same page, amazing things can transpire in terms of the show. I believe you can form working bonds and working chemistry and dynamics when you feed off of each other’s ideas and love one another’s ideas. Your passion and motivation have to match. You both have to want the same things. When the energy and creativity is on that same level, awesome relationships form. Sharing similar visions and collaborating and making them happen is a perfect way to create personal and artistic bonds with your team. In a sense, you’re both sharing something and that is the show and it’s a really beautiful thing.

The entire process of putting a show together is a collaboration and that in itself is a beautiful thing and it becomes so exciting. When you share these moments with people, it’s special, and you can form lifelong friendships, relationships, and connections. The theatre world opens the door to so much not only for the audience but for the entire company. It is a really beautiful thing and it is a big chunk of why I do it. It fulfills a need and it is so completely satisfying.