3 Lessons Learned from the Tonys

Stefanie Townsend

We were just in the middle of Tonys season, meaning theatre lovers around the nation and most likely the world tune in to watch to see who wins. Actors, lighting designers, directors, composers, playwrights and more (including sound designers, once again) are honored during theatre’s award ceremony.

While we watch, biting our nails, full of anticipation, enjoying the performances and cheering for the winners, there are so many lessons to learn from Broadway’s big night.


These people did not give up easily. It takes years upon years to become a consistently working actor. The amount of times people have to muster up courage to audition, have their heart broken, and convince themselves to keep going is impossible to count. The amount of love someone must have to continue is immeasurable. The amount of competition people face, be it actors or directors or costumers or designers is overwhelming. Throwing in the towel can be so tempting so often. It’s so easy to look up to those Tony winners and be afraid you won’t get there. Those people were most likely in that place, too.

But they didn’t give up. They at least ignored those voices, if not silenced them. They remained dedicated to their passion and craft. And that is one of the reasons they stood on that stage that night, holding their award.

Hard Work

People do not become successful or famous overnight. It may seem that way, but it just isn’t so. Hard work has to come along with the dedication. You can be following your dream, you can be dreaming big and sticking to your goal, but effort must be put in. People who win Tonys, or Oscars, or SAG, or any other big awards like those had to put in the effort. They had to prove themselves not only to others, but to themselves as well. They had to show people that they are the right person for the role and for the job. They had to show that they were the right answer to the problem. They had to be professional, they had to be eager to learn and listen. They had to fight to get their position, and they had to fight to prove they were not the wrong choice. They know that they are not perfect and never will be, and embrace that they will always have room to learn.

And they learn. And they apply it. And they continue to work hard. They continue to earn their keep and that award with their name on it.

Love Your Craft

Life is too short to spend time pursuing something that you aren’t passionate about. The world of theatre and film is unkind. There are plenty of actors and directors in the world, ones already successful and established, and ones working to climb the ladder to reach their goal status. You have to love your craft to be dedicated. You have to love your craft to work hard. You have to love your craft and be absolutely sure that you cannot go through life doing something else. Because when you give your heart and soul to your craft, your craft will thank you and reward you for your sacrifice for it.

The Tonys are a night to get together and to celebrate people of the theatre world for their accomplishments and gifts they shared with us. But it’s also important to realize that the Tonys also teach us lessons that are important to keep in mind.