An Open Letter to Theatre Parents

  • Gianna Principe

Dear Parents,

Your child just came to you and said they wanted to major in theatre in college. Now this might seem scary to you. I'm here to tell you that you that's it's okay! It's okay to be scared.

However, you should take into consideration in how your child is feeling. Your child is taking a risk. And it is a wonderful risk filled with fun times, new experiences and so much stress. Your child is going to need you now more than ever! Their worst fear right now at the moment is telling YOU! The last thing they need to hear is your protests and attempts to persuade them into a new major.  

You may have the best intentions for your child but think about this: Your child is about to put themselves out there for everyone to see. Auditioning for shows, movies, tv, and everything in between. Building resumes and taking headshots, making friends, building theatre connections and relationships. Don't you want to be apart of all that? Think about the phone call you'll get when your child yells with joy about how they nailed their audition and reaction you'll have when they tell you that they made it into a show.

Now the good times do come with the bad. Your child will be rejected. I know, it's not a pretty thought. But it's not a pretty world. They won't nail every audition. Sometimes there will be directors who think your child is great, but not what they're looking for. And that is all ok. It's inevitable but it's apart of the acting experience and before you know it your child will have more audition stories than ever.

Remember that every moment in theatre or show business in general is so special to your child. Every moment they experience will have a story. And each story will be special in their own way. 

I'm telling you this because I was fortunate enough to have a family that supported me. They all supported me through my ongoing journey of being a theatre major. Through my college switch and everything. I put them through a lot and still putting them through a lot. I admit it. However I always look forward to calling and texting them each day to tell them about my day. To tell them all about what class was like, how my day was, and what is coming up in my world of acting and work and auditions. It makes me feel great to tell them about my day and I know that they feel proud of me. 

I even have the love and support of my boyfriend and his family and their love has helped me navigate through my journey in the big city!

This is a feeling that in my opinion every child should feel. 

So I'm asking and even telling you. All the parents of kids who are in theatre. Whether it is a hobby or a career. Be it a major or a minor in college, please support your kids. Support their dreams in the arts.  It's a fledgeling career that will only be stronger with the support of you the parents.