According to the Guinness Book of Completely Made-up Community Theater Records, the average community theater production rehearses for two months before opening night. Two months – for actors like you, that’s a long time to spend with people that are just as annoying and dramatic as you are.
During these two months, however, romance will blossom between two people that probably wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be together in the first place. It’s inevitable, and it happens in almost every community theater production in the history of the world. According to this drunk guy I met at a Seussical the Musical cast party, one in three people have had a romantic tryst with another cast member at some point in their community theater career.
(Community Theater Career – See “oxymoron” for more details.)
Whether you are currently in a showmance with a cast member, or if you’re really thinking about having one, here are some tips on how you can stay ahead of the inevitable heartbreak that’ll come after the final bow:
If They’re Married, LEAVE NOW – Let’s be real… just because you’re looking at the menu doesn’t mean you have order something. (Great, now I’m hungry.) Fellas, there’s nothing wrong with wanting that hot mom in the ensemble, especially if she is rockin’ out that Alto 2 harmony… and ladies, there’s nothing wrong with wanting that hot married guy who is somehow making “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning” the sexiest song you’ve ever heard in your life…
… there is nothing wrong with wanting to go all HAM SAMMICH on them… but ultimately, you shouldn’t, cause if you do, you’ll be that “bright golden HO on the meadow.”
Keep Your Flirting as Discreet as Possible – Discreet flirting in community theater is the sexiest thing in the world. While you’re doing that pinwheel formation (that never works in community theater… EVER), there is nothing hotter than brushing past your dance partner and giving a sudden glance over your shoulder.
That sudden glance is way sexier than drunkenly time-stepping your way into their lap at a cast party. The community theater world loves to gossip, and if you walk around being a little real-life Ado Annie, then you’ll immediately regret everything in your life.
(Yes, that’s two Oklahoma references… but who’s counting?)
Don’t Misread the Signals – Yay! He’s smiling at you! But wait, doesn’t he smile at everyone? Be aware that the person you’re crushin’ on in the cast may always have that “friendly face” on when they’re at rehearsal. You’ll only embarrass yourself if you mistake his/her friendly smile for a “let’s make-out in the catwalks.”
Don’t Make-out in the Catwalks – Seriously, don’t. It’s dusty up there, and I’m pretty sure there’s a theater ghost who’s watching.
Don’t Dress Like a Ho at Rehearsal – Okay fine, you want to impress your crush. Ladies, that doesn’t mean that you have to show up to rehearsal with your boobies out. And fellas, that doesn’t mean that you should where that terrible “muscle shirt” that makes it look like you shop in the kiddie area of Old Navy.
If you don’t want your nosy-ass cast mates to start speculating, keep your Bobby-baby’s and your Bobby-bubby’s in control and well covered.
Facebook is the Devil – Seriously, be careful with social media. If you hit the wrong button, the entire theater community will know that you’ve spent the last 20 minutes Facebook-stalking that cast mate you wanna make babies with.
Listen to Sam Smith and Know You’re Not the Only One – When it comes to showmances, be aware that you may not be the only one that that person is talking to. More likely than not, in community theater at least, that person you’re sending flirty texts to, they’re most likely sending flirty texts to the music director too. Not always, but often enough.
Lastly, Know That It May Not Last – More likely than not, this beautiful musical-make-out-session that you’re having every night after every rehearsal, may not last. If you know that going into it, you’ll be okay. With community theater, people don’t really care about anything other than where they’re getting a drink to shit-talk about other cast members or theaters. More likely than not, once the final bow happens on the final performance, you may have to kiss that showmance goodbye… Argentina will not be crying for you when it happens either.
Okay, so I realize that my last point there seems quite bleak and mundane. Let the record show that while I have seen romance die quite often once a show closes, I have also seen some of my closest friends find love during productions as well. Not every theatrical relationship ends in heartbreak and hatred… most do… but it doesn’t happen all the time. Even I have been in a beautiful relationship that was the result of a showmance, one that lasted a long time. So while it may not be reflected in my last point, please know that true love always conquers all assumptions and stereotypes…
Written by Kyrus Keenan Westcott