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8 Ways Drama And Theatre Can Help You Be Successful In Business

Gormanston Drama Summer School - Business, Acting, Theatre and PresentationsIf you have a passion for drama and theatre that you have to balance with a work life, you will be happy to hear of eight ways (there are no doubt more…) that your passion can positively impact on business. Your theatre skill-set should not just be an outlet for artistic expression outside of the nine to five, it should also give you an advantage in the work place.

1. Improvisation

For all the time actors spend learning lines, where to stand, the entrance and exists – improvisation remains one of the most important skills required for any actor. To be effective at improvisation, actors must be present in the moment, listening carefully, and contributing freely. These skills turn out to be particularly useful in workplaces that rely on adaptability. For all the planning and rehearsals, the great thing about the stage is that when it’s live and you’re up in front of that audience, anything can and will happen. In business, you ability to adapt through improvisation will get you out of many a tight stop.

2. Project Management

Every stage production mirrors a business project. Many teams of people making up one team working towards success – budgeting and working hard in such a way that you earn the applause and an occasional standing ovation. Seeing through a successful production from first reading to final night is a valuable lesson in project management.

3. Working with a Limited Budget

For anyone that has worked in theatre, budgets can vary from low to non-existent. If you can make something from your minuscule budget for a stage production, you have the potential to produce a loafs and fishes miracle some time in the future.

4. Dealing with Difficult People

Theatre teaches us how to appreciate, understand and effectively communicate with a widely diverse group of human beings. Business people, much like actors, are required to play different roles in the course of their job. A particular business role might generate extra intensity and make life for those around quite difficult. Actors have a skill-set to deal with different and changing situations. Recognising that in business we are also just players on a stage will help relieve tensions and allow for a more pragmatic and less personalised approach to different (and sometimes difficult) people.

5. Understanding the Human Condition

Theatre is not about learning lines, stories and backdrops – its about people. From Hamlet to Willy Loman, the reason the plays we love are so popular (and important) is because they are about the human condition. As actors (and as an audience), our ability to understand the human condition helps us to make sense of the world around and the situations we find ourselves in.

6. Hard Work

When the curtain goes up, that’s it, everything must be ready. Getting to opening night is sometimes a long, tiresome and bumpy road. Learning lines, setting lights, preparing sound, selling tickets and front of hours duties, on and on… It can sometimes seem that the list is just too long and the task of get a show on stage can be overwhelming. Once you get to opening night, everything goes up a gear until the curtain goes down on the final night, at which point it is over (maybe a few props and costumes have to be tidied up). That’s it, until the next production and you do it all over again. Despite the long days and the exhausting evenings, theatre has thought us that hard work always pays off.

7. Presentation Skills

Actors ability to present themselves is key to their skill set. Voice, stance, projection, movement and engagement with an audience is not as common as you might imagine in the business world. More over, the plight of the business audience is understated… Sitting through flat, one dimensional presentations from unenthusiastic executives is not a happy life. A business audience will be ever so grateful of a presentation given my someone with acting skills that they will inevitably appreciate what you have to say, listen more attentively, engage with you and ultimately make your moment in front of them more productive for you and your business.

8. Doing the Best You Can With What You’ve Got.

With a passion for drama and theatre, and the right skills it is possible to presents a production or a piece of theatre without a stage, with no lighting, make-up, costumes, props or set pieces. Weather performing in from of an audience of one or one hundred, it is possible to make the most of what you have and still get your audience to be entertained and enthralled – actor and audience experiencing theatre at a raw form.

The message is that you don’t need West End theatrics for a magical theatrical moment on stage. You don’t even need a stage. This approach to life will present you with less stress. However, this approach in business will not only cause you less stress but also present you with many many opportunities as you make the most of what you’ve got to give.