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Musical Theatre: Building Self Confidence

Updated on June 8, 2016

Can participating in a musical theatre build self confidence? As an amateur artist, I can definitely, absolutely, certainly say “Yes!” Musical theatre is a form of theatre that uses music, songs, dance and spoken dialogue. The combination of singing, dancing and acting experienced in musical theatre is one of the wonderful ways a person can build self confidence.

Let's see how musical theatre builds self confidence. 

Honing Your Skills and Talents

You can build your self confidence when you continually improve your craft. Talented people work very hard to perfect their skills. Writers consistently write, athletes practice daily and musical theatre artists rehearse over and over again.

As we all know, musical theatre is done live. For any show done live, you only get one chance. The director cannot shout “cut” if we mess up and redo the whole scene. It is very crucial then that all artists know their cues, lines, memorize their songs and dances by heart. And the only way to do that is to constantly rehearse and practice.

So if you want to have confidence in what you do, never stop improving and growing. The more proficient and skilled you are, the more confidence you will have with yourself.

The Wiz: Let's Ease on Down the Road Together

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I played the role of Addaperle, The Good Witch of the North in THE WIZ musical playDorothy was such a sweet and serious child. It was nice working with her.Scarecrow and Dorothy had a pretty good rapport. I love their scene together.Tin Man was passionately singing "slide some oil to me..."A Lion who is scared? Growl... teeheeOur sexy and wicked Evilene who is out to kill Dorothy and her friends! Meet our scarecrow (for the kids musical theater). He was such a darling too.The Wizard of Oz whispers something to the Tin Man (for the kids musical theater)
I played the role of Addaperle, The Good Witch of the North in THE WIZ musical play
I played the role of Addaperle, The Good Witch of the North in THE WIZ musical play
Dorothy was such a sweet and serious child. It was nice working with her.
Dorothy was such a sweet and serious child. It was nice working with her.
Scarecrow and Dorothy had a pretty good rapport. I love their scene together.
Scarecrow and Dorothy had a pretty good rapport. I love their scene together.
Tin Man was passionately singing "slide some oil to me..."
Tin Man was passionately singing "slide some oil to me..."
A Lion who is scared? Growl... teehee
A Lion who is scared? Growl... teehee
Our sexy and wicked Evilene who is out to kill Dorothy and her friends!
Our sexy and wicked Evilene who is out to kill Dorothy and her friends!
Meet our scarecrow (for the kids musical theater). He was such a darling too.
Meet our scarecrow (for the kids musical theater). He was such a darling too.
The Wizard of Oz whispers something to the Tin Man (for the kids musical theater)
The Wizard of Oz whispers something to the Tin Man (for the kids musical theater)

Facing Your Fears

Fear is one of the major blocks to self confidence. Fear of making mistakes, fear of looking like a fool, fear of facing a crowd, fear of being judged, not being good enough and not being accepted. Whatever fears we have, facing it head on is the greatest thing we can do to build our self confidence.

I used to be really scared when I am in front of people. In high school, I remember reading a speech in front of our speech teacher who happened to be very strict. As I stood there in front of the microphone, my knees trembled, my stomach was filled with fluttering butterflies and while I held the paper, my hands shook like crazy.

And even if I seem to hate being in front, it seems I was drawing all opportunities to be in front. Groan. I participated in school plays, I was one of the cheerleaders, I was asked to join the group to perform a song or dance number during school events.  In family gatherings, it was always like that too.  Did the fear go away instantly? No! It was my constant companion.  The grandest thing I ever did was not say “no” to all these opportunities! 

Siddhartha the Musical

Behind the scenes: I silently waited for the Taiwan make up artists to do their magic
Behind the scenes: I silently waited for the Taiwan make up artists to do their magic

When I joined the amateur musical theatre group under Director Daisy Ba-ad, the first thing she said to me when I sang before her was “stop criticizing yourself.” You know what? That was the best advice anyone could have given me. When I stopped criticizing myself, I discovered that this great fear that often paralyzed me packed his bags and left. Do I still get scared? Of course…but I no longer beat myself up for it. And I’ve made such progress that I can honestly say, “I’ve conquered a lot of my fears through musical theater” under the mentorship of a wonderful director.

If I, who is such a scaredy cat, can do it, so can you. Overcoming your fears can build your self confidence.

Being Alert and Proactive

On stage, we develop alertness and are pro active in responding to situations. When things occur like a co-actor forgets his prop or his lines; the microphone conks out or somebody is injured, there is no time to analyze or complain. One simply has to respond positively to a given situation. We are trained to continue and more often, the audience doesn’t even know what happened.

When you are performing, one also has to be mindful and be in the present moment. In The Wiz musical play, I remembered in one show I allowed worry to flutter in my mind. The moment I did that, I forgot the lines in my song! I quickly recovered but that taught me a lesson on mindfulness and being in the now.  Being alert and proactive in coping with life gives you an inner confidence and strength. 

Character Building

Most of our experiences build our character one way or the other. Well, that is if you choose to use your experiences to build your character. I’ve become aware of how musical theatre does that. The cast and crew learn discipline, responsibility and accountability. If you sing, you must be disciplined enough to vocalize, take care of your voice, memorize your lines. If you dance, you must be disciplined to know your steps and execute those steps perfectly. You must be responsible enough to warm up and exercise for flexibility and endurance. We learn to be accountable for our actions.

Aside from that, we also learn to be prompt and committed to our craft. Creativity is highly encouraged. We learn to work as a team and support each other instead of compete.  All these traits make you feel good about yourself; thus, increasing your value and builds your self confidence.

Willing to Learn and Grow

Musical theatre challenges your willingness to keep on learning and growing. The workshops that were conducted allowed us to step out of the box and discover the things we could do. We expanded our comfort zone and tried new things. The more we allowed ourselves, the more exciting and fun things unfolded in our lives.

One Last Note:

A self confident person is easily spotted in a crowd. He/she has self confidence when she exhibits willingness to take risks, courageous enough to try to not be afraid of making mistakes or owning up mistakes, accountable for his actions instead of blaming others, accepts compliments and criticisms graciously and is not defensive. All of this I learned in my experiences inside and outside of musical theatre. If you want to build self confidence, use all your experiences to make you a better and effective person.

You are a work in progress!

By: Michelle Simtoco

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    • Kent Merritt profile image

      Kent Merritt 7 years ago from Tulsa, OK

      Excellent hub, ripplemaker! I'm beginning to appreciate your username more everytime I read one of your hubs. ;)

      "Stop criticizing yourself" is probably the best advice I've read in quite a while. Thanks for including that! I'm a struggling singer/songwriter and a big part of keeping me from sharing my music more is that I'm my own worst enemy. I think most creative people are, but you hit the nail on the head with staying positive and overcoming the fear. Really good hub!

    • ripplemaker profile image
      Author

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Kent, we usually are our own worst enemy Hahahahha And it is good to laugh about it now that I've made friends with myself. Wow, it's nice to meet another singer/songwriter. Go Kent Go! Allow yourself to fly. Keep me posted when you do share your music to the world. Love and blessings and thanks for your positive feedback. :)

    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Thumbs up dear Ripplemaker. You have expressed yourself clearly and I know that if given the chance you can even write a whole book about how theater builds character.LOL. Continue to share your life and more people will surely be inspired. Hugs:)

    • ripplemaker profile image
      Author

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi dayzeebee, thank you for being my mentor. Your ability to train people have helped a lot in building character. Thank you very much! :) Hugs...

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Ripplemaker: When I see that you have published a hub, I know I am in for a lesson and lift up.

      I am very hard on myself at times, sometimes feel I haven't done enough, yet, many have a perception, I have done a lot, which shows I am critical of myself at times. Daisy's advice is one I needed to hear.

      Thank you for writing this wonderful article, I resonated with your commets on self responsibility. I will read it again! ((((Hugs)))

    • ripplemaker profile image
      Author

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Marie: It is a joy having you around to share thoughts about life experiences. I treasure your presence. :)

      It's funny that many of us share that common thing -- how quickly we criticize ourselves. But it's okay, we are learning to be gentle more and more, right? LOL Many thanks and lots of love to you! :)

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Michele,

      That was a great read! Wow!

      You are right, we usually are our own worst enemy. We just have to learn to accept ourselves and start believing.

      Thank you for sharing!

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 7 years ago

      That's you holding the mic up there? It looks so nice??? As for me, I'd never dare go on stage, brrrrrr, that freaks me out :)

    • ripplemaker profile image
      Author

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Jill, care to join a musical theatre? LOL

      Shamelabboush: Hahahahaaha yes that is me! First time I became a blonde belting out a witchy laughter :) I used to get scared too of being on stage. Thanks Shamel for dropping by :)

    • profile image

      lyricsingray 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, really great advice! Stop criticizing ourselves :-)

    • ripplemaker profile image
      Author

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Thanks lyricsingray :)

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 7 years ago

      You look so cute there Ate :)

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 7 years ago from South Carolina

      ripplemaker,

      A beautiful article about the very experiences I am embracing...the musical theatre image to enhance the experiences is so very perfect, what a great place to build and experience these things. Facing fears to overcome them, creating strengh and inner confidence for account-ability, respons-ability and gratitude. We are all wonderful, thanks for sharing these simple ways we can learn to recognize and enhance those things inside and let them out!

    • ripplemaker profile image
      Author

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      shamel: Now you are making me *blush* LOL

      emohealer: Thank you for reading this hub and being able to connect these wonderful lessons to our very lives :)

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

      Michelle you look adorable In your costume . Your last paragraph reminde me of an old saying " Show me a person who has not made a mistake , and you will see a person who has not done anything ! " My dancing skills are decent , but I cannot carry a tune with a shopping cart !

    • ripplemaker profile image
      Author

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Tony, those words comfort a lot! As to your singing skills, no problemo! You can always have concerts in the shower Hahahahah I do that a lot! *wink* Thanks for dropping by. :)

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for sharing more of yourself under the limelight. How happy and confident do you look in the picture with mic in hand, not the Michelle I envisioned just a couple years ago when I became a friend and fan.

      Building self confidence is a great way to chase your fears away and I agree that your everyday experiences when faced positively is a good place to start.

    • profile image

      Taichichuan 7 years ago

      There is a legend in martial arts : a truth seeker after tough trials finally arrives in a little room in front of a mirror... I think you get the picture.

      Great hub,anyway. I dare to add something : the rhythm. As long as you are in the rhythm nothing can happen to you.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much, michelle, for sharing this. I love your articles and really needed to be uplifted today. It is so easy to get drawn into the negative side of life events. Your comment about staying in the moment is SO TRUE. Thanks for the reminder - keep spreading ripples!

      Elle

    • ripplemaker profile image
      Author

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Dottie, you would have laughed out loud when I came out from the stage wings and belted out my witchy laughter. I even surprised myself. Hahahahah I love what you wrote about facing experiences positively is a wonderful way to chase the fears away. :)

      Taichichuan: Being in the rhythm or in the flow is a beautiful way of letting go of one's fears in recognition of what is. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. :)

      Redelf: Hi Elle, that lesson onstage reminded me of that truth clearly of being in the now. I still remember it today. Thanks for being here :)

    • mayhmong profile image

      mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

      What an inspirational story of facing our own fear. I feel like I can just jump on stage too. I knew you had a lot of talent in you. Thanks for sharing this.

    • profile image

      Adam B 7 years ago

      Very good hub, I agree with everything you say in it.

    • ripplemaker profile image
      Author

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Mayhmong: Try it! You may just love the experience :) Thank you for reading this one!

      Adam B: Thanks for the visit :)

    • Charia Samher profile image

      Charia Samher 7 years ago

      I remember having a very low self esteem as a teenager especially during my high school days until my college years, unlike you I never participated in anything because of that. I'm still battling it down until now and I may say I have improved a lot. But I have never tried musical theater. Stage fright might eat me up LOL!

      But I have something to share about "FACING YOUR FEAR". Years ago I made up my mind that driving was not for me. I'm a nervous freak. My brother was teaching me how to drive but I told him that all my blood was running into my head every time I'll start the engine and I can't concentrate anymore. Recently it seems that I don't have a choice but to learn it. I have faced my fear and I became more comfortable. And of course I owe it to the one above, I've been praying about it every night! =)

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Hi, Michelle. Thank you for sharing your experiences, fears, and career as an actress. I once joined a musical theater group when I was in seventh grade and it was a disaster. I only did so to meet girls (my best friend lured me into it). I was able to get a date out of it--out of pity no less :(

      Despite my experience, I did learn that I was actually decent at public speaking, just not public acting. Thank you so much for this. You certainly have a passion and talent that separates you from most of us.

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 7 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      My wife and daughters are all heavy into theatre, especially musical theatre. Great article! :)

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 4 years ago

      I totally agree with the message of this hub. I sing, but haven't been in a musical, although I did help on the sidelines when my father produced college shows. However, I did take some improvisational theater workshops, and it can do the same thing.

      There's something about borrowing other people's lines and having them borrow yours, and then blending them into a skit that is very empowering. You feel supported in your creativity, even as you support others. Like you're a team. And the feeling extends out into regular life. Thanks for writing this, ripplemaker.

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