How my Theater Background has Given me the Tools I Need for my Career in Marketing
By Megan Laguna
I have had a love for theater since I was a child. I would perform in front of anyone who would listen. My favorite show and the first show I saw was CATS; ironically, I am a dog person, but I loved this idea of transformation. The idea of becoming an entirely different being, no one knowing who you were. Acting is just a hobby, but I had a revelation as I grew in my professional career. I have been using my theater skills this entire time.
The Fear of Rejection
In theater, you learn that you will get a hundred "no's" before you get one "yes." Unfortunately, it comes with the territory. After all, countless other talented people are seeking the same part. So you need to stand out. Although you may have thought your audition was a success, it may have come down to trivial reasons you didn't get the part. Sometimes auditions are just a formality, but the director already cast the role. Other times it comes down to looks, authenticity, scheduling. Regardless of the reasons, it is important not to harp on the rejection and keep moving forward. It's the same mentality I use when connecting with potential partners. There are no hard feelings. A hospital or practice may not have the means to invest in new modalities; they lack space or don't see Captive as the right fit. Whatever reasons for a partnership to not come to fruition, it is nothing personal. Like an audition, both parties need to click. A connection between the actor and director needs to be made to feel confident in the casting decision.
Take A Bow
Now, I'm not stating I could perform a Ted Talk on any given day, but performing in front of hundreds of people covered in fur, glitter, or tulle does make public speaking less nerve-wracking. A presentation is a show. Except the costumes are suits and the stage is a boardroom. Of course, singing is out of the question, but rehearsing your speech, diction, posture, and tone can make your pitch meeting that much more successful. You may even get a standing ovation or a signed contract.
The Power of Improvisation
The ability to think on your feet is a crucial skill in the theater. If your castmate forgets a line or quite literally breaks their leg, what can you do? Improvise. The audience does not know the script word for word. The executives in your preliminary Zoom call don't know about your company. If a mistake occurs, rebound quickly do not to lose their attention. If the Internet is down, have a backup. Be ready with a Plan A, B, C, D, and E. As we say in theater, the show must go on.
From stages to trade shows, I have used the skills I've gained in theater in my everyday life. It has been valuable training and has made my job in marketing exciting. And, no day is the same. I have been able to change people's viewpoints and allow them to see into my over-the-top, glitter-coated encyclopedia of show-tunes knowledge brain. So, whether I am learning about MRIs or every word in Hamilton's "My Shot," I have the same enthusiasm. I guess you could say being a Marketer was the role I was born to play.