Why do I do theatre? It’s not a feature – it’s a bug

Nicola as Xavier in Chemical Imbalance by Tiia Tuominen, Thespians Anonymous 2012

More than often, in everyone’s life, there comes a topical moment that triggers in them a strong, long-lasting passion for something: practising a certain sport, playing a particular game or instrument, or maybe acting.

My first two theatrical experiences took place when I was around the age of 6: my first role was that of a grumpy, tiny angel supposed to bring Christmas presents to children together with his angelic colleagues. If you think that that doesn’t particularly inspire or motivate one to choose acting as a hobby, hold on tight: my second time I was playing a tree.

I’m sure you’ve figured it by yourself that neither of the above is my topical moment, and besides, as a kid, your parents and teachers want you to take part in school plays much more than you do. No, my topical moment has to be looked for elsewhere: I got the theatre bug when I was in my mid teens.

I grew up in a little, secluded town in South Italy where there wasn’t much to do in general, let alone in the summer (well, besides going to the beach). Around the time when I was 13 the city would arrange a series of cultural, sports, religious, gastronomic events throughout the summer, to attract tourists and worm money out of their pockets entertain the citizens. Some of those events were plays, generally enacted by professional or semi-professional actors, or sometimes even by a local theatre group, in the elementary school’s courtyard or in the hall of some church.

That’s when I got the theatre bug: I was amazed at how the actors could lose themselves and get completely into character, becoming someone else entirely. Besides, it really seemed like they were having a lot of fun and like there was real, serious teamwork and bonding behind a production.

I remember that I really wanted to join a theatre group back then, but for a reason or another I never did, not until March 2011, well over 10 years later, when I found the Thespians Anonymous. I haven’t been but in a handful of productions thus far, but I can tell you for a fact that what I had imagined about theatre when I was still a teenager is unquestionably right. I’ve never had so much fun,  been involved in such an enthralling and rewarding teamwork, or bonded so tightly with people before in my life, and I suppose this is the actual reason for which I do theatre: I get more and more into my own character while trying to get into another one, and trying to lose myself actually helps me finding myself.

Nicola Bagalà is a mathematician and computer addicted wannabe-geek who likes writing, reading, drawing, strumming piano, doing sports, when he’s not too busy with all sorts of Thespians Anonymous activities. He’s definitely an over thinker who’s been given more than one ultimatum by his own brain.

This entry is the fifth and final in a series of blog posts entitled “Why do I do Theatre?”. In the series, members of Thespians Anonymous have written about the reasons behind them keeping up with a hobby that requires so much time and effort as theatre does.

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