My MBA Skills come from tryouts

Aug 5, 2016 by

I always say that I learned important MBA lessons by spending most of my weeknights preparing for the play, and my weekends in costume and make-up. So when I decided to study MBA I was convinced that knew enough and I just needed to find some accredited programs that will allow me to earn an MBA without worrying about not high enough GMAT score.  I obviously found it and I’m ready to show my skills . So what did I learned you ask?

I learned what a firm deadline is. It never occurred to me that an assignment’s due date could be extended because Opening Night was Opening Night. Never in my life did a performance not happen as scheduled. When I was seven and in my first community theater musical Oklahoma! , one of our leads was seriously injured in a car accident coming to the Opening Night party. The next night, his understudy went on, and we all performed in his honor. I lived that “the show must go on.”

I learned how to interpret text. As in real life, the lines on the script were just part of putting together a character. I had to learn to read between the lines to discover why my character said what she said, and what she was feeling, and put it in context with the rest of the script and the play as a whole. It made writing papers for high school and college fun and easy for me.

I learned how to listen.  Acting is reacting. Every performance was a new experience, and as the actors around me shifted a little or changed their inflections, I had to adjust and react in a way that made sense. Not to mention, figure out what to do when Tiny Tim threw up on stage during A Christmas Carol!

I learned how to take a note. Whenever someone questioned a note at the end of a run-through, one of my favorite directors would say, “just take the note!” I learned that just because something was my intention didn’t mean that was how it was coming across to the audience. To this day, red comments back on my draft aren’t offensive to me; they’re lessons given by my mentors that teach me how to do my job more effectively.

I learned how to interact with all ages, religions, colors, and backgrounds.  In my small town, our theater community cheered whenever someone different found their way into our auditions. It meant we had more plays we could consider in the future! No one ever had to remind anyone that we were a “team” that had to work together. We just did. And yes, when I was 9 and in Fiddler on the Roof, I asked my parents if we could become Jews. Every play or musical was a chance to learn a little about another way of life. They were all fascinating to me, and I thoroughly loved my chance to pretend to be a part of that world for a few months.

I learned how to count in 22/8. When I was in my high school’s jazz ensemble, we performed a piece that was in 22/8. Our musical director had us stopping each other in the hallways, counting out the beats. (I can still do it.) I’d never really thought this through until just now, but I think I’ve just discovered how to help my daughters simplify fractions!

I learned a good work ethic.  Going back to my first point, Opening Night is Opening Night. There is simply no one else who can take the blame if I didn’t know my lines or missed my cue (which I did. Once. It still haunts me 23 years later). While people were certainly willing to help me by running lines or choreography, it was up to me to remember and execute it and be judged by my own performance. There were no excuses, and no do-overs. And, hey, a great performance is rewarded by an ovation that makes it all worth it!

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