I have the rather unapologetic (and, OK, biased) belief that former drama kids make the best parents. Still, that I must admit, I've never really considered it from the other end: what do kids whose parents were in drama have to deal with? In a word? Awesomeness (and yes, again, I'm biased). I honestly can't think about how life with a theater obsessed parent could possibly go wrong. Sure, I guess I could consider the plot of Gypsy, but that will just lead to me biting my lower lip, thinking for another second or two and shrugging so, really, what's the point? I mean, former-theater parents are fun! We're not like regular parents! We're cool parents!
Look, there are lots of things you can do as an extracurricular activity. Lacrosse? Fine. Model U.N.? Sure. Key Club? Yeah, OK, I guess community service is a fine and honorable use of your time. But you know what the best activity is? Drama. Because on the one hand it's an activity that gives your mind, body, and soul myriad opportunities to grow and thrive, and on the other hand it's just fun. I mean, it's an activity where you basically get to play make-believe all the time. Plus, it brings other people joy. So, as former drama kids, we must be ambassadors of that joy to our own children. Again, this can in no way be anything but completely amazing and will never, ever be embarrassing.
If your parent did drama at any point in their life, here's what you, as their child, might expect...
All The Showtunes
It doesn't matter what show it is, they will know it. Because this is how they spent high school (and quite possibly college); sitting around singing show tunes with their friends (probably backstage during rehearsal for the show they were in that semester), identifying with the characters on a deeply emotional level.
It's not just that your parents will know all the show tunes ever written, but they will play them nonstop. In the car? Les Mis. Cleaning the house? Camelot. In the shower? A Little Night Music. Cooking? Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (specifically "A Little Priest," because they have a sick sense of humor). Deal with it.
Lots And Lots Of Theater Quotes
There is a theater quote for every occasion. Children of former drama kids will grow up silently praying no one will say anything to trigger their parent launching into a monologue or busting into song, and those prayers will always go unanswered. Said parents will not do these things specifically to embarrass their child, but they will take delight in their child's embarrassment.
Mandatory Viewings Of The Classics
When a former drama kid finds out that they're going to have a baby, they will immediately draw up a curriculum of the great theater movies. They will debate as to when Cabaret is appropriate viewing material and come up with elaborate calculations regarding when to introduce A Midsummer Night's Dream.
A Never-Ending Barrage Of Shakespeare
Because if they did drama, they were/are into Shakespeare. In fact they are almost certainly a Shakespeare nerd, or at the very least appreciate the Bard for the genius he was. Their children will be waaaaaaaaay ahead of the game, for example, when their class reads Romeo & Juliet freshman year. For drama parents have already shown them Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet, Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet, and, of course, West Side Story.
Hearing Stories From Mom And Or Dad's Old Drama Buddies About The Shenanigans They Used To Get Into
Former drama kids absolutely have one or two that they never lost touch with who absolutely have dirt on them. Dirty dirt, most likely. This is where parents and children suffer in equal measure, because kids certainly don't want to hear about what mom did with Jeremy LaMonico at that one cast party at Sarah Pfefferman's house any more than mom wants them to hear about it. But that's the thing with drama friends: they're dicks. Beloved dicks. And they are going to make their friends go through this because exercise in humiliation because LOL!
Having The Really Loud Parent On The Playground
Drama kids learned to project (they also learned to cheat front, and if they didn't the director threw things at them until they did). Even if they were crew, there would be times when they'd have to make themselves heard over a gaggle of chatty actors. Here's the thing with projecting: once you learn you can't unlearn.
Parents Constantly Complaining About How Expensive Theater Tickets Are
Look, we all just want to take the whole family to go see Hamilton* but do not have the necessary $5,000 to do so. Why does it have to be so damn hard?
*by the time I am able to get tickets it should be age appropriate for my now 2 year old...
The flair of a drama kid never goes away. Ever. So if your parent did drama, don't be surprised if they pick you up from soccer practice wearing enormous sunglasses and an Isadora Duncan-style scarf and call all your friends "darling!"
The Expectation That They Will Also Love Theater
There really is no such thing as a "former" drama kid, and once you've immersed yourself in the world of the stage it's in your blood; your passion for it cannot be dimmed, and you long to be able to share that magic with your child. So that child had better be prepared for a robust, early, and incessant education in theater arts, because it's going to happen.