Theatrical Copywriting: Staying Passionate
Hi, this is a blog series about connecting my background in theatre to the copywriting work I do now, so if you’re interested and want to catch up on part 1 before you get started, I highly encourage you!
Gratefulness fuels passion, passion fuels great work.
As cheesy as it sounds, the right mindset can change your life. I didn’t believe this until I had to figure out a way to navigate my life while stuck inside.
With a bit of reflection, I had a breakthrough that lets me fuel my work with projects I may or may not enjoy by reminding myself of the passion I have for the work. In other words, learning to love what you’re doing because you love what you do.
Now pretend you’re my therapist because I’m going to talk about how I came to this realization.
Passion on the Stage
Back in college, I was cast in all but one show I auditioned for. Just like any other ego-filled theatre student, I let this get to my head.
No, I didn’t think I was the best actor in the room, but getting cast so often did make me comfortable. Comfortable isn’t passionate, not always. When you’re in a tough rehearsal or you’re called but not needed then you’re just sitting there all night for one line, it can be a little hard to have fun.
A personal example I have is a little show called “Autobahn” by Neil Labute, a show made up of several vignettes that all take place in, you guessed it, a car.
If you had asked me at the time, I would have told you it was the most boring show I was in, especially since some of those scenes were seven pages of monologue…eesh…no offense, Neil.
Oddly enough, I think about this show all the time because I know I could have done better. I enjoy myself so I didn’t give it my all, live in the language, play around with emotion, or even have fun.
But now I look back with a little bit of regret. If I had taken one moment to empathize with the actors who didn’t make it to the room, who would have been happy just to be there, and jumped at the opportunity to hand out programs when the performance came, I would have seen how lucky I was and let it fuel me into shaping my work, playing around with language, and having genuine fun on stage.
Passion on the Page
But Gabby, how does that relate to copywriting? Can’t everyone write if they want?
Yes, anyone can write and learn how to improve their skill as well but not everyone gets to do it for a living.
When I talk about my job or certain aspects of what I do, I often hear, “You’re so lucky.”
And depending on my mood I will either agree or feel a bit like Britney.
It goes without saying that the pandemic was a big burnout factor and it’s been consistently hard to get by without feeling hopeless. I don’t know about you, but most of my life has been spent being sad and I just can’t live like that anymore.
So how do I come out of my funk now? It’s simple for me now that I had my theatrical revelation. Because at the end of the day, I love to write. I’ve always loved writing in any aspect. Whether it’s poetry, copy, or just drafting a response for someone fighting with their partner, it gives me energy as much as it takes it away.
I get paid to write, it’s my job. No, I’m not Stephen King or my good friend Billy Shakes, but I put words out there and create every day. That’s wild to me and it makes me want to write more than I already do.
Of course, passion isn’t the sole source of happiness and high-quality work, you still need a good work/life balance and time for yourself to recharge.
But in moments where I feel like a cog in the machine or feeling down about my skillset, I think of where I’ve been and moments I wish I lived in longer, then I make the choice to live here and now.