For four years, I considered myself to be a drama kid. I’m less involved in the theater world now as I’ve become increasingly politically active as the years went by. This taught me how to understand different kinds of people and hold tightly onto my conservative principles in a field that is predominantly liberal.
Here is how I managed to survive being one of the only conservatives I knew in the Arts:
- Learning where the other side is coming from
An observation I made early on is that liberals tend to be emotional thinkers. This explains why many actors are progressive. They need to be able to channel a wide variety of thoughts and characteristics on the fly. While rehearsing for a show or in a drama class, I would consistently find myself trying to understand the other side of the political spectrum because I was oftentimes the only conservative in the room.
Theater attracts people from all walks of life, so I got the opportunity to meet people of different religions, races, sexualities, you name it. If I was not open to working and being friends with all types of people, being part of a theater company would be insanely difficult. The first lesson I learned was that people will understand your point of view better if you are communicating conservative values as kindly as possible.
This certainly does not mean self-censoring, but it means being able to express your point of view in a way that shows that you want to learn more. Don’t simply crush the ideological opponent. I am still close with many of the friends I made in theater because we rarely discussed politics. When we did, it was in an effort to better understand one another.
- Staying true to my conservative values
In theater, nearly everything ranging from musicals to humor is progressive. It was difficult to be open about my perspective on the world. However, I quickly learned that the only way I could not sacrifice my principles is if I was non-apologetic about it. Unfortunately, liberal philosophy encourages guilt-tripping those who disagree with it. Very often, I had to tune it out. If people were not able to accept what I believed and still be friends with me, it would only be a disappointing sign of closed-mindedness. Even though my point of view was in the minority, that doesn’t mean my perspective was invalid.
- Focusing on the task at hand
Theater is meant to bring people together regardless of political affiliation. By being empathetic, yet unapologetic, I rarely encountered any issues in my time doing theater. In theater, if you make the primary focus the art form, not politics, then the product will almost always turn out great.
As someone whose time in theater briefly overlapped with being a conservative activist, I had to tread lightly between the two. There were many rocky moments, but staying true to what I believed in kept me going.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.