The Wild Thespian

The Wild Thespian
Sandhya Stapleton—Alumni

The Thespian is a strange creature most commonly found in its natural habitat of high school, though it has also been known to live in other areas of social life. Being a sub-species of us “normal folk”, it is content to blend in with crowds, crawling out from behind the curtain only occasionally to spout some dramatic nonsense and confuse people, something it delights in greatly. Nonetheless, Thespians tend to make interesting, if not coherent conversation, if you are clever enough to identify their act for what it is. This article aims to assist you in the endeavor of interacting with Thespians, should you find yourself in such an experience.

On the identification and interaction with a wild Thespian:

Thespians are a species undefined by time or space. If you suspect you may be conversing with such a creature, a distinct identifier that may assist you in determining the truth is the Thespian’s uncanny habit of switching between types of language. These tonal switches are never subtle, and are also incredibly varied between time periods, from hip modern lingo to droning old English (also known as shakeyspeak).

An alternative indicator if you find yourself to be oblivious to the Thespian’s antics, could be the quality of conversation. “Normal folk” can barely hold a conversation for longer than a few seconds before becoming awkward. The best way to identify if a Thespian s talking to you is to evaluate if your conversation has lasted for longer than a couple of minutes. 

In social situations, a Thespian’s fight-or-flight instinct kicks in, and in a “fight” scenario the Thespian may deploy a technique known as “Yes, and”. If such an event occurs, the Thespian will find a way to agree and build onto every word you say, leaving you to play a twisted sort of conversational Jenga with them. 

Unfortunately, in the case of a “flight” situation, Thespians have no structured form of defense and may very well break into a distressing emotional monologue. In this event, an appropriate way of calming the Thespian down is to feed it a section of curtain and shine a spotlight on it. Thespians have a strange obsession with curtains and lights, making this an easily accessible solution for an overwhelmed Thespian. If the Thespian accepts the bribe, your next steps should be incredibly cautious to avoid spooking it.

Social stress aside, while a Thespian may be able to hold conversations for longer than the average person, they are unable to hold to a subject for long periods of time. Studies have shown that Thespians love reciting lines, and a Thespian will break out of a conversation at whim and suddenly begin chanting strange words or lyrics that may be entirely out of character for them. This is also often accompanied by their tonal switches mentioned earlier in the article.

The last piece of advice comes with a warning. While Thespians may be fascinating creatures, they are also quite dangerous – especially in groups. While Thespians can be solitary, they have also been found to travel with others of their kind. A group of Thespians is called a Troupe, and the Thespians in such groups are easy to spot because of their preference to camouflage together. Look out for matching clothing, usually in the form of hoodies or sweaters (Thespians are very fond of comfort). 

If you encounter a troupe of wild Thespians, run.

By Sandhya S