I was talking with Stuart Rogers the other day and I was apologizing for not making it to his writer's group that I like to go to. Every other week at his theatre we sit on the stage and read one another's pages followed by a discussion. I was a regular for a long time but scheduling has kept me from the room for a while so I asked Stuart not to bounce me out because I wasn't able to contribute for so long. This was his response;
"Your a theatre guy. You get it. That bond doesn't break because you miss a few meetings. Theatre people just understand that the work takes precedence, the theatre takes precedence, being there every time isn't what keeps you part of this theatre, it's about whether or not you get what the theatre really is, and you get it so you're cool with me for life. Theatre the most unique fraternity in the world. There is no other group so immediately unified anywhere in the world as theatre people. If you get it, you get it and you can be trusted to never violate the unwritten rules, so you're in for life."
He put into words that hard to describe feeling I have when I walk into a theatre, any theatre. The feeling that I'm an insider. I trained in a theatre school and even though it's never said out loud you learn that there is no greater meaning on the planet than art, that there is nothing so sacred as a play and bombs could be falling but we'd still make it to rehearsal.
It's a fraternity like no other because to get in you have to hang around other theatre people and learn by osmosis and it either makes sense and becomes your compass or it doesn't. There are people who went to school with me who aren't theatre folks, there are actors who take the stage that aren't theatre folks.
It's a nice group to be in and you know a fellow member when you meet them. There's no secret handshake and no newsletter but there are dues, we just pay them to the theatre gods.