the journey to paid professional performing artist

Bobby and his Follies Girls, I'm the one on the left

Don’t we all love tech week?

The craziness getting everything figured out.  The stopping and starting.  The frustrations and fatigue.

I’ve heard people complain, but not often.  I think that’s because we all know it’s necessary so that the show looks great.

One thing I would like to note; it doesn’t hurt to be nice.  No matter how tired and annoyed you as an actor or dancer may be with how things are going, guaranteed the crew is just as much so, if not more.  I have worked on the backstage crew in college, and it is mostly a thankless job.  You don’t get the applause, or often even your name in the program.  However, I feel that the show is just as much the crew as it is the cast.  Without either there would be no show.  I feel like it is a partnership, and each group of people should be kind and respectful to the other.  I have seen hostilities go both ways in all my years on stage, and it’s never fun that way.

Also, be nice to your fellow actors.  Doing things like making disparaging comments about someone’s costume is only going to bring everyone down.  It’s not worth it even if you think you’re being cute.

That’s what I love about community theater.  We are all volunteers, so I feel like we all care about each other.  There are sometimes exceptions, but by and large everyone is great with everyone else.  I don’t know if this translates to the professional world.  I’ve noted before how different dance and theater seem to be.  The ballet productions I’ve been in don’t have such complicated sets or the number of props that I’ve encountered in theater.  Theater takes an extraordinary amount of coordination.  So in ballet I felt separate from the crew.  Where as in community theater at least, it’s a group effort.  You know the crew because they have acted or teched in things with you before.  When stuff needs to be moved on or off stage and you can help, you help.  Again, I don’t know if this will translate onto the professional stage.  I  have a feeling it will be more separated again, simply because if you can hire the number of people you need on crew, there’s no reason for the actors to help out.  But the amount of coordination between cast and crew might be more than in ballet just because of the complicated nature of everything going on.

Tonight is our first show, a preview night.  I have a ton of quick changes, props, and set pieces flying around me.  It always comes together in the end, so I’m looking forward to a great performance!

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