The incredible downfall of former hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, is undoubtedly the most public the issue of sexual harassment/assault has ever been, but it is certainly not a new problem. It exists in every job,… More
Getting cast in a show is AWESOME! But if you are new to the theatre scene, or even if you are not, there are some very well established rehearsal ettiquitte’s (is that a word?) which you need to obey if you do not want to be the show ‘outcast’.
#1 BE ON TIME:
For the love of god, DO NOT be that person who arrives late. All the time. Or even more than once. Once, is usually forgiven, but if you are consistently late to rehearsals, you can count on the fact that your cast mates are probably taking bets on how far you will push it. This is not a good way to make friends, and it is incredibly disrespectful to everyone else who does make the earth move to be at rehearsal at whatever god forsaken time the Director has requested. Just be on time.
#2 LOVE YOUR ROLE
You may be the lead, or you may be in the ensemble. Whatever role you have been granted, love it! Keep in mind that there will be people who auditioned who did not get into the show. If you are a lead, do NOT laud it over the ensemble. If you are in the ensemble, do NOT bitch about the lead. Remember, we are all just people, and getting into a show is a miracle in itself. Do not take it for granted. If you think you or someone else has been miscast, do not moan to your cast mates. Absolutely do not moan to the director. Whatever you do, DO NOT COMPLAIN TO THE COSTUME LADY!
#3 LOVE THE COSTUME LADY
I have never been in a show, where the Costume Lady was not more feared than the Director. They have the power to make your life a living hell or an absolute delight. Do NOT moan to them about anything. Do NOT ask for an adjustment to your costume unless they ask you first. DO butter them up. Bring them baking. Tell them they look amazing. DO NOT EAT IN YOUR COSTUME!
#4 BRING A PENCIL AND AN ERASER
If you are the person who writes things down and remembers things from one rehearsal to the next, then you are a legend. Take notes, learn them. When they are changed completely at the next rehearsal, erase them, learn the new ones. Keep this pencil until closing night. Only then can you be sure you are absolutely doing what the Director requires. If you want to level up in awesomeness, bring enough pencils for the whole cast. Keep multiple erasers in your makeup kit.
#5 BRING SNACKS
Rehearsal are long and exhausting and super fun to be part of. But often (particularly in amateur theatre) the powers that be, temporarily forget that you are mere a mere mortal, and therefore require fuel of some kind. This is especially pertinent if you are being asked to do the near impossible task of changing from a young dancer into an old hag and reappearing on the other side of the stage in less than a minute. Having snacks which are easily consumed between quick changes or ‘drink breaks’ will be a godsend. As above – bring enough to share.
#6 LEARN YOUR PARTS
Please refer back to #4. If you have trouble remembering where you were placed, what your harmony is, where you exit, when you enter, or the changes made to your lines the night before, then make sure you write it down. There is nothing more frustrating in this world than having to keep rehearsing the same thing over and over, because one or two people keep messing it up. If you are writing it down and you are still having problems, then ask someone in the cast to help you learn it. Make sure you practise in your own time. Yes, it is a lot of work, but that’s what you signed up for. Theatre isn’t a lazy person’s hobby. If you are on top of things, it can be a lot of fun. If you are not, then it will quickly become a very, very unhappy experience.
Pay attention to everything and everyone and if you miss a rehearsal, then make sure you catch up with what happened before the next one.
That – is how you ROCK a rehearsal!
Starting a company is easy. Relatively.
Putting on a show is hard. Definitely.
Doing both of these things is an exciting test of endurance and passion.
To start a theatre company you need patience, endurance, copious amounts of self belief and a whole lot of passion.
Patience, because it takes time. You will hit hurdles and red tape and need to fill out a LOT of applications asking for money. Unless you’re rich. Then you can do whatever you like.
Endurance, because (as above) you will need to stick this process out. You will need to keep reminding yourself of the big picture and push through the endless hours of planning and set up required. You want to succeed? You have to pass this test first.
Self belief is key. At every turn, someone will say “why are you doing this?” Or worse “Don’t do this, we don’t need it in this town”. If you don’t believe in what you are doing, they will stop you in your tracks. The self doubt will creep in and tear you down. If you really believe you have something to give, then give it. If you have to start fresh in order to give it, then do it. Sometimes it takes an outsider to change things. Sometimes it takes an insider to shut things down.
Passion is paramount. If you don’t love the theatre, the late nights, the tears and the stress and the rehearsals, then don’t even think about starting a theatre company. But, if the thought of bringing someone’s story to life on stage fills you with excitement, if you love spending endless hours in a rehearsal room, if you love nothing more than that silent moment between the audience hush and the curtain opening, if sharing your expertise with other passionate people fills you with joy, then push through the doubt. Start that company and share your passion with the world.
There’s simply no such thing as too much theatre.