What I’ve Learned: Treasure Island Edition

What I've Learned: Treasure Island Edition

Tonight is opening night of Treasure Island at the Palace Theatre!  If you haven’t got your tickets yet, what are you waiting for?  Go get your tickets!  I’ll wait here.

Ok, got your tickets now?  Awesome.  Read on.

  • Things actors should always have in their bags: a pair of soft black jazz shoes, a plain leather belt, eyeliner/mascara/concealer, a digital camera, an extra undershirt/tank top AND YOUR SCRIPT.  Even once shows have started.  You never know when you’ll need to make a note or adjustment.
  • Always carry extra pencils and highlighters.  You need them to make notes in your script, and you can make instant grateful friends with those fellow cast mates who forgot theirs and are looking to avoid the evil glare of the stage manager.
  • Fight directors/fight captains — always have backup weapons.  Retractable knives break super easily.
  • Always buy the cast t-shirt and photos.
  • Actors: ask the SM and ASMs if they need help.  Their jobs are infinitely harder than yours.  They do so much work for so little glory.
  • If you have younger actors (think elementary school-aged) in your show, take them under your wing.  Talk to them.  Make friends with them.  Give them little jobs to do.  Let them try out special equipment (such as climbing the ratlines or jumping off the stockade, under supervision of course!).  They’ll be your best friends by the end of the run.
  • Make a big fuss over cast and crew birthdays.
  • During long tech weekends, organize a pot luck dinner.  Food really does bring people together.  Even if you can’t cook, bring drinks.  More is always better.  They’ll get consumed during the run of the show, guaranteed.
  • If you can swing it with your costume designer, it’s always nice to be able to wear your own footwear onstage as part of your costume.  They’re generally already broken in, guaranteed to be your size, and you know exactly how many peoples’ feet have worn those shoes before you (read: just your own).  However, try to avoid wearing your own Thinsulate winter boots.  Yes they look cool onstage and they’re way better for climbing ratlines than jazz shoes and they look better under boot toppers, but your feet will sweat like CRAZY.
  • As much as you can, get out to any cast get-togethers/after-rehearsal drinks/bonding opportunities.
  • When you go home after a performance, no matter how tired you are, take off your stage makeup.  That way when you inevitably wake up late for your day job, you won’t go into work looking like a half-crazed raccoon.
  • If you have a significant other who is not involved in the show, make every effort to spend some time with them doing and talking about non-theatre related stuff, especially during tech week.  They’re (hopefully) being extremely patient with you being away all the time rehearsing and performing, so make sure to show your appreciation.
  • Note to self: don’t go all NYC on yourself.  🙂

Photo Credit: Ross Davidson

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