Wednesday July 4, 2012 — 1:12 AM
Dear theatre people:
Listen up. I have a message for those of you in tech week right now. I know there are at least three shows in London, Ontario that are just finishing up tech/just opened/opening this week (UWO’s The Winter’s Tale, Simply Theatre’s Legally Blonde, and OKTC’s Robin Hood for sure — go see them all!).
I know you’re stressed.
I know you have a to-do list a mile long.
I bet you haven’t seen your bf/gf/husband/wife/family/kids/friends a lot lately, other than a passing “I can’t, I have rehearsal.”
I’m sure you have lines, choreography, music, cues, coming out the wazoo. Your brain is full to bursting.
I know you’re exhausted. You’ve been to countless rehearsals for tons of hours, you’ve done the hurry-up-and-wait game, you’ve sweat your butt off in costumes you just got and are trying to figure out quick changes, and you’re wondering where the heck that prop disappeared to.
You’re probably hopped up on coffee. Or Red Bull. Or both.
You probably went to your day job the morning after with your stage makeup still on. (I’ve done that. Luckily, working for a theatre company, that’s not the strangest thing.)
But please… stop and take a minute and remember why you’re doing this.
Presumably it’s because you love theatre.
But maybe you’ve snarled at someone, or fussed over a costume piece, or stressed out over a bit of choreo you just can’t get your head around, or sniped about someone behind their back. Maybe your stage manager gave you The Look when you showed up 3 minutes late. Maybe your dance partner stomped on your toe. Maybe someone moved your prop, or your costume, or your personal items. Maybe the cranky parking lady was mean to you (true story). Maybe the local coffee shop messed up your order. Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things, plus it’s a full moon and apparently Mercury is going into retrograde next week.
But remember — you love theatre. Right?
And there’s something about THIS SHOW that you’re working on right now that gets you worked up. It could be anything. The music, the choreo, the amazing character you get to play, the awesome costume you get to wear, the funny punchline you get to deliver, the new friend you’ve made during the rehearsal process, the thought of a cold beer after a run of the show. Maybe you’ve had a showmance and you’re going to see what happens once the show closes. Maybe you absolutely hate the show and what gets you through is that you didn’t quit and in a few days, the damn thing will be over and you’ll never have to see those people again. Whatever it is, figure it out, write it down, remember it, cherish it. Take the small stuff and relish it.
You and your cast and your crew — you’re a team. You’re all in this together. You’re all working towards the same goal — to put on an amazing show. Emotions (and tempers) are running high. Take a minute to stop. Breathe. Relax. Re-think that snappy comeback to someone else’s sassy comment. Have patience. Offer to lend a hand. Make someone’s life easier. (Hopefully they’ll repay the favour.) Show up on time. Give it your all.
And at the end of the day — it’s not rocket science. You’re not curing cancer. You’re doing theatre. Which you love. So chill out and move on.
Wishing you many broken legs, mucha mierda, and sold-out audiences,
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