Be ready to stop. A lot. Nothing is slower than a tech week, which is unfortunate because you usually need to accomplish a lot in a very short amount of time. There’s a running list that never seems to be accomplished or completed in time, but if you get a majority ticked off.. you end up happy. Right?
Most of the time. There are a lot of give and takes when it comes to tech week.
You end up taking a lot of blithering remedies to a situation or the perfect solution for the problem. Sometimes, you’re given neither and you have to come up with something, even though you’re already at the end of your rope and ready to give up. There’s the long and short of it. Tech week is meant for remedying the problems, moving effectively and efficiently, and preparing for opening night. You need to be focused, act as a solver, and remain flexible even though you might feel that you’ll break at any second.
Especially if any one else asks you a question. The worst kind of moments is when you’re filled with your own thoughts, you hear a question (which probably has to be repeated a few more times for you to process), and you’ve forgotten everything you had wanted to do before the question was asked.
It’s good to have a supportive team surround you who can problem solve up until the last second you need to be involved, where your decision can be either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and that’s it. I think directors most appreciate a team who can say, you have two options and here’s which one I prefer/recommend as the best and that’s it. Don’t complicate matters further. Directors have to see the entire picture. The team has to see and solve the minutia.
If I can be blunt–which it is my blog so I don’t know why I asked–sometimes when I think about shows I’ve been in (either as staff or cast) and some of the problems I’ve seen and then think about how I’d address that as a director.. I’d rather not know. I’d rather it’d just be fixed and completed before even hearing it was a problem. Especially during tech week when any multitude and all kinds of things and and will go wrong.
Tech week is like preparing for a job that’s undergoing a complete refurbishment. You don’t really know what’s going to happen, but you’ll go in every day hoping to do your best and hopefully accomplishing it, and then you’ll get instructions in how to change and make it even better. That’s a positive twist on a situation with a lot of negative potential.
The last rule for tech week. Be realistic and reasonable. A lot of things can go wrong and a lot can go right. That’s why you need to be flexible. You can want the world served to you on a silver platter, but the likelihood of that happening is slim-to-none. The same goes with tech week. Any one thing can start a cascade of problems that didn’t exist before but have to be remedied. Be strong, be calm, and push through. Opening night is a sweet reward to a hellish week.
‘Til next time.