I’m going to make a short list and then offer some explanations and reasons after it.
- Review your role
- Know your call time
- Partner with your peers
- Ask questions before opening night
For all of your rehearsal time, you have been inundated with cues and lines as well as (hopefully) supporting actors who help you when you struggle, both on stage and off. But when it comes time to run the show? Especially on those days when you are no longer rehearsing and you’re working by yourself alone at home (or at work, wherever). It comes down to you to maintain your skills and capabilities to ensure each show of a production remains the exact same as opening weekend. Audiences deserve that (and more) from you and you deserve that (and more) from yourself.
Let’s say the preceding rules description doesn’t apply to you; you do that on your own, without reminding, and are as prepared as you can be to deliver the best performance of the run each and every single night. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t on time, miss call time, or are late to a production. A show that starts late is a bad experience for the audience, your peers, and yourself. You can’t put on a good show if you aren’t there to put it on, right?
I have a caveat while explaining my fourth rule.
Don’t be afraid to question ANYTHING that you are unsure of, questioning, or concerned about. The best time to do that is before opening. After every one has rehearsed and is presently ready for their big moment.. it can be unfair to question things and potentially lead to changes. However, if you are unsure of things, don’t let yourself remain uncomfortable or over challenged. Tell someone on the staff and get it addressed, in some way or form. The crew is there to enhance and improve your experience within the show; don’t lose an opportunity to still have fun.
This list is not all inclusive, there’s so much more that came to mind while I was writing this, but these were the items I deemed most important. Maybe I’ll mention one more thing: the importance of warming up. The lights can only do so much to keep you warm, you have to be physically and mentally prepared to go on each night. ‘Til next time.