It’s finally Tech Week and you may think that you’re ready to move into theatre, but honestly by now, who even remembers anything that happens off stage? Here’s a checklist for backstage essentials!
1. Pins, pins and more pins!
Bobby pins, hair pins, metal pins, if you can name them, you need them! Pins become a sort of currency backstage, that’s how in demand they are. There’s no harm in taking a couple hundred because you best believe, by closing night you will have exactly four (4).
2. Spare clothing.
This includes nude underwear, socks, leg warmers and your biggest hoodie. In between tech runs, it’s easy for your muscles to cool down which is definitely something that we DON’T WANT. You may need to run onto stage at any given moment and the last thing you need is a cramp. Most dressing rooms also have showers and it’s quite helpful to freshen up in between runs.
3. A mini medical aid kit.
We’re not just talking bandaids and antiseptic. Tech week means it’s time to bring the big guns. Heat rub, anti-spasm medication and muscle relaxants is what you’ll need to help you get through the week from hell, and do it with a happy body!
This may just be me, but I get quite hangry if not fed for 5-6 hours. Which is quite the dilemma during tech week as more often than not, a performer cannot afford the luxury of time spent eating full meals. Cue snacks! Whether it be a little piece of chocolate or your favourite trail mix, I find a bite here and there helps keep us all cooperative and calm.
Hairspray is the best invention after sliced bread. It really is THAT girl. You can use it for everything and anything, ranging from sticking down your hair to fixing your stocking ladders, under your shoes to increase grip and even stick down a pesky sleeve. A quick spritz and you’re good to go!
6. Wet Wipes
As somebody who bulk buys wet wipes, they’re a staple in my bag. Tech week can get quite messy and I present to you, the quickest solution. Makeup on a costume? Wet wipe it. Sticky dressing table? Wet wipe it. Partner too sweaty for your liking? Wet wipe HIM.
7. Comfy shoes
With the multiple coffee runs, dressing room to side stage commutes and front of house dashes, barefoot will simply not do. Choose shoes that are easy to slip on and slip off to ensure that you’re always ready!
8. Earring backs and press studs.
You can never have too many earring backs on at one time. It helps distribute the weight of the earring and also secures it in place. With how small those backs are, it’s easy to misplace them in a side stage changing frenzy so it doesn’t hurt to have spare on standby!
9. Notebook and pen.
Let’s be honest. Tech week is a LOT. With the amount of information being thrown at you in that short a time, it’s completely normal to forget a few things. Having a notebook and pen on hand to note formations, entry and exit cues, or even slight changes in costume give you the liberty to not really pay attention then and there but rather review your notes at the end of the day and be more aware of those nuances then.
10. Your sanity.
This is probably going to be the most trying part of the entire rehearsal-performance journey. Long hours, stressful tasks, and the repetition is enough to get to anyone. So remember to take a deep breath every now and then and practice patience, not just with others but also with yourself. You’ve spent weeks preparing for this, and it’s finally all coming together. You know your choreography, you know your role and the stage is ready. It’s now up to you to show us all the star that you are! Break a leg!