Whether you're an actor, dancer or crew member, there are two words you dread hearing more than anything. Tech Week.
For those who do not know what that means, it simply means that you practically live in the theatre until the show is over.
This is a stressful and very tiring time where you run and rerun the same scenes over and over again with so many interruptions either because blocking is wrong or because of lights or sound.
But all in all tech week is actually the time to pull the show together. No matter what happens during that week, come Thursday, the show is ready to go.
Because of the bumps of hell week, the show is nearly perfect.
1. Hold Please
As a stage manager, I say this constantly. And it isn't very fun. We call this at the worst of times, usually mid line or mid scene and at the most awkward parts.
You just hope everyone stays patient during the constant stopping and starting.
But I'm very thankful for the god mic, which allows me to be heard almost everywhere when I call "hold please."
2. All the Waiting
This has to be the worst part of tech week. Because for the first couple of days that's all we do is wait. Usually it's after "hold please" is called. We wait for various reasons like fixing lighting clue or making sure sound works and is played when it needs to be. But there's also the waiting because of actors and making sure they have what they need.
Again, hoping everyone stays patient is key during tech week.
3. The Long Days
This isn't the worst part though it seems to be. We start usually around 11am or noon and go until roughly 5pm, but that's only to break for dinner. We come back around 6pm or 6:30 and start back up until the directors feels we are good for the day.
So I mean really, what is sleep? Because you don't get it.. Especially during tech week. So be prepared for all the caffeine from coffee, energy drinks and soda!
4. Where's *insert person's name here*?
Boy, do I love this one. (so much sarcasm)
I especially love it when no one knows where they are, whether it be a cast or crew member. It's the best when they don't tell anyone they are going to the bathroom or going to get something from the costume shop and we need them for a scene.
5. Can We Do That Scene Again Or Can We Go From This Line?
This I'm sure is everyone's favorite, especially when we do the scene over and over and over again. This does relate back to the stopping and starting. We usually like to either redo a scene a few times or rerun some lines because of the adding of cue which isn't easy to do right away.
6. Where's the *insert prop here*?
Here's another fun one, especially in a scene with a lot of props. If one is missing it could cause a big problem. So sometimes we have to hold to make sure props are where they need to be and are being using when they should be. I mean, actors should know what props they need right?
7. Where's *insert costume piece here*?
Serious guys... Where are your costume pieces? This is a question you wouldn't think we would have to ask but unfortunately we do... And we ask it a lot. You think people would be more aware of where they put their costumes or they would make sure they have it when they need it. But that doesn't always happen, especially during tech week.
Tech week can be very stressful and it can go by very slowly but when the show comes, it's all very rewarding. And yes, it is considered hell week but you also get that time to spend time with people you normally wouldn't and possibly form new friendships. Though tech week is the hardest part about being in a production, you couldn't do without it. And I'm thankful for every tech week that I've been in.