The 5 Stages Of Tech Week
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The 5 Stages Of Tech Week

Tech week may be hell, but it's one hell of an experience!

The 5 Stages Of Tech Week

Tech Week, also known as "Hell Week" by all those who participate in them, is the final week of rehearsal before a show. This is a time of mixed emotions when cast and crew members go through multiple phases of panic, excitement, and dread over what opening night will bring. There's nothing more exhilarating and yet terrifying than those last few runs of each act, so to shed light on what it's like being a part of this crazy experience, here are the five main stages of tech week!

1. Preparation. We're talking apocalypse-like preparation.

You've gotta be ready for everything! Will you really need three days supply of food for rehearsal? Duh, of course! Is it actually necessary to bring a blanket and a pillow? Hey, you never know! Preparing for tech week rehearsals is liking packing for a two-day vacation, you use a quarter of the stuff you actually pack. Nevertheless, it gets packed anyway.

2. Costume, Set, Lighting, Sound, Prop, Crew, and Stage MakeUp Overload!

As soon as you show up to that first rehearsal it's like a confetti cannon full of pure theater exploded. You try on your costume for the first time, debate over whether you actually like it, check yourself out a few times, and then get heartbroken when you realize you can't keep it after the show. You get attacked by your makeup bag, shown a full array of props, and sit through multiple sound and lighting checks, all while sweating away in your full costume. This is unbelievably overwhelming, and even more so when you realize this will be your life until the curtain goes does on the final show.

3. Panicking Over Lines You Know Your Director Knows You Know. I Know... What?

Talk about STRESS! Whether you have two lines or 200, staying on top of cues, characterization and memorization all while being overwhelmed by the excitement of tech week is a lot! It gets worse when you break character during the last rehearsal over a line you've never dropped before. You're certain you know your own lines, you definitely know your cue lines, you probably know your friends lines, and maybe even lines for scenes you're not in... but just how certain are you... don't worry, your brain will stop working in the middle of a scene just to test you!

4. "I've Been Up For 27 Hours" Zombie Off Stage, Full Of Life While On.

By day 3 it really hits you. You wear a blanket cape to class, you don't brush your hair, you sleep on the floor backstage in between scenes and homework sessions. While you're backstage, you might as well be the walking dead. But the second you step on, you're like Willy Wonka when he does that awesome somersault thing! I call it "The Stage Switch." No matter how tired, grumpy, or scared you are behind the scenes, you walk out from that curtain and you're someone completely new. It's magic, pure theater magic.

5. Pre-Show Rituals. And Fear, and Excitement, and Basically Every Other Emotion.

For me, it's blasting "Hey Ya" by Outkast all day, every day while eating Lifesaver mints and cauliflower. But others have more normal ways to seek luck before the show! Whether you've heard people say "Break a Leg!" instead of good luck on opening night, avoid saying Macbeth in the theater, or refrain from whistling backstage, the superstition in real when it comes to theater.

With all of this going on, it's hard to treasure all of the melancholy moments that tech week brings. Yes, it's hectic and stressful, but it's also the last chance you have to really connect with the cast and crew before the big show. With that being said, and with a tech week upon me this very week, I better get back to memorizing lines!

Break a leg!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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