If you are a member of the theater community, you know well that tech week is the time where a show falls apart and comes back together again. Tensions are usually high among the cast and creative team because everyone is working under minimal hours of sleep and a tight schedule to get the show up and running. So here are some tips to help you get through and survive a tech week.

1. Food

During tech week, it is completely socially acceptable to stuff your face with anything you so please. Since there are minimal hours in the day to actually eat a meal, the one that you do eat, should be the best possible. If you're smart, however, you'll pack snacks for rehearsal that you can eat when you're not on stage (or around the costume designer). I brought an entire roll of cookie dough to my most recent tech week, and ate it in the dressing room in my costume underneath a sign that said "do not ever eat in costume." And honestly, at the time, it was a risk well worth taking

(P.S. Find another snack for rehearsal other than cookie dough if you're trying to avoid salmonella poising...)

2. Don't Take Anything Personally

Trust me, I know it's really hard not to be offended when you have a director, choreographer, music director and costume designer all yelling at you at the same time. BUT, this is what we signed up for. Putting up a show is a difficult process and tech week is the culmination of everything. Everyone is just trying to get their job done and sometimes they take their own aggravation and tension out on other cast and crew members. While I'm not saying this is OK by any stretch of the imagination, just try not to take it personally because I promise they most likely do love you and will not mean it later.

3. Bring Activities To Do

Tech week has endless hours of lighting, re-staging, and fixing numbers that will need lots of work. If you're not in these numbers or scenes, you are most likely sitting in the house and watching from the audience. To avoid going insane from the sheer boredom of staring at lighting cues for 10 hours, bring your laptop or any work that is due in the next week to keep yourself occupied. Because if you try to distract yourself by talking to a friend, you will most likely get a not-so-happy comment from the creative team to be quiet.

4. Stay On Top Of Your Work

I have no idea how it always happens, but tech week has this magical way of falling during the busiest time of the semester. I always have multiple papers due, test to study for and homework up the wazzo during tech week. It's really inconvenient and pretty stressful, but if you stay on top of your work and do it when you're not on stage, everything will work out. The real stress sets in when you spend an entire run of the show in the green room socializing, and realize during notes that you still have hours of homework and studying to do after you're released at 11:30 p.m. So save yourself the lost hours of sleep, and do some work whenever you can.

5. Stay Positive And Happy

Keeping a positive attitude is key to surviving tech week. Even though it may seem hard at times, being happy will make the process so much easier. And when you give off a positive attitude, it translates to others and their attitudes begin to become positive, as well. When a cast as a whole makes an effort to remain happy during these long nights of rehearsal, it can actually become a bonding experience. The late-night talks and overtired laughs will become some of your best memories from the process and will make your bond as a cast, on stage and off, so much stronger.

All in all, if you follow these simple steps you will definitely survive tech week and will most likely even enjoy it! Spend the time laughing and loving your cast members because after tech, the run begins. With every opening night comes a closing, so don't rush the process and enjoy every step along the way while it lasts!