Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Techie Tuesday: Quick Change Stress

I have survived another tech dear readers. My latest show opened this past Saturday night and believe me when I say I'm happy to be back on show call. Each tech has its own little quirks and this one had them in abundance. So why was this one so stressful? Quick Changes. 

Quick changes occur when an actor has a costume change that's under five pages or two minutes. Clothes are brought backstage and people help dress them. They can be incredibly tricky and if they're not right, can slow down the whole play. 

This particular show has none of that. There are no crazy fast quick changes. There are two technical quick changes and a bunch of other costume changes that we have to treat like quick changes due to panicked actors. My job on this show is armchair psychologist, trying to get a bunch of new actors to calm down and trust that the techs have their backs. It may be my greatest challenge of the year. How do you convince a brand new, aspiring actress that she actually has three pages left before she re-enters when she's convinced it's in a line or two? I have no idea. I haven't succeeded in calming her down yet. 

An actual quick change can be fun and exhilarating. It brings this sense of adrenaline and you get a huge rush when everything goes off without a hitch. Although I think my favourite memory involves a cross dressing quick change and a friend of mine entering without rolling down his very tight skirt. He rolled with it well and at least he had thick tights on. Quick change disaster, sure, but that may be where the best backstage stories originate. In disaster.

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