We are back with Act 2 of our discussion on Theatre Nerds. We have so many more stories and there are so many more things to talk about in the world that is Theatre. The lights are flickering so grab your snacks, get back to your seats…intermission is over. We are going to discuss theatre etiquette as an audience member and stage member. We are also going to be talking about the different types of theatre nerd that exist on stage, theatre horror stories, and more theatre fun.
Theatre Etiquette: How one should act as an audience member. A lot of these are pretty easy to understand. I mean they aren't mentioned in the preshow or program for the heck of it. They are there for a reason. So here are some of the most important as an audience member.
TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES!!!
Even if your phone is on silent…stop texting during shows.
If a play or musical is rated for mature audience, please don't take your child just to complain it was offensive for them.
Be on time. There is a reason that every show ticket, box office, or marketing item says arrive 30 minutes before showtime. Always give yourself time to park, use the restroom, get your tickets, say hi to those you know, get your snacks, and get to your seats.
Please use the restroom before the show or during intermission. Yes, emergencies happen, but most of the time, you can control how much you get up during a performance.
Please be quiet as much as possible in a performance. No need to unwrap a Christmas gift or have a full blown life altering convo during the show.
Dress for the theatre you are attending. If it's a small town community theatre show, it's a little lax like blue jeans and a nicer shirt sure, but you wouldn't show up to a Broadway show in gym shorts and a tank top.
If you cannot use your ticket, please contact the box office so they can allow someone else to use them.
If you arrive late, please don't be upset at the house manager for waiting for the right moment to take you to your seat.
Stage Etiquette: You may be new to the stage or a veteran, but that does not give you any excuse not to uphold proper stage etiquette. Respect is my biggest pet peeve personally, and I would venture to say JD agrees with me. So here are the biggest points of Stage Etiquette to keep up with.
RESPECT. No matter if you are a crew member, actor, director, tech, or just helping with set work; treat each other with respect.
Obviously things happen, but ultimately it's always a good idea to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes before your actual call time to get ready, stretch, warm up, or get your materials ready.
Wear appropriate clothing for your call. If you are a fairly attractive woman, and your call is a dance or fight call; maybe a mini skirt and tankini aren't the best choice.
Do not talk backstage or on stage if the person in charge is giving notes or direction.
IF IT IS NOT YOUR PROP….DON'T TOUCH IT!
Do not perform tasks not assigned to you. IF IT'S NOT YOUR JOB….DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. For instance, if you aren't the choreographer, it's not your job to correct fellow castmates on dance.
Always acknowledge a Director, Stage Manager, or Choreographers calls with "Thank You." For instance, if you hear a "Take a 10." You answer with, "Thank You 10." Now don't be a smarty and say Thank You after everything said. Just calls please.
If you make a mess, clean it up.
Keep your area clean.
Please list all scheduled conflicts in audition process or as early as possible.
LEAVE YOUR DRAMA AT THE DOOR. Theatre is meant for a different kind of drama.
If you are going to be late, please give the stage manager or director know at least 30 minutes to an hour in advance.
Come ready to work not goof off and distract others. When someone is working on their part, it is not time for you to be telling jokes to other cast members.
Write down any and all notes you are given so you do not make the same mistakes over and over.
During notes ate the end of rehearsal, do not enter into long conversation over just your note or debate the director. People want to leave when it is over.
Do not lie about a strength you have in auditions, if you can't do a cartwheel, don't put it down.
Respect the 4th wall. Do not allow non permitted members backstage and do not go out to see your friends and family in costume unless prompted by management or director.
Types of Theatre Nerds: There are many types of theatre nerds out there. I can assure you that you have either encountered one of them or have worked with one of them before. Some you love, some you don't, and some are just down right annoying. Here are some of the types of Theatre Nerds that exist in the wild wild world of the arts.
The Annoying Talent: This one is very talented. There's no doubt about it, but you also kind of hate them for it. Everything comes naturally to them and it seems like they don't have to work as hard as everyone else.
The Hidden Talent: The quiet one. They are always the quiet one in the back of rehearsal. They are quiet until it's time to perform and then they show off their jaw dropping talent. Once it's over, they are back to being quiet and shy.
The Athlete: The jock who always thought it would be fun to try. By the end of it, they are saying things like, "Man, I wish I had done more of this earlier."
The Drama: Literally the walking gossip. When they aren't spreading drama or catching up on drama on social media, they are spreading on the stage.
The Optimist: They are always smiling. It'll always be ok and come together in their eyes. No matter if the set falls, they are saying things like, "But golly gee isn't everyone doing so well."
The Singer: The Singer knows they can sing, and boy do they let you know it. Yes, we know you have memorized all the lyrics to this show and every show that exists, but we don't need to hear it again.
The Mom: Every show has a Mom. Age doesn't dictate a Mom. It is a mentality and a way of life. Every show has the cast member that asks everyone if they are eating, washing their hands, getting rest, and not forgetting their scripts.
The "Where's Waldo?": The person that gives a whole new meaning to "empty chairs at empty tables." They are in the cast, but ya never seem to see them till tech week. They always have some reason they couldn't make it to rehearsal, and it's always a life and death situation. Rehearsal is always filled with the quintessential "Does anyone know where…is?"
The Critic: Nothing is ever good enough for them. An audience is never good enough. A fellow cast member is never good enough. The note they got didn't make sense. The green room or theatre is never good enough. There is always something to complain about.
The Awkward One: Every cast has an awkward person. They are just awkward. They either aren't good with social cues, taking directions, knowing how to talk to fellow cast mates or directors. The awkward one is weird until you see them in that perfect part they were born for.
The Jokester: Every cast has the Jokester. They are always there for a laugh…even when ya may not need to be laughing. They are always ready to deliver the pivotal "That's What She Said" that will bring rehearsal to a screeching halt and cause abrupt laughter. You might not always want them, but every cast has them.
The Diva: Everything is about them. Everyone is there to see them. The funny thing about The Diva is that they normally aren't always the most talented, but you can't tell them that. The World revolves around them.
The Thespian of Performers Past: Every cast has the one member who is only full of "Well when I was so and so in so and so." Truth be told, every actor has been guilty of this. We are all guilty of living in that past glory of that one part that we got to shine in.