Violet’s Declassified Tech Week Survival Guide (P.S. Come to the Dance Concert This Weekend!)

By Violet Webster

As any performer knows, the week before any performance (also known as Tech Week) can be brutal. Five-hour long rehearsals, agitated directors, and breakouts due to faces caked with makeup night after night are not most people’s idea of fun. As I stumble through the most recent of my 14+ tech weeks, I (with the help of the cast of the 2019 HB Dance Concert) have compiled a list of things you can do to make your next Tech Week as painless as possible!

1.     Stay hydrated!!:

I cannot stress this enough. There is nothing more dehydrating than spending cue to cue under burning stage lights in 3 layers of costumes and full stage makeup. Add choreography and blocking to that and you will risk passing out on stage if not properly hydrated. I recommend drinking 1-2 water bottles a day during tech week. The excessive trips to the bathroom are worth it.

2.    Get as much rest as possible:

Now that you have asked for said extension on your next big test/paper/project, you have no excuse not to get as much sleep as humanly possible (or at least as much as is possible for an HB student).

3.     Don’t skip meals:

It might seem tempting to skip out on lunch to finish off your homework in the library. “I’ll eat a ton at dinner,” you think. “I’m not even that hungry,” you tell yourself. In reality, the only thing you ensure is that you will feel bloated and gross during your time on stage and that you will become hangry around 7:00, upsetting all of your castmates.

4.    Work Ahead:

Time management is crucial during Tech Week. To avoid pulling an all-nighter, attempt to use the weekend before Tech to work as far ahead as possible on your homework and other assignments. If that’s not possible, use your free periods and time off during rehearsal to do your homework.

5.     Ask for Extensions:

Chances are you have definitely been given at least one big assignment due opening night. If you know you will be way too busy to do your work during rehearsal, there is no shame in asking your teacher for an extension for a few days after opening. Most teachers will understand as long as you ask far enough in advance and are very, very polite. If all else fails, some teachers have been known to move tests if you turn on the waterworks.

6.     Practice your makeup:

Under heavy stage lights, it is very easy for your face to get washed out. This calls for a heavy hand on the contour, lip, and eye makeup. That being said, no one wants you to go out on stage looking like you are a circus clown. Practice your stage makeup look before you go under the lights to ensure your friends and family in the audience can still recognize your face. (You may think I am kidding. I wish I was.)  There are some good tutorials online for beginners or ask a performance veteran for some help.

I hope you find these tips useful, and don’t forget to come out to support the Dance Concert March 8th and 9th at 7:30!