In case you don’t know: “Tech” is what we in the theatre biz affectionately call the span of 5 days before the opening night. These days are usually full of stress, jokes, aggravation, and weariness as the lighting designer, sound designer, director, and stage manager all sit in the house and create the picture of what the show will look like. But what do the actors do? Well the actors run through the show and of course have their lines and emotional moments carefully choreographed and perfected in order to facilitate the process.
Ok, the truth is, as an actor I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to do. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stepped into the performance space and my character or emotional beats change quite a bit because of the change in environment.
Did you hear that sound? That was the sound of Anthony (our director) ripping his gorgeous hair out of his head.
Don’t worry Anthony, it doesn’t change THAT much. In fact, you probably won’t even notice it. But it’s definitely something that registers inside of me. The acoustics in the space are usually the first thing that has an effect on me. Most rehearsal spaces are small, enclosed rooms with low ceilings and tile floors, which are absolutely NOTHING like the actual performance space. If the acoustics aren’t great your volume has to go up so the back seats can hear you, which can have a profound effect on what sort of emotion you’re trying to portray. It’s frustrating, but challenging. And sometimes…SOMETIMES it actually helps change things for the better.