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It’s the Most Wonderful Tiiiiiiime of the Rehearsal Process

I loooooooove Tech Week.

It’s like Christmas but less presents and a whole week long.

What I love about it the most is what it reveals about people. As the wise Flynn Holman said to me this afternoon, no one feels apathetic about Tech. Either you love it or you hate it.

I think it’s such a relief as an actor. I get to sit back and relax while other people integrate the parts of the show that will make me feel like a better actor. Nothing brings a dead performance back to life like a set, some lights, and some sounds.

Yes, I’m a giddy person to begin with, but beginning a tech process shoots my happy jumping through the roof.

Moving onto a set invigorates me. Good scenic designers build a set that does that easily. They build us silly actors a world that illuminates what we’ve been working on in the (usually dull and too-small) rehearsal room. A set gives meaning and context to the words. A well-designed set helps me get a better sense of the scope of the play and, in my current process, invites me to be bigger to fill up the space. Working under a full light plot is literally fascinating. Lighting design is so far outside my wheelhouse (my only experience doing it resulted in the Fisher Price version of a lighting design) and I am moved by good design. I’ve been moved to tears by some beautiful lights. And don’t get me started on costumes. Frankly, when acting gets weird and silly, all it takes is a new set of shoes to make me feel like a good actor again. The right pair of shoes unlocks a character. The right necklace brings her to life. Putting on a full costume makes my job so much easier: all I have to do is fill this outfit with some lines and viola! I’m a new person.

The ticking of the keyboards and light boards and the muttering of voices in the background is thrilling. It forces me to focus. Having people in the space who aren’t there to watch us introduces the idea that people soon will be here to watch us. I love the feeling of a bunch of people in a room doing all their individual jobs that will soon result in one beautiful thing.

And above all, it is my favorite way to appreciate the work of the other technicians in the room. It’s not about the actors anymore. It’s just about how we can make everyone else’s work look the best it can.

I love tech I love tech. I love it. If no one else feels that way, that’s cool. But I love tech.

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