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16 Pre-Show Preparation Personalities: Which One Are You?

Tech week is over and it’s game time. Every actor in the cast handles the pressures of opening night differently. Which of these types of actors are you?

1. The Procrastinator

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The procrastinator shows up unprepared, hasn’t learned their lines or blocking, but nonetheless creates pure magic on stage. You love to hate them but are secretly envious of their effortless approach.

2. The Superstitious One

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The Superstitious actor wears the same underwear three nights in a row, they’d never dream of uttering anything other than a “Merde” or “Break a leg” backstage, and they have a pre-show routine that they’re sticking to no matter how monotonous.

3. The Overly Warmed Up

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You’re warmed up and ready to go, yet somehow the Overly Warmed Up actor is still going strong, ‘toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat…’

4. The Inspirational Quote Actor

Funny-Motivational-Overconfidence-Cat-And-Bird-ImageThe inspirational quote actor’s dressing room mirror is plastered with positivity. “I’m great, you’re great, we’re all great!”

5. The Character Geography Obsessed Actor

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My character’s birthstone is Amethyst, she was born at 3:45am on a Wednesday, her first word was Pop-Tart, she doesn’t like socks and she loves trees….

6. The Silent Type

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The silent type is stoic and reserved. You’ll most likely catch them chugging Throat Coat and sucking on lozenges. Must. Preserve. Vocal. Integrity.

7. The Researcher

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The researcher knows everything about the show from the type of undies worn during the time period to what was happening in the news that week. You can catch the researcher scrolling through Wikipedia while waiting in the wings.

8. The Crash Dieter

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There’s a crash dieter in every cast. Whether it’s their nerves or body consciousness, they’re bound to give the costume department grief. I

don’t know what happened, I just ate nothing but celery and salsa every day for a week and now my costume is too big!

9. The Stress Eater

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The Green Room snack table is empty and the stress eater is to blame. He’s the one covered in artificial cheese powder from all those Cheetos.

10.The Music Freak

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The music freak has crafted a highly complex playlist that brings out the elaborate emotions of their character’s journey. Don’t try to talk to him, his earbuds aren’t coming out until his first cue.

11.The Social Media Monster

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The Social Media Monster’s way of getting into character is by Tweeting their character’s inner monologue, posting costume selfies and shamelessly self-promoting. Hey, somebody’s got to get butts in the seats.

12.The Partier

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The partier’s idea of preparation is a birdbath-size of tequila to take the edge off.

13.The Buddha

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Tai chi, meditation, yoga, you name it. The Buddha is serious about getting seriously Zen before that curtain goes up.

14.The Jumper

The Jumper jumps around backstage, mindlessly hoping up and down before each entrance. This appears to be all the prep work needed for them.

15.The Pacer

Much like the jumper only with pacing.

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16.The Overly Caffeinated

The overly caffeinated actor warms up with a pot of Joe. He may be twitchy but he’s ready to let loose once he hits the spotlight!

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There’s no wrong way to prepare as long as it works for you. (Okay, maybe don’t drink the birdbath-sized cocktail until after the show.)

Did we miss one? List your prep persona below!

Written by Lisa Kay Jennings

Lisa is a voice over actress and writer with her B.F.A in Acting from Wright State University. Lisa lives in Los Angeles and when she's not writing or performing she's usually drinking wine and dressing up her Shih Tzu in funny outfits.

5 Comments

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  1. I do a wierd combo of these. Normally I have pump up music playing while I do my makeup. If I’m having a rough voice day or its a vocally demanding show I’ll usually rest until I get to the theatre. Then when i get there, I warm up twice as much as needed…like stretching whrn the dancing isn’t intense…and I always warm up by singing Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid. Im usually normal till just before we go on. I jump around at 5 minutes and then start on my pre show rituals – I have to find everyone in the cast, hug them and wish them good show. I also have some pump up games and chants and things I get everyone to do. Then i meditate for a bit – but I think the weirdest thing I do is I find an empty room with a mirror, and look myself in the eyes and say “I am a good person. I’m an attractive person. I am a talented person. I am so ready for this performance. I am going to kill it tonight. I love you”. It seems odd and self centered to most people but its important for me to remind myself that everything I do is appreciated by me. I need to remind myself thay I love and believe in myself and my work. I guess all of it pit together makes me really obnoxious to get resdy with, but my wierd mix of routines gets me in the right mindset which is the whole idea right?

  2. I too am a combo of these characteristics – primarily of the Character Geography Obsessed type and the Silent Type.

  3. I just show up. I LOATHE stupid warmup games, like the one where you countdown from 10 whilst shaking your hands and legs. (Just shoot me… The pain will be a better warmup.) I’d rather do improv games that warmup my mind, but I can never seem to get any of those damn leg-shakers to play one… I am certainly an eater. If you put food out I’m gonna eat it, not because I’m nervous, but because you put food out. Seems rather obvious to me. I’m an extrovert, so being around people (and in a theater!!) energizes me. That’s all the warmup I need, really.

  4. The Chatter: Always wants to talk backstage and never seems ready to go. Somehow pulls themselves together right before the go onstage. Often smiles.

  5. The hyperventilator: The one who freaks out that they’re going to be horrible and then knocks it out of the park. Ask anyone who has done a show with me and they will tell you that I’m one of the most nervous people when it comes to performing yet I always do well (well except the time I got mono during drama festival my worst day was performance day sore throat, swollen glands, runny nose and it was my time of the month as well needless to say it was all I could do to get my lines out)

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