Whether you’re hired as an actor, backstage technician or designer, your job is to help bring the creative team’s vision to life. Therefore, you want to make sure you are on your game and carry out those duties like a pro. Consequently, don’t jeopardize your relationship or future jobs with the rest of the team by doing one of the nine things on this list that seriously drive a creative team crazy:
1. Being Late
Everyone’s time is precious. Be respectful of schedules and be on time when you’re called. Waiting for someone who is late can push back other important commitments and to-do’s required by the creative team, or even just make someone else late for another endeavor. Remember this mantra: Early is on time, on time is late and late means you’ll never be hired again.
2. Being Unprepared
Did you need to learn your lines? Did you need to do research before your next meeting and rehearsal, but time just got away from you? Truly, there are no excuses for being unprepared. The creative team hired you to be onstage or behind-the-scenes because they trusted you would bring to the project the work you said you’d do. Don’t hold them back by being unprepared once it’s time to come together with them. This also includes asking questions you could have answered yourself by conducting a Google search, reading the script or taking a trip to the library.
3. Not Being Available
You committed to the project and schedule, but then decided to take a last-minute, more lucrative audition or a potential meeting for a bigger project that would force you to be less available than you initially let on. It’s one thing to have a doctor’s appointment, catch the flu or have a short meeting or audition for a future gig that takes you away for a short amount of time. However, to willingly not uphold your original commitment of allotted time for a better opportunity or last-minute day job is just tacky and unprofessional. Not to mention, it could also put a dent in the scheduled events and rehearsals that need to happen to mount the production.
4. Not Keeping to Your Job Description
Whether you’re an actor, designer or other personnel, you were hired to do that specific job. So please keep in mind that an actor does not need to give notes to another actor (that is the director’s job), and the costume designer should not interfere with the lighting design, unless it involves coordinating colors or matching aesthetic. Stick to your job, and the creative team will stick with you.
5. Wasting People’s Time
You shouldn’t waste the time of the creative team by auditioning for their shows or pitching them work if it’s something you’re not right or qualified for. Everyone’s time is limited. Thus, when a creative team spends hours and hours trying to find the perfect person for their project, it’s definitely not the right way to make a first impression. In actuality, it could leave a devastating mark that prevents them from considering you in the future when you are actually the perfect match for their project.
6. Not Being Open to Collaborating
The art of putting together a production is indeed a collaborative effort. Everyone involved must be willing to collaborate within the realm of their duties. It’s detrimental to the process if you are too set in your ways about how the look should work or don’t take other people’s visions into account. Remember, collaboration is the key to success.
7. Not Promoting the Work
Social media is a huge outlet for letting others know about what is going on in the world. Take the time to promote the projects you are in. It benefits everyone, and let’s face it, we can all use help from each other in this realm.
8. Being on Your Cell Phone
Being on your cell phone during rehearsals and meetings and distracted by non-work-related texts and emails is a big no-no. When you are in with the creative team, be present, available and ready to work. Leave your phone for later, or step outside if you have to take an emergency call.
9. Not Meeting Deadlines
Last, make sure to stay on schedule and keep up with your deadlines. Putting on a production means a building block of steps must occur. Make sure to stick to deadlines so every part of the creative process can be carried out without a hitch.