We all experience that moment when we’re backstage during a run of a show with nothing to do except wait for our next scene. (If you’re reading this from backstage, you might be having one of those moments right now.) Unfortunately, no matter how talented we are (or think we are), we cannot be on stage at every moment of a show, and because of that, sometimes we find ourselves with a minute (or thirty) of spare time as we patiently wait for that next moment that we get to ham it up for mom and dad.
Never fear, performers! If you find yourself with some free time backstage during a performance, here are 12 things you can do (or have done in the past) to help pass the time:
This is best invention of all time, and it only got better when we found out that we could puke rainbows. Puke all over your friend’s Snapchats, add “bored” pictures to My Story, and most importantly, record yourself making faces as the leads are singing their solos.
Sing along with the leads…
You’re obviously better than them. The only reason that they’re the lead and you’re not is because you had a little too much mucus in your throat during callbacks. So, use your backstage time to show your castmates why you’re the obvious understudy.
F*ck it. You don’t need this. Walk out of your dressing room, go through the audience, exit in a grandiose manner, get in your car, and go sing karaoke with your other theater friends…
…just kidding. Please don’t do that.
Ignore your stage manager when she tells you that you’re talking too loud…
We all talk backstage. And when we get a little too loud, one of the stage managers will come into the dressing room and proclaim, “SHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!”
Quiet down for a minute or two, give your other castmates a “here she goes again” look, then resume your conversation right where it left off.
Erase your script
Ugh… MTI… you want us to write in pencil, but now you want us erase everything we wrote down?! It seems like whenever we get our scripts, we have to erase the previous show’s blocking anyway. Are we the only people that follow this rule?! UGH!!!!
Does anyone have an eraser I could borrow?
Look for auditions…
Start planning your next adventure. I heard there is a production of (insert show here) coming up that you’d obviously get the lead for. If not, you could always re-read this article in your spare time backstage.
Plan where you’re going after the show…
It’s not even intermission yet, and you’re starving. Start planning where you’re going to eat and drink now, that way you can go there immediately after the final bow. If you plan ahead of time, you could also pretend like you’re going home, when really you’re going out… thus preventing people that you don’t want there from coming.
Grade papers/Do homework/Be productive/Blah blah blah blah
For those of us that like to actually be productive during free time, you can actually get some work done.
Never seen this done successfully… so, good luck.
Yay! The people you want to talk about are either on stage or in the audience! Use this time to gossip and spread some rumors.
Word to the wise… make sure your mic isn’t on.
Raid the green room and see what they got packin’ in there. Maybe a pound of Twizzlers, or some stale cake from the opening night gala two weeks prior. There’s gotta be something in there to eat, right? RIGHT?!
I mean, this is always the go-to option when you’re bored, right? Lord knows how many times you’ve been looking to kill time, so you look toward your thumb to do some scrolling action.
Like some statuses that you don’t really like, comment on a picture you have no business commenting on, share a stupid video, and/or write happy birthday on the wall of someone that you haven’t talked to in 15 years. C’mon, we all know the drill by now.
Almost miss your cue…
Shit! I gotta be on stage in 15 seconds and I’m sitting back here gossiping, Snapchatting, eating, and saying happy birthday to someone I haven’t talked to in 15 years!