Musical Theatre is a very big part of my life, it’s something I do in my spare time that I enjoy more than anything. For those who don’t know, when you perform in musicals, you usually go through a routine on show day to prepare. It’s not as easy as showing up five minutes before curtain and walking on stage. This week I share with you my average opening night routine based on ‘PIRATES!’.
I wake up on Saturday morning which in this case is opening night and check my social media and news sites as usual. I try not to make show days that different from normal because there is really no need. Once I have done that I watch some TV or YouTube which takes my mind off the show completely, sometimes I get a little nervous. If I watch YouTube, it’s usually a behind the scenes musical video to get me in the musical mood.
Once Mum is up she cooks some breakfast and usually asks how I am feeling about the show, especially in this case as it’s opening night. After breakfast I go and freshen up with a shower and get ready for the day. By this stage it’s about 9-9:30am which then leads me to put up a little Instagram story about opening night. Until 4pm I don’t really do much else specifically surrounding the show, I just rest up because opening night is of course not the only show for the weekend.
When 4pm comes around things start getting a little serious, I do a couple of vocal exercises and have a drink of tea (In the days after opening night, for my other shows of PIRATES, I had another four – I drank a solution of honey, lemon and hot water. It tastes disgusting but works a charm on your vocal chords). By this time, it’s quarter to five, time to pack everything into a big plastic tub. For those who are interested I pack: a water bottle, electronic device (for pictures), snacks to get you through the night, my script (just in case), moisturiser, a makeup bag with all the necessities (Mum thankfully sorts this out) and any other things I need for the show including some costumes. In the shows I have been in most of my costumes have been dealt with by costume directors who transport them to the theatre.
At 5pm Mum and I leave home and travel to the theatre, in the instance of
PIRATES it took about 20 – 30 minutes to get to the venue. Once I’ve arrived Mum and I take all my stuff to the dressing rooms where I get dressed into the basics of my costume, covered by a dressing gown. Then we begin the worst part of performing… makeup! My makeup for PIRATES was a little complex but Mum got quicker every show which meant it didn’t take as long. It roughly took about 30 minutes on opening night.
Once my makeup is complete I head to the microphone table to get miked before putting on the rest of my costume. By this stage its around 6:15pm so I either have something to eat or I have a chat with some other cast members or crew, one of my favourite bits about performing. At 6:45pm I head onto stage for sound check before going back to the dressing rooms for a drink. Audience doors open at 7pm, meaning all cast gather for a quick briefing and vocal warm ups. We finish at 7:20pm, ten minutes before curtain. I grab another drink (It is important to keep your vocal chords moist before, during and after a show) and obtain any props I need for my first scene. I then head onto stage, behind the red curtain ready for SHOW TIME!
During interval cast members don’t really get a break like the audience, it is more for us to gather ourselves and change costumes for act two. Then back onto stage we go. When the show finishes the cast usually head into the audience and meet with everyone, it’s great to see everyone who comes along to enjoy themselves. I then head backstage to get all my makeup off, get out of my costume, pack all my belongings up ready to head home. PIRATES was a very long show and because it was in a different town I didn’t get home until midnight. That calls for a big sleep in the morning before heading back the next day for a matinee, meaning I have to be at the theatre at 11:30am. I wouldn’t change any of this for the word however, it’s what truly completes me as a person.