Student Blog: Survival Tips for Tech Week

Strategies for making it through the rigors of tech.

By: Feb. 26, 2024
Student Blog: Survival Tips for Tech Week
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Have you ever heard a performer refer to tech week as “hell week?” What is a tech week and how did it earn such a nickname? Tech week is the week of rehearsals leading up to opening night. Tech week involves practicing in costumes, hair, and makeup for the first time. This is often the first time mics and lights will be used. 

The reason why some actors call tech week “hell week,” is because tech rehearsals are notorious for being long and tedious. Introducing so many new elements requires special attention and will often have its challenges along the way. The first few tech rehearsals can be very “start and stop,” meaning the run of the show has to be shortly stopped to fix issues. While tech week can be frustrating, it is also very exciting to finally see the show fully come to life. 

Throughout my years of performing, I have gone through many, many tech weeks. The exact details of how tech rehearsal is run will depend on the production, however, there are some “survival tips” that will help make your life in tech much easier. 

Sleep

This may seem obvious but it is still a good reminder: Get as much sleep as possible! Tech rehearsals typically run later than normal rehearsals. It may be tempting to stay up on your phone or watch TV once you arrive home, but the best thing for you is to go to sleep. Your body needs rest! Take advantage of any time you have to get a good night’s sleep. 

Hydrate and Eat Well

Because tech rehearsals run longer than typical rehearsals, fueling your body is even more important. Ensure you give yourself enough time to eat three meals and pack snacks. It is also a great idea to find foods that give you extra protein. In addition to eating well, make sure you’re drinking lots of water. Water will keep your voice strong and keep you hydrated throughout the runs of the show. It is also a great idea to keep a water bottle handy in rehearsals and runs because there is a good chance you will run big numbers more than once. 

Know Your Stuff

Again, this one may sound obvious, but knowing your track forwards and backward is important once you begin tech rehearsals. Tech adds many new factors like lights, mics, costumes, and set changes that can feel overwhelming. It will be easier to manage all of the commotion of the added details if you are completely confident in your choreography, lines, and vocal parts. Additionally, there is a great possibility of your director having to make slight changes to the show during tech rehearsals. It will be simpler to cope with any changes if you are already comfortable with your current responsibilities. 

Every actor will have their own approach to tech week. Over time, you will be able to develop your own techniques and traditions that help you get through tech rehearsals. Remember to have fun and trust that everything will come together in the end--no matter how messy it is to begin with.



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