What should you say to an actor when meeting them at the stage door? I've never stage doored before, and I'm not sure if I should make conversation or just ask them for an autograph.
I met Chita Rivera at the stage door for Edwin Drood. Decided to bring up something that happened between me and her years ago when she was in Philly at the out of town opening of her daughter's show "Platinum" prior to it going to Broadway. She actually remembered and we chatted about it. She was sweeping through the lobby at intermission and knocked me and my soda (I was 17) to the floor. She spun around and helped me up off the floor, apologized and headed outside. It was pretty cool that she remembered. We also too a very nice picture together.I was kind of afraid to bring it up but I thought "What the heck". Usually I just say I enjoyed the show. I don't stage door much though. I usually just stand aside and watch then leave.
I am so awkward at stage doors! I just did it for Hadestown last week and only about 3 other times in the past few years. All I’ve managed to convey is a heartfelt “thank you so much”, but then I don’t know if they thought I was thanking them for the autograph or their performance, when I really meant both. I definitely need more practice.
I always just tell them how much I enjoyed their performance. If it's someone I've been a fan of for a long time, I might also mention what of their performances I enjoyed but only after praising their current show--after all, that's the reason I'm there seeing them in the first place! It usually touches them, assuming they're not in a huge rush/the stage door isn't totally packed and they have a moment or two to chat with everyone.It's definitely easier at smaller stage doors. My best/most natural interactions were with Donna Murphy after one Dolly performance when there were only about 5 of us waiting for her (it was an added matinee, and 21 degrees and windy), Carolee Carmello after Sweeney Todd (there weren't a ton of people who waited to see the actors post-show), and Renée Fleming after Carousel (I was at the very end of the line and she sort of hung around there waiting for a friend, she said).
If you really want to tell someone something, try to make it quick - the actors are trying to concentrate on signing for everyone, but they never mind a little personal story, as long as it's short. For example, when I met Andrew Barth Feldman at Dear Evan Hansen, I said, "I think you're the only other person I know who looks at the Disney World wait times when they're not at Disney World," to which he said, and I quote, "Oh, hell yeah." Sometimes, the actors themselves will start a conversation - I've had nice conversations with Gavin Creel at Waitress and Harry Hadden-Paton at My Fair Lady, and I've heard Alex Brighten is able to start a conversation from practically nothing. Most of all, be sure to thank them for such a great performance.Just out of curiosity, what show are you seeing?
The very first time I saw HELLO, DOLLY! (1964) I was so overwhelmed I stood in that passageway in the St.James Theatre with tears of joy in my eyes. When Carol and her entourage finally emerged, she came up to me, stroked my cheek and signed my PLAYBILL.I remained silent. When I visited with her during my visit to CA a few years ago, she claimed to remember that moment. I'll take her word on that.I recalled the experience as I stood outside the St James during dimming ceremony after her death. (God, how I miss her!)
LexiGirl said: "I am so awkward at stage doors! I just did it for Hadestown last week and only about 3othertimes in the past few years.All I’ve managed to convey is a heartfelt “thank you so much”, but then I don’t know if they thought I was thanking them for the autograph or their performance, when I really meant both. I definitely need more practice."Honestly, that's all you need to say. You'd be surprised at how much actors don't even hear "thank you" at stage doors, and just get playbills shoved in their faces. A simple "thank you so much, you were wonderful" can make an actor's night.And honestly, the truth is that most of the time, an actor really doesn't want to hear any more than that. They usually just want to get home, without hearing giant soliloquies from people (not putting you in that bracket, I'm just saying). Sure, you get the Christy Altomares and Alex Brightmans of the world, who will have conversations with people, and listen to fans tell their stories. But most of the time, actors don't need to hear anything more than a simple "thank you, you were wonderful" or something similar.
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