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BWW Blog: Zoom Tech Week Tips and Tricks

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Doing a show over Zoom is challenging, but nothing could have prepared me for the tiring and hilarious process that is a tech week over Zoom.

Hello folks! Sorry that it's been a while, but I've been very busy! Namely, tonight we open my University's production of The Women by Clare Boothe Luce. I'm playing a bunch of roles in an ensemble track, and the whole process has been an exciting, Zoom-filled blast.

Doing a show over Zoom is challenging, but nothing could have prepared me for the tiring and hilarious process that is a tech week over Zoom. While having rehearsals run 10 am-6 pm is certainly the norm for the weekend before a show, being on a Zoom from 10 am-6 pm was nothing short of exhausting. But, I lived to tell the tale, and you will too. Here's how I did it. 1. Snacks

If you're like me, you always have protein bars and a few baggies of snacks packed for tech. You never know when you'll have a quick 5 minutes to eat, so it's always good to have something on hand. At AU, we have a tradition of setting up a tech table, a potluck backstage that everyone contributes to. People bring anything from a bag of chips to a whole cake. One of my castmates once brought a crockpot full of homemade chili! Sadly, there was no tech table this year via Zoom, so I made my own mini version. 2. Stretch

Zoom is exhausting, especially for hours on end, as could easily be the case in a start-and-stop process like a cue-to-cue. When you're not being used, turn off your camera and do a quick stretch and move break. Do some quick jumping jacks, roll down vertebrae by vertebrae and just rag doll for a bit, or even just lay down on your back and do some breathing exercises.

3. Stay Focused

I know that it's tempting to switch tabs during a Zoom, but don't. Stay invested and in the zone for all rehearsals, especially tech. The last thing you want to do is mess up your lighting because your screen lights up your face when you switch tabs or miss an entrance because you were too invested in rewatching Gilmore Girls.

4. Prep for Glitches

As we all have learned this past year, technology has its issues. Video lag, slow wifi, camera permissions, accidentally being muted or not muted. It happens on every Zoom call, and can easily happen during tech or a show. So, prepare. What improvs might you use if your scene partner's screen is frozen? What might your character say to cover? This will make you feel more confident navigating shows for an audience. 5. Keep Energy Up and Bring Joy

I know it's hard keeping energetic without a live audience, but you have to. Think of them out there, several hundred miles away, laughing hysterically at your last line. Or tearing up at your heartbreaking monologue. It may not seem like it in your Zoom performance space, but there are people on the other side, watching, listening, and loving your performance. Odds are, this is some person's first theatrical experience since the pandemic began. You get to return the joy of theatre into their lives. Do not take that responsibility lightly.

I hope that this helps you navigate your own Zoom tech, or at least give you some good tips for navigating Zoom in general. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get into costume. Well, the top half of one anyways.

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