I realize bar shows and the like may not be able to offer tech, but in a venue where you have proper sound and lighting systems, you should absolutely take advantage of a tech rehearsal.
“I never realized tech isn’t for me. Thank you for making me do it.” – said out of town performer (we’ll call her Jane) at our venue for the first time. I had seen performers come in, walk back and forth across stage while their music played for thirty seconds and then saying “I’m good.” This always baffled me, and then Jane, without meaning to, turned on the light bulb for me.
What you may think tech is for you. To give you a chance to run through the number and work out any kinks the new venue’s stage creates.
What it’s actually for:
- The above
- The spot op and light technician to see your costume and choose the best lighting they have available for the piece.
- The sound technician to make sure they understand either: to play through the silence in the middle of the track, or what do you means there’s silence in the middle of the track? That’s not supposed to be there- we gotta get that fixed.
- The stage crew- where exactly does the chair go? How should the prop be handed to you? What do you mean this prop doesn’t fit onto stage the way I thought it would?
- A chance to have an audience view your number before the paying audience does. This solves problems like “Shit! You seriously can’t see theses LEDs from the back row?” What has worked in every venue before, may not work in this one. Now you have a choice on whether to go bigger or loose the prop all together- and the paying audience is never the wiser.
- Your fellow performers. I was planning on entering stage left, but clearly her and her costume exiting take up that whole wing; I better adapt.
What tech should look like:
Run through your entire number start to finish wearing at least the shoes you will perform in, one piece of your costume so the lighting crew knows the color scheme, and use any props you may be using in your piece.
This is the only way to ensure if the performance isn’t what you had in mind due to missed lighting cues, music problems, prop placement/pick up/ hand-off issues; it isn’t on you.