What is Tech Week and How Can You Prepare For It?
Tech week is one of (if not the most important week) of putting together a stage production. This is the week (or two) before the performances begin. This is where everything gets put all together, lights, sound, music if for a musical, costumes etc. Tech week makes sure that the show runs smoothly when the time for performances comes along. It is a very long week for everyone involved. It can be a stressful experience and each day tends to be significantly longer than usual rehearsals. So how can you prepare? Well there are a couple of things that you can do.
Lines & Music Perfected
Firstly, make sure that your lines and lyrics are absolutely solid. Typically you're supposed to be off book before tech week anyway, but it is super important to make sure that they are perfected for when tech week starts. There are so many other factors that are being introduced that week that the last thing you (and the director) want to be worried about is what line is next.
Getting a bag ready
I always put together a bag for tech week with the things I will need. Having it all put together before the first day of tech makes life a little bit stressful for that first day.
This one should seem obvious, but you should definitely have your script with you. Even if you are off book, your script holds all the notes you've been given for easy reference. It also allows you to review in downtime. Plus you will still be given notes that last place and ideally they should be going into your script.
Also obvious, but you definitely need something to write notes with. Pencil is highly recommended over pen as it can be erased if something changes.
Snacks & Water
As I mentioned earlier, tech week rehearsals are long so I also pack snacks to munch on when I get hungry. I like to pack a selection so I have something for any mood. Depending on the situation, you may also need to pack a full meal. Also make sure to have a nice full water bottle and fill it up as needed throughout each rehearsal.
Depending on what your role is, you may have a fair amount of down time throughout the tech rehearsals. You should have something to occupy Yourself with that is quiet and can be put down quickly. Acting is very much something that is hurry up and wait. You are expected to be where you need to be when you need to be there and do your job well and then there is downtime while the next shot is set up or the scene you aren't in plays out. So make sure you can easily put down whatever you choose. Some options include a book (keep in mind you might not always have good light to read by), crocheting, knitting, cross-stitch etc.
Get yourself ready
The last thing to do to get ready is to make sure you are physically and mentally ready for tech week.
Sleep Is crucial for both your body and mind. Make sure you get enough sleep the week before. Preferably good quality sleep but obviously we can't always control that. Tech week will likely have long nights and you will be much better off if you can go into tech week feeling well-rested.
Make in the days leading up to tech week you are hydrating! You should always be hydrating, but especially before and during tech week. You absolutely want to feel your best and this is one of the first steps to doing so.
Vitamin C can help prevent you from getting sick and being sick during tech week is no fun at all. I highly recommend taking some vitamin C either in drink mix or pill form starting at least 2 weeks before tech. Vitamin C can only help prevent illness, it can’t help it go away once you are sick. If you do get sick before or during tech week (or anytime really) Zinc can help it go away quicker. You just have to make sure to start it as soon as the symptoms begin.
Tea with Honey & Lemon or ACV
I absolutely love tea with honey and lemon. I especially love it when I have a sore throat or am just feeling under the weather. Tech week is long and you’re bound to talk and sing a lot if it’s a musical. I like to bring the stuff to make my tea every day during tech or at least trying to drink it before and/or after each rehearsal. You definitely don’t have to, but the lemon is not only a source of vitamin C, but can also help fight off those germs. Honey is antimicrobial and can also help fight off the germs, plus it helps thin the mucus, which is always pesky when you’re singing.
As I said many times thus far, tech week is long and exhausting, so definitely take some time to prepare yourself mentally leading up to it. Make sure you take care of yourself and give yourself time to decompress before, during, and after.
I hope that you have found this helpful. There are probably many other things you can do to prepare, but this is my take on it all. Just find what works best for you and I wish you all the luck through you next tech week. Break a leg!