5 Dressing Room Essentials

5 Dressing Room Essentials

Vicki Trask

  • OnStage Canada Columnist

As I head into my final show of the season (one I’ll most likely talk about in length at a later date) I’m remembering just how real the phrase “move-in” is. 

I am the type of actor who brings everything they could possibly need during the run of a show all on that first day. My dance bag is overflowing with extra tights, therabands, clear nail polish, baby powder, everything I need and possibly things I don’t need. But my philosophy has always been: “I’d rather have it than need it.”

But not all actors are like me. If they were, the dressing rooms would be too cluttered to function and no work would get done. As long as one cast member or a group of people provide for their dressing room, things generally turn out just fine. 

So for those of you getting ready to “move-in”, here are 5 Dressing Room Essentials you’ll be glad you brought.

1)    Slippers

This may seem a little trivial but especially during the snowy or rainy times, you don’t want to be the person who tracked mud through the green room. Plus, it’s a nice treat between shows when you finally get to put your feet up. 

2)    Mic Tape/Medical Tape

It’s inevitable. 20 actors sharing a single roll of mic tape, you run out in the middle of a run and no one has extra to get you through until a fresh roll is provided. Besides that, mic tables are crowded and messy (no matter how many reminders come through) so having one to share amongst a few of your dressing roommates can make the pre-show flow run a lot smoother. 

3)    Witch Hazel

I’ve had some wonderful and horrible experiences with mic tape, and more importantly, removing mic tape. The number one thing I’ve found that helps remove the horrible pull of tape on your baby hairs is witch hazel

4)    Odor Eaters

Trust Me

5)    Music

As you prepare to spend the next (at least) 3 hours with your extended theatre family, it helps to fill the hyper-focused silence with a little music to boost the energy in the room. Nothing helps the cast bonding quite like dancing around to Spice Girls. 

Bonus: Petroleum Jelly

I have never tried this myself but I know some people who swear by this stuff. I support anything that has multipurpose use during a hectic show so I may try this out next time. 

Anything else is to your preference, I think. Take what you need and remember that you’re sharing the space with many other performers (dear past self, learn to share) who are also putting together a show. 

Photo: nau.edu

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