Opening Night Rituals!

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Opening night of any show is always exciting! During the last two weeks, I’ve been rehearsing for a production of MY FAIR LADY that opens tonight – photo below! It’s been a hectic process, but we’ve made it to opening night! I’ve done a lot of shows in my almost 30 years, but no matter what, it’s always exciting to open a show. Each show is different of course, but it’s a great feeling to finally bring everything together in front of an audience.

Everyone prepares a little differently before a show, but here are some of my go-to tasks to do before opening night shenanigans begin!

  • Wake up on my own time.
    • This is a big one for me. After hustling around with rehearsals, tech elements, costumes, and late nights, it is no surprise that I am tired. If I don’t have to be anywhere early, I’m in bed until whenever my body feels like moving. Today, it was 10:30am so I DEFINITELY got some extra sleep today.
  • Start drinking water bright & early. 
    • I’m a champion when it comes to drinking water; I hit the gallon mark pretty early most days. Once I get to the theatre, I have prep to do in a limited amount of time. That precious time doesn’t include running to the bathroom every 15 minutes. Hydrating early is important – especially if you’re singing or talking a lot.
  • Take about 30-60 minutes to think about the show.
    • I’m not the type to really stress out before a show, but I think it’s because I take a couple extra minutes to just look over notes or things that I might have missed from the last rehearsal. Maybe that’s reading over a song lyric or line that tripped me up (definitely had one of those last night) or running over my presets. This time brings the show to the forefront of my brain, but the limited time doesn’t allow me to dwell on anything for too long. Plus, there’s bound to be a flurry of activity at the theatre so I get that out of the way early.
  • Do something “normal.”
    • Disconnecting from anything related to the theatre for a while is absolutely crucial for me. By “normal,” I mean I’m doing something like a load of laundry, cooking a meal, writing, taking out the trash, etc. Believe it or not, I find household chores to be pretty grounding. I’m not going to overwork, but getting a task done gives me a more relaxed feeling when I’m going into a big night or event.
  • Warm-up!
    • To me, this means talking and singing a bit. Stretching to work out the kinks from the day and release any tension that might be lingering is key when you’re about to do a show. Everyone does this differently and this process is probably different for each show as well.
  • Get to the theatre a little earlier than call time.
    • Arriving at theatre before most people is something I enjoy because I enjoy the calm before the storm. I can get into my dressing room early for a few quiet moments to get into the right brain-space before doing my hair & makeup.

Again, everybody does ‘their’ opening night ritual a little differently, but it’s what we do. Some people are social, some people are more introverted about their processes, and some people don’t have a ritual – it varies so much, but that’s ok!

I didn’t have much time to take a lot of photos this week, but click on these to see some of the Instagram photos I took this week!



(Cast Photo Credit: Beef & Boards // Julie Curry Photography)

If you’re in the Indianapolis area, click the link below the photo for more information on MY FAIR LADY! I hope you’ll join us – we run until May 14th!

Other performers: Do you have any rituals that you like to do on opening night? Or before a performance? Tell me!

Being A Wordsmith

16 thoughts on “Opening Night Rituals!

  1. First off as someone obsessed with theatre, this post is incredible!!!!! Wow!! LOVE the BTS photos! Second, I never knew all that went into this! I knew you rehearsed your lines etc but was unaware the mental prep involved! Wow I am sure you are an amazing actress!

  2. Loving the photos here. And the mental prep that goes into before the show was lovely to hear about. Never thought of it before.

  3. I remember doing theater in school what an amazing feeling to be on stage, captivating the audience. I’ve definitely used a few of these tips before…good call. Have a FANTASTIC show.

  4. I love it when those in the performing arts lay out its intricacies for us. I’ve accepted that this is hard work and cannot compare to a 9-5 kind of job. You look dashing in the outfit!

    1. It’s definitely work, but it’s always a little hard to explain so I thought I’d lay it all out! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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