Currently I am in a Christmas production at my local community theater. The cast is quite large and is a mixture of children and adults. I love to act, but quite frankly the lack of professionalism demonstrated by some of the cast members is really starting to ruin the experience for me. Here is the current list of grievences that should NEVER be committed when you are a cast member:
1. If the director buys your costume with her own money treat it with respect. DO NOT throw it on the floor and allow it to be stomped on when you are through with it and then complain that you can't find your costume during the start of the next performance.
2. When you are asked to lower your voice when you are backstage DO IT. Sometimes we slip up and need to be reminded a couple times to keep it down- but it is inexcusable for the stage manager to have to remind certain individuals 20 times per performance to shut up.
3. I know that I am short and look like a teenager, but I am 27 years old. After five weeks of working with me you should know this. One 13 year old started shoving me as I passed him to get into place- since I couldn't make a comment to him (the show was going on) I just grabbed his arm and gave him the look of death. He immediately apologized.
4. I don't care how small your part is- you had better be deathly ill or dead to miss a performance. Sure, you have one of the smaller parts but what if EVERYONE with the smaller parts decided they had something better to do that night? Sometimes there are other things that I want to do to, but I'd never skip a performance and ruin the show for everyone else.
5. The backstage IS NOT a daycare center. Your child who is not in the show and is making all that noise during the performance is not welcome backstage. The least you could do is make your child be quiet, not whine to the stage manager about how you don't want to be mean to him. You should have arranged for someone to watch him. You knew about these perfomance nights when you signed up for this gig so you could have arranged for childcare ahead of time.
6. When the stage manager or director tells you to do something DO IT. Don't stand there and argue with them for five minutes- you don't take orders well don't be an actor.
7. DO NOT play with the props. It really puts me in a bad mood when I am scrambling around backstage to find a prop that isn't where I put it. God help you after the show if I find you playing swordfights with it before I go onstage.
8. DID I MENTION THAT YOU NEED TO BE THERE FOR EVERY PERFORMANCE!!!
9. DO NOT stand at the stage entrances to watch the show! I don't care how quiet you claim you are, you are in every actor's way who is coming on and off the stage! Are you really so self-centered and stupid that you don't realize that?!
Yes this is community theater and yes you are not getting paid, but you still are required to act like a professional and treat others with respect. You also don't have the right to ruin the show for the people who are paying money to see it. Okay, I feel a little better now. Thank God this is the last weekend of this show- I don't know if I could keep myself from throttling anyone any longer.