Thursday, April 23, 2009

Timeliness is Next to Godliness

In her recent blog post on auditioning tips, Sabrina Everett gives her number 1 tip:

SHOW UP ON TIME. Seriously. If you can’t show up to an audition on time, what makes me think that you will show up to rehearsals on time? Please don’t waste my time (or anyone else’s for that matter).

And in her discussion of professionalism, BFG85 says:

You know, one really valuable lesson I learned at NYU that I'm fairly certain is taught at all theatre schools is that "early is on time and on time is late." Heck, even Strasberg got that one right. No one likes having their time wasted. This one goes both ways, I don't care who you think you are.

It seems like lateness is a big problem in indie/semi-professional theatre (I can't speak to the large houses, perhaps someone can comment below). As a stage manger, lateness is my biggest pet-peeve. Sometimes, it can arise from miscommunication or misunderstanding of schedules, but more often than not it is something that can be avoided. And must be.

I once had a cast member who was reliant on carpooling to get to rehearsal as she didn't have a vehicle of her own, and she lived over an hour away. When she slept in one morning because she forgot to set her alarm clock, not only had she missed her carpool, but it would now take her almost three hours to get to rehearsal on public transit. With a cast of 15 waiting to work and having to change their plans because of her, the decision to sleep an extra 20 minutes ended up costing a loss of 54-human hours or over 2 days of work (15 cast + 1 director +1 SM + 1 ASM x 3 hours). That is unacceptable.

When you are joining a show for the first time I'd advise planning a route and figuring out how much time it will take according to google maps (or google transit if you are taking the bus). But then add half an hour to that. That will give you a chance to see how long it actually takes you. And then based on that new information, still leave 10 minutes before you think you have to. It is always better to be at the theatre 10 minutes ahead of when you intended than it is to be late because traffic was more backed up than you expected or one bus was full and left you on the side of the road.

I am at the rehearsal hall an hour early getting things set up so that you can do your job. You being 15 minutes late matters. Be on time. Or, as Travis says, PUPPIES DIE.

1 comment:

jeffrey said...

amen! Unlike a corporate job, tardiness directly affects all of your co-workers, so I've always been in favor of fining the offenders (like in sports). Of course, if it's a low-budget production, perhaps the late one should just run laps instead.