How Helping Backstage Can Get You On Stage

If you have ever wanted to be in the spotlight but have found yourself deterred from taking on the challenge of an audition, then I have the perfect solution for you. While the glitz and glamor of acting on stage are what catch most people’s eye in the theater, it isn’t always possible to get on stage, whether that be because you couldn’t land the part or didn’t have the confidence to take on an audition. Thankfully though, there is a way to engage with the theater that doesn’t involve performing for an audience. Every theater production needs a crew to put together the world that the cast will be acting in. Take it from me, someone who has been in both the cast and crew before; working in a theater crew is a great way to build up the confidence and know-how needed to nail that next audition.

We all know that auditioning for shows can be incredibly nerve-wracking. But one thing that can bring a performer a great deal of comfort is a feeling of familiarity. This is something that working as a stagehand prior to auditioning can lend itself to. Working in a theater in the crew allows those interested in performing an opportunity to explore and get comfortable with their environment. Feeling comfortable in a space makes auditioning a lot easier as it transforms an actor’s doubts into confidence. By working in the crew, people can get to move around the stage for building sets, blocking scenes, adjusting lights and music, etc. Knowing how much space there is on stage physically can be very beneficial for actors as it enables them to know how much space they’re able to move around in. Fully utilizing a space can make for more convincing acting and, thus, auditioning and performing. But the environment isn’t constrained exclusively to the space itself; it also includes the people filling said space and the procedures and rules that enable the environment’s cohesion. In other words, working on the crew enables those interested in performing to get to know the people they’ll be working with, such as directors and stage managers. Seeing how the play comes together from behind the scenes can also give people an extra bit of insight into what directors might be looking for in a cast and how to best appeal to the director’s vision.

The added experience from working backstage and in the crew also offers people another advantage that will strengthen their performances and, thus, the likelihood of them being cast. That advantage is experience. Experience in the theater gives people an edge because they already understand the process from casting to rehearsals, to tech week, to the final bow. Another thing that stagehands gain with their experience on a show is a sense of responsibility and commitment to it. That added sense of commitment to a great show is something that will also set one apart from the crowd, as it is something that casting directors will especially appreciate from their actors. 

Not to mention that the more people work together, the more they rub off on one another. So if the set designer spends a lot of time with the performers, then the designer will, without a doubt, learn a few tricks of the trade. Any additional knowledge about acting and theater will strengthen a person’s confidence when auditioning and increase their odds of landing a part. The knowledge that a person is likely to pick up while working on a show in any capacity includes things like slating, warm-ups, blocking, and of course, acting. Knowing about these and keeping them in mind while performing will ultimately show up in the acting, reflecting the quality work of a person with professionalism in their craft. Professionalism is, of course, another attribute that directors value; nobody wants to work on a group project with people who won’t pull their weight and do their fair share, and the same analogy can be applied to any theatrical production. 

Working off-stage is an excellent way to get on stage. This is because working off-stage allows crew members to build the confidence and knowledge that will help them to be stronger performers. If you are considering auditioning for a show but don’t quite have the courage yet, you should consider working your way up to the stage through a role in the theater crew.


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