30 Unwritten Rules of Performance Etiquette

Things you’re expected to know that no one ever tells you. 

 

 

  1. Be nice to everyone you meet. You never know who knows who and who will end up where one day.
  2. Be 15mins early. Always.
  3. Don’t practice your understudy roles in the wing.
  4. Don’t sing show tunes in a dressing room. Keep your space clean and underwear in your own area.
  5. Don’t talk about money at work. Don’t talk about how much you earn or how much someone else does. 
  6. Say thank you to people at the end of a job.
  7. Respond to emails promptly and use spell check.
  8. Don’t lie on your resume. Dancing for Jessie J on a tour is very different to being an extra in the background of a TV performance. Both are valuable experiences but don’t pretend either is something it’s not. Also doing a few classes at any institute does not necessarily mean they trained you. So if you took class at Broadway Dance Centre whilst on holidays, does not mean you TRAINED there.
  9. Don’t overcharge to teach/take/participate in a class.
  10. Be gracious in defeat. If you don’t make the cut congratulate your friends and then go home and cry. Don’t do it the waiting room. 
  11. Don’t text that you are late/sick/unable to make it to a job. Pick up the phone like a adult.
  12. Pay attention to the details. Read the fine print. Always ask a question if you need to. Try not to ask questions that have already been answered.
  13. Don’t pretend to know someone when you don’t. It’s okay to say you don’t know them. It’s better than awkwardly pretending you do just to fit in.
  14. Be realistic about your talents and abilities. Chances are you won’t actually be right for every role that comes along.
  15. Let your agent be a filter between you and a client/employer. It’s their job to ask the hard questions without it getting personal. That’s why you pay them 10-15%.
  16. Be nice to Wardrobe and Hair & Make up. Even when they are not nice to you. You don't want to upset the people who make you look good. Nobody wants the crappy costume.
  17. Forgetting your shoes/underwear/deodorant is never a valid excuse.
  18. Three professional jobs does not equate a career. Build your career. Respect those who have come before you and those who will come after you. Everyone's path is different. 
  19. Don’t pretend to know it all when you don’t. You will probably never know it ALL.
  20. The show will go on. 9/10 times you are actually replaceable.
  21. Turn your phone on silent. In an age of blurred lines with technology save checking your phone, texting and snap chat for break times and off-work times only.
  22. Take notes graciously. They are not personal attacks. There is a time and place for discussion but jumping on the defence or blaming someone else is not the thing to do. 
  23. There will always be drama. The only thing you can control is how much you want to be apart of it and how much you let it affect you.
  24. Once you’re on the job, stop competing with other people. You all booked the job. You are all earning the money. 
  25. Don't give each other notes. Always go through the DC /Assistant or HOD. It's always best to keep it about work and not get personal.
  26. People lie about their age. Be polite and don’t ask them how old they are.
  27. There is a superstition about whistling in a theatre/stage. So best err on the side of not doing it.
  28. Every company you work for will have a different set of rules. Learn them. Make your peace with them and pick your battles.
  29. Don’t post pictures of yourself laying poolside,out drinking, making youtube covers or teaching a dance class when you’ve called in ‘sick' to work. 
  30. Men. Make your peace with a dance support. Wear one.
Amy Campbell