I confess. Every single time I pack a bag, I can hear my Grandma’s voice in my ear. “Abbie, you might need this…Abbie, you might need that…”
Between Grandma and my mother, the two most beautiful women I know, I always left the house with far more than I intended. But given that I’m now five years out of acting school and currently working on 3 different productions, there’s a fine art to what I need to take to a rehearsal/tech week.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, as what you’ll need to pack will vary depending on what kind of show you’re doing. And by all means, if there’s any must-have items I’ve missed, feel free to add them to the comments below!
- A bag big enough to hold everything.
Personally, I use the Bloch Bagtastic Dance Bag. It’s not too big but holds so much. It has a mesh compartment, a wet pocket, an insulated pocket, and tons of internal compartments as well. It comes in a variety of colours. I chose purple because it’s my favourite colour and I accessorised it with a pointe show keyring. Plus, it’s sturdy and will last a long time.
- Water Bottle
Do I even need to explain this one? Keep hydrated. Make sure your bottle is a big one.
- Dance Shoes
Admittedly this does depend on what you’re doing, but the most common is ballet/jazz/tap/chorus. For ballet shoes, you’ll want to bring a sewing kit along. For the show I’m doing right now, I have to have chorus heels. And for the last show I did, I had foot wraps.
- Your script, a highlighter and pencil, notebook
Always useful to have your script and writing implements to mark cues, blocking and directorial notes.
There’s usually downtime at rehearsals, so headphones are a great idea. I’m doing a musical right now and I use the time to go over my music and harmony lines.
- A Jacket
Rehearsal rooms are either a furnace or a blizzard. It seems there’s no in between. So a jacket is very advisable.
Do you really want to black out due to lack of sustenance?
- Thermos full of tea, and extra tea bags
Recently, I spent several days in the recording studio, for the original cast soundtrack of the musical I’m in right now. The show is sung through with a total of 37 songs, and we were there til 1am some nights.
Without my thermos full of tea, my voice would have died. Thank the vocal gods for chamomile, honey and vanilla tea. That particular blend was calming and soothing. It was the only thing that prevented vocal fatigue and kept my vocal chords warm the entire time.
Like a lot of performers, I’m a slave to the Eucosteamer. It’s great for keeping your voice clear, especially if you’re sick and have to rehearse.
These are great for stretching and warming up.
- Phone Charger
Self explanatory. Either this or a portable battery. I carry both, Because tech week, am I right?
- Painkillers, Band-Aids, Allergy tablets, hand sanitiser
Having a mini first-aid kit will save you more times than you can imagine. Someone will get hurt. Someone will have a headache. Someone will have allergies. This will minimise disruption.
- Deodorant and a towel/wipes
Do you really want to be that person?
Trust me, you do NOT want to get caught without these.
Did I miss anything? What do you always take with you in the studio? Let me know in the comments!