There isn’t much that a Director or Producer of a production asks of an Actor on the first day when working on a Stage Production.
They ask you to be ready. Prepared to work. Check your Ego at the door.
They ask you to come with any and all conflicts.
They do this so they’ll know when you’ll be there and when you’re going to flake because Pilot Season is coming and you told your Manager, Agent or both, you’re doing a show, but to keep you available for anything coming up.
You know who you are.
They ask you to have an open mind.
Basically that means, don’t show up with a locked-in idea of what you’re character is going to do, say and what their motivation is. Be adaptable. That’s what rehearsal is for!
What you don’t typically realize is, by the time you show up on the first day, it’s not actually the “First Day”.
They’ve had production meetings for days, some time weeks, before you even show up.
They know what the stage will look like. What the idea is for the lighting. What you’re going to wear.
So the first rehearsal day you need to keep yourself open to the idea that, like Life, you don’t know it all. But, together, you will work to find all the answers. That’s what rehearsal is for.
Just show up, have fun and get ready to play and work.
Before all that happens.
After you’ve been cast and you’re sitting around the table with your cast mates.
Amongst the freshly sharpened #2 pencils, stocked highlighters, script fasteners and delicious and addictive snacks from Trader Joe’s… Thank You Stage Managers and Interns!
Before you get ready to sign the contracts in triplicate and nominate your Deputy.
You must follow the most important rule.
It’s the one some of the most respected Actors I’ve ever had the chance to work with, from Stage, to Film, to TV know and practice. The ones who get remembered and hired again.
When you have a Call Time….