February 9, 2016
Between all the traveling with hotels and flights, pay checks and rotations, it takes a lot of organization to keep a tour like ours running smoothly. This week I decided to do a blog to show you all the paperwork and important things that happen behind the scenes to keep us traveling and performing to the best of our abilities all across the world.
The first thing you should do when walking backstage is check the call board. This is always predominately placed in a convenient location, usually by the stage door, so that everyone can see it. The call board is the lifeline to our tour. It is always up to date with any information you might need such as the details for the next travel day, a folder with house seat request forms, the massage schedule and any other notes from wardrobe or company management. It is not all business on the board, sometimes there are announcements for fun group activities like birthday nights out or fun games like filling out Oscar ballots where the person who guesses the most categories correctly gets a prize. And you can always count on Jesse White, our Company Manager, to add a little joke in here and there so if you read thoroughly you’re usually rewarded with a chuckle or two. To stay in the know of the happenings of the company it is key to check the call board at least twice a show in case any updates have been posted.
After you check the call board you need to grab your mesh bags and then find your way to the dressing rooms. On our tour wardrobe has assigned everyone a number which helps to keep us organized both in our quick changes with our costumes and with our mesh bags which contain all the clean laundry we could need for the show like tights and socks etc.
For those in the Irish troupe our Dance Captains, Andy O’Reilly and Brendan Dorris, have a big job of keeping us all organized with our positions every show. Each day we get new spots and new rotations which we walk through before the show begins. It is up to the Dance Captain to keep it fair and to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing. They print out a list and post it backstage in case anyone forgets in the middle of a show which number they are on and in which position! It is up to us to double and triple check everyday. The dance captains also organize a massage schedule for the whole company which is no easy feat as some of the massages are during the show and they have to make sure everyones massage time doesn’t clash with when they’re performing onstage.
Of course all of the departments here on tour play a key part in keeping everything organized but the two most pivotal pieces in this jigsaw are our Company Manager Jesse White and his assistant Alan Paramore. Without them we wouldn’t get from place to place or have anywhere to stay. They oversee so many aspects of this tour that I’m sure we don’t even know the amount of work they do! They have even organized us all to use a new app called Master Tour. On this app we log in and can see a schedule of where we are going, find the addresses of our hotels and theaters, see updated bus schedules, lead schedules, rehearsal schedules and even the massage schedule! It is very handy for us to have all of that information constantly at the tip of our fingers and we’re looking forward to meeting with the creators of this app in Chicago.
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