Getting a bad rep… how your behaviour off stage as well as on can end a career…

No one likes a diva backstage (unless it’s actual Diva Hollywood – we bloody love her, she’s gorgeous inside and out!)… Bad behaviour backstage is the fastest way to gain a reputation for all the wrong reasons… Be a joy offstage and on – your future depends on it and here’s why…

Saying ‘thank you’

We’ve all been taught to mind our Ps and Qs and growing up we all had manners drummed into us from a young age. In these modern times, saying a simple thank you sometimes gets over-looked. But let us tell you, those two simple words go far with a number of people. Never forget to say thank you to the producer who booked you – they have given you the opportunity to perform and, in basic terms contributed to your dream lifestyle. You should never forget to show gratitude to those who contribute to your dream. Saying thank you to technicians and venue staff is also over looked and, as most stage maid/managers will tell you, it’s not very often they get a thank you for expertly setting up your act and ensuring your costume pieces are picked up, looked after and presented back to you. Also the comper who is responsible for telling the audience who you are (even if your ego thinks they already know), setting the tone for your act and ensuring applause. We don’t really need to explain how important it is to show your gratitude to these people for enabling your act… Finally, if someone takes the time to stop you and complement you on your act, show them a bit of courtesy and say thanks. Unfortunately every audience member you ignore, shun or are rude to will tell their friends and bad reputations are born. On the other side of the coin, when you are genuine, thank full and take the time (and enjoy) chatting to people who complement you, your reputation for general loveliness will spread like the sun coming out…

Be nice to your fellow performers…

A friendly backstage with easy banter, lots of laughter and a meeting of new and old friends is what we all love about this job. I really love backstage chats and listening to the tales of others. Backstage is usually the place for helping out other performers, whether it’s pouring a glass of water, lending boob tape or doing up a zips. never demand or expect and be ready to assist whatever your perceived status. We’re all in the same boat, no mater our place on the bill. We’re all there to entertain the audience. Introduce yourself to those you don’t know and take an interest. Support newer performers (you were in their shoes once and you will help make their experience memorable for all the right reasons).  Never look down your nose at anyone… Everyone has their place on the bill -for now that is –  and if you’ve been rude to fellow performers you’ll leave a lasting impression. A piece of great advice jimmy pursey (legendary frontman of Sham69 and all-round awesome chap) once told me when I was a ‘nipper’ in a band: “If you’ve been rude to people on your way up, you’ll hit them twice as hard on the way down”. People will remember and your fall from grace will be a lonely experience.

Love your audience!

It’s obvious… They are the ones giving you cheers and hollers during your act, they are cheering your final reveal. They are even the ones sending you messages of support via social media or clicking ‘like’ or follow. They are enabling your dream. without an audience you don’t exist. They are equal to you, you are never above them.

Be genuine and courteous beyond the stage

We can all put on a stage attitude, depending on our character or theme. We can all carefully choose the way we present ourselves online, from a cracking website that sells our acts or in the way we interact with others via social media, which sells our personality. We might portray an angel online or In magazines or through any other controlled means but all this is for nothing if, in reality, we are an arsehole – and believe us when we tell you ignorance will take the shine off even the most amazing performances. how we behave in the real world, and the world connected to our shows also sells us and it pays to be kind and genuine. It pays to be on your best behaviour, for example, if the producer takes the cast out to their chosen restaurant after the show. Don’t undo all your hard work by disrespecting anyone connected to the show who may have offered you, kindly, a bed for the night to save you spending on a hotel. instead be the perfect guest and you will be invited back. Also don’t think that because the spotlight on stage has gone out, a shitty attitude doesn’t count. manners always count.

Bad behaviour is never rewarded with shows…

…But those who are a Joy to be around will find their show diary filling up. No matter how much you believe the audience loves you, a producer that has observed rudeness (be it on stage, backstage or elsewhere) will not book you again. And producers talk to other producers. No one likes a drama queen and dramatics are best saved for the stage. Keep your ego in check and never, ever take your feet off the ground. In general enjoy your time  as a performer and make it enjoyable for everyone around you. Kindness and genuinely taking an interest in everyone who has taken an interest in you goes a long way.

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