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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Swigart

You know you work in non-profit theatre if...

....your living room sofa spends more time on stage than you do. have your own secret family recipe for stage blood.

....everyone on staff has worked on more than three other shows with you over the last two seasons and not one of them know each other.'ve ever appeared on stage wearing your own clothes.'ve ever driven around the back of stores looking for discards that can be used for set pieces. can find a prop in the prop room that hasn't seen the light of day in ten years, but you don't know where your own vacuum cleaner is.'ve ever appeared in or worked on any show written by Van Zandt and Milmore. have a Frequent Shopper Card at the Salvation Army.

....Rogers and Hammerstein’s is synonymous with 3 months of rehearsals. start buying your work clothes at Goodwill so you can buy your costumes at the mall.'ve ever taken time off your job to work on the show.'ve worked your vacation time to coincide with tech week.'ve ever cleaned a tuxedo with a magic marker.

....your family is more than 50% of the staff've ever appeared on stage in an outfit held together with hot glue. name your son Samuel and tell him that his middle name is in honor of the French side of the family.'ve ever appeared in a show where tech week is devoted to getting the running time under four and a half hours.'ve ever appeared on stage in an English drawing room murder mystery where half the cast spoke with southern accents. think Neil Simon is a misunderstood genius.'ve ever appeared in a show where the cast out-numbered the audience 2 to 1.'ve ever gotten a part because you were the only one who showed up for auditions.'ve ever gotten a part because you were the only Male who showed up for auditions.

....the audience recognizes you the minute you walk on stage because they saw you taking out the trash before the show.'ve ever menaced/threatened anyone with a gun held together with electrical tape.'ve ever had to haul a sofa off stage between scenes wearing an evening gown and heels.'ve ever had to haul a sofa off stage between scenes wearing an evening gown and heels -- and you're a guy.'ve ever played the father of someone your father's age.

....your kids know your rehearsal schedule better than you do.

....your kids know your lines better than you do.

....your kids deliver your lines better than you do. get home from rehearsal and have to go back to the theatre because you forgot your kids.'ve ever appeared in a show where an actor leaned out through a window without opening it first. actually know the difference between Good Shakespeare and BAD Shakespeare, and have tried to explain the difference.'ve ever had to play a drunk scene opposite someone who was really drunk.'ve ever heard a director say "Try not to bump into the furniture" and mean it.

....the lead vocalist complains that the music keeps changing tempos, but the fact is the music is on a tape/cd've ever appeared on stage with people you're related to.'ve ever heard the head of the set construction crew say "Just paint it black -- no one will ever see it."'ve appeared in a show featuring a flushing toilet sound effect.

....the set designer has ever told you not to walk on the left half of the stage because the floor's still wet -- five minutes before curtain.'ve ever been told that the reason your director has no eyebrows is because he/she handled special effects for the last show.'ve ever said "Don't worry -- use the duct tape and if that doesn't work we'll just hot glue it."

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