Friday, March 21, 2008

Superstitions & Rituals

The theatre world is fraught with notions, ceremonies & customs that can not, must not be ignored at your own peril! Untold agonies & tortures & bad luck thingies will fall upon you if you don't follow a few simple rules.

You never tell a member of an acting troupe "Good luck!", for example, as that will bring the most bad luck raining down upon them. You only say "Break a leg!" Do not, however, say this to a ballet troupe.

One of the most commonly held beliefs is that of the dress rehearsal. If you have a good dress rehearsal, you have, in fact, jinxed yourself & this will result in a bad first performance. The inverse is also true.

The most famous, of course, is the superstition surrounding Macbeth. Anyone involved in a production of Macbeth never uses the name, referring to it only as "The Scottish Play". There are several examples of mishaps, injuries & deaths whilst performing this play, starting from the first production, & people who perform this play take all the luck they can get.

Our local group has a very old, very sacred tradition that we have followed since before I became a member in 1994. We "pray" before each performance. We use the term "prayer" loosely, as our prayer is home-written, refers to drinking, & has nothing to do with God. It's more of a chant, truth be told, a way of focusing our attention & reminding us why we are in involved in this crazy business called "show" in the first place.

Last night, we forgot to pray. Our most important, most sacred, most significant ritual & we did not do it! We angered the theatre gods.

On the plus side, if the principles surrounding the dress rehearsal are true, we're going to have one helluva performance on Tuesday.


Bruno Rocco said...

You will be wonderful. I am hoping I can convince Fiona to stay and watch your production. As we are traveling together and she wants to leave right after adjudication. I will work on her.

Kyanite said...

Okay, go for it ...
Break a leg!
I've seen you in action -

Easter greetings to you, Puffycraker & the Demon!