You know you work in amateur theatre when…

…your living room sofa spends more time on stage than you do.
…you have your own secret family recipe for stage blood.
…you 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.
…you start buying your work clothes at second-hand stores so you can buy costumes at the shopping mall.
…you’ve ever cleaned a tuxedo with a magic marker.
…you’ve ever appeared on stage in an outfit held together with hot glue.
…you’ve ever appeared in a show where tech week is devoted to getting the running time under four hours.
…you’ve ever appeared in a show where the cast outnumbered the audience.
…you’ve ever gotten a part because you were the only one who showed up for the audition.
…you’ve ever menaced anyone with a gun held together with duct tape.
…you’ve ever had to haul a sofa offstage between scenes wearing a dinner gown and high heels.
…you’ve ever had to haul a sofa offstage between scenes wearing a dinner gown and high heels…and you’re a guy.
…your kids know your lines better than you do.
…you’ve ever had to play a drunk scene opposite someone who was REALLY drunk.
…you’ve ever heard a director say, “try not to bump into the furniture”, and mean it.
…you’ve ever heard the head of the set construction crew say: “just paint it black – no one will ever see it”.
…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.
…you’ve ever said, “Don’t worry –we’ll just staple it!”.

10 Things All Theatre Directors Know To Be True

1. We don’t want auditions to be scary or stressful — we are rooting for every actor that comes through the door. Tough casting decisions really are one of the best problems to have.

2. “Bad dress rehearsal, good opening night” is a superstition because we desperately want to believe it. Bad dress rehearsals are actually pretty terrifying.

3. When our friends audition for our shows, we’re excited and scared at the same time because we would love to cast them but know we may not be able to.

4. Speaking of casting, it’s usually about being ‘right’ for a role more than anything else, which, yes, is entirely subjective. There’s so much about casting that is out of the actor’s control. This is helpful to know when you’re both a director and actor.

5. When something goes wrong during a performance, muttering to ourselves will magically make the problem disappear. Or so we hope. A classic case: “Don’t leave that onstage! Someone pick it up! Pick it up!”

6. We make mistakes sometimes, and sometimes we forget our own blocking. Having a kickass stage manager is key.

7. When we say, “okay, let’s run that scene one more time”, we really mean “let’s maybe run this one more time, probably more like two or three”.

8. Sitting in the last row in the dark and laughing during tech week is the best feeling ever, second to the instance when our notes are full of smiley faces. We have so much love for our actors, even if we get snippy sometimes.

9. When we offer to email notes instead of say them out loud at the end of a tech rehearsal, it’s more because we want to go home to our significant other / pet / bed than anything else. It’s a win-win, because the cast usually feels the same way.

10. This moment is everything: When we get to say, “My job is done; this is your show now.”