An Introverted Actress

What Happens Backstage...!

We’ve had an introduction blog, we’ve had a sizeable second entry in which some quite deep thoughts were posed…I feel we’re now well underway and things are shaping up quite nicely…so here’s a third! 

Quite early on in a contract, whether that’s a show “in town” (London’s West End) or on tour, we all stand nervously in the wings repeating dance steps, mumbling lines and lyrics under our breath and giving each other nervous smiles and hugs and recounting the moments we’ve already ballsed up on stage. Cut to six months in, when we’re all so sure of what we’re doing we’d comfortably do the show backwards. Suddenly, all that time we used to spend running back to our dressing rooms to glance at the script, is now spent watching a guy dressed as a matador see what weird uses he can find for a the prop taxidermy rabbit, or whether we can all play the “air glockenspiel” to the opening of the show without skipping a beat, or making up filthy alternative lyrics for beloved songs that we all secretly pray someone accidentally sings on stage. Professionalism is always key of course and the majority of actors love the show (and their jobs…) too much to ever put it in jeopardy however, like any job, you find a groove. You get into the swing of things and when you’re comfortable in your job (yet not complacent!), you find yourself with a lot less pressure and a lot more time and this is when some real fun can be had and some mad memories can be made.

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A picnic between shows backstage at Chitty Chitty Bang bang in Nottingham

There are lots of actors out there who stay in character from the moment they’re in costume. All trace of themselves is lost as soon as they’re dressed as someone else and it’s a wonder to behold, it truly is. To don that persona in time that is rightfully their own takes a huge amount of focus, effort and love for the craft and the way it effects the actors around them can sometimes be something quite magical. However, I’ve personally always found it equally as impressive when someone can be laughing with you in the wings, entirely themselves and then as soon as the spotlight hits their face and they break onto stage, they dissolve and stood in their place is someone entirely new. 

We’re all very normal people and I don’t say that in the way I talked about being normal in my last blog. I mean it in the way that…well…when you get bored at work or find yourself with a spare five minutes, what do you do? Well, take it from someone who’s been doing this long enough now to know, we’re probably just doing the stagey version of that. I once spent an interval with two other cast-mates trying to make the opening of Les Mis sound like a Destiny’s Child song.

Rob Houchcen and Emma Kingston, working it!

Once, we made paper aeroplanes and raced them down the corridors, high scores awarded if you could get it all the way into the wig room. At Les Mis, we even held the “Great British Barri-cake Off”! It lasted a matter of weeks, each week with new judges within the cast, with the finalé occurring between shows on a Saturday. Our Marius, Rob Houchen, took home the grand prize with his showstopping cake, depicting the story of the show itself! We go bowling after work, we do Secret Santa and whilst we’re far from being another episode of The Office, we’re still just people with jobs. The job just happens to be a little less normal than most although a lot more normal than you’d originally think. Part of the reason I love vlogging behind the scenes so much is because so much of what happens backstage is equally as entertaining as what happens onstage and it's so sad it goes unseen. Perfected quick changes, cast created dance routines that have been elaborated over time, games made up during tech runs that stuck through the course of the show, the fun had between cast and crew...there's endless amounts of love and hilarity on the other side of the curtain that contributes so much to the relationships and chemistry you see on stage but it's hidden from plain sight. Not because of secrecy but purely because there's never been a way to showcase it before...until now. *whips out Canon G7X*

Whilst being in a show requires a lot of focus and energy (If you’re tired and you’re playing a character with a Tigger-like demeanour…you got no choice but to chug a coffee and get to it, kid!), all in all, every job has downtime and every job has moments in which you gotta find some ways to entertain yourself or you might start to get cabin fever. I've always thought, that part of the true magic of the theatre is watching the glossy, polished and perfected performance from the audience and not even having the slightest inkling what everyone’s up to behind the scenes…! 



  1. Hi Carrie, I was just wondering if you have a schedule for these blogs to go up because i really enjoy them and want to read them first but they usually go up when i am asleep or at school! Thank You!

  2. This is my favourite blog so far! I love it when you can just nod along to a piece of writing because the author has gotten it so right!! xx

  3. Loving your blogs! More, more☺️xx

  4. Hi Carrie i was reading this blog post and this has some amazing and inspiring words that have an impact on my trainee musical theatre life that will help me boost up my confidence just thank you so much for being you and encouraging young actors like myself to achieve they hopes and future dreams.Finally i will look forward to reading more Xxx

  5. hello carrie just wondering if your gunna do an audio blog of this blog? if not dont worry i was just wondering :)

  6. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this site is genuinely pleasant.

  7. I love this! It's so reassuring to hear that professional actors do the same silly stuff that my friends and I do in college shows ... it's nice to know I won't have to suddenly be all serious backstage if/when I transition to professional productions :)

  8. We do tend to *glamourise* the lives of actors and actresses forgetting that, at the end of the day, they are only doing their jobs. Love hearing it from someone actually doing it.

  9. That cake really takes the biscuit! (Ugh, mixed baking metaphors, bane of my life. Never mind. That's the way the cookie crumbles)

    You have a lovely, friendly writing style! Loving these blogs - another great way to express your creativity, you renaissance woman! Keep it up (plzzz) <3


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