11 Things You’ve Experienced Being in the Ensemble

Written by Zachary Rivera

August 1, 2017

Being a part of a great ensemble is like being a part of a giant crazy family. The backstage gossip, the multiple quick changes, and not to mention being one of the hardest working members of the show!

1. Post dance rehearsal soreness.

You’ve just finished your first dance rehearsal, and everything hurts. You walked into rehearsal a young, bright-eyed performer, and you walked (or crawled) out an elderly person with a broken hip.

2. Backstage gossip

You’re backstage taking a break when all of a sudden you find yourself talking with the other ensemble members about the leads and who’s who.

3. “Who do you play?”

When you are asked this question, this is the proper response. As an ensemble member you have multiple roles and personas, so don’t stick to saying “I’m in the ensemble”.

4. “Oh…you’re in the ensemble.”

When someone says this, as if the show would go on without you, you need to resist every theatrical instinct telling you to fight them. Just shoot them this look. They’ll know what they did.

5. When you’re given a third walk-on role to play.

When you’re reading through the show for the first time and you come across a walk on role that hasn’t been cast — it’s a free-for-all for who gets another quick change, another line, and the bragging rights

6. Lip syncing all of the solos backstage.

Everyone does this one. You lock eyes with the person in the opposite wing, as you both *silently* belt out the show stopping solo that’s on stage. Nothing in theatre has been proven to bond cast members more.

7. QUICK CHANGES!

Running to the dressing rooms after exiting the stage, or even changing in the wings, is a necessary evil for members of the ensemble. Make sure you have everything in place!

8. When the director gives you another set piece to move.

When there are no stagehands or members of the ensemble who are assigned set pieces. You know, between dancing, singing, and quick changes, you also lift and move the set. The show wouldn’t go on without you!

9. When you’re paired with your best friend.

The director won’t know what hit them when they tell you two to stop talking every time you’re paired together!

10.  When the show is over.

Post-Show Sadness can cause severe feelings of separation, loneliness, and a strong yearning to see your show family again.


Zachary Rivera is an actor and previous high school thespian in Central Florida. He is currently attending Daytona State College on a theatre focus track to attain his A.A. He plans to transfer to a Musical Theatre BFA Program and continue his career on stage.
Thumbnail photo by Matthew Murphy.