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The Artist’s Journey: Zoë Chao – Week 5 - La Jolla Playhouse Blog

The Artist’s Journey: Zoë Chao – Week 5

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Each week, The Artist’s Journey will provide an insider look at the creation of a production, from first rehearsal to opening night, through the eyes of one of the show’s key players.

Zoë Chao is an actress in the UCSD graduate theatre program and is co-starring in Surf Report. This is her first professional production.

Zoë Chao

Zoë Chao

It is currently my 5-7 pm break during a 10-out-of-12-hour tech day.

A quick definition of the theatre process known as “tech”: it is the several days prior to previews dedicated to cueing lights, sound, scenic design adjustments, props, etc. It’s the first time actors are in their costumes. Transitions are hammered out. Innate to the beast is that it’s all very stop and go. Painfully specific but painfully necessary.

In the end, tech is what makes a show, a show. It seems like magic but it’s really the hard, focused blood, sweat and tears of the crew, designers, stage managers, directors, producers and staff that transform an empty space into a world of possibility. They give us the ultimate playground to play in. By the time we actors step onto the stage, acting is no longer that difficult.

Here are the Top Ten Things that inevitably happen to me during Tech:

1.) Chipping off all my nail polish
2.) Forgetting that I’m NOT supposed to eat in my costume without a robe on
3.) Eating the props (ie: sour Altoids or Bubbilicious gum)
4.) Singing middle school R&B jams (ie: Next’s “Too Close”)
5.) TMJ from supposed stress while sleeping
6.) Nightmares
7.) Fits of manic laughter. Fatigue. Grumpiness.
8.) Fits of fear
9.) Fits in general
10.) Acne breakout

With that said: We have a show, ladies and gentlemen! Please come see SURF REPORT. We preview this Tuesday, June 15th and run until July 11th. It’s gnarly…