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Working ‘9 to 5’ (Literally): A Day in the Life of an FSU Theatre Tech Member

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

9 a.m.: clock in. 

Whenever I see people make their “Day in the Life” videos, it usually consists of them waking up at five in the morning, doing every productive task known to man, and then falling asleep by 10 p.m. Around here, it’s… less like that. But, in my defense, I’m working on the costume crew for Florida State University’s production of 9 to 5.

Cue “Pink” by Lizzo because I’m really waking “up in my own pink world.” Except, maybe more Backwoods Barbie than stereotypical Barbie. I wake up to my alarm and get out of bed immediately. My blood starts pumping, and I’m ready to take the day by storm! What I mean by that is: I sleep through my first four alarms until my angel of a roommate wakes me up and says, “Mikaela, you have class in 15 minutes.” Oops! 

After I tear up my room looking for a single pair of pants, I bolt to Starbucks for a cup of ambition. I mean, coffee. As a Theatre major, most of my classes are theatre-related. I get to sit in an auditorium and geek out over plays, debate over whether Cats is good, and dramatically retell every crazy production I’ve ever been a part of. 

Then, around 3 p.m., I go back to my dorm for approximately five seconds to feed the hungry (it’s me. The hungry is me). I grab my bag, change into my all-black clothes, and begin my long, treacherous voyage (literally a five-minute drive) to the Fine Arts Building (FAB).

The rumors are true. We theatre folk are, in fact, crazy. So not only am I working on 9 to 5, but I’m also involved in the amazing Bechdel Test Festival with a student theatre group (yes, I am shamelessly advertising it. Come see us the last weekend from Oct. 27 to Oct 29). What that means is I usually have a pre-rehearsal rehearsal from around 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. After a quick nap in my car, I’m ready to clock in. My call time is 6 p.m. so we, the crew, can get everything ready before the cast starts to arrive.

Since I’m on the costume crew, my pre-show work is checking in every single costume that an actor puts on to make sure everything is where it should be. There’s always something missing, prompting frantic running around backstage until we realize the piece was hiding in the dressing room the whole time. Seriously, sometimes I think we’re being pranked. It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it.

Then, I suit up, which basically involves me clipping an unhealthy amount of safety pins to my clothes. Just in case.

9 to 5 has a lot of quick changes, and I work on six of them. I’m not going to take you through all of them. But basically, before the scene starts, I lay out all the clothes I need. Then, the crew and I have an intense dance break (which, honestly, is the best part about working backstage) before we get the change done. During the change, we gotta hustle, bustle, scoot, and scurry so the actors can make it in time. 

Sometimes, things go awry. For example, actors have gone onstage without shoes. Or I forget to bring a coat, so I have to bolt to the dressing room and back to make sure the actors look their best. That’s just an example though. Definitely not something that’s ever happened (I’m still out of breath). But it’s okay. We just might make it work. 

Another one of my favorite parts of theatre is when the show is over. I love seeing the looks on actors’ faces, and how their smiles shine like the sun. They’re so proud of themselves, and they should be.

Before we leave, we check all the costumes back in to make sure everything is where it should be. Then, by around 10:45 p.m., I drive back to the Pensacola garage. Through tears, I beg every single higher power for a parking spot.
At my dorm, I have the best microwaveable mac n’ cheese of my life and cozy up in bed with my laptop and a carton of ice cream to write an article for HCFSU.

5 p.m.: clocking out.

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Mikaela Georgi is a freshman at FSU. She is an editor for Her Campus. Currently, she is seeking a BA in Theatre with a double major in English. Though this is her first year working with Her Campus, she loves the newspaper. She had a satire column that gave dating advice. She was also the Copy Editor, and she ensured that each article was up to the newspaper’s standards. When she’s not writing an article, you can most likely find her on a stage somewhere or fueling her caffeine addiction: two activities she deems equal in importance. She loves acting, directing, and playwriting. She’s also made it a goal to find all the best parks and greenery for reading YA romance in Tallahassee. It’s going well so far. She’s determined to make every song she loves a karaoke song, and right now she's probably petting a cat somewhere.