Backstage Organizing Hacks!

As we, here at Plainfield Dance Academy, prepare in our last few days for the 2017 performance of The Nutcracker, one thing that’s been a continuing topic of conversation has been ORGANIZATION. Since most of our performances are off-site theaters and auditoriums, with the exception of small in-house showcases, there is a lot of transportation of set-pieces, props, costumes and everything else that goes into the production of a ballet. So, it’s very easy to lose track of smaller items and find the area that you use to prepare an absolute mess. We’re here today to prevent that! Today, we’ve gathered some quick, easy and inexpensive tricks to keeping your things organized backstage.

Shall we?

Make a Check List!

Before you even begin getting your things together, sit down and make a list of everything you’ll need throughout the run of the show. This makes it so much easier to confidently pack what you need without doubt of forgetting something. If it’s easier for you, break down the list into smaller subsections like hair, makeup, costumes, first-aid, personal, etc. Once you’ve written out one section of the list, move on to the next and the next until you’ve finished.

Check the list once or twice (like Santa Claus!) and make sure that you didn’t leave anything out. Now that your list is finished, you can move on to actually packing up for the show, following the list and know that you’ll have everything you need! Trust me, it’s much easier to pack, check the list and see what you still need to pack, rather than wracking your brain for 30 minutes trying to remember that thing you forgot to pack. Take the easy road, write a check list.

So, what’s the best way to organize your things? Well, that usually depends on the dancer. So, there are two options to be presented here…

Option 1: The Bento Organizer

Okay so, this technically isn’t a bento box because a bento is smaller, only has two to three section and is used for food. But, that’s the best way to describe this organizer. Basically, if you go to any crafts supply store, hardware store, even the dollar store, you can find these boxes which are usually used to hold tools or craft supplies. If you work more efficiently when you’ve got a small organizer in your possession, then using this will be your best choice.

With this, you can separate your items into individual sections. Not only does this keep things in their place and easier to find but, it’s been known that having an aesthetically clean area or environment helps ease the mind and reduce stress. So, doing this will help you in more ways than you might’ve expected!

When picking out your own box at the store, keep in mind the items that you plan on storing in it. Make sure that the box is big enough, there are enough sections and that the sections themselves are big enough for your items. If this organization plan works for you, let us know by sending your pictures to us on Facebook!

Option 2: The Hanging Organizer

Hanging organization is perfect if your venue has very limited backstage space or if your cast is too big for the venue. Basically, these have the same organization system as the box expect that it hangs rather than being stored somewhere.

One of the pros to using the hanger is that there are some versions of this on the market that have a space on the opposite side upon which you can hang your clothing/costumes. That will come in handy for those who provide their own costumes or need to have costume pieces or props in their possession. For some, a standing organizer is easy to keep clean and provides a more open view of your items when backstage.

If you’re provided with a makeup table/vanity space, you can hang this on the back of your chair to keep your tabletop clean and lay it across the tabletop when you’re getting ready. They’re very mobile, which makes using it backstage extremely easy.

And if you’ve got too many things to keep track of and you’re going to take part in a long-running show, go ahead and use both! Organize ALL THE THINGS!

Quick Tips!

If you’re in need of a small container to hold those easy-to-lose hair items, these diys/hacks are going to be your saving grace.

For storing bobbi pins, you can use a Tic Tac container to hold all of them. The first bonus with this trick is that the container will always smell amazing (make sure to pick your favorite flavor!). Second, this container is great because it’s got the snap-shut type of lid. So, you won’t have to worry about it falling open and scattering all over the place! If you feel like going the extra mile, you can even decorate it!

To hold your hair bands/hair ties/elastics/whatever you call them, just grab a utility clasp and pile them on! It’s as simple as that! Keep all of them in one place and if you need another one, you know where you can find them!

Don’t Forget These!

Short and simple- these items may save your life:

  1. Top Coat nail polish for runs in your tights.
  2. A lighter (with parental or adult supervision) for frayed ribbons.
  3. Bag/Shoe Deodorizer. Your cast-mates will thank you.

And our final tip is to make sure that you have extras of everything possible. It’s much better to be prepared for an accident that might never happen than to be unprepared for one that does.

See you backstage!!!

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry