When you are new to being in the dressing room, some times it is easy to let go of all the rules and boundaries that are “hidden” to you. By hidden, I mean the hidden rules of how to act when you are in a new place, or the boundaries of others. When it comes to being in the dressing room, the rules may be way more different than if you were going to be somewhere else.
The dressing room, unless some bars/clubs have big ones, will be small. And by small, I mean that some will feel as if you are in a closet. Performers can be touching elbow to elbow in some, where others may have only a few inches between them. Which means, you have your personal bubble being violated, while the others personal bubble is also being violated without any way to change it.
When you are in these small dressing rooms, it is best to know that everything you bring into the dressing room, must stay in your area. This is my first rule when it comes to etiquette when you are in the dressing room. Do not sprawl out your belongings everywhere. This is one of the biggest annoyances when you are getting ready for the stage in these small spaces.
Second rule, please, if you are powdering your face, do not let the powder go everywhere. You will notice that sometimes when you powder your face, especially when it comes to baking, you will notice that powder will get everywhere. However, you are also elbow to elbow in some of these dressing rooms, and not everyone wants your powder all over their stuff.
Third Rule, is a big one for those with sensitive noses. Using perfume? Do not overspray. Sometimes four squirts is enough, but five squirts will make everyone in the room want to vacate. You may think you perfume is not strong, but you will find out how strong it is when you are in a room that is not ventilated well.
The fourth rule, is something that you will find out personally your first time in the dressing room. Do not get into anyone’s way. You will know what the feeling of “being rushed” feel like, especially when you are running just one minute late. However, the performers in the dressing room also have a time frame to stick to. So be courteous to the other performers, and make sure that you have a path cleared for them.
The fifth basic rule, wear your clothes. Yes, there may be some performers who will physically walk around the dressing room without anything on, but that is their business, and if that is how they feel comfortable, let them. However, until you know how everyone around you feels, please, wear your clothes in the dressing room.
Last, but most important, leave your hands off other peoples stuff. Yes, they may have more advanced things than you do, but unless you have permission, do not touch them. The last thing that you need before you even become known in your community, is to be accused of theft. So, unless you have permission, please leave your hands off of others people stuff.
These are just the basic rules of etiquette in the dressing room, there may be even more advanced rules for the venue, but these are just the basic four that you must know before entering the dressing room for the first time.
Being In the dressing room is just one step closer to being on the stage. You will feel the sense of relief the second you get back into the dressing room, but then, you do it all again. Have fun, enjoy the time, and most of all, remember that you are not the only one in the dressing room!