If you are lucky enough to have access to a space that allows you rehearsal time, take advantage of it, especially if it is the actual venue where you will be performing. And although you may think that renting the space entitles you to an all-access pass, there are some basic rules of etiquette that everyone should follow when reserving a space in someone’s business or home:
- Schedule ahead of time. This isn’t exactly an etiquette rule, but most facilities will require at least 24 hours advanced notice to rent a space. Keep this in mind if you have your heart set on a date or time.
- Arrive on time. You took the time to schedule your timeslot, so why be late? You have rented a space for a very specific time and most facilities will hold you to that. Arriving late will not guarantee that you can stay beyond the pre-booked time, so practice punctuality.
- Follow any rules. This may sound obvious, but if there are specific rules, or even a renter’s contract you have to sign, please follow those guidelines exactly. Not only will it show the space-owner that you are responsible (and ensure you can use the space again later), but it will also maintain positive relations with those around you. Check for specifics regarding dress code, food and beverages, conduct, maximum capacity (if it’s more than you), phone, music, or video use.
- Know you might not be the only one. Just because you are renting a space, doesn’t guarantee exclusivity. Many larger studio and theatre spaces will book multiple people at the same time, unless privacy is specifically requested and granted. If you do want the place all to yourself, be prepared to pay extra for it. If you do find yourself sharing, please be aware of the space you are using. Leave room between you and other performers, keep belongings off the floor space, and watch for any other tripping hazards.
- Leave no trace. If you are familiar with the seven principles of Leave No Trace (and it’s ok if you don’t, it’s a National Parks thing, not a Burlesque thing), then you can understand why the same ideas might apply to a rental space. If your heels scuff up the floors, clean the marks. If you rubbed your body all over the mirrors, wipe them down. If you’ve left pools of sweat on the floor, grab a towel and get to work! You always want to leave a space as good or better than you found it.
If you’ve found the perfect rehearsal space, cherish it and treat it well! Now practice, practice, practice!