Written by Becky Mary (@beckyymary) talking about fan etiquette towards actors.
When it comes to theatre we all have our favourites on stage, we follow them on Instagram, facebook and even send them a few cheeky tweets now and then (and nearly loose it when the retweet it). But just where do you cross the line with interactions between yourself in the viral and the real world.
A lot of people ‘do stage door’ at shows I know that because I do it a lot (I mean, I do like a good chat and picture) but are the actors obliged to do this? The simple answer is no. Actors and actresses are normal people like you and me and many are flattered when fans go and say hello, as it is nice to see you are making someone’s day or even inspiring someone to get into theatre. But it is not something they have to do, they can choose to go out a different entrance or not stop because they do have families at home and possibly an early show the next day. When you buy a ticket unless specified that it is a meet and greet ticket you are only paying to see the show and whatever happens at stage door is actually a bonus.
The day I wrote this post, and ultimately what inspired me to write it, I went to see The Addams Family Musical at the Northampton Derngate theatre. I was saddened to see on the stage door they had to put signs up saying that Carrie Hope Fletcher will not be leaving from this door. I found out from twitter the reason why:
Carrie Hope Fletcher is a massive name within the theatre business being in the West end as part of Les Miserables and also most recently Truly in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour). She also has a massive following on YouTube as well as being a writer on top of this. It is understandable that she is a role model to younger people and inspires many. What was sad to see was the lengths that people will go to meet their idol. We all are people and at the end of the day I feel saddened that actors that are only somewhat doing their job feel like they are almost not safe because of actions of fans. On top of this while at stage door people still were trying to get Carrie to come out even though there were clear signs saying she wouldn’t be.
Sadly, Carrie has not just had this once it has happened before in a different venue on the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Tour where she even made a YouTube video about it saying how she was staying in her dressing room because of being pulled around and shouted at. This is distressing for anyone even if they are famous one way or another. (You can watch the video here)
Just remember when you’re at stage door, yes you might be disappointed that a certain actor didn’t stop or didn’t come out, but they do appreciate you coming to the show as it is what they live for. However, try not to cross a personal boundary because ultimately if you were them you wouldn’t like it back.
In light of this here are some of my top tips for stage door etiquette:
1) Wait quietly – there are normally a lot of people there but if an actor stops they will stop for everyone and shouting will more likely make them want to walk away.
2) Personal space – do be aware of personal space, putting your hands through windows, grabbing and pulling is not fair nor acceptable.
3) Be ready – most actors need to run of home so it’s always helpful to have your pen ready and if you want a picture have the camera ready for a picture.
4) Don’t be Disappointed if they don’t stop or come out – If an actor doesn’t come out or stop its normally because they need time to relax or need to go home, be respectful of that, they normally are upset they can’t greet their fans as well.
What have your stage door experiences been? Have you had anything similar when you’ve been there? Let us know @MTAS_Official & @beckyymary