1. Please god learn to be self-sufficient. This is not a jab at any make up crew, but on average, the makeup crew tends to be the people that just want to have their name on the program. They almost always have no idea what to do and can’t find anything. Learn to apply your own stage makeup. Not only will it save you-and the tech crew- loads of time, but it will also make your stage manager want to marry you. I also suggest learning how to sew or use a damned safety pin.
2. Learn your lines before the due-date. I can not tell you how annoying it is for the stage manager and the director when people still are not absolutely fluent with their lines by the final read-through. It also ruins your reputation within the department.
3. Be sympathetic towards your director and tech crew. Whatever you may believe, the tech crew and director will always have a tougher job than you will. This also falls under being self-sufficient, but also under common courtesy. If the director or stage manager snaps at you, do not argue back. 9 times out of 10, they will be right. There is honestly no way of expressing how many times I have gone home and wanted to cry because the actors have argued with me, or snapped back. My director was practically in tears after one rehearsal because the actors were arguing over everything.
4. Offer to help out with stage crew! Not only does this earn you a good name within the department, but because you are an actor and therefore have a good grasp of the stage, you will be more perceptive to the movement of the set pieces. Also, the stage manger will probably propose to you by the end of the run.
The Backstage Badger is participating in the protest blackout today. I encourage you to use the link to contact your local representative and let them you know oppose SOPA, PIPA and other censorship legislation.