Celebrity performances go a lot smoother when the dressing room requirements are properly negotiated, thoughtfully planned and correctly fulfilled. Here’s how to plan for Celebrity Dressing Room success.
Celebrity Dressing Room Tips and Requirements
Most celebrity performers have a personal appearance contract that contains a rider for dressing room requirements. Some items are requests, some are requirements, some are negotiable, others are completely non-negotiable. The importance of providing a clear representation of what will be provided is a vital part to any successful celebrity event. A performer’s production manager will want to confirm these dressing room details with equal importance to the performance stage, show lighting and musical instruments.
Shows go a lot smoother when the performer is happy that their dressing room is set up according to their contract. This is an area where no performer likes surprises. Here are some items that are regularly discussed when fulfilling an artists dressing room requirements.
1. Dressing Room Location: The room’s proximity to stage and route to the backstage area. If not close enough then an addition green room may be necessary closer to the performance location.
2. Number of Rooms: Artist Room plus additional rooms may be needed for the band, singers, dancers, other performers. Many artists will not share their room with any other performer, not even their own back up band.
3. The Room: Size will be detailed in the contract and should accommodate the amount of persons expected to utilize the room. Proper heating and air conditioning is necessary. Some artists will go as far as specifying mirrors, garment racks, tables, chairs, sofas and carpeting. The rooms should be free of smells and drafts. It is very important that the room be lockable for security purposes. A proper bathroom and even shower facilities are sometimes needed.
4. The Dressing Room Catering: The food and beverage list can be shocking in some cases. Aside from “Diva” requests, realize the act could be traveling the day of your event and this may be their only chance to catch a meal before your show. Respecting requests always insures the artist maintains a positive attitude toward their performance. There is no quicker way to sabotage an artist’s performance than by putting them in a bad frame of mind just before they have to take the stage. If a request looks absurd, try negotiating it out with the production manager during a pre-performance production meeting and not day of show.
5. Other Personnel: It is not uncommon that artists ask for a Wardrobe Person, that arrives early in the day, steams, irons and prepares all performers outfits and stays well after the show to pack everything in garment trunks and cases. Security Personnel may be required outside of dressing room, on either side of the stage and at entrance to venue. A Production Runner may be requested to be on hand from early in the day to set everything up, run out to purchase last minute details and be at the production manager’s disposal. This runner may be required to have a car.
6. Other Room Requirements: Many contracts require that the dressing rooms have phone and internet service. Many performers have lists of additional items such as bath towels for the room, plus hand towels and bottled water for the stage to be set prior to performance.
7. Meet & Greet: Sometimes the dressing room can be utilized for the meet & greet and photo opportunities however, many times an additional room is set aside for these purposes.
8. Other Catering: In addition to the artist’s catering, there is usually a catering requirement for the band and crew. Crew catering can mean beverage service at load-in morning of show, lunch for entire crew, (usually there is no time for the crew to leave the venue for lunch during set-up) Beverage service during sound check, meal for all performers and crew evening of performance. Some touring shows even have a catering requirement to be loaded on to the tour bus after the show.
9. Trailers: If the venue cannot sufficiently handle the artists requests, the artist’s production manager may require the rental of professional movie studio styled dressing room trailers. These costs would need to be allocated in the production budget.
10. Timeline: A timeline including load-in, dressing room availability, sound check, rehearsal times and details prior and post performance is needed to coordinate all personnel, security, rooms and catering and load-out.
No guidelines can cover every artist, however this list was created to help anyone that needs to negotiate requests and anticipate costs of an celebrity artist’s dressing room requirements.