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5 Life Hacks We Learned From Theater

August 6, 2016 by CJ Schwartz
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If you think that a fair amount of theater magic is actually hot glue, glitter, and haze, you’re not completely off base. A lot of the joy of creating the world of a play onstage is that it often involves everyday objects repurposed in clever ways. If you’re a theater person, you may have your own stories, but whether you love to create theatrical magic or just experience it, here are a few life hacks we learned from working in the industry.

Use vodka to eliminate odors on clothing.

Martini Drink

Ever wonder why costume designers always have vodka on hand? No, it’s not because they’re notorious party animals, but rather because vodka is great for eating up odor-causing bacteria in sweaty places such as the underarm area or a tight-fitting waist of a garment. Don’t go top-shelf on this, just grab the cheapest store brand vodka you can. Water it down a bit (or not) and apply with a spray bottle to sweaty garments. The smell will evaporate quickly and sweat stains should be relieved. Just note that this will only eliminate odor-causing bacteria and not actually fully clean your garments, so make sure you’re still washing your clothes too.

Try glow tape to prevent knocking into the corners of your furniture in the dark.

Clumsy Cupcake

Are you always banging into edges or uneven surfaces in your home in the dark? Try some glow tape ya’ll. Just cut little strips and install them on any treacherous corners lurking around your home and the problem’s solved. Glow tape is available at any theatrical outlet, many home improvement stores, or on Amazon.

Need to be rid of fluorescent lighting? Gels are your new best friend.

Scary Light

Let’s be honest, fluorescent lighting isn’t really anyone’s jam. Luckily, there’s a quick fix: gels. You can easily purchase theatrical gels in a variety of colors from Amazon. Once you have your gel of the appropriate size, role it out, wrap the fluorescent bulb in the gel tightly (there should be no space between the lamp and the gel.) Next, use transparent tape to seal the seam. Finally, cut away any excess gel, but be careful not to cut the pair of prongs at each end of the tube of the fluorescent light. Install the light back and there you have it: magically better lighting.

Use nail polish on tights to prevent runs.

Sailor Moon Nails

Have a run in your tights? We’ve all been there. It always seems to happen when you’re already running out the door, or just moments away from a meeting or event. The secret to making sure your run doesn’t run away from you? Clear nail polish. Apply over the tear and that little nuisance isn’t going anywhere.

 Get the perfect selfie.

RuPaul Spotlight

We all know that one of the great quests in life is to take the perfect selfie. No? Just us? Anyway, one thing we’ve learned in theater is that finding your light is very important. A nice little tip for you if you’re taking a selfie with a friend: have them turn on their flashlight and light the two of you while you flip your camera around on your phone and snag a perfectly lit selfie. Lights, camera, action! Oh wait, that’s film… well, you get the idea!