Dressing Rooms for Circus Performers: Luxury or Necessity?

Posted by: on November 20, 2019

We’re often asked whether artists *really* need a dressing room. There’s a bathroom down the hall, and they can store their stuff under the DJ’s booth, right? …… Right?

Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.

What Actually Happens in the Dressing Room?

Dressing! Cirque-style costumes often consist of complicated layers, unusual closures, specialty fabrics, etc. Having a dressing room offers us a clean space to put on multiple pieces, and ensure that everything is secured where it ought to be.

Make-up! Stage makeup involves LOTS of little brushes, pots of paint and glitter, lashes, hair and head pieces, etc. A good dressing room should have at least one mirror for performers to put their best face forward.

Warming up! As you can imagine, cirque acts aren’t the kind of thing you can just “bust out”. A good warm-up usually takes about 30 minutes. Many acts also use this time to review bits they’ve recently changed, or parts of their acts that are very difficult. If the venue doesn’t have another space suitable for a warm-up, performers will often use their dressing room.

Connecting! Duo and group acts have a unique relationship. Connecting before a show through a shared warm-up, pre-show rehearsal, etc. is essential for the artists to work in sync.

Storage! Performers have a lot of bags – rigging, costumes, props, personal, etc. Please believe me that it gets REALLY AWKWARD to have performers in street clothes digging their belongings out from underneath the DJ stage in full view of your guests!

Common Questions

“Seriously – why can’t you just change in the bathroom?” Aside from the ick factor (bathroom floors can be yucky to stand on barefoot), cirque costumes can be complicated to get into! A sleeve dipped in toilet water, or the leg of a costume being dragged through tinkle sprinkles as you try to get into it is pretty far from optimal. Then there’s the putting on our makeup in full-view of guests (which really diminishes the “magic factor”), no place to store our things, and difficulty of doing a warm-up in there – you can see why this isn’t the best option!

“How much space do you really need?” Ideally, 5×5 feet per performer (and a private bathroom is always a plus). We realize this isn’t always possible, so let us know what you have and we’ll get creative to make it work!

“What should be provided in a dressing room?” Enough space to dress and warm-up (unless there is an alternative space available for warm-up), a table, a mirror, adequate lighting, heat or air conditioning, and bottled water (4 bottles per performer) or a water fountain/water cooler. The space should be private – no guests, service staff, or audience members should be walking though.

Why a Dressing Room Makes Events More Awesome

Perfectly done costumes and make-up look amazing, and really ramp up the WOW factor! Additionally, when performers have a good warm-up, acts are full-out and at their best – THIS is what you want! Designating space for your artists means that you get exactly what you envisioned: spectacular artists in gorgeous costumes doing incredible things. Dedicated rooms for dressing and preparing make a big difference! Dare to imagine, Laura

Leave a Reply