Theatre Superstitions: Actors and Drama

actor superstitions theatre and drama

Good Luck Omens

What To Wear

Wearing a wig is believed to attract good fortune, enhancing the actor’s performance and overall success. Discovering a piece of cotton on another actor and winding it around your finger is considered a positive omen, symbolizing unity and good luck.

Wearing peacock feathers is believed to attract bad luck and is thus avoided by actors in their costumes.

The Magical Cinderella

Performing Cinderella is believed to usher in good luck and prosperity for both the actor and the production.

Embracing the Hunchback

Having a hunchback in the company is considered fortuitous, believed to bring luck to the entire ensemble.

First Foot of Visitors

When visitors enter dressing rooms with their right feet first, it is believed to invite positive energy and success to the performance. When visitors enter dressing rooms with their left feet first, it is believed to bring negative energy and should be avoided.

Champagne Toasts on Opening Night

Drinking champagne on opening night is a cherished tradition, believed to bring celebration and good fortune to the run of the play.

Steering Clear of Bad Luck

The Melody of Misfortune

Singing or humming Three Blind Mice or I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls is believed to bring negative energy and is generally avoided. Whistling on or off the stage is considered unlucky and is often avoided by theatre performers.

The Opening Date

Having a play open on a Friday is associated with bad luck, and productions often choose alternative dates for premieres. Opening a play on the thirteenth of the month is considered unlucky, and alternative dates are preferred to ward off misfortune.

Forbidden Plays

Performing Macbeth, Robin Hood, and Babes in the Wood is considered unlucky and may bring misfortune to the production. Quoting lines from Macbeth is viewed as a source of bad luck, and actors often avoid uttering the play’s name directly.

Color Cautions

Avoiding anything yellow, green, or blue is thought to prevent bad luck from infiltrating the production, emphasizing the importance of color choices in the theatre.

Actors: Good Luck Omens Before the Play

The Gallery Coal Toss

To ensure good fortune, actors may throw a piece of coal into the gallery from the stage.

A Pinch for Prosperity

Being pinched before a performance is considered a favorable omen, believed to bring luck to the actor.

The Blessing of a “Break a Leg!”

An actor’s pre-show ritual often involves someone wishing them to “break a leg!” – a peculiar but cherished phrase thought to invite success.

Embracing the Rehearsal Hurdles

Contrary to expectation, having a bad rehearsal is seen as a positive sign, potentially leading to a successful performance.

The Mysterious Thirteen-Minute Delay

Starting a performance thirteen minutes late is believed to bring good luck to the cast and crew.

Backstage Feline Friends

Having a cat backstage is considered fortuitous, bringing a touch of good luck to the theatrical proceedings. Having a cat on stage is considered both good and bad luck, depending on whether the feline friend stays behind the scenes or ventures into the spotlight.

Actors: Good Luck Omens During the Play

Squeaky Shoes as a Lucky Charm

If an actor’s shoes squeak during their first stage entrance, it’s seen as a positive sign, bringing good luck.

Tripping into Success

Tripping on the opening night of a play is considered a fortunate occurrence, believed to pave the way for a successful run.

The Graceful Art of Falling

Unexpected falls during a performance are embraced as lucky incidents, believed to ward off misfortune.

A Fortunate Slip of the Tongue

Uttering words like “shit” or the French equivalent “merde” during a performance is seen as a stroke of luck.

Actors: Bad Luck Omens During the Play

Banishing Real Flowers

Having real flowers on stage is considered bad luck, and many actors prefer artificial blooms to avoid tempting fate.

Costume Mishaps on Entry

Catching part of your costume while entering the scene on stage is believed to invite misfortune.

Ostrich Taboo

Featuring a picture of an ostrich on stage is considered an ill omen, potentially bringing bad luck to the production.

The Perils of Real Props

Using real food, drink, or jewelry on stage is viewed as a bad luck magnet, often substituted with convincing replicas.

Umbrella Superstition

Opening an umbrella on stage is strongly discouraged, as it is associated with inviting bad luck.

Words to Avoid

Using the words “turkey” and “bomb” is believed to bring bad luck and is often avoided in theatrical performances.

In the world of theatre, superstitions weave seamlessly into the fabric of tradition, creating a unique tapestry of beliefs that actors and crews continue to honor, seeking to enhance their performances and safeguard against the unpredictable nature of live theatre.

You may also like...