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Monday, December 27, 2010

You Better Work!!! Understanding What Makes a Fashion Show (Part III): The Rehearsal

Okay, so you've got the gig, you've got the clothes and now you've got to learn the moves! Not all fashion shows involve simply walking down a long catwalk, striking a pose at the end and then walking back.

While some shows stick to this basic operation, the majority of fashion show events want to take things up a notch and provide an entertaining performance for the audience. This is where the rehearsal phase comes into play.

Rehearsals are typically set a few days before the show but many others schedule them for a few hours before the show on the actual day. The latter is very common these days and doesn't necessarily mean the production isn't legit. The most common reasons for rehearsals to take place the same day as the fashion show includes, but is not limited to:

- Difficulty with coordinating schedules for everyone involved to appear sooner
- No access to the venue prior to the day of the show
- It helps keep the info and choreography learned fresh in the models' minds

Most rehearsals take hours, especially if there is a large number of models in the show and/or multiple outfits being shown, so be prepared to show up super early and bring something to help pass the time when you aren't on stage (book, ipod for music, etc.). It also helps to have bottled water and snacks on hand if they aren't already available at the venue.

During rehearsal you must be attentive at all times. If you miss something, you risk messing up during the show, which will not make you anyone's favorite. It can be boring at times but don't goof off or distract the other models. The director/choreographer will be giving instructions, placing people, doing dry runs and tweaking the production as you go along. So it will be a trial and error process at times. While the choreography may be put together prior to the rehearsal, the only way to find out what works and what doesn't is to have the models practice on the stage.

Sometimes there may be some choreography involved outside of simply walking and posing. This doesn't necessarily mean you'll be dancing but you could be asked to do something out of your element. I've been a part of fashion shows where we were asked to walk off the stage and into the crowd to interact with the audience. I've done shows where we actually did dance.

Each fashion show has a theme and usually the director will incorporate that into the show and how the models perform. Regardless of what the choreography is, following the instructions you're given and commit your place in the show to memory. If you've got a segment that is particularly challenging, work on it while you're not on stage. Go through the routine with any of the models that are available as well. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for clarification.

There have been times when I asked to run through a segment over and over so that I could make sure I knew what I was doing. If you don't want to hold everybody else up, take the director or choreographer aside and him/her to go over the routine with you.

It is important for female models to bring their heels to walk in during the rehearsal. Your hair and makeup will be taken care of as the show time gets closer so you can come natural to the rehearsal.

During the rehearsal stage, you'll learn everything you'll need to know for the fashion show. It'll be work but it will also be fun and a chance for you to connect with the other models and make new friends, which is always a plus! Think you've got the routine down? You better because now it's time to prep for the show!

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