Packing an ‘actor bag’ for the set

I worked on a short film last week, and the night before the first shoot day, I scrambled around the house getting my ‘actor bag‘ together. Now, I already have one semi ready, but each acting gig is different and the bag needs to be updated accordingly. It doesn’t help that I sometimes cannibalize the bag for an overnight stay at a friend’s place, camping or other short trip – and then forget to put everything back.

Every time I try to figure out what’s still missing, I tell myself I need to make a permanent list that I can refer to next time (don’t get me started on my obsession with lists…) So, let’s do this now!

Here’s my pack list for a film shoot. If you’re an actor and have your own list, feel free to share yours or any other tips you may have. I’m sure I’m still forgetting a few things…

Most important: Your script, notes, driving directions or map (don’t rely solely on your GPS). Your wardrobe (if not provided on set), a warm jacket (never fails to get cold somewhere, somehow). If you’ll be in rough terrain, bring some sturdy shoes. Your phone and charger (car and wall charger). Shades, a hat and SUNSCREEN for body, face and lips! And of course stuff from your purse, like wallet, ID and keys; or just the whole purse all together.

Essential: Your own make-up and hair stuff, if there is no MUA on the set. Your own healthy snacks and water, just in case… I’ve gotten seriously hungry on the drive home late at night/into early morning on previous shoots. I always carry glucose tablets. Your ‘mood’ music, earphones. Camera (I love taking photos! Make sure it’s ok to take pics on the set).

Don’t forget: Personal hygiene products, deodorant and breath mints – very handy on a long day, and your fellow cast and crew will appreciate it.

Murphy’s Law: A mini sewing kit, safety pins, lint roller. Mini flashlight, Advil, contact lens solution & extra contacts, re-wetting drops, band-aids, nail file. Arnica gel, throat lozenges, allergy meds and Airborne.

….and remember it’s not just the material things you need to pack:

Your mindset: Bring your A-Game, a positive attitude and energy! KNOW that you are prepared and ready. Most of all, have fun!

Ok, then!

That’s it, right? What am I forgetting?


5 thoughts on “Packing an ‘actor bag’ for the set

    • Thanks :)
      Good call on the prop box! I started one for the smaller items for my web series, otherwise things just get lost and you lose time hunting things down.
      BTW, saw your #4 video talking about Starcraft – sounds interesting!

  1. Pingback: Three ways to make sure your acting life will go on! | Pia on the run

  2. The “actor bag” blog is great and I shared it with actress Terri H. Good for you for sharing so many great ideas.

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