What is a Bump?

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  • What is a Bump?

    A “bump” can refer to a variety of situations and contexts

    (By Tonya Tannenbaum)

    In acting, a “bump” can refer to a variety of situations and contexts, each with its own meaning. Here are some common interpretations of the term “bump” in acting:

    1. Bump in Pay:

    A bump in pay typically refers to an increase in an actor’s compensation. This increase may occur for various reasons, such as additional work beyond the originally agreed-upon terms, an extension of the actor’s contract, or taking on a more significant role within a production. Bumps in pay are negotiated and specified in the actor’s contract.

    1. Role Bump:

    This type of bump occurs when an actor is initially hired for a smaller or less significant role in a production but is later promoted to a more prominent role. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as a change in the script, a recasting, or the director’s decision that the actor is better suited for a different character.

    1. Bump-out:

    In theater, a “bump-out” refers to the process of dismantling and removing the set and equipment after a production’s run has concluded. It involves disassembling the stage and props and returning the performance space to its original condition.

    1. Tech Bump:

    During the technical rehearsal phase of a production, a “tech bump” can refer to a period when the technical crew (lighting, sound, and stage technicians) makes adjustments to the production’s technical elements, such as lighting cues, sound effects, or set changes.

    1. Bump List:

    A “bump list” is a document used during casting to track and prioritize actors for specific roles. It may include the order in which actors will be seen during auditions or callbacks, with some actors “bumped up” on the list based on the director’s preferences.

    1. Bump in Rehearsal Schedule:

    In theater, a “bump” can sometimes refer to a sudden change in the rehearsal schedule. This might involve shifting the timing or order of rehearsals, possibly to accommodate changes in the availability of actors or production staff.

    The meaning of “bump” in acting can vary based on the context, and it’s essential for actors to be familiar with the specific terms and conditions outlined in their contracts and understand how any potential “bump” situations will be managed and compensated within the production.

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