Actors and Actresses

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The superstitions surrounding actors and actresses were more prevalent in the Middle
Ages, when performances would take place live in a theatre. Apparently theatre actors were
some of the most superstitious people of all time, with thousands upon thousands of
magical beliefs that would dictate their lives and work.

Here’s a sample:

Good Luck Superstitions:

  • It is good luck to wear a wig
  • Visitors must enter a dressing room with their right foot first
  • When you leave your dressing room, leave with the left foot first
  • It is good luck to fall once during a performance
  • To stave off bad luck during the performance, trip when first going on stage
  • It is good luck to be pinched before your performance
  • Have dolls and other lucky charms in the dressing room
  • If you spill powder, dance on it for good luck
  • Accidently smear lipstick on your teeth when you are putting it on your lips
  • If you kick off your shoes and they land on their soles, you will have good luck
  • A bad rehersal means the performance will be great
  • It is good luck for someone to wish you "Break a leg!" before the performance
  • Start a performance thirteen minutes late
  • Have a cat backstage for luck (although if it runs onstage it means bad luck)
  • It is good luck to say "shit" or "merde" at least
    once during the performance
  • It is good luck to perform Cinderella
  • It is good luck for one actor to be a hunchback
  • Drink champagne on opening night
  • The same costume should be worn night after night when performances are a success

Bad Luck Superstitions:

  • It is bad luck to have a play open on a Friday
  • It is bad luck to open a play on the 13th of the month
  • It is bad luck to use yellow, green or blue on stage
  • If shoes are placed on a chair in the dressing room it is bad luck
  • Having three candles on stage or in the dressing room is bad luck
  • It is bad luck to leave a piece of soap behind that you’ve been using on tour
  • It is bad luck to have real flowers on stage
  • Do not use real food, drink, or jewelry on stage
  • Do not open an umbrella on stage
  • It is bad luck to use the words "turkey" and "bomb"
    in the play
  • It is bad luck to whistle at any time during the performance
  • It is bad luck to perform Macbeth or Robin Hood
  • It is bad luck to look over the shoulder of another actor while they apply makeup
  • Do not have pictures in the dressing room
  • People should not knit near the stage
  • It is bad luck to have a picture of an ostrich on stage
  • It is bad luck to wear peacock feathers
  • Do not quote the last word of a forthcoming play before the performance