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Ridiculous Reptile tradition: Tattoo Friday

posted by Amy Bobeda on Fri, Dec 9, 2011
in Backstage buzz , Costume shop

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Some offices do “casual Friday.” Clearly, Berkeley Rep is too unique to partake in such a trite ritual. What do we do instead? Fancy you should ask! Every Friday morning no matter which campus our ducklings find themselves on, we all have one thing in common: temporary tattoos.

Like all good ideas, it began in the costume shop. On a weekly trip to the local Target for Popov, Oxyclean, and environmentally friendly detergent, we trolled the ever-popular dollar section. That day there was something magical in the air, because those bins were stocked to the brim with temporary tattoos depicting hipster animals — octopus DJ! Raccoon bandits! Boston Terriers in cute baseball caps! Clearly, for a dollar I needed to buy three packs and find their purpose later.

That Friday, it began. The costume shop was my test group. While hesitant, they complied. (Can’t say no to this face!) The next week, their excitement grew, and I expended to the “West Wing” of Harrison St., aka Andrew, Gayle, Amanda, and Tom. Gayle was immediately hooked, and the rest is history.
We now reside as the co-chairs of Berkeley Rep's Tattoo Friday Committee (a committee with only two members, but we do send out messages on company letterhead), and for Gayle it means that she will be leaving some sort of legacy when she leaves at the end of our fellowship.

Our jobs aren’t all tattoo shoppin’ and letterhead signin’ barrel o’ monkeys fun, though. Every Friday, we take a good hour to distribute tattoos around Harrison, inter-office mail tattoos to Addison, and we even help the more inept Reptiles apply their tattoos. It is a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.

So why tattoos? Why waste everyone’s time with some silly little weekly ritual? I think I’ve found three answers, but I’ll keep you posted as they evolve.

1. Company bonding: We work in different buildings, but the fake ink ties us all together.

2. Celebration: It’s a great way to celebrate Friday, and the fact that we work in a place that embraces silly traditions.

3. Change: Perhaps the most important, our fearless leader Susie, is always saying “We have to mix things up, don’t let anyone get too comfortable.” Nothing pushes comfort zones like the thrill of a tattoo that you can sport for a few hours, or even a few weeks. It’s not quite the thrill of real ink, but definitely does push boundaries.

And, what can I say, people freakin’ love it.

And now, if you want some more company bonding suggestions, Gayle and I are available for hire, so please send requests to Berkeley Rep!



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