"Tickovers" are sets of movements specific to each character. The movements express an element of the character and ensure the characters are never still onstage. The term is borrowed from technical engine terminology, where a machine is left running idle. Tickovers also result in the unique and distinctive poses for some characters.
In the show, we do what are known as "tickovers" where the engine ticks over. People say that we're always moving on the stage, even when we're not on the move so to speak, but that's us doing the engine ticking over and the "tickover" is specific to each character so we work on that. There's certainly a lot of attention to detail put into all this. - Mykal Rand, Resident Director, UK Tour
The Tickovers are often caught as typical poses in photographs, but they are rarely held stationary onstage.
Pearl is often seen preening, polishing her costume or straightening her skirt.
Dinah's basic pose (see picture) is, like the other Coaches', is very defined with no alteration. It's even included in choreography, e.g. in Nie Genug. How she moves around it, however, can be different depending on her actress. Usually the girls don't just put their hands down to go back to the basic pose, but turn their hands in an elegant way, sometimes even performing multiple twists. Sometimes she has one arm akimbo, the other one remaining in her basic pose.
Another element she shows often is dusting off her skirt.
Another pose is her interlocking her fingers and holding her hands close to her chest in "cute" excitement (see picture). This is altered to holding her hands in front of her belt sometimes.
Dinah always throws a kiss at the audience in the Megamix, after doing a curtsy, instead of actually bowing, like Buffy and Ashley.
Buffy often mimes carrying a tray of drinks, taking orders, serving food or drinks. Sometimes she can be seen to polish the display cabinet on her bodice.
Ashley commonly mimes smoking, lighting her cigarette, tapping ash into the ashtrays on her bodice, stamping out a cigarette butt.
Red Caboose Edit
The Rockies spent a lot of time stretching, warming up, or practicing their boxing.
Hip Hoppers Edit
Joule's a very sexy, fierce character. Her basic pose is basically touching the side of her chest wheels (see picture).
Like the other components, Joule moves abruptly. Sometimes her movements can seem a little hectic.
A very typical element of her tickovers is her turning her head over the top. So if she wants to change from looking to the right to looking at the front, she first moves over to the left, before then looking to the front, at very high speed, resulting in her wig shaking like from a small explosion or electric shock. An alternative is a simple, short head shake, which is performed by the actresses frequently. This intensifies the rushed feeling of her moves. This was added after Joule got her big wig.
She lifts up one leg in an arabesque when pulled by her race partner.
Volta is very elegant. Her basic pose varies between one hand vertically in front of her and the other one akimbo or the other one stretched away (see pictures). Depending the actress, the hand at her box is held either palm up or down.
Another pose of hers is having both of her arms and hands stretched out and held slightly behind her. Sometimes this includes a slight bend forwards. An alternation to this has her bend her arms a little, elbows to the sides (see picture). Even though Volta moves in the abrupt way the other Components do, she often does it not as harshly and more elegantly. She can usually be seen sticking her nose up with ostentation. This can be a once in a while thing or be performed very frequently.
Her trousers enhance every leg movement. Like Joule, Volta often lifts up one leg, when being pulled by her race partner. Another thing some actresses do, is a lot of leg work, changing the stopping foot every now and then or turning the leg a little out or in, which reflects the light differently.
In the past, Volta mimed fans with her hands. After her wig changed from broad fans to square ones, this pose seems to be gone.
Even though Wrench switches genders every now and then, her tickovers don't change much. So when played by a male, he still performs some moves that are generally associated with females. As a girl on the other hand, she has a strong, tough vibe to her. She has her hands in firsts almost all the time, such as in her basic poses (see pictures). She doesn't have the basic pose though, it depends on the preference of the actress/actor, which will be the mainly shown pose.
While using the same abrupt movements as the other Components, Wrench sometimes performs circles with her hands and arms when changing in between poses, always keeping it very controlled and precise. Most of her poses have her arms either bend 90° or stretched out straight. The possible variations are endless: arms to the sides, up, at the body, crossed, Wrench is very easy to play with, but not that easy to get right.
If the actress/actor lacks strength and thus has less control over the arm movements, which are quite demanding because they are up most of the time and have to perform the circles, Wrench can seem lacking and one can quickly tell that something is missing. Like Krupp, Wrench is a small part and it's important to make her interesting using body language.
She can be seen throwing up her legs into an upwards splits sometimes.
Purse's basic pose (see picture) can be either hands down or hands up, though it's usually hands down, as hands up resembles Krupp a lot. There also is a variation in which he shows the front of his hands, turning the palm to the back and separating all fingers. Another variation has him in his base pose, one hand up, one down. When moving on his own, like to ask out Pearl or Dinah, he usually turns his upper body up to 90°, e.g. his feet point away from the audience, but his box still face them frontal, his hands in his base pose.
Purse doesn't move harshly, using not only the abrupt style of movement the other components use, but more flowing moves as well, depending on the situation.
A very common thing for him to do is circling his hips. While the other components usually remain stiff at their hips, only bending back- and forwards, Purse moves smoothly. He sometimes places his hands at his belt when turning his hips.
Purse often stretches his arms to the side, like in his base pose, or even further. Another typical pose is holding his hands in front of his box. They're crossed over, palms up or down. These two often follow after each other.
As Krupp is Electra's armaments truck, he always carries guns. Since having a prop on hand would be rather difficult, the guns are mimed by using two fingers, such as in his basic pose (see picture). Apart from his basic pose, he has multiple typical hand movements, but most of them do contain his "guns" or having him show aggression. Even compared to the other Components, Krupp is a small part, which leaves a lot of space for the actor to develop the character with body language, so he can be very shallow, only showing only a few different poses after each other, or have more depth, interacting with and reacting to other characters.
A must are abrupt, strong moves in between poses and even for small things, such as moving his head. These are typical for all of Electra's Components, but especially important for Krupp, a rather harsh, aggressive character and bodyguard.
Another typical element are a lot of spins. This very much depends on the actor though, but Krupp has a short dance solo at the very beginning of AC/DC which contains a very long spin (about 5 complete turns), that can be later picked up again, e.g. after changing his position on the stage without being pulled.
When transitioning from moving to standing, Krupp can sometimes be seen stomping the ground once with the one foot, which by using the stopper ensures safe, still standing.