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Jesse L. Martin Reveals Al Pacino's Pre-Show Ritual

Al pacino in merchant of venice_crop At Second Stage Theatre’s annual All-Star Bowling Classic benefit in NYC earlier this week, actor Jesse L. Martin -- who co-starred with Al Pacino in the Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice until the end of January -- told Vulture that Pacino is "a big rituals guy" and revealed one of Pacino's pre-show habits:

"Sometimes before going onstage for his first entrance, there’s several people downstairs in the green room that he has to shake hands with. Not everybody, but it’s usually the same people. I’ve been the guy several times. He just picks two people and walks up and shakes hands and that’s just part of his whole thing. The people change week to week, but it’s always two."

As bizarre OCD pre-performance rituals go, this is actually pretty cute. (We're learing a lot about the personal side of Pacino this year, it seems -- watch his recent interview with Larry King, in which the actor reveals the one role he regrets turning down.)

Do you have anything you absolutely have to do before you get on stage every night? Share your own pre-show rituals in the comments below.

-- Daniel Lehman

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