Writer's Tip: I can't use the scene I worked with today because it would give away too much of the story. In this scene I have too many characters to juggle. I have to set the stage and not let the reader lose track of these characters while the most important action is taking place. And, just to make it a little harder, at the same time, the action cannot be slowed by the technicalities of keeping up with the other characters.
So, what to do? I chose in this scene to give the bit players and on-going action in the background. Two are searching for a list of ingredients. One is applying an ointment to another on stage performer. In the reader's mind, the lesser players are all gainfully employed, and I am allowed to do a concentrated, action-packed bit of storyline, giving only two players our full attention. This cannot go on for five pages, mind you. I must touch base with the bit players if only in passing. So and so stumbles, and nearly falls on what's his name. In other words, the bit players become part of the setting. Keeping your characters grounded in the setting is for another day.