Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Your Career v. Your Health

(Photo Borrowed from doctorbulldog.wordpress.com)
 Have you ever gotten sick over tech week? Had to battle a cold on opening night? Most of us have experienced the, “I’m too busy to sleep, or eat, or exercise because I’m in “launch the show” mode”. This will inevitably leave you exhausted or sick, which decreases your personal efficiency and means you have to spend even more time getting everything done than you would have had you remained healthy. Actors tend to be better at this because, well, their bodies are their instruments and maintaining it is part of the job. Those of us on the production and business side of things tend to neglect our instruments. In order to break the vicious cycle of overworked and over-scheduled, here are a few tips to stay opening day healthy.

1. Start taking a multi-vitamin as soon as rehearsals start and continue until the show closes. Better yet, just take a multi-vitamin all the time since you’re probably too busy to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.
2. Stock up on virus-fighting staples before shit hits the fan. Oranges are great because you don’t have to wrap or refrigerate them, just throw a couple in your bag and go! If you have a fridge at the theater, stock it with berries, pre-cut veggies and some probiotic yogurt.
3. While the rise of super-bacteria will probably make this null and void in a couple years, for now anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and a can of Lysol are pretty useful. Stock your office, the theater, even carry one around with you.
4. If you’re lucky enough to have an office, or a locker, or a corner to call your own at the theater, leave sneakers there. When you take that union mandated 15, power walk around the block a few times… make it staff thing, production meetings on the run! (kidding… sort of)
5. Make a priority list of your life for the next week. Cross of the bottom three items, replace with sleep. If you can’t cross anything off your list, and do you really need to go to your best friend’s wedding anyway, then cut commuting out of your day, pack a week’s worth of clothes and a sleeping bag and sleep at the theater.
6. In all seriousness, the best thing you can do is to make healthy lifestyle changes when you’re not busy, so that they become habits, then you’ll be better able to incorporate them into your life when you’re under fire.

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