How to Survive Show Week (In Seven Easy Steps)

Ah show week: the most exciting part of the process of theatre (and also the most stressful). With adrenaline and emotions running high, it’s easy to crash and burn half way through the run of a show. That being said, I have devised a list of helpful tips to keep you on your toes and ready for each curtain rise during the week, without pulling your hair out (or wig off)

Let’s begin:

#1) SLEEP. 

It’s great! It fixes a whole lot of problems. Believe me, I love to say up late binge watching “Gotham” as much as the next kid, but sleep is really really important. It let’s your body repair and your mind to reset for the next day of performing.

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#2) Eat Healthy Food

I am notorious for snacking on junk food. Half the time, I forget to pack a lunch for the day, so I’m stuck munching on goodies from the vending machine. What I like to do is have a big bowl of pasta stocked in the fridge so that I can grab a quick meal before call time. Apples, peanut butter, and granola are also other favorites I like to have packed in my back pack so that I can grab a bite on breaks. Fruit, veggies and carbs are your friends!

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#3) Hydrate or Dydrate.  (Totally stole this from the Hesmans)

WATER WATER WATER. I am a total coffee addict, but water is so important. Last spring during Godspell, all of the disciples hid water bottles on stage so that we could grab a swig in between songs. Sometimes you have to be creative, but constantly hydrating will save you from getting super sick.

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#4) Don’t Sing All the Time

This goes out to all the musical theatre folks. Singing is great, but too much of it will kill your voice. If your director gives you the option to mark your songs during rehearsal, TAKE IT AND RUN. You’ve worked hard, you know your stuff, give yourself a break.

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#5) Have a “Comfort” at the Theater

In the company I do theatre with, we are all required to have “show boxes”, which is where all our costumes, make-up, and street clothes live while at the theater. It’s also nice to stash some sort of comfort item in your area, whether it’s a really cozy jacket, a blanket or even a stuffed animal. I am amazed by the diversity of pillow pets that I see during show week. I personally like to have my Clone Wars throw blanket with me to doze with on breaks or in between acts. No one is gonna judge; they might try to steal it though if it’s really awesome.

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#6) Get alone for at Least 5 Minutes

Even if you love people, being around 60+ people at a time can be extremely overwhelming. So whether it’s before or after a show, find time to get alone and center yourself. In the current theater we’re getting ready to perform in, I like to go to the steps by the tunnel that goes under the stage and talk to God before a show. Having a few peaceful moments can make all the difference (just make sure that someone knows that you’re having quiet time so they don’t think you went missing ;P).

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#7) Love Your Fellow Cast Members

The bond that you have with your cast will effect the entire course of your show run. If it’s not solid, it’s not gonna be a good week. You want to support the ones who are going through the story with you night after night, because they are going to be the ones to lift you up with you are struggling. Don’t be a diva, because you’re all in this together (yes, the pun was intended). Tell the person next to you that they’re doing a great job, and help that little kid make sure that they’re eye liner is straight. Little things like that can go a long way.

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All in all, show week is fantastic. You get to put on all the hard work that you’ve been pouring yourself into for weeks on end. So enjoy it! But don’t forget to take care of yourself and everyone around you 😉

Until Next Time,

Abby

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