Hell Week Survival

If you’ve ever participated in live theatre, or if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that Tech Week aka “Hell Week” is the week-ish long period of intense rehearsals right before a show opens. This usually kicks off with a “10 out of 12” (rehearsing 10 hours out of a 12 hour period) technical rehearsal where lights, sound, sets etc are incorporated to the action, followed by orchestra and dress rehearsals with makeup and hair to finally tie it all together.

This weekend kicks off Hell Week for 9 to 5 the musical. Saturday is a 3 hour orchestra rehearsal followed by a 3 hour “dry tech,” where we rehearse all set movements without doing any scenes or songs. Since I am moving set pieces, I have to be there. Then Sunday is regular tech all day, then dress rehearsals Monday through Wednesday, and we open on Thursday night.

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This will be a long, exhausting week. It’s not uncommon for performers to get sick during Hell Week because they’re just so run down. I REALLY don’t want to succumb to any illness right now, so I’ll be doing my damnedest to stay healthy. How? I’m glad you asked. Obviously, everything from my recent post about keeping your voice healthy applies, but here’s my specific plan for this week.

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Hydration
The Flynn Theatre is notoriously dry. I’ll be spending lots of hours there this coming week, so it’s more important than ever for me to stay on top of liquid consumption. I’ve got my desktop humidifier going every day at work, and I’m sucking down water and tea with honey like it’s my job. I also re-downloaded a water tracking app for my phone to make sure I’m taking in at least 100 oz of hydrating liquids every day (I don’t count my coffee).

Good Eats
It’s really easy during a busy week to let nutrition go out the window. I’m determined to get some meal prep done during down time this week, and also stock up on healthy, easy, portable snacks to take with me to the theatre. Nuts, protein bars, and fruit are all on the menu. I actually joined an online group hosted by a college friend who is now a fitness instructor and health coach, and she’s given me some great recipes and ideas already!

Try to Get Sleep
I can’t lie, it will be challenging to get enough sleep in the coming days. Saturday and Sunday will both be long days, and then I will have rehearsal until god only knows how late every night next week after work. I may resort to napping on my lunch breaks.

Bye Bye CrossFit 😦
I love CF, and going always makes me feel good, but trying to cram it in next week is just going to be too much. I’ve already arranged to prorate my April membership so that I don’t need to worry about missing classes next week, and I can just focus on getting through the show in one piece.

Date Night
I’m not going to be home very much over the next week, so I’m trying to prioritize my marriage a bit and spend some quality time with Ben. We’re planning to have a nice date night on Saturday night before everything gets crazy. This will be a good opportunity to just relax and fill my metaphorical “bucket” with love and appreciation prior to the week of insanity.

Recovery Day
I have taken the Monday after the show closes off from work. I know I will be completely run down, so this will be an opportunity to catch up on sleep and just relax. I will also probably have a shitload of laundry and cleaning to catch up on at that point, so it will be good to have a day to just get my life back on track post-show, and hopefully avoid getting sick.

How do you cope when life gets crazy?

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5 thoughts on “Hell Week Survival

  1. Amy says:

    Good luck! Sleep is key for me when life is crazy, but when trying to prevent illness I go with zinc (airborne or pre-emptive coldeeze), and probiotics or yogurt.

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