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?

Weekend Update: Family Visits, LuLaRoe, and Taco Night

Happy Monday, all! This weekend went by in a blur. They just never seem long enough!

Friday
Work–>CrossFit–>Rehearsal is my usual Friday night schedule. We were released a bit early, which was excellent, because Ben’s uncle Bill and cousin Justin decided to make an impromtu visit to see Grammy before Justin moves to Colorado in a couple of weeks. I arrived home just before they did, and managed to start a fire in the woodstove by myself for the first time ever! We had a few drinks and chatted for a while, and I went to bed around midnight. They stayed up until the wee hours!

Saturday
I slept in until about 9:30, then got up to find breakfast-making already in full swing. Ben and uncle Bill made bacon, eggs, and home fries, yum!

We were supposed to take Grammy out for lunch, but breakfast ended up being more like lunch, so we went for an afternoon visit instead. We chatted for an hour or so, and then I headed over to my friend Abbie’s house for a LuLaRoe party. I was a good girl and only bought one shirt, even though there were at least five other things I wanted. I wish I’d had more time to chat and hang out, but I needed to head back and pick up Ben for taco night at our friends David and Alex’s house.

I decided to DD for the night, and we carpooled with our friends Merlin and Kat. The food was delicious, and the company was excellent, but we stayed out a bit later than I would have liked. I’m such an old lady these days. I didn’t get into bed until after 1 am, and I was WIPED.

Sunday
I slept in again after our late night, then got up and did my usual Sunday morning tidy up. I tend to just let everything pile up during the week and then do a big clean on the weekend. Not ideal, but it’s what I can manage right now.

We had 9 to 5 rehearsal at the Flynn today, which is always a treat. It’s such a beautiful theatre, it makes me feel like a star every time I get to be on that stage. We did a full run through of the show, and it has really come together over the last week or so. It’s very exciting to be at this point and still have so much time to work and polish stuff before we open on the 6th!

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Looking out into that audience is one of my favorite views in the world

I’m starting the week off a bit behind the eight ball because I neglected to do any meal prep this weekend. I’m hoping that I can make it through Monday and Tuesday, and then do some cooking tomorrow night for the rest of the week.

Do you like to stay up late, or are you like me, and go to bed early?

 

Weekend Update

This weekend was largely spent at the Flynn Theatre, where I was on the makeup crew for Lyric Theatre Company’s production of The Who’s Tommy.

While being on stage is my first love and true passion, being on the makeup crew is an AWESOME alternative. While I would have loved to audition for Tommy, my Disney trip would have kept me away from “tech weekend,” which is a very important set of rehearsals for any production. While the production team might have been willing to work around it, I didn’t want to put them in the position of having to make that decision. And I also didn’t want to stress about missing rehearsals while I was on vacation.

Being on the makeup crew is great for many reasons, the most notable of which is that you still get to be a part of the show with a minuscule (by comparison) time commitment. When you’re in the cast of a show, you’ve got generally between 12-15 hours of rehearsal time each week for 3-4 months. As part of the makeup crew, I came in the week of the show, and spent probably a grand total of 15 hours at the theatre. But I still got to see my friends and go to all of the fun social events surrounding show week. Win-win!

This week is all about getting back to normal(ish). I haven’t been on a regular schedule since before Disney, so I’m hoping to get back to healthy eating, back to the gym, and back to preparing for 9-5 auditions, which are coming up more quickly than I like to think about. I have a voice lesson after work today, which I’m excited about, and then after that I actually get to go home and eat dinner. What is life?

What did you get up to this weekend?

Friday Free-For-All – 03/11/16

I am SO excited that Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend. Yes, losing an hour of sleep will be a bummer, but having the extra daylight after work is SO clutch now that my mileage is really ramping up. Up till now, most of my weeknight runs have been pushed to the treadmill because it would get dark too early (or because I’m a weenie in the cold). Now, it will be a lot easier and more pleasant to complete those shorter runs outside.

Starting today, Mary Poppins rehearsals will be increasing dramatically in frequency. In case you missed my little freakout post yesterday, here’s what’s up: Until now, I’ve been averaging one, maybe two rehearsals a week. Now, it will probably be Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 6:45-10 and Sundays from 12:45-5 every week until the show opens. And the show opens in three weeks. THREE. WEEKS! Where did the time go? With ever-increasing mileage and now more rehearsals, it’s about to get REAAAALLLY busy up in here. I just need to grit my teeth and hold on until April 11.

Thankfully, this week is another little cutback week. While my mid-week, shorter runs are continuing to get longer and more intense, I “only” have to run ten miles for my long run tomorrow. Ha. “Only” 10 miles. Who am I and how is it normal to use the phrase “only” when describing a 10 mile run? Marathon training is crazy…

On a lighter note, the weather for my long run tomorrow is looking picture perfect. Mid-50’s and sunny. I can’t even tell you how happy this makes me. Lately my long runs have all been done in the cold and with little sun. I’m looking forward to getting my Vitamin D on.

Are you excited about the time change?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 04/10/15

Friday

Legally Blonde opened last night! It. Was. AWESOME! We had a sold out house, and the audience absolutely loved it. Things went so smoothly, and everyone was so full of energy. Words can’t explain the adrenaline high that I get from performing live. It’s so incredibly exciting and rewarding. And we get to do it 4 more times! Yay!

I’m completely exhausted already. After the show last night, there was a champagne and hors d’oeurves reception at the theatre, and then there was an after party at a local pizzeria, so I didn’t get into bed until about 2, and then I was up at 7 to get to work. I’m hurting today. Not in the sense that I drank too much last night (I had two drinks), but in the sense that I’m so tired I feel hungover. Sucking down tea, coffee and water and trying to wake up.

Throat Coat tea and honey are my best friends. I was practically hoarse when I woke up this morning, but after about 5 cups of this delightful concoction, I feel 100% better.

It’s supposed to be in the 60’s all next week! After the show is over this weekend, my self-imposed moratorium on running is up. I’m going to take a couple of days of complete rest to recover from the show-week craziness, but then I’m SO EXCITED to do some outdoor running in the delightful warm weather that we’ve got coming up.

Are you experiencing spring-like weather in your neck of the woods?