Student Blog: Prioritizing Your Mental & Physical Health

There is a stigma, in this industry, that your worth and your drive is dependent on how much time you devote to auditions. Your health, however, should always be #1.

By: Mar. 30, 2024
Student Blog: Prioritizing Your Mental & Physical Health
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I don’t know about you, but with the stresses tech week brings, my body falls victim. I have never made it through a tech week without coming down with some sort of illness! ‘Into the Woods’ in the Fall? Terrible allergies turned into a cold. ‘White Christmas’ during the holiday season? Bronchitis. ‘Seussical’ two weeks ago? A sinus infection! All that to say: my body’s health hates tech week. For me, personally, staying physically healthy starts with managing my mental health. 

Between maintaining my grades, performing, and auditioning, the time-management aspect can get tricky. Something that my American Sign Language professor pointed out that will always stick with me: multitasking is physically impossible for our brains. As someone who struggles with procrastinating (I call it prioritizing other aspects), it is impossible to multitask. My biggest piece of advice might be slightly controversial: school is always #1 even if it means forgoing an audition or performance opportunity. On the same note, it’s okay to not submit for every self-tape. It’s okay to not go to every open-call. There is a stigma, in this industry, that your worth and your drive is dependent on how much time you devote to auditions. You are already doing enough; missing a few auditions does not make you a bad performer and it doesn’t define your work ethic or your passion for the craft. I, truly, believe that what is meant for you will not pass you by. Putting your efforts towards school or something completely different does not mean you're losing another opportunity (no matter what Macroeconomics and the opportunity-cost says). If that project, or that show is meant for you, it will find you, even if the timeline is different than the one you’ve created.

I always see, on various social media platforms, fellow performers urging you to have a hobby. How difficult is that, when musical theatre is your hobby. Theatre is my everything, but my end goal is not for it to be a hobby; it is meant to be my career path. Having separation is very important, in order to maintain the love of your craft. If you were a math teacher, would you want to go home and do math problems? Having your life solely consumed by one thing is not realistic. Without balance, burnout is so much more likely and in a flash, your love for your career is gone. I am obsessed with musicals, so, honestly, this article is my self-help guide and I need to reread it! In other words: find something else, that makes you happy, to fill your down time. Some of my favorite activities still have a tie to theater. I enjoy making theater-related TikTok content, crafting closing night gifts, and, weirdly, I love perfecting my resume and my reels. Theater can 100% still be your hobby without it being the physical aspect of performing.

With all of that being said, no matter how much I prioritize my mental well-being, the tech week curse still gets me! I could keep sharing a million different tools to try to balance your day-to-day life, mentally, but the physical aspect I find even more valuable. You’ve heard it a million times and now you’re going to hear it one million and one: drink water and fuel your body! How can your body be expected to perform (and thrive) at 100% without being given the nutrients to survive? I, too, am guilty of skipping meals in order to accomplish something else (see, procrastinating and not multitasking), but I always get through my day with at least one, complete meal and some snacks. Water is another story; you will never catch me without my emotional support water bottle. Just by drinking, at least, 32oz a day, I notice a huge difference! My skin is brighter, my mind is clearer, and I have more energy. If you take nothing else from this article, please, at least, drink enough water!

When water isn’t quite enough to keep illnesses away, it’s time to call in my secret weapons. Without fail, these remedies have gotten me to the functioning level (singing, acting, and dancing), by opening night. As soon as you feel the tell-tale signs, break out the Vitamin C and try to nip it in the bud. Whether you have congestion or not, a humidifier will be your best friend. Pour some water in it and let it work its magic while you sleep (find my favorite option here). Don’t forget about the typical remedies either: drink your tea and take your cold medicine, or whatever works for you. To soothe your throat through tech week and during performances, I have found my holy grail. The magic is real with these lozenges (find them here!) and that makes them my #1! I hope you were able to take something away from my tips and tricks! Always remember that you and your health come first. I believe in you!

Until next time,

Brynna

"We may stumble and fall, but it is through perseverance that we rise above."



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