BWW Blog: My Creative and Theatrical Fitness Plan

My personal plan for maintaining my creative and physical strength this holiday season!

By: Dec. 01, 2020
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BWW Blog: My Creative and Theatrical Fitness Plan
Cassie Maurer and her pup Chanel
helping her with homework
back in the beginning of
quarantine this March.

Ah, the holidays. Every year come late November, we BFA college students enter a sedentary period known as: winter break. Speaking for myself, at least. I morph from active, driven student almost instantly to couch potato. I've made it a goal of mine this year for that not to be the case. As opposed to sitting and watching Hallmark Christmas movies all day (though, trust me, I will absolutely be finding time to do this!), I've decided to make a fitness plan for myself to follow. But not just any fitness plan, no! This fitness plan is for working my creative and theatrical muscles while away from school... and I suppose I should exercise my physical muscles, as well. Keeping in mind, though, that this is called "winter break" for a reason, I will strive to achieve balance and not overwork myself.

Maybe it's just me and my relationship with my family, but every time I come home, I feel as though I am being demanded to perform: "Sing us a song, Cassie! C'mon we sent you off to school to do this; can't you just sing a little for us right now, pleeeease?!" It's constant. Naturally, I tell them no, and I am met with displeasure. (Don't worry! They won't be shocked that I'm writing this; I've confronted them about it plenty of times. I think (and hope) by now they know that I won't do tricks on command like a circus animal.) Anyways, ever since beginning my training in college, I have found it difficult to exercise my voice whilst at home. In fact, whenever I do just shut my door and sing, I'll often open my door afterward to see my dad sitting there listening (very cute and supportive, I know, but no privacy!). I caught my mother and sister doing this today actually! How timely! Thankfully, I've sort of gotten used to that feeling due to recent circumstances. Because of the pandemic, all of my voice lessons, and those of my roommates, were moved online, so I've grown accustomed to singing in my room and hearing them right outside my door. They, however, are Musical Theatre majors like me, so if I crack or fudge something, then I know that they understand. Judging from their commentary while watching American Idol, I'm not sure that my family understands quite the same... That's what always makes me nervous. Despite this, though, I will sing this break! Here is my vocal exercise plan:

  • Daily: Vocal functions before bed.

  • Weekly: Follow a recorded lesson. Do vocalese and revisit a song.

  • Whenever possible: Sing in the car sans plan or judgement.

  • Whenever I remember: Releasing my jaw and tongue while not singing. And practicing raspberries for releasing tongue tension!

Acting gets trickier to practice at home, as well. After all, it's not like I can just give myself an acting class. Thinking about what acting class is though, it's not just practicing and coaching material-it's finding your body and observing the other actors and the world around you. That being said, I think I'm going to take a personal, mindful approach to my acting training this winter:

  • Daily: Meditate.

  • Daily: Read at least one chapter of any book.

  • Weekly: Watch at least one movie and take mental notes on the acting-what works and what doesn't?

  • Daily: Do the same for whatever TV shows I watch each day.

  • Weekly: Journal at least once a week.

  • Whenever possible: Be on the lookout for material I'd like to work on, be it scenes from films or plays or songs I'd like to sing.

  • Whenever possible: Disconnect from devices and practice being present.

When it comes to dance, I have the added bonus of having a mother and sister who are dancers! Because we all dance, we're lucky to have a miniature, make-do dance studio set up in our home complete with a ballet barre and a strip of marley. I'm also lucky to share a shoe size with them because whatever shoes I can't fit into my suitcase, they will probably have! I am less stressed about keeping up my dance muscles for a few reasons. For one, it's much more obvious when I am being spied on by my family, so at least I won't have to worry about them hiding on the other side of the door. Also, my sister is a senior Dance major at Point Park University, so I know she'll be working to maintain her dancing too, and we can help motivate each other! Thankfully, lots of places like BDC and Steps are offering online dance classes now, and there are free online classes elsewhere, too, which I'll be sure to take advantage of. My dance plan is as follows:

  • Twice a Week: Jazz (and various styles)

  • At least Once a Week: Tap

  • At least Once a Week: Ballet

A picture containing tree, sky, outdoor, grassDescription automatically generated
My home: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

On a similar note, I want to be sure to maintain, and if possible, improve my physical fitness over this break. Once again, my sister comes quite in handy in this arena because she is training to receive her Pilates certification! I've never really enjoyed working out. I always feel pretty good after I do, but I never look forward to the action of it. I'm hoping, though, that if I aim to make it a part of my routine, then exercise will seem less daunting. On top of physical exercise, I want to improve my health in other ways, as well, like getting more sun (thank goodness we live on a warm island!) and better eating habits:

  • Daily: Wake up at or before 10 A.M.

  • Daily: Eat breakfast along with vitamin supplements.

  • Daily: Work out after breakfast all but 2 days a week (once classes are over!)

  • Daily: Stretch.

  • Daily: Spend time outside.

  • Daily: (Now, this is a big goal...) Stop eating 3 hours before bed.

  • Daily: Continue drinking at least 64 oz. of water a day.

  • Daily: Avoid excessive sugar intake.

  • Twice a Week: Pilates.

  • Whenever possible: Choose the healthier meal option.

  • Once a Week: Eat whatever the heck I want.

Besides my love for Musical Theatre, I want to maintain other creative aspects of my life, as well. As indecisive as it can make me feel at times, I think that it's important to have multiple passions. I love baking, and I love writing (hence, the blog full of information that you probably didn't need to know). I've already planned to exercise some writing muscles, like journaling and reading... Let's see what else I've got:

  • Weekly: At least once a week, bake something! Anything!

  • Weekly: At least once a week, do a fictional free-write.

  • Twice a Month: Blog for Broadway World! :)

  • Whenever I remember: Read cookbooks.

  • Whenever possible: Make something on your Holiday Baking Bucket List (yes, I have one of those! don't?)

  • Whenever possible: Blog about something personal.

  • Whenever possible: Make a baking video.

Well, it seems that I've accrued quite the list! While realistically I may not get to do every single item listed here, I will do my best to stick to this plan. I'm sure if I do that I will be as creatively and physically fit as ever! I've been home almost a week now, and I'll admit that this plan is off to a rough start, but I will keep working at it. Here's to setting and pursuing goals ahead of the New Year! Happy Holidays!