Student Blog: The Balance of School, Work and Theatre

Even if you start to feel helpless and behind in everything, push through and remember that even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are capable.

By: Apr. 28, 2024
Student Blog: The Balance of School, Work and Theatre
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As a grade 11 student, managing all of my responsibilities has become increasingly harder. Like I previously mentioned, my course load is fairly light, so school isn’t exactly a huge struggle at the moment, but pair it with theatre responsibilities, coaching, babysitting and work, and you’ll start to lose your mind a little bit.

In terms of work, I got pretty lucky. I work part-time as a dishwasher every weekend, but only on Saturdays, but I get paid very well. As of right now I’m working on Sundays as well due to holidays, which slightly interferes with my rehearsals, but I’ve been working my way around that. Along with dishwashing, I also babysit for local families on occasion. It’s easier to manage since I usually only need to babysit once every few weeks, and it’s not for a long time, plus I love kids so it just feels really easy for me. But the hardest part about balancing work and theatre has been scheduling conflicts. I don’t like having to take days off work, but due to rehearsals and school I’m incapable of working all weekend, and I prefer not to ask for time off, but sometimes I need to.

To tie in with that last statement, one of the other things that is becoming sort of a roadblock for me is fatigue. Getting assignments at school done at home even after being there for 8 hours, occasional vocal performances, singing lessons, work and rehearsals all in the span of a week can really take a person out as I’ve learned. This is something I’ve never dealt with to this degree before, despite the fact that there was a point in time where I was in six different musicals at once while having school as well, and I had absolutely no issues with that. To be fair, the school work I had at the time was easy, and the roles I had in most of those musicals were ensemble roles, so I wasn’t dealing with too much.

Despite all of these events and the severe fatigue, I’m doing pretty well with coping with all of those things at once. I’ve learned many coping skills over the years, but I think I’ve found a select few that are very good for me. I enjoy doing makeup, so before I have to go somewhere I often use makeup as a stress reliever, which can be very fun. I especially like using characters from musicals as inspiration, with the Six The Musical queens being my biggest makeup inspiration at the moment. I’ve also started cosplaying way more, which is a great way to relieve stress during free time. I’ve found sewing to be especially therapeutic, which ties in with cosplay. Right now I’m working on an Anne Boleyn cosplay, which I have been taking to school to work on during my lunch break and other free moments I have during that day. I think I might even bring it with me to rehearsal. It’s very calming and it’s portable, which means I can basically do it anywhere!

Another thing that takes away the stress of the week, if I’m being totally honest, is my rehearsals. Sure, they may be a part of my stress-filled week, but acting is such a great way to get emotions out and I tend to bottle all of my emotions up, so channeling those emotions into my passion is just so great. Plus when I go to rehearsals I get to see my cast mates, and every single one of them brings me so much joy, so I instantly relax the second I’m with them. We all have so much fun during our rehearsals, which makes it really easy to de-stress after a long week.

To wrap things up, all I can say is that while my schedule may be extremely packed and hectic right now, I’m honestly so glad I have all of these things going on, and I wouldn’t change them for the world. If you find yourself in a similar situation to me and you’re not sure how to get back on track to balance your load and keep your burnout at bay at the same time, just go at your own pace. Try not to overwork and overwhelm yourself, and figure out what you can use to cope with it all. Even if you start to feel helpless and behind in everything, push through and remember that even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are capable.


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