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Maintaining My Sanity: Confessions of a Sleep-Deprived Actress

 

So I'm in the middle of the run for Clybourne Park, which takes up most of my mental capacity and focus, and while I'm having an absolute blast, I've been reflecting on some lessons I've learned that I'll share with you, both theatre-related and not.  
1. Lunchboxes are Cool.
Sometimes you're going on campus from 9-6:30 without any time to run home and grab a bite to eat before you have to perform. I've learned to pack little baggies of snacks that I can munch on throughout the day until I can get my hands no a real meal. Because as much as I'd love to eat Chinese takeout from Lincoln Garden for every meal, it's probably not the best idea.  
2. A PLANNER. YOU MUST HAVE A PLANNER.
It's all about the time management. Know your schedule for the day and when you have free time to cram in that extra homework you've been putting off. I make myself a little to-do list in my planner with my tasks that I want to accomplish that day. Checking one off is the best feeling :)
3. Plug it In, Plug it In: Have an Outlet
As much as I love what I do here, it can be stressful. And while de-stressing can involve a 4 hour marathon of Law and Order SVU (and has), I'd rather do double duty and go exercise at the gym or make myself dinner(I'm allll about cooking). I can go to these activities when I need to chill and step away from the theatre, but I don't feel like I'm completely wasting my time.
4. Count'cher Blessins
Guys, I'm getting higher education. I've got great friends, I'm in a great program, a roof over my head, I'm well-fed, and I'm really enjoying myself as a college student. Sometimes it's good to take a step back and look at the bigger picture in order to let the little things roll off your back. 
5. Boy Scouts. Always. 
Be Prepared. In Clybourne Park, if one person forgets their line, it's all downhill from there. The banter in the show is so quick and dependent on the build of the conversation that a pause ruins the pace and throws all of the actors out of focus. So, in order to prevent that from happening, at least on my end, I go over my script every day and review my lines. Being prepared to do your work is always a good idea, and it also keeps you from zoning out in class during the discussion about the book you were supposed to read, but didn't. Not that that's ever happened to me. 
6. Not Just a Zit Cream
If you're in a show here(especially during tech week), chances are your homework won't start getting worked on until 11pm or midnight. Hopefully. Since I prefer sleep over mostly anything, I don't like this little arrangement and start my homework in advance. If I know I have a big assignment due on the Friday that I have a performance, I try and get little bits of it done in the week before just so I don't hate myself on Thursday night. Proactiveness. It's a good good thing. 
7. Carpe Diem, Y'all.
I'm having the time of my life right now doing Clybourne Park, but the first weekend is already over and the second is going to go by equally as fast. The sad(yet arguably the best) part about the theatre is that it's temporary. It's fleeting. I can't videotape the show, this experience, the friendships I've formed, or the lessons I've learned, but it wouldn't be able to capture the essence of the experience anyways. So I guess for now, I'll simply have to enjoy it and cherish it. 
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My picture was in the paper for an article about Clybourne Park! :)

Here's the link to the promo video for the show. If you're in the area, come check us out! 

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