We all know what it’s like in the lead up to production week; extra rehearsals, costume fittings, promotional shots, technical rehearsals, dress rehearsals; the list is endless. This means that by the time you reach production week, you’re generally very worn down, the coughs and colds start and that’s the last thing you want when you’re supposed to be giving your best on stage for 7 shows. So, I’ve put together my top 5 things to help you get through performance week.
These little black pastilles are life savers. They may look like the kiss of death (and they don’t taste amazing) but they really do work and if you have even the slightest hint of the sniffles, these bad boys will help you battle through. They’re available from most Boots but I’ve found they’re sometimes behind the counter so you need to ask. There’s plenty in each box to last you the week too so the cost is relatively low. There’s also lots of information about singing and looking after your voice on their website.
Berocca hit the headlines a couple of years ago when their slogan ‘you, but on a good day’ went viral. Now, their slogan may have changed but the same rings true. If you’re struggling to warm up properly and you need that extra boost, grab a packet of these (cheaper supermarket versions are available) and they’ll help you make it through the show giving 100% every time. They have a ridiculously high level of vitamins in them so they really do top your system up.
It’s often tempting, when on a high at the end of a performance, to join some of the younger cast members ‘on the lash’ after the show but take a moment to think about the show the next day! Perhaps you’ve been sensible and taken show week off work, just look after your voice and (try) to hold onto your dignity. And for gods sake, get some sleep!
Be open to notes on show week, after all, haven’t you been feeling a little underrehearsed? Just make sure that everything you do is as-good-as or better than the night before. Notes can be tiresome and getting it right isn’t always easy, but getting that applause at the end of the show from an audience who’ve been blown away is worth all the hard work.
A great cast becomes friends for life on show week and you’re going to need to make sure you have a record of those memories. Of course, smartphone cameras make the art of taking photos less nostalgic but why not pick up a cheap disposable camera for show week? That way, you get the excitement of waiting for the photos to be developed and reliving all those memories all over again.
If you’ve got any tips for surviving show week in amateur theatre. Let me know by getting in touch.