Welcome to Theatre Thursday 🎭 In which I do most of my theatre postings on a Thursday because well, the alliteration works.
Nobody ever tells you how much of a mental game theatre can be. Throughout high school and college you constantly hear “Theatre is hard” or “You’re not heading into an easy career path”. Sure sometimes you hear about the physical challenges if you’re an actor, but rarely does anyone really get into the details of the mental and emotional toll theatre can place on you.
Lately I’ve been in a huge funk. With hiring season in full swing and working nonstop on shows, in the office, and planning a conference, my mind has not stopped going. Which normally, I love. However, these past weeks have taken a huge toll on me and I have hated how I have felt and how it has affected my interactions with the people around me.
So I decided to write this post because after talking to many friends, I realized it happens to all of us. We are so hopelessly in love with our work, sometimes we get obsessive. We stay up late applying to company after company or we let our mind wander to all of the interview questions we could have answered differently. The funny thing is though, it is almost always out of our control.
Why lose sleep over things that you can't control?
This is a very hard thing for me (and I'm sure most stage managers) to accept because it goes against our nature. However, once you come to terms with this, I promise you life is 100 x better. Here are some of the key things I have found that have helped me when my mind feels like it won't stop:
Be productive: But wait Chelsea won't that just stress me out more? -I have never been less stressed then when I am checking things off my to do list. Lying in bed binge watching three seasons of How to Get Away with Murder may feel awesome at first- but I promise you once you're down that rabbit hole you will only lose more sleep trying to figure out that crazy freaking show.
Yoga: Currently on day 5 of a 30 day yoga challenge (who have I become?) and it has honestly been great. I swear by Yoga with Adriene and I can't wait to share more about my experience during the challenge later on. Sure some days have been hard and I am not always 100 percent focused on what I'm doing. However, I am learning to enjoy the process.
Communicate: Talk to friends. Chances are they are just as stressed about hiring season as you. Listen to each other and help one another out. Share places you are applying to or offer to watch their monologues or read sides with them if they are a performer.
Someone else's success is not your failure.
So be kind to one another and help each other out.
Sleep and eat well: Self explanatory, but so important. If you are eating cookies and drinking wine while watching HTGAWM, chances are your body isn't going to be happy with you.
So those are the key things I have found beneficial in the midst of some of the busiest months in theatre. I would love to hear any other things people do to help get out of the mind games involved with theatre so hit me up with your best tips and tricks.
Much love always,