As excited as you are about being cast in a show, every actor knows that the show of their every day life must go on! The question becomes, how do you deal with balancing your life in show business and the life you have at home? People who have mastered that skill deserve an award!
Chances are, unless you’re rehearsing all day and do a performance at night, and unless you work during the day, the hours before you need to be at the theater will be yours to do with what you want. Use that. Do the laundry, shower, catch up with that friend you haven’t seen forever, pay bills. Whatever you need to do, do before you go to the theater.
A great way to keep yourself balanced is something you’re probably using right now to read this—your cell phone! You’ll get breaks during rehearsals and during a show you’ll most likely have a fifteen minute window to make a call or two. Take advantage of that and make that call or two, use whatever time you have to your advantage to play catch up.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught a quick nap at a theater before a show. If you get there early enough and are ready to go on when called, there’s no shame in taking a fifteen minute nap. As long as you’re up before call, and you don’t miss your places call, you’re great!
Making meals in advance is a great way to make sure you eat on the go. On a day off, plan your meal schedule for the week-of course, this could mean you’ll be eating a lot of salads or sandwiches because they’re the most portable..but if you’re creative enough (and the theater you’re in has a way to do it!) a quick hot meal, even one to just hold you over until your next real one is fantastic! Even if the cast gets together and does a pot-luck lunch or dinner between or after shows, that’s a great way to not only bond with your cast, but also to make sure everyone is eating! You’re not the only one with a rumbling stomach!
Days off are for your life things like sleep, and seeing friends, and eating, and doing the laundry. But if you don’t have that luxury and you’re trying to squeeze everything in, it can get complicated. Little things like throwing in a load of laundry before heading to the theater can make a world of difference! And of course, make your real-life ‘to do’ list shrink while you do your thing onstage!
Being an actor means you live your real life around the lives of the characters you’re fortunate enough to play. But with proper planning, and good time management, both lives can live together in harmony!