Jul 31

Two-Show Days: A Survival Guide

By Sami DeSocio

Two-show days: Just the thought of it will make any actor sweat and/or yawn. The countdown between curtain call at the end of the matinee, and curtain up at the beginning of the evening show can feel like an Olympic sprint. Your basic human needs can sometimes take the back seat to the demands of your production and this only adds stress to the physical exhaustion that you’re probably already feeling.

Relax. Take a deep breath. There’s a way to get through two show days, and still feel relatively sane at the end of the day.

First: Have a food strategy. This might sound like the weirdest thing ever, but when you only have three hours between shows, knowing what you’re going to do to feed yourself becomes absolutely essential. Try planning a cast order-out, or even a potluck at the theatre.

Second: Restore normalcy! Get back into street clothes (you should never eat or drink anything but water in a costume anyway), take a moment to catch up with your friends on Facebook, call a family member, hang out with cast members, read a book, listen to music—do what relaxes you! Make sure you’re not spending this time stressing about your performance. Clear your mind instead.

Third: Take care of yourself. Make sure you go to the bathroom, take your makeup off between shows (yes, it will take valuable time to reapply, but your skin will thank you for the break!) and drink some tea to soothe your throat. Taking care of yourself and letting your entire body rest at this time is key.

And only when you’ve completed steps one through three: Get ready for the next show. Take the stage manager’s half hour call seriously. It will give you the time to focus and get back into actor mode. Breathe, warm up your voice and your body, get into your costume and makeup, and perform any pre-show rituals.

Above all else-have a good time! Two show days are a blast if you can keep your head afloat!

Break a leg!

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