Don't Forget to Take Care of Yourself

Stefanie Townsend

A person of the theatre can get sick in countless ways.

Maybe one person caught a cold in the department, and within in the blink of an eye, anyone who ever hangs out in the greenroom before class has fallen ill.

Or perhaps you don’t remember what sleep is.

Maybe someone has been so overworked that they crack and can’t stop crying.

There might be someone who has been living on only peanut butter sandwiches for the last several days.

Theatre people are dedicated, ambitious people. But we have to remember to take care of ourselves.

It’s easy to get caught up in the work and responsibilities that come with being in theatre. It’s easy to get so caught up in our passions to forget anything else.

Goodness knows I have done it too.

Bodies are incredible things. But they can only be sustained with proper care, and they can only do so much to a point.

I have been that student going to rehearsals at night. I’ve been the person going to work during the day and coming to the theatre to rehearse at night. I understand how schedules can be, and how daunting it may seem to care for yourself.

It’s not always easy. But it is important.

You need to make sure your body is getting the food, water, and rest it needs.

Ambition, motivation and determination are all great qualities to possess. They help us keep fighting for our dreams. They remind us why we do this and help rekindle our passion when we feel rejected, discouraged and lost. It’s important to fight the good fight.

But it’s important to care for yourself as well.

You won’t be able to sing all those notes beautifully in the musical’s touching ballad with the hoarse voice that comes with a cold.

You won’t have the energy to commit to and perform long rehearsals, tech weeks and show runs.

You won’t have the focus to learn your lines, your blocking, or write incredible performance reports if you’re not sleeping enough. You can miss vital notes and information.

Your body will not be pleased with you if you forget proper hydration.

Without taking care of your body’s physical needs, you will not be able to meet the needs of the production and your role. Making sure that you are taking steps to ensure you are healthy is key. Easy to forget, yes. But also key.

Keep working. Keep discovering. Keep learning, keep loving, keep experiencing.

But do remember to take care of yourself.