Sunday, November 15, 2009

THE FOUR PILLARS OF HEALTH


I was teaching a workshop this weekend at the NETC conference in Sturbridge and we discussed what kind of support a young actor needs to sustain the ruthless rhythm of rehearsals until midnight while going to school full time and getting up early to catch the 7 am school bus. No time to pack lunch or dinner, not enough sleep, not enough rest... sounds familiar? All of this packed with the ever-flying emotions of being in a show, new friends, pressure, expectations, tension, stress...and homework...
Leading to sure burnout and emotional distress when all of it is over...

So what can you do?

The four pillar of health are Nutrition, Sleep, Exercise and Self Love.
Without one of these pillars, your whole foundation will collapse and your house fall down...

NUTRITION: Patti will soon write more on nutrition for rehearsals but if you dont' have the time to pack lunch or dinner, you can always get the 'grab and go' drinkable meal supplements. They are filled with vitamins and will be better than pizzas!. Watch the sugar content, use the natural ones, and choose the ones that do not have caffeine. You can get a 6 pack for your week of nightly rehearsals ahead of time.. add a banana, a granola bar.. and it can replace (for a few days) a healthy meal and will not take room in your school backpack.

Drink plenty of fluids, (water, not sodas!) and get a good breakfast to start your day.

SLEEP: you need sleep! 8 hours... if you cannot get it in one shot, try cat naps, and short relaxations in your day (5 minutes each) they can refuel your energy even if your night is too short. Catch up on sleep when you can...


EXERCISE: it is important to daily fit at least a short walk outside, a yoga stretch, a zumba dance, a running or bicycle ride... whatever is quick and easy. Oxygen is important when you spend your time in a rehearsal room. So bunddle up and go out! You will feel refreshed, revitalized and you will act better...

SELF-LOVE: When you put yourself on the line everyday by being onstage and performing in front of people, it is important to spend time to appreciate yourself. Your body (and soul) is the instrument you play. CARE for it with love and appreciation, as if you were the Steinway or the Stradivarius.. YOU ARE THE WORK OF ART, YOU BECOME THE WORK OF ART..
So dare to be introvert: you might need time alone, to recharge, you might need to write in a journal, listen to music you love, or take a long bath. You might need to play with your pet, take a walk, read a book... do what feels good as long as it is healthy.
You will recharge your energy and feel more confident later on stage...

To go further read the book A BALANCING ACT

Emmanuelle Chaulet,
RP III, acting coach, energy awareness counselor

3 comments:

Laura K. Vannah said...

Emma - This is so wonderful that you are writing a blog! One of the simplest techniques I know for supporting ourselves is taking a few minutes to simply pay attention to our breath. In watching out breath flow in and out, we re-connect to a deeper part of ourselves that is relaxed and alert.
Keep me posted on all you are doing!
Laura
Co-Founder ANPACT: Association for the New Paradigm in Acting and Creative Techniques
blog.brightstarproductionz.com

K-Noise said...

thank you for this post. it comes at just the right time for me. this semester has been busier and more stressful than any other time in my life, i feel. i especially like your note on self-love. this is so important! i am not a big facebook or blog connoisseur, but i'm very pleased to have discovered your blog, and now i am interested in reading your book...
thanks, again

claire wool
fairbanks, alaska

K-Noise said...

thank you for this post. it comes at just the right time for me. this semester has been busier and more stressful than any other time in my life, i feel. i especially like your note on self-love. this is so important! i am not a big facebook or blog connoisseur, but i'm very pleased to have discovered your blog, and now i am interested in reading your book...
thanks, again

claire wool
fairbanks, alaska