By Bectoria Crandall
We all know that those living in Western culture today could stand to live healthier lifestyles. There are plenty of statistics that show the ramifications society is now suffering as a result of bad eating and lifestyle habits. As alarming as these statistics about the general population are, I have to confess that they do little to motivate me to make better nutritional and lifestyle choices. If I were, say, training for a musical however, this would provide a more immediate motivation to make changes for the better. I would have titled the theme of this post “Live Your Life Like You’re Training for a Marathon” if I had thought anyone in their right mind would ever be actually interested in such a venture, but I know better. Instead the theme of this post is all about wanting to train to be in a musical because, after all, who in their right mind WOULDN’T?
Aside from needing the instruction and talent to be able to become a serious performer, training to be in a musical has a lot to do with taking overall good care of oneself. Those who perform in musicals have their physical appearance, including their teeth, skin and hair always in performance-ready condition. This allows them to respond to casting calls at a moment’s notice knowing that they have done all they can to ensure they present the best version of themselves.
Really? Teeth and hair? You bet your bippy! Casting directors are often complaining that the person perfectly pictured in the headshot sent in by talent agents does not adequately represent the person who walks in their doors. Staying picture perfect means regular personal maintenance to ensure the perfect hair style and sparkling smile.
An actor’s body is his or her mode of income. Because they are their vehicles of employment, these performers must keep their bodies in top physical condition. In addition to needing their physical appearance to always be on point, they must always be in peak physical condition to be able to perform with every inch of charisma they can muster.
It’s easy to make excuses not to get regular medical care, like “I’m young. There can’t really be anything too seriously wrong with me” or “Oh. This pain will go away if I give it some time,” etc. I have been in this boat as well and have made many of the same excuses for myself. It wasn’t until my dear friend Mac referred to this excuse making as not taking care of myself that I decided to make a change for the better.
Someone training to be in a musical does not have the luxury to “let oneself go”. You hear stories of performers “fighting through the pain” but the reality is that these performers cannot afford to let even minor aches and pains go, for fear that they may develop into something more. They see their medical care providers for routine medical exams and whenever needed. To maintain their good health they get plenty of sleep and balance their active lifestyles with plenty of rest during their off time. This is a good model to follow.
As the thousand million personal trainers in the world will tell you, a healthy and active lifestyle is balanced with a good diet and fitness routine. I recommend consulting your medical care provider to begin getting your body physically active in whatever way is most appropriate for you. Keeping hydrated is crucial for performers who want to give stellar performances. An easy way to keep hydrated is to simply carry a bottle of water around with you. REI has many colorful options of reusable water bottles at www.rei.com that are BPA free. REI carries a variety of colors and styles so I am confident that you are sure to find one that will fit your perfect level of whimsy.
When you’re in a musical, you want to eat foods that help you maintain your size to ensure that your costume will always fit but also to keep your energy levels up. Keeping ones weight under control will also allow you to rehearse and perform musical numbers with the energy and charisma needed to provide a quality performance. This challenge can be met with a personalized fitness routine mentioned above coupled with a nutritious diet. I recommend visiting the American Heart Association’s nutrition center at www.heart.org/nutrition for up-to-date nutritional information.
Those who perform in musicals can always be seen with a water bottle and they often bring small, healthy snacks with them to rehearsals. They cannot be bothered by being weighted down by large meals that make them feel sluggish. Instead, they opt for quick, healthy snacks to give them the energy boost they need. Rather than eating three large meals a day, research suggests that we all eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Having pre-prepared veggies and fruits ready and available will help eliminate the need to grab unhealthy snacks or to eat meals that will drain the body of its energy. Odet Ortiz at www.my2.tupperware.com/odet has been in Tupperware sales for years and is a master at finding storage solutions for snacks of every shape and size. My family enjoys all of the fun and convenient food storage options that Tupperware has to offer while I enjoy the ease with which I can tuck the containers into a purse, pack or carry-on.
No matter how you look at it, we could all stand to live healthier, more active lifestyles. If other factors have failed to motivate you, give my idea a try. The point of this post is to get healthy, but have fun while you’re doing it. I’d love to hear what steps you have taken to get yourself in gear to live YOUR life like you’re training to be in a musical!