How to Stay Healthy During Audition Season
Audition season is a trying time for all actors - Equity and non-equity alike. Most of audition season is held during the bitter winter months, and when traveling from place to place, waiting outside audition studios on long lines, and sitting in crowded holding rooms, you can easily pick up diseases along the way.
No one wants to be sick during their auditions.
Here are my top 5 tips for staying healthy during audition season.
1. Get enough sleep.
For actors, there is no substitute for sleep. You cannot simply “catch up” on sleep.
Stay with me here… let talk about the science behind it.
People who are sleep deprived generally have slightly depressed immune systems, which makes them more susceptible to illness. Everyone has slightly different sleep needs, but generally speaking, most people require 6-10 hours of sleep daily for optimal brain and body function.
Now apply that to audition season.
Not only does adequate sleep help your immune system, but it also keeps your brain mentally sharp. Mental sharpness is vital for remembering lyrics, picking up choreography, and focusing on being your best for the most important couple minutes of your life.
What's worse than forgetting the lyrics during your audition?
It takes at least 2-3 hours for the liquid you drink to filter through your body and help lubricate the vocal folds.
Minimize whatever can be systemically drying… especially caffeine.
Heads up - there are certain medications that also have mucosal drying effects. DO NOT discontinue any medication that you have been prescribed, but ensure that you are adequately balancing the drying properties.
3. Don’t overcommit.
Chances are, during audition season, you’ll be singing a lot. In big theatre hubs like New York City, you may find yourself trying to go to multiple auditions a day.
If you are involved in too many activities (vocal or otherwise), you cannot be in optimal vocal, mental, or physical form for your auditions.
Choose your auditions wisely. Practice wisely.
Additionally, be careful in social situations not to outdo yourself. Late nights and loud talking in bars can be detrimental to your vocal health.
4. Wash your hands frequently.
The simple act of washing your hands can significantly reduce the spread of germs from person to person… especially during the harsh winter months.
Think about all the places your hands have been and the things you touch… door knobs to audition studios, piano keys, cell phones, pencils, desks, computer keyboards, seats in holding rooms, etc.
For good hand washing hygiene, use warm, soapy water. Worst case scenario - if you have no available water handy, carry hand sanitizer with you.
5. Eat well and take your vitamins.
Your body is your instrument.
Treat it as such!
During audition season, be sure to keep your body well-hydrated and well-nourished. Good nutrition does not begin the day before your audition. Think of eating properly as part of the training process.
Fuel your body with nutritious, wholesome foods. Limit processed foods and sugar consumption. This includes sodas and sports drinks.
Take a multivitamin (with limited additives) daily.
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