Show Week: Theater Musts!

We just wrapped up blocking weekend and it's time to really move into the theater! Every night this week I'll be sitting in the dark watching the whole show go up. Lights, costumes, haze, you name it, it's on! 

Show week can really be one of the more stressful times of the season but I think you just have to know what it is you need to make it a smoother process. First of all, I meal prep. I plan out every meal and set it up so it's a grab-and-go situation. Dinner is always simple, usually leftovers I can reheat in a jiffy. Simple, easy stuff that fuels me--that's it! 

Secondly, I pack the life essentials in my bag for show week. This is everything that makes me feel good and caters to every need I could have sitting in a auditorium for hours. Here they are: 

Ten Must-Have Show Week Items

1. Water bottle. Theaters can be really dry so I make sure to stay hydrated with a water bottle I can refill over and over again. This is a Pioneer Woman water bottle from Wal-Mart and I love it! It came with the cutest lunch bag that I use for my prepped lunches and dinners. 

2. Saline Spray. Like I said, theaters are dry and old and full of gosh only knows! I spray my nose and blow three times before I go in and I do it again at the end of the night when I leave.  I know, TMI, but I'm telling you it really does clear out your nasal passages of whatever dust and crud you've been breathing in. 

3. Eye drops. Dry air = dry eyes. Rinsing my peepers with some drops at the end of the night re-moisturizes them AND cleans out whatever got in. 

4. Essential Oils. Say what you want, but I believe 100% in a few smells: Peppermint to prevent headaches, lavender to stay calm, and lemon in my water for taste and to cleanse my system. Mix the three together and you get a sinus protection that yes, you got it, helps in a dry theater full of dust!  I mix these with coconut oil so they last and it tempers the strong scent for those flavors.

5. Lip balm and lotion. Man, that dry air, I'm telling you! It just gets me so I lather up my hands so they don't crack and I apply a quick swipe of lip balm to keep my lips from cracking, too. I also try to use a light or non-scented lotion so I don't bother my fellow choreographers and the management team. Some scents are just too much in a close space. 


6. Book Light. Whether you're following a script for a musical or just reading through the tech sheet, this little guy will come in handy more than you can know! 

7. Scarf, wrap or sweatshirt. Theaters always tend to be on the cold side so your better to dress in layers. For some it's a big comfy sweatshirt, for others it's a giant scarf you can wrap yourself in--it's honestly whatever floats your boat! 

8. Hair ties. I tend to wear my hair down so I release tension from having it pulled back all day, but after a while it gets in the way. I made this cute hair ties I can wear on my wrist in case I need to whip my hair back. Some people opt for a hat, too. 

9. Snacks. Settle on in because it's going to be a long night!  Or week. Even if you ate dinner beforehand, you're bound to get a little hungry as the night wears on so pack something that will offer you protein or a bit of energy! Nuts are good, trail mix, a meat/cheese pack or even an apple with some PB. I like grabbing Almond M&M's because hey, nuts have protein, and the chocolate gives me a sweet little jolt. 

10. A good attitude! Yup, I went there and ended with a super cheesy line, but it's true! I try to get my mind relaxed and ready for anything. Right now it's about getting the show up and running and that's going to take as long as it needs. If I'm not mentally present or anxious about when we'll get done, I'm going to be more of a stressball than necessary. So, I relaxed, I mentally prepare and I enjoy the magic of bringing in another show. How many people get to do this for a living? This is a time to feel lucky and excited to see it all come together! 

Everyone has a different system that works for them and every theater set-up is different, too, but after years of performing and now choreographing, I stick closely to this list. Honestly, it's whatever you need to survive a busy, busy week! 

If you're ever in a show or needing to tweak your own list, these might be things to consider! Even if you're not performing, this list is great for traveling! 

What items do you keep handy for those busier times of the year?