Listening To Your Body - When is Enough, Enough?

Thursday, 28 November 2019

With winter well and truly on its way, its now more important than ever to look after ourselves... which I believe is what they call pot calling the kettle black. I am ashamed to say I ignore my body all the time. When my mental health is bad, I try to listen to what I need, listen to what my head is telling me I need to do. But when it comes to my body, I'll be the first to hold my hands up and say, I ignore it.

I know I won't be the only one when I say I usually put my job before my bodies needs; Oh, I'm hungry! Cant eat too much or  I'll be bloated and my costumes won't look good. I'm tired... ah well, have a banana and Lucazade, got to power through. Ou oh, I'm ill! well you've got people in the audience so keep pushing through. Like many performers, creatives and free lancers, work is so hard to find that when you have it, admitting it's defeated you, even if its for a day, is tough.

I'm currently working on fixing a little problem with my vocal folds, so all my energy has gone onto working and correcting on this, meaning my regard for my body went out the window. I was working myself into the ground and stressing so much, I never seemed to have enough sleep. So when it came to our show arriving in my home town, in a theatre I worked in for 4 years if my life, you can imagine how thrilled I was when my body had had enough and blasted me with an infection to end all infections.

At first I thought It was just a sore throat, I was tired and its chilly out, a honey and lemon and a paracetamol will solve this, right? Wrong. we opened on Wednesday, and by Friday I arrived at work, where I very undramatically... ahem... passed out. Now in any other job, you'd usually have called it a day and stayed in bed, but I had people in the audience and the thought of letting them down was worse than feeling a big crappy.

This then led to probably the worst vocal performance of my life, which led to a minor breakdown side stage mid show, and after a very pathetic fight, resulted in me having to be practically banished from the theatre and for my understudy to go on the next day. After a trip to the docs, a diagnosis of 2 infections and a virus and many a box of antibiotics, I was massively annoyed to know my week off that I had been looking to for weeks, had to be spent in bed.

This was the wake up call I didn't want but massively needed. I think we're all guilty of working too hard and neglecting your bodies, but sometimes we have to stop and listen when your body shouts back and says enough is enough. You need a rest gal! And there is no shame in it, we all get ill and its not a sign of weakness! Its not good to over work yourself and burn out, look after yourself and listen to what your body needs, you only have one, keep it happy!!

If you have any tips on keeping healthy in these winter months, do let me know, sharing is caring and I deffo need any advice you've got!

Thanks as always for reading,
Rosie xx

The Tour Diaries Part 2 - Digs

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Welcome back to The Tour Diaries, I hope you enjoyed part one! I join you from my digs in High Wycombe, catching an early night before we open here tomorrow.

In this post, I thought I'd explain a little more about where I sleep when I spend these weeks on the road. Every week we get given a touring allowance, which basically covers our accommodation and travel for the week. Finding somewhere to stay for the time we're in each city, is souley down to us. We can choose a hotel, an apartment, Airbnb, tent... pretty much anything you can think of, but I've mostly been using a website called Theatre Digs Booker. This is a website where people with spare rooms, flats or houses to rent, can post pictures and details of their properties for you to rent for the week, at usually a pretty good price (which is usually under our allowance, which I call a WIN!) While these are sometimes a steel, it also means you more often than not end up renting a room in someones house. While 99% of these houses and hosts are lovely, you're bound to get the odd... interesting experience. (Luckily for me, I've never had anything too bad...if we don't talk about the couple who only, and I mean only, wore mini silk kimonos around the house and told me off for buying milk...) And I'm not going to lie, no matter how nice your house and host is, it is never going to be a completely comfortable experience just waltzing into someones house, cooking dinner and going to bed like you've been pals for years, then leaving a week later and never to see them again.

With this in mind, every few weeks, I've been treating myself by booking a Travelodge (classy) or Premier Inn (Sassy) close to the theatre. I know, I'm really pushing the boat out here! But sometimes it's nice to treat yourself to not having a half an hour walk to and from the theatre every day (not that I mind the walk, it ups my septs and my Fitbit celebrates for me!)  and by being able to basically role out of bed in into the stage door. While this small luxury does make me feel massively more relaxed and comfortable, it also means I can't cook a batch meal for the week, so my blood stream ends up being 45% instant oats, 45% instant noodles and 10% complimentary Twinnings tea (call me a tea snob, but nothing beats Yorkshire. AM I RIGHT?!). Its a massively good job I like all these things, but its only when I get home that I realise I have never appreciated eating a meal off a plate and not out of a plastic tub more. Oh the glamorous life of theatre!

Touring the show I'm currently on is hard work, as we usually (always) have 2 shows a day, which is great fun, but also means we spend 99% of our lives in the theatre. However this doesn't mean I don't want as nice digs as I can possibly find. Sleep is so important, so a nice bed and a comfortable surrounding is vital, especially if you're a light sleeper like me! That us why, if you're about to embark on a tour in this mad business we call show, or any other for that matter, I would hiiiiighly recommend looking on Digs Booker or Air BnB. Being able to see photos of the property, read reviews and talk to the host can make a world of difference when you're making your choice

My Autumn Highlights

Friday, 1 November 2019

When it comes to Autumn, I’m your gal. Anything to do with fallen leaves, cosy days, hot drinks and Halloween is completely my jam. Autumn has been my favourite time of the year for as long as I remember. Normally when October 1st hits, I go full Fall mode and Autumn up the room.  I’m talking artificial pumpkins, leaves, candles, fairy lights, the whole hog. But this year because of my baby nephew (who is the most beautiful thing on gods green earth, may I just add) being born and having to spend time in hospital, and because of being here, there and everywhere on the road, I’ve had to cram my whole month of Autumn Maddess into one weekend. So I had to pick out my favourite activities, and go to town. Packing a month into 2 days isn’t easy, but this is what I did!

Pumpkin Picking

Living in Central London, this little activity was not as easy to find as it usually would have been back home. We’d discussed going to the ever famous Tully’s farm, but decided the 1.5 hour drive was just a tad too long. So instead we opted for Cammas farm, which luckily was only a nice 45 minuets away! When we arrived, it was rammed and my anxiety took over. So we didn’t stay as long as we usually would, but the pumpkins we picked were corkers and it was worth the whole ordeal to be able to bring those little beauties  home!

Carving Said Pumpkins

When I’m carving pumpkins, in my family it is an unwritten law that you HAVE to be watching a scary film while the carving commences. And by scary films I absolutely mean Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas. But they’re the best ones, am I right?!

Halloween Baking

I am a fiend when it comes to a baked good. And if it’s a seasonal baked good you have to fight me away with a sick. I love baking, I find it so therapeutic. So this year me and the boy rolled up our sleeves and made some spooky black shortbread bats and cats. So spooky, so simple and so so tasty. It was the perfect autumnal treat to have with a hot chocolate and a film, cosied on the sofa.

Decorating The House

I live for a theme, and autumn is no exception. My normal yearly decoration session starts 1st October and continues to grow until things get out of hand. This year however, I didn’t really have a home to decorate, being on the road, but knew I’d be home in London performing for Halloween week! (The pumpkin gods all worked their magic for me there!) which meant I had to pack an extra large suitcase to fit a few of my artificial pumpkins in to bring with me. Deciding who made the cut was way harder than it needed to be, fyi! But when I got to London, I went to town. I was there for 5 days and it was, what can only be described as, a Halloween grotto. I’m talking cobwebs, spiders, fairy lights, spiderweb table clothes, the tackier the better. I usually opt for a more classier autumn decor, but this year with time not on my side, I vomited Halloween all over the house and lived my BEST life!!

I’d love to hear what your traditions for autumn are, and what would be your top 3 If you had to choose!

Thank you, as always, for reading,
Love, Rosie xx