Actors need to keep themselves healthy.
When I was in school, I always thought it was a little weird and pretentious that we were taught to refer to our bodies as our “instruments.”
At least, I felt that way until I got hit by a Dodge 4×4 truck after a tech rehearsal one night.
I was walking across the street from the drama building, over to where my car was parked across the street, and literally, my last thought was, “I can’t wait to have some Rocky Road ice cream when I get home.” and suddenly I look to my right at the last second and ka-POW!
I think I blacked out for a second, because the next thing I know, I’m on the ground and I’m not wearing any shoes. Luckily, two of my friends, Glen Nicholes, and Jimmy Gallo, were across the street and ran over t0 help me and call 911, etc.
To fast forward, I didn’t break any bones, but I did mess up my back a little bit (hardcore physical therapy took care of that). But my body was hurting so badly and I was in such pain for so long, that it made a lot of my classes really difficult (dance class, suzuki training, etc). I tried to play it cool, but it really sucked. I mean, I got hit ONE WEEK before a premiere of a show I was in. I couldn’t even wear the full period costume due to the bandages I had to wear from where I got a nasty road burn.
Anyway, my point is, that is the moment when I realized for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE that I was not invincible. I guess sometimes it takes until your early 20s to realize that you are not immortal. Or maybe that was just me, but it made me realize that I actually had to take care of myself, my “instrument,” because it’s the only I one I have in this lifetime!
This does bring me back to my original point, believe it or not. My original point is that actors NEED to keep themselves healthy. This includes:
-keeping in shape (not just for vanity reasons, but also to keep up endurance for long days on set, long days in the theatre, etc)
-not getting hit by cars and trucks. or at least, avoiding that as much as possible (I should probably follow this rule…better).
-MAKING SURE EVERY FILM YOU ARE ON HAS INSURANCE (something I learned the HARD way in 2009. I was on a friend’s film set. There was no SAG insurance. SAG insurance is inexpensive, by the way. Let’s put it this way. I broke my foot so badly I needed surgery. oops)
-eating healthy, drinking lots of water, taking vitamins! Because you don’t want to be sick. Especially not right before your show is about to open.
This leads me to my latest foray of needing-to-take-care-of-myself. I’m sick. But I am getting better!
It hit me like a Dodge 4×4 in the middle of rehearsal on Sunday. Okay..maybe not THAT hard, but suddenly I was freezing, achy, and unable to stop coughing. And ya know how hard it is anyway to act and be awesome and be great onstage? Well, being sick made me remember how much harder it is to do all that and..well…be sick at the same time.
So I went to work on Monday and by the end of the day I was wearing my down jacket and double fisting a tea from Starbucks and theraflu thanks to Allegra. Phew.
Yesterday, I was the best actor EVER. At least in regards to being “good” aka “healthy” aka “SMART and not stubborn.”
I slept in LATE. Well, 9am. I ate breakfast. I watched “The Sweetest Thing.” Don’t judge me, it was on HBO and it hurt to reach for the remote. I then promptly fell asleep for an hour. I MADE MYSELF NOT DO ANYTHING. Then I recall maybe doing something else, but then I fell asleep for another three hours, got up, and went to rehearsal. BOOYA!
Today, I feel awesome. Well, besides the fact that I have a heinous cough. But I don’t feel like death every two seconds. This goes back to my first blog post o’ the year: “This year I will be more awesome.” I shouldn’t quote myself like that because I’m not sure if that’s what I actually said. And I must be more awesome by taking care of myself and MY INSTRUMENT!!! (Yell this in a old man british accent and you’ll know what I mean)
Also, 6 years ago TONIGHT was when I got hit by the truck. Cheers!
Now go be healthy, you actors AND non-actors, you!