1) Breathe. Breathe through the pain, discomfort, nerves, over excitement. It is okay to take a breath.
2)You don’t have to know everything. Everyone is learning the process. Having a schedule or at least a solid day a week where you have things planned out (even down to your free time) is helpful.
3) Make sure your lunches are light, you move around a lot. But you’re going to want to eat!
4) Go to as many rehearsals as you can. It is so helpful and valuable to the understudy process and I personally kick myself that I didn’t go to more.
5) Perform at Cabaret nights! Do something your scared of doing. Do something with one of your classmates. Create something new. It’s such a supportive environment.
6) Do the homework. Do the writing assignments, the artistic dates, the morning pages, the voice reading. You’ll feel a lot less overwhelm even if you just do a teeny bit a day. The teachers love to answer questions and hear your thoughts so give them something to talk about!
7) Take care of your health. You’ll be confronting all your habits and this is where your immune system likes to go a little haywire. Stay hydrated! Always bring a water bottle. There’s water at the theater but I think it’s a good actor habit to just always have a water by your side. You never know when getting water is going to be awkward.
8) Come early. Even if it’s 30 minutes. Warm up even if you don’t have any clue what you’re doing. You’ll soon figure it out. It’s so much easier to pay attention when you’re warmed up. So warm up. Seriously.
9) Always listen first, then ask questions. Even if listening takes up the entire class, just write down a question and go back to it after. Sometimes listening brings out a better question to what you truly meant to ask or even answers it.
10) Have fun and enjoy every moment. Even the challenging ones. Especially then. Have a gratitude list. “I’m thankful I learned this today”. You’ll look back and feel really smart, I promise.
-Thea Touchton (Fall 2017)
Three Sisters (2017)