A Stage Manager’s Diet

This post is not going to be pleasant I warn you now.

Today I disgusted myself and turned myself into something I hate – a lazy, yawning stage manager. This is very easily done, you see, when sat in rehearsals all day. Take one breakfast, very early on in the day, a late carb-ilicious lunch and then some chocolate and you’ve got – dark chocolate digestive biscuit bingeing…I mean – a sleepy stage manager.

Stage managers in rehearsals and on the book need to be at the rehearsal room before anyone else, it’s an unwritten rule, ok it’s not really unwritten. Stage managers need to set up the rehearsal room, make sure everything is ready to go as soon as the director and actors arrive. They must solve all problems they encounter before actors or director even get a whiff of them before the day commences and remain cool, calm & collected at all times. They must then be poised behind ‘the book’ – this is the Holy Grail of any show and contains all information needed to survive the next few production weeks. If it’s not in ‘the book’ then you don’t need to care about it until the show is over.

Your stage manager must be alert and ready to feed in lines to actors who stumble/forget/make it up as they go along, they must be, at the very least, conscious to laugh at the little jokes made in the room, they must have a keen ear and listen to every cut/rewording made and be on the ball when the director suggests including 16 small children for a 2 minute tap number at the end of the piece along with 2 dogs. (They must also remember not to panic at this stage)

Then comes lunch when the  SM must work their socks of sourcing props and scheduling the timetable and rehearsal calls before the end of the day, they must then have all their work completed before getting back to the rehearsal room to re-set and continue to work.

Afternoon rehearsals start and then it’s the SM’s job to desperately stay awake, to not keep checking the time and to not allow their head to keep nodding forward then jerk back upright. This one’s a toughie but it’s always on the agenda.

Then it’s 5.30pm time to finish, pack away, chat through notes, chat through the change of call times and re-issue them since lunch. Then make a list of everything they have to do the next day, then, and only then, can they make their way home – sometimes this consists of a 45 minute walk which is tiring in itself.

So as you may have guessed this may have a similar outline to the day I’ve had today. I did myself no favours with my diet and ate crap, I craved crap today knowing full well I would regret it later. My diet today consisted of:

Breakfast

Fresh peach with greek yoghurt
Porridge with Soy Milk and a touch of brown sugar
Coffee with Soy milk

12-ish

1 Packet of Oatcakes (7 discs)

Lunch

Spicy Bean burger with chips
Lime and Soda

Mid Afternoon

Galaxy Ripple
Strawberry Flapjack
75g Peanuts and Raisins

6pm

Galaxy Ripple (2 for 90p Tesco)

8pm – ish

Risotto from yesterday
1 x Peach
6/7 Cherries
10 Chocolate Digestives

Not only was my day horrific in calorie intake there was just very little nutritional value in some of the crap I ate. It makes me sick to look at this. So I’ve decided this week I shall remedy this and create a meal plan for Stage Managers in rehearsals (usually referred to as the DSM) I’ve been researching non-sleepy foods and what will give me sustained energy. I’ve got such a hectic 2 weeks ahead of me with the sheer amount of work I’ve got to undertake and I’m also currently fighting of an infection in my mouth with it draining the life out of me so I need a diet that will get me through it all.

I will post my progress through the week and see what foods work best and when. I need to keep this body fit and healthy and more importantly, awake during rehearsals.

But as it’s 22:34 right now I must stop blogging, proof read my post and venture off to the land of nod. Long days lie ahead so must long nights of sleep whilst I can afford them.

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