Theater Confidential: How To Survive Tech Week

Theater Confidential: How To Survive Tech Week

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
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If you are a member of the theater community, you know well that tech week is the time where a show falls apart and comes back together again. Tensions are usually high among the cast and creative team because everyone is working under minimal hours of sleep and a tight schedule to get the show up and running. So here are some tips to help you get through and survive a tech week.

1. Food

During tech week, it is completely socially acceptable to stuff your face with anything you so please. Since there are minimal hours in the day to actually eat a meal, the one that you do eat, should be the best possible. If you're smart, however, you'll pack snacks for rehearsal that you can eat when you're not on stage (or around the costume designer). I brought an entire roll of cookie dough to my most recent tech week, and ate it in the dressing room in my costume underneath a sign that said "do not ever eat in costume." And honestly, at the time, it was a risk well worth taking

(P.S. Find another snack for rehearsal other than cookie dough if you're trying to avoid salmonella poising...)

2. Don't Take Anything Personally

Trust me, I know it's really hard not to be offended when you have a director, choreographer, music director and costume designer all yelling at you at the same time. BUT, this is what we signed up for. Putting up a show is a difficult process and tech week is the culmination of everything. Everyone is just trying to get their job done and sometimes they take their own aggravation and tension out on other cast and crew members. While I'm not saying this is OK by any stretch of the imagination, just try not to take it personally because I promise they most likely do love you and will not mean it later.

3. Bring Activities To Do

Tech week has endless hours of lighting, re-staging, and fixing numbers that will need lots of work. If you're not in these numbers or scenes, you are most likely sitting in the house and watching from the audience. To avoid going insane from the sheer boredom of staring at lighting cues for 10 hours, bring your laptop or any work that is due in the next week to keep yourself occupied. Because if you try to distract yourself by talking to a friend, you will most likely get a not-so-happy comment from the creative team to be quiet.

4. Stay On Top Of Your Work

I have no idea how it always happens, but tech week has this magical way of falling during the busiest time of the semester. I always have multiple papers due, test to study for and homework up the wazzo during tech week. It's really inconvenient and pretty stressful, but if you stay on top of your work and do it when you're not on stage, everything will work out. The real stress sets in when you spend an entire run of the show in the green room socializing, and realize during notes that you still have hours of homework and studying to do after you're released at 11:30 p.m. So save yourself the lost hours of sleep, and do some work whenever you can.

5. Stay Positive And Happy

Keeping a positive attitude is key to surviving tech week. Even though it may seem hard at times, being happy will make the process so much easier. And when you give off a positive attitude, it translates to others and their attitudes begin to become positive, as well. When a cast as a whole makes an effort to remain happy during these long nights of rehearsal, it can actually become a bonding experience. The late-night talks and overtired laughs will become some of your best memories from the process and will make your bond as a cast, on stage and off, so much stronger.

All in all, if you follow these simple steps you will definitely survive tech week and will most likely even enjoy it! Spend the time laughing and loving your cast members because after tech, the run begins. With every opening night comes a closing, so don't rush the process and enjoy every step along the way while it lasts!

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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