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4 Tips For Surviving Tech Week

We’ve all been through the living nightmare that is tech week. It’s rough for actors and technicians alike, since no one is getting enough sleep or eating the way they should. And with all the pressure everyone is under, it’s very easy to get burnt out.

Use these four tips to get through this crazy week:

1. Schedule Time to Study

Tech week during school can be especially difficult, since you have classes to attend, tests to study for and perhaps a side job you have to show up to. All of these things can be hard to keep up with, and tech week only adds more nuttiness to the mix.

The first thing you need to do is explain to your teachers what is going on. Many will work with you to make things easier, especially if they are part of the theatre department. Some may let you turn in assignments earlier or give you a little extra time. Even if they don’t make accommodations, at least let them know what is happening so they’ll understand if you seem a little out of it.

Another problem is getting your assignments done. You’ll always have something due during tech week. If you’re a member of run crew and have some downtime during the show, bring your work with you and use that time to your advantage. If you’re a stage manager, this can be far more difficult, since you’ll only have time to study when you’re on your breaks. Time management is key here, so if you can get started on your assignments a few weeks before tech week hits, you’ll be in far better shape later on.

2. Get Some Sleep

Between late rehearsals and early days in the shop, sleep is a hot commodity during tech week. With all the stress, you may feel like you have to push yourself to keep going even when your body is begging you to get some shut eye. However, if you don’t take care of yourself now, you could be worse off by wearing yourself out before the show premieres. Even squeezing in a quick, 30-minute nap where you can get it can help you feel better.

3. Eat Healthy

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People tend to live off coffee and snacks during tech week, since it can be hard to eat right when you’re running around trying to get all your tasks done. If you only have the chance to munch on small snacks, try getting healthy ones such as fruit, granola bars, protein bars, mixed nuts and fruit juice instead of soda. Yes, you want caffeine to keep you awake, but protein is vital to getting the energy you need to keep going.

Drink lots of water, too. You don’t want to wind up dehydrated in the hospital because you didn’t take the time to drink enough. One good way to remind yourself to eat and drink is to set a reminder on your phone from time to time. This will ensure you take care of yourself.

4. Rest When It’s Over

Once you get through tech week in one piece, give yourself some time to wind down. You’ve gone through a successful show run and need to take a breath before launching into your next project. Get some extra sleep, talk to friends who haven’t heard from you in a while and celebrate — you survived tech!

Have any tips for surviving tech week? Share them in the comments below!

Written by Savannah Parker

Savannah Parker is a professional scenic carpenter and theater technician. She graduated from Georgia southern University with a degree in technical theater and now works in the scene shop at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

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