Summer’s here! Well, for a couple of days at a time anyway. The annual exodus to Edinburgh has begun and if you’re not up there and wondering how to get through the industry’s traditional quiet period, here’s a few lighthearted tips to keep you going over the next few weeks. This is my guide to surviving summer and getting ready for the Autumn onslaught.
Water, water, water. As performers your voice is your money-maker. In this dry, humid weather you need to keep your instrument well lubricated. Keep everything well-watered and you’ll be using your voice without any problems well into the winter months.
Strut Like A Model
The sun is here and everyone feels sexier and more attractive – use it. Strut your way around town like you’re on RuPaul’s catwalk. Feel good. Look better. It’s scientifically proven that your body responds to your brain. So, if you’re constantly telling yourself “I look great, I’m a model, I got game” then your body will make adjustments that reflect this. Think it. Be it.
Get A Perky New Outfit
Summer is a great time for learning new, happy monologues or songs. When we learn something, we absorb some of the actual experience of where we were when we learned it. So use this time to learn some new material, lying out in a park, or in your garden. Your body and brain will associate the song or speech with a positive experience, giving your text layers of sense memory to play with.
Slim Your Rep Folder
Lose a few pounds by trimming your rep folder. That speech you’ve been doing for years? Shelve it. That song that was up to date and contemporary is now overdone, put it away. Clear your rep folder out and feel lighter all day!
Chew Some Fruit
Pineapple in particular. I’m not sure what the science is, but I was always told that fresh pineapple is great for the voice. It’s just acidic enough to clear out those vocal folds and get them lubricated and moving freely. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce saliva production to help you sing smoothly.
Get A New ‘Do
Summer is a great time to get that mane sorted out, boys and girls. It’s hot, it’s sticky, you’re spending way too long tying your hair back and up every day. Why not shake off that mane of hair you’ve been sporting for months and get yourself a new hairdo?
Not ‘tone up’, tune up! Instead of tightening your glutes, pecs, or thighs, tune up your brain. Summer is a great time for reading something new, whether it’s just a paperback you have for sweaty tube journeys, or a thick tome you can spread out with in a park; take a book about theatre, or about an acting technique to your local beauty spot and tune up.
Put It On A Postcard
Everyone used to love sending postcards, nowadays we just upload to Instagram instead and we’ve lost the art of writing a short pithy message “Wish you were here!”I want to bring the postcard back. Use it to hone your personal-writing skills. See how much information you can squeeze in to a small space – invaluable when trying to pitch yourself to a busy CD who doesn’t have time to read four or five paragraphs about why you’re right for the role. Practice getting your five paragraphs into one concise, postcard-length pitch.
Not sunblock (although you should ALL be using that) but negativity block. Reject rejection, block it. Wake up every morning and apply a healthy layer of negativity block to your whole body. Slather it on, really let it sink in and then you’re ready for your day – and nothing, not even another rejection from that casting director can penetrate it.
Have A Holiday Romance
With yourself! This industry, this weird industry can sap your self-confidence a bit, give you all kinds of complexes and anxiety. Have a holiday romance with yourself. Go on some first dates with yourself, find out what you really like (funny, we can sometimes forget what WE actually want from our careers, so obsessed do we become with trying to keep up with others), fall back in love with yourself.