Thursday, March 27, 2008

Things I can’t live without

I’ve done my best to avoid creating a pre-show routine, something that I depend on in order to perform well. Life on the road (and life in general) is too unpredictable to expect to have things a certain way for every performance. (Of course, were I working on Broadway, on a long-running show, I would totally have a routine, and would likely be a “nester” as described in this article from last weekend’s NYTimes.) But there are a few things that I try to have around me, things that give a bit of support no matter what else is going on around me.

Ricola cough drops I almost always have one tucked into my costume somewhere (wrapped, of course… although I have a do story about unwrapped ones…), and I keep one in my mouth almost all the time when I’m off-stage. They just do the trick, soothing and comforting.

Throat Coat tea I usually sip on a mug of this while I’m getting my hair and makeup done. I’m not sure what’s in it, but it feels so good…

Good shoes Whenever I learn that I will likely be put into standard character shoes for a show, I do my best to convince the costume coordinator that my black Beautifeel shoes will pass the mustard muster. (See the comments!) Take my word for it, these are the most comfortable shoes EVER. I wore them throughout Figaro rehearsals last month, and I get to use them for this show, too. Black, ankle strap, “character-ish,” with extra padding on the ball of the foot, they were worth every penny and make all these active on-my-feet roles bearable!

A healthy dinner I’ve always aimed for something high-protein and low-fat, something that would stick to my ribs and give my energy throughout the evening. Fish and rice works sometimes, but these days I’m enjoying a lentil and wild rice dish I made up in Grand Rapids. I eat about 2/3 of a sizable portion about an hour before curtain, and then finish it up after the show is over. I have to eat fairly quickly after the show is over or else I crash - HARD! Last night I paired it with an avocado and some pita chips… yummm.

My iPod I’m constantly studying my score throughout the evening, but every now and then, and definitely on the ride home, I need to rock out. Rogue Wave, The Killers, and (guilty pleasure alert) late-90s country hits fit the bill these days.

Dove facial cleansing cloths Just one easily takes of a full face (and neck) of stage makeup. Add some tinted moisturizer, mascara, and Cherry Chapstick, toss out the pin-curl hair, and I’m ready for the post-show party!

Final dress rehearsal tonight… how did we get here already?! For kicks, here’s the lentil recipe. Happy eating, or I guess I should say, “Mangia!”

1 medium onion, diced
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 tsp chili powder (maybe more? I never measure…)
1 C red lentils
2 C water
pre-cooked wild rice, about 1 1/2 C
1/2 C pistachios or other flavorful nut

Soften the onion in about 2 Tbsp of oil. Add the lentils and stir to coat with the oil; add the spices and stir. Add water and simmer uncovered until most of the water is absorbed and lentils are soft. (They won’t really retain their shape.) Stir in wild rice and pistachios and adjust seasonings.


Anonymous said...

pass muster.
Just fyi.

ACB said...

HA! Embarrassing.

Funny, but when I typed that, I thought, "Hmm, I wonder what the derivation of that saying is?" This from someone who owns several books on etymology and cliches and expressions... If I were at home with my library I would have gotten it right! Maybe...

Anonymous said...


I think you spliced two phrases - "pass muster" and "cut the mustard." Read about the origin of the later expression here:

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