Bodywork + Performance= Jedi Ninja Power!
So first of all let me just say… I LOVE LIVING IN CHICAGO! A place with a vibrant performing arts community. Theatre, Dance, Ren Faires, Street Performances, Opera, Comedy… You name it and it is here. I am a stage and voice actor in addition to being a cupping and massage practitioner.
I love working on my fellow artists and performers; they make up a huge part of my “tribe.” I am
always recommending bodywork and self-care to them, and people are always asking for help with this, that or the other. This got me to thinking that bodywork and performing really have a strong relationship. Here is why:
Having a neutral posture is the ideal way to open up your casting options and your “brand.” If your natural posture includes being hunched forward, or your shoulders are up near your ears… it limits you to playing characters who share similar attributes. Your body tells a story– make sure it is the story you intend!
Having the ability to fully support your voice with your breath and your diaphragm is A MUST. Intercostals, scalenes, and other back, neck, and abdominal muscles hold tension and can be released during a session to give you back your maximum power and save your voice, not to mention help you rock an audition.
Injury Prevention & Treatment
|Bradley Cooper as Elephant Man|
Playing a character who walks with a cane, has a hunchback, or drags their feet around hour after hour, day after day, week after week, takes a toll on your body. Add in crazy shoes, a heavy period costume, fight or dance choreography and you have the perfect recipe for an injury. Make sure to give all those muscle that you are asking to work in overdrive a break, and release the extra load that you are making them bear. Bodywork, therapeutic stretching and exercises, epsom soaks, and proper warm ups are essential!
Stress & Culture
No… we are not performing brain surgery, standing on the front lines in battle, or caring for people in hospice care… BUT… we are facing rejection, criticism, and baring our vulnerable souls and emotions day after stressful day. Many artists are also working full time jobs. Lack of sleep, plus the 12-14 hour days, the “hustle” of trying to improve the craft and secure work all take their toll. Taking the simple step of adding bodywork into your self-care regimen can improve immune health (tech week, anyone?), reduce stress [for more on stress and distress see this post], and help increase your magical Jedi Ninja Powers– okay, so maybe that is a bit of a stretch. Whether you are a Jedi Ninja, or a mere mortal, it is absolutely true that having an optimally flexible, healthy, and grounded instrument certainly helps you rule the boards like a boss!
|Not a lot of this!|
Many artists are working on a limited budget, and I am here to tell you that bodywork can be affordable. Not every practice charges triple digits for a session. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning about my artist/ student rates, there are also many other actor/ massage practitioners here in Chicago, and we all love to support the community. Alternatively you can shop around on Groupon, or visit larger franchises like Massage Envy or Urban Oasis, and you will see it is not so hard on the wallet, and so good for the soul and body!!
Thanks for reading! Drop me a line to let me know what you would like to hear about!!