Summer Intensive Survival Guide
As a dancer and performer the summer can be full of so many opportunities that we cannot get during the “school year”. I have been blessed enough to attend over 20 intensives and workshops throughout my dance career and each one brings me more and more insight into what it takes to make your performance that much better. Most recently I attended a Voice Intensive which over 6 weeks we learned specific songs to create a versatile and unique song book and at the end of the intensive we were recorded on camera for our own use. This was TERRIFYING for me, but the feeling of accomplishment after recording was something that I will hold onto for forever. This week I am attending a modern dance intensive with dancers from my favorite company Hofesh Schecter. The lessons and movements we are creating are some of the freshest most beautiful creations that I have seen. Even while being a professional it is amazing how we can still grow and learn no matter how old we are. I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks that I have held onto and use to this day which have really helped my career grow tremendously!
First and foremost I write in a journal. I have journals for every time of thing … Boys… Life… School… Business Ideas..the list goes on…but regarding my professional dance/performing career I have a specific journal that I have used since my first intensive at age 13 at Boston Ballet. This journal contains but is not limited to dance combinations, barre exercises, corrections from the instructor, music ideas, conversations that made an impact on me, exercises that help me perform better….the list goes on. My journal gives me a guide during and after the intensive to get the most out of each moment and it is an amazing resource post workshop for advice or inspiration when I am feeling lost or down. Secondly, doing workshops introduces you to so many new people! As a performer sometimes this is overwhelming or intimidating, but putting your insecurities aside and living in each moment will help you open up to making new friends and meeting more performers in our small industry. Make a goal each day to talk to someone new. Do it for yourself. My acting coach challenges us at every audition to talk to three people before you sit down. I’ve tried to challenge myself to do this in my regular life. It helps you stay open and keeps you relaxed and full of energy for whatever will come next. Finally, ALWAYS bring more food and water than you think. A full day intensive whether it be acting, singing, dancing whatever your incredible talent may be can be exhausting. It is usually called an “intensive” for this reason. ITS INTENSE! As a dancer I would always struggle with the influence of what everyone else was eating (diving deeper into EAT A CARB on this blog post) on what it would look like if I packed a sandwich or juice. One DGAF and two just eat the carbs. We are athletes and we have to fuel our bodies! DO it!!! Also WATER is key if you are sweating or especially if you are singing you have to stay “lubed” (lets write a blog about this one too ;)) jk jk but really drink water eat right and take care of your body. This will help your stamina, focus, energy, positive attitude. Lezbehonest no one likes a hangry lady. In all seriousness its true!
So…all in all use these workshops, masterclasses, intensives whatever you are taking to help expand you as a performer and a human. Write in a journal, meet new people, treat your body right and you will gain so much knowledge not only within, but also knowledge that will help expand your career!
PS Let me know what intensives/workshops/masterclasses you have been taking lately. Anything that helps you get through the day a little bit easier? I would love to hear your comments!! #goslaytoday