The week of NO Sleep

To say this week has been crazy would be an understatement. I’ve made some interesting observations and have wanted to post for a while; however any time I had extra time, I had to be sleeping. As a cast, we have been rehearsing overnight. Yes and that means all night long, often until the sun comes up. Four nights a week we are scheduled to be dancing from 9 am – 6 pm. Although we finish early at times, this is quite an adjustment to the physical body. My schedule and regularity is completely out of whack. It is really hard for me to get off track and out of my normal routines. Otherwise it’s been a lot of fun! I am quite the night owl, until I don’t get any sleep at all. Now that has been my biggest problem.

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Monday I received news that I was hired for a SAG commercial, I had auditioned for on Saturday. This was quite a surprise and I couldn’t have been more thrilled! The only issue was that it was a twelve-hour shoot and I had to drive straight from our overnight rehearsal. So basically my day went like this:

Tuesday I had a fitting and rehearsal for the shoot for a few hours; I ran to an audition afterwards and then home to grab my stuff for the next day.

Wednesday (or Tuesday night) I rehearsed until about 3 am, drove to set and arrived by 5 am. Actually it was 4:30, so I could sleep for 15 minutes in my car.

Wednesday day, we filmed as the sun came up and it was still quite chilly. The job was a commercial for Science World. My role was to play a cheerleader. I cannot share too many details but basically we ran up and down a hill in sync, all day long.  Around 3 pm my feet really started to ache. The sun was beating down and my lack of sleep really started to kick in. I was having such a great time and really enjoying the experience that I just so badly wanted to stay focused. It was just so exhausting to be on a twelve-hour shoot, with no sleep the night before.

Image   { shoot day }

Image   { if only you knew }

On top of that, I hardly had any time to sleep before I had to be back to rehearsal that night. I was able to get an hour nap in, and two protein bars, before I thankfully got a ride to work by 9 pm. By the time 11 pm rolled around I really started to feel the effects of this long day. Basically I passed out any chance I got, and my body was feeling it after all of that delirium. I can imagine it was pretty funny talking to me at any point during this time, because I was completely out of it. Almost anything made me laugh and I’m pretty sure I was saying the silliest things.

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Thankfully I finally got a full eight-hours of sleep on Thursday and was able to receive some treatment from the lovely Hamilton’s. Ms. Tasha suggested I come over to their house so that they could treat my shoulder. Unfortunately I injured it in rehearsal the night prior, and I could barely lift my arm when I finally got up out of bed. I’m pretty sure this was from the over exhaustion and being completely unaware of what my body was doing or how it was moving.

The dear Irina and Rob Hamilton worked on my body with the Feldenkrais Method. If you’re unfamiliar with this kind of bodywork – or method of Somatic – you should look into it ASAP! Somatics means it is ‘of or relating to the body, especially as distinct from the mind.’ In college I studied both this method and the Alexander Technique while I was working on my BFA. This kind of work is crucial for the body of any dancer. Many of us are just unfamiliar with it’s methods. As I mentioned before, there are few different types. Feldenkrais is known as the sophisticated method of communicating with the unconscious through movement. There is a hands-on integration as well as group style awareness through movement (always through movement). Yoga and massage may be something you are more familiar with. Somatics can be anything from a traditional massage, to structural and functional approaches, movement arts, energy and convergence systems.

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Visit http://www.feldenkrais.com for more information on somatics.

Image  { photo by Tom Cisneros @ http://www.tomcisneros.com }

For almost two hours they worked on the more efficient movement of my body, while targeting the uneasiness of my shoulder/rotator cuff and circulating an overall oneness throughout my entire being. I couldn’t believe the kind of tension I was releasing and looseness I started to feel all over. I learned that one side of my body was a lot more locked than the other. My right side (the injured side) was tight and less open. Since this side corresponds with the left side of the brain, it is less free and more of a ‘masculine’ dominance. However the creative side (right brain) is more carefree and liberated, and this could very well be why my left side is more open. The goal is to have a kind of balance throughout and to manage both sides equally. It’s all a process and is so important to maintain awareness and to escape from the mind for us hard thinking movers.

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Remember to take care of your body and get some rest this weekend! It won’t hurt I swear. Don’t worry I’m just talking to myself 😉

Ta ta!

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