Musicians Acquiring Muscles Week 4

Come to think of it, we probably should have started this mad physical fitness experiment at a time all three musicians weren’t facing finals or multiple tech weeks and operas running in rep.  But we did.  And truth be told, that is part of the joy of these entries.  Despite ridiculously grueling schedules, physical fitness still found it’s way of creeping in, even if not in the copious quantities we three had hoped for.  (I’m not going to lie – I had grand delusions of all three of us emerging from this month super fit bikini models who could lift a city bus with one finger.)  Even if we aren’t giving Gisele Bundchen’s body a run for its money just yet, I do think we can all feel very good for “filling each unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run.”  So let’s see how we did on week four!

 

CANDACE

Okay, does watching hockey count? Go Kings!

In all seriousness though…I’ve realized a major contributor to my exercising and how well I move. My bag. From my excessive efforts to walk more, I have noticed which is more effective. Of course, I get more tired when I have this huge ass thing slung over my shoulder with all my sonata scores and teaching folder and computer and blah blah blah, but I wonder if it actually helps me exercise. Meanwhile, walking faster without the weight of the bag gets my heart rate up more, I feel like I’m actually moving versus dragging. So, my goal this week was actually to take less around and put less pressure on my back. My shoulders certainly thank me for it. Now let’s see if I can un-tight enough to do some actual exercise.

 

EVA

This week started off pretty rocky- I was exhausted and starting to not feel well (which is NOT allowed for the time being!).  Luckily, I managed to fight off whatever was coming over the first few days of the week with an arsenal of vitamins, water and my trusty neti pot.  I was fine by Thursday night (opening night of Suor Angelica with Opera Manhattan), largely due to the fact that I took Thursday and Friday off work and slept alllll day.  Sometimes it is SO important to just give your body the rest it needs, even if your schedule doesn’t cooperate.  I’m now at the end of a glorious 4-day weekend and thanks to an hour long one-act opera, I’m rejuvenated enough to trek back to work and Traviata!

I managed to eat a *little* better than I have been lately, all hurrying and stress considered- mostly because I realized I’m at the top of the 5-pound range that I normally waiver between.  I made a point to walk every chance I could during my extended free time, instead of taking the train 2 or 3 stops (mostly home from the theater every night), and always took the stairs.  On Saturday my roommate and I managed a 3.5 mile walk along the Hudson (resulting in much needed roomie catchup time and a fierce sunburn that will be hard to disguise in my Flora costume…), and today I spent basically from 4:30-9:30pm running around like a crazy person doing errands for the opera.  It worked out well!  My week ended on a good note in any case- I bought a new swimsuit from H&M that I don’t even hate. :)

 

MEGAN

This week I felt the world was conspiring against me exercise-wise!  I fully planned on taking pilates Monday, but an audition kept me late so I didn’t make. I was then going to try a later yoga class with my friend Danielle, who is convinced she can take me to a class that will make me fall in LOVE with yoga.  However, this particular class had a sub so we decided to not take class and just do a pilates workout in her living room instead.  I’m lucky to have such a wonderful friend who is a certified pilates and zumba instructor!  We did a living room workout completely with “magic circles” and “therabands.”   Tuesday I went to take my new favorite jazz class with Lisa Gajda, but there was substitute, so I left.  (Normally subs are great!  I don’t necessarily encourage leaving when there is a sub, but in this case I had my reasons!)  Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were filled with auditions and Saturday I had THREE shows!  So I’m going to count dancing on stage in two shows as my exercise.  The third show I don’t really dance, but I do run up and down stairs a lot between the dressing area and the stage.  Sunday we had a matinee and the weather was so gorgeous I went on an hour long power walk.  For a girl who usually takes a dance class a day, these past few weeks have seemed a little meager on the exercise circuit – but HEY!  Studies show WALKING may be the best exercise there is!    And if NPR can post this meme , walking must be legit!   Plus, when the weather is a balmy 72 degrees without a cloud in the sky, who wants to be indoor taking a class.  Get out and enjoy nature!

 

 

 

Musicians Acquiring Muscles Week 3

Better late than never, right?  This past week was a particularly challenging one for all of our musicians – so let’s see how they fared!

 

CANDACE

I feel like every week I have an excuse – whether it’s recitals, work, or something. But, that is the life of a classical musician. You are your own manager! Originally my goal was to have a class this week but with the kind of schedule I have, it’s almost impossible. It is also difficult to want to work on leading a healthy lifestyle when you are kept up till 4PM because your significant otter has a stomach virus.

One of the things I enjoy a lot is walking around the city. Recently with this kind of post-degree stress, it was actually a wonderful, spontaneous moment to take time to walk around the city. Sicko and I took a long 60 block walk today, just to relieve ourselves of our neighborhood and got to work out the lazy legs a little too. There’s nothing like decompressing with each other and if it involves moving, even better.

Too bad I ate two Beard Papa’s cream puffs on the way…if you are taking food more seriously than exercising (oops), GO to Beard Papa’s! They are tasty tasty!

 

EVA

Tech week #1 down!  The production of La Traviata that I’m in opened this past Friday, so things were a bit nuts.  I was in a rehearsal every evening and worked during the day, so take what you will from that…  It was also my birthday on Thursday… so my physical workouts were confined to how fast I could power walk to rehearsals and how fast I could consume copious amount of chocolate cake.

With regard to performances- I really think I would benefit from a nice yoga session before warming up and getting into costume.  Granted, time is an issue for me, but the nights I took a moment to stretch (in between curling my hair and struggling with fishnet tights) really helped me focus.  Since I’m on the brink of a 2nd Tech week now for a production of Suor Angelica- I’ll try to remember this!

The craziness that is my current schedule will subside in about two weeks, after which I plan to find a new place to go Salsa dancing, and hit up some Zumba classes.  While in a dress rehearsal this week I was thinking just how grateful I am for my dance background- I can’t imagine how I would know how to hold myself and navigate a stage without it.  Opera singing is VERY physical, contrary to popular belief, and it becomes very apparent once you leave the practice room and get up on the stage.  If you know how to move it makes life so much easier, and performing that much more fun!

 

MEGAN

Like Eva, I spent the week in tech for Amore Opera’s production of La Traviata.  Between rehearsals, auditions, and jobs, I failed at taking anything more than a single pilates MUCH NEEDED pilates class.  It’s amazing how great my body feels after moving its muscles in the structure format of pilates.   While I certainly did my share of power walking, sprinting between buildings, heavy bag carrying, and stage movement, but nothing beats a proper physical workout.  For me, pilates seems to help align my back and stretch all of my muscles, putting me in a much more pleasant mood physically and emotionally!

 

Musicians Acquiring Muslces 2.5

Everyone eagerly awaiting part 3 – I promise it’s coming! We’ve had a little delay due to our musicians’ incredibly busy schedules, but don’t you worry! It will be up soon! As a preview – here is Eva’s blurb and a photo of an inspirational exercising corgi!  (If he can do it so can you!)

 

 

 

EVA

Tech week #1 down! The production of La Traviata that I’m in opened this past Friday, so things were a bit nuts. I was in a rehearsal every evening and worked during the day, so take what you will from that… It was also my birthday on Thursday… so my physical workouts were confined to how fast I could power walk to rehearsals and how fast I could consume copious amount of chocolate cake.

With regard to performances- I really think I would benefit from a nice yoga session before warming up and getting into costume. Granted, time is an issue for me, but the nights I took a moment to stretch (in between curling my hair and struggling with fishnet tights) really helped me focus. Since I’m on the brink of a 2nd Tech week now for a production of Suor Angelica- I’ll try to remember this!

The craziness that is my current schedule will subside in about two weeks, after which I plan to find a new place to go Salsa dancing, and hit up some Zumba classes. While in a dress rehearsal this week I was thinking just how grateful I am for my dance background- I can’t imagine how I would know how to hold myself and navigate a stage without it. Opera singing is VERY physical, contrary to popular belief, and it becomes very apparent once you leave the practice room and get up on the stage. If you know how to move it makes life so much easier, and performing that much more fun!

Musicians Acquiring Muscles Week 2

And so – our merry exercising heroes have made it through week two of their physical fitness challenge! Here is how they fared!

CANDACE

Things that normal humans don’t normally do:
1. Accept a concert on one week’s notice.
2. Accept a concert on one week’s notice where one has to learn a completely new sonata in one week.
3. 11AM-11PM days – damn you, rehearsal for concert!
4. End up learning the sonata in 3 days. Aww hell yeah.

And this is why I did nothing except sit in a practice room. Oh, I also wrote a song setting for my boyfriend’s poem in two days for a poopy assignment. Aside from walking to work and stuff like that, I have actually done NOTHING to exercise for real. Therefore, this week, my goal is to at least attend yoga…I hope…

EVA

This week was again very busy, with rehearsals after work, errands, lessons, etc… it was much harder to make healthy food choices, especially when rushing from one thing to the next (or when relaxing with friends at the end of the day), but I tried to balance it out with physical activity.  I made a point every day to walk more/farther than normal, and I made it to a wonderful free Zumba class on Tuesday!  Ideally, that’s something I’d love to do 2-3 times a week.  I get the greatest exercise high from that!

My goal for this week is to get out my yoga mat for at least 15 minutes every morning before I start my day.  I find that when I can begin with something like this it makes me more aware of my body throughout the day and helps me make better choices overall.  And also to get enough sleep, especially as I enter the first tech-week (for La Traviata).  I’ve definitely noticed that when I’m taking better care of my body I feel more energized in rehearsals, and am able to connect with my craft that much better.

MEGAN

All in all it wasn’t a disaster of a week for me.  I started the week off strong with Nancy Bielski’s ballet class at Steps on Broadway.  I had every intention of going to a free zumba class on Tuesday, but was offered free orchestra seats to the Met Opera, and decided it would be a crime to say no!  So, I ate a delicious dinner with a sinful dessert and listened to the music of Janacek.  Wednesday I had work and rehearsal (for a show in which my character is surprisingly physical so I will count this!).  Thursday I happily made it to Lisa Gajda’s theatre dance class.  I still think it’s the best and encourage everyone to go, beginners and Broadway pro’s alike.  She someone manages to make it exhilarating for all levels!  Friday was an audition and and rehearsal day!  Saturday was MORE rehearsal, and Sunday I rested.  So not a ridiculously inspiring week, but I feel I worked up a sweat a few times.  This coming week is tech week, so I’ll be surprised if I get much more in than running around the city, but you never know!  Maybe I’ll find a way to sneak a pilates class in!  Gotta have core strength!  Like Eva, I’d LOVE to do rumba multiple times a week, but gotta find the time to squeeze it in.  I suppose that’s the purpose of this challenge and this blog!  Onwards and upwards!