Notes on Self Care from the Desk of the Festival Administrator

Posted By Theatre, Writing

Hello there,

Let me properly introduce myself. My name is Jess and I am the Festival Administrator for the Muddy Mary Project. I also co-wrote one of the festival’s three shows for 2015: Finding Temperance. I am a recent University graduate with a double major in English and theatre, am on the cusp of beginning my masters in theatre theory, and MAN is my desk a mess.

I have receipts from my full time job this summer of creating theatre workshops for pre-employment youth, and also theatre tickets and loose change. I have a small notebook nearly full of notes from meetings with the other ladies, writing, and other miscellaneous things that one should need to write down while preparing for a pilot festival with their good friends.

As I begin to mentally prepare myself for juggling four fulltime courses, working part time in a theatre, and not only organizing but acting in a festival for emerging artists, I have tried to write a short list of priorities in self care to remember as I move forward in hopes that it will inspire others in similar situations to take care of themselves this fall.

1. Go to brunch. This tidbit is to remind me to take care of myself and save a little time (and money) to have some fun. Brunch is great because no one ever plans anything for a Sunday morning, right? And also brunch is delicious, and here in Toronto can be found in numerous places!

2.‎ Write. Write papers, blogs, proposals, poems. Write it all. Write plays. Write short scenes. Free write, improvise. Keep writing and never stop thinking that those “brilliant” lines that come up sometimes really ARE brilliant.

3. Buy coffee and donuts for the group once in a while. I’m a mama bear by nature, but I’m also a team player. Moving ahead with everything that’s going on I know that I won’t be the only one dying of stress/exhaustion/the cold, and so I gotta remember to buy the group a round once in a while. There is an important part of self care that is to take care of the people in your life…I tend to do this by offering sustenance to others in pain.

4. Go to plays. See plays, see concerts, attend events and bring friends. I’m planning on attending a few TIFF movies and also some premieres of various theatre seasons around the city within the next month. I love seeing great shows, so why not continue despite being super busy? I don’t mean every week, but on a regular basis it is good to get out of my basement apartment and the theatre, put on nice clothes and sit in the dark while watching other people be brilliant. There’s nothing more inspiring, trust me.

5. Drink champagne. This last and wholly important priority is to remember to celebrate. Work hard, but feel the success just as much. I’ve come so far, and still have so much left to make happen, but that shouldn’t stop me from pouring myself a glass of bubbly and acknowledging how grateful I am for the things that I’ve accomplished and the people in my life.

I hope as you move into this next season — sweater weather, my fave, that this list inspires you to write your own list of priorities/goals, and that you find time to see some awesome theatre this fall. Especially MMP2015, which may be a small pilot festival but definitely — from all the hard work my colleagues and their supporters have put in — a mighty occasion.

Cheers, J