If you’ve started to follow this blog, Thank you, but you might also wonder why I missed a week so early on. We were in school holiday recovery.
As we approach each set of school holidays we give some extra dedicated time to cleaning the house, cooking meals to freeze, and formulating the plan of how to successfully get to the beginning of term. Family and close friends find it odd but accept that it’s a thing for us. Others look truly puzzled “Oh, no, it’s school holidays and we can’t get to anything.” This is our reply to all invitations. Then for 3 weeks (or 2 months at Christmas), we disappear from ‘normal life’.
We’ve been doing this for many years now, but it was only these last set of holidays that we realized why holidays always leave us exhausted. Everyone knows that when you start a new job you’re going to tire easily as your mind and body get used to the routine. So what we experience is the same as starting a new job each quarter.
Don’t misunderstand, working for ourselves we work at least the 40 hour week of others with full-time employment (often extra) which includes 1 – 6 shows plus all the admin, marketing, prop and costume maintainance, and accounting that goes with it. But school holidays are 2 – 3 shows a day, each day of the holidays and pupil-free days. And a performance is at the opposite end of the energy output spectrum than sitting at a table editing photos while watching the rabbits play.
We’ve had days towards the end of holiday periods where we drag ourselves out of bed and out the door, it’s only as we arrive at the venue that we take a deep breathe and ‘turn ourselves on’ looking and sounding like the professionals that we are. Once we’re back in the van and heading off we breathe out. As we drag ourselves back through our front door we’re so grateful that our child has looked after the animals and reheated dinner as we set the costumes to washing and collapse into our chairs (unless there’s prep for the next day to do).
I’ve got to admit joining the gym was the best decision we ever made and these days we don’t tire to the same extent.
Occassionally I get asked if it’s worth all the effort, particularly after the lockdowns and the uncertainity of just when we can perform. The easy answer is “Yes!” Ben often tells the contact for the event that “you pay us to carry the props in and out, the show we do for free because we love it.” Hearing the gasps during his magic show or the delight on their faces as the lower the helm on their heads and knowing that we make it possible….. There’s just no other feeling like it.
A comment as we’re leaving like ” that was the best day ever!” (from one primary student) has us walking on air.