Intermission: Hell Week is Here?!

FYI, I’m sorry I have been super…I guess gone??? Life has been pretty wild the past couple of months since my last post in January, but I’m sure if you read my last RELEASE and the posts to follow, you’d know why. However, at this point I don’t care how late my posts are, because in some way shape or form, they’re going to be relevant.

One quick fun one though, I decided to make a tip post! Also the corgi has no correlation to hell week whatsoever. It’s just there to spark joy in your life for a second amidst all the stress you may *potentially* be going through.

For any large performance, regardless if it is a culture night or not, there’s always the highly anticipated, stress filled storm that comes with the show:

Hell Week.

Thinking back to my hell weeks when I was in college, I always thought I was prepared for the next year and I knew what to expect. However, every year changes and we can’t escape the late nights, the deep thoughts, the set backs on deadlines, and things we have to put aside because the finish line is in sight.

It’s interesting, because these tips can also be relevant to your own personal “hell weeks” or “hell nights”. Those nights, weeks, even months, where you are being pushed to your limit to do items A through K and then on top of items L through Z. A lot is being demanded of you during this point in time. You want to give up, but how can you? Because if you drop item C, you know for a fact it will affect item M, and as a result, item Y you have wanted for so long won’t happen. It’s frustrating!!!

I’ve talked to a few of my friends and I asked them what they think is integral to preparing the most for your hell night(s). We came up with a few friendly tips to keep in mind and practice as you’re getting near!

  1. Get comfy! – Blankets, jackets, sleeping bags, heck, even an air mattresses. If you’re like my club who practices outside, it can get pretty cold. It’s super important when you’re in and out of costume to stay warm as much as possible. Don’t get sick last minute. In terms of your own personal hell week, I suggest bringing a blanket with you everywhere or your favorite jacket. I always had a blanket on me when I was super stressed or doing multiple things and it was cold out. When you’re ready to take a quick 20 minute nap between commitments, you can whip out your handy, comforting, thing (whatever it may be), and snooze just a little.
  2. Hydrate and make sure you ate! – Something I always forgot during PACN, or any time during a high stress season, is eating. I high key would always end up resorting to buying some kind of junk food or mooching off someone’s snacks. Don’t be that person who mooches. I mean, it’ll help your wallet, but come on. Usually 80-90% of the time, those things are only going to help your body. If you decide to binge 50 nuggets,  you’re going to find yourself in 50 minutes of food coma. Something that I learned later on is to just pack A LOT OF SNACKS. HEALTHY. SNACKS. Or just snacks in large quantities. Just go to Costco and buy a snack you know you’ll love and have a lot of. When I worked at a desk job and literally just sat there, I was exhausted. I needed to eat and I didn’t want to resort to grabbing whatever was in the kitchen or out on the community table. This usually was donuts. A HUGE no-no for my diet at the time (it was so hard…). I always ended up packing a lot of carrots, broccoli, strawberries, and even apples with peanut butter. This kept me going throughout the whole day and I was for sure energized. This way you can always be munching something on the go that’s good for you if you don’t have time to actually buy food.
  3. First Aid! – You don’t know when you or someone is going to get hurt, so come prepared. Especially if you dance barefoot or are handling items that potentially you can harm yourself, have a kit ready with all the basic needs. If you don’t have the funding for it, just make sure you at least have someone in your squad that is ready to save the day. This also doesn’t have to be *actual* first aid, but rather you can make yourself a care pack. Fun items to include are a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, floss, make-up wipes, hair ties, safety pins, bobby pins, an extra pair of underwear and or shorts, Tylenol or Ibuprofen, allergy medications, and anything else that you or someone else might need to help a sticky situation.
  4. Yourself, THEN Academics (or whatever large commitment you have for yourself that isn’t yourself)! – As someone who’s done this several times, I can honestly say: DO NOT PUSH YOURSELF. IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR AN EXTENSION (if you’re open and honest with your professor and they’re chill). IT IS OKAY TO SKIP A CLASS THAT WEEK (and that week only, don’t make it a habit). It’s all about scheduling and management. You may have a perfect attendance record, but you’re risking sleep that can be put towards a midterm you have right before the show. With this tip, prioritization is key and it’s up to you to decide what needs to be put on the back burner and can be handled later and what needs to happen now. You made a commitment to this production, but you also have a commitment to yourself to keep yourself healthy and sane. You don’t want to have regrets before you do the show.
  5. Be confident! Be supportive! You’re confident! You’re supported! – You’re not alone in this. There’s a couple others just going through the same things. You may not have the exact same schedule or the same commitments, but you both are doing the most to make something happen. This is the week where we have to come together and be there for one another because the show wouldn’t be what it is without each individual part. Whether it’s helping someone quick change or being an extra in a scene, everyone plays an important role. That helped me to push throughout hell week. There are times where you feel super exhausted or question why you’re doing PACN, but as long as you know that you’re not in it alone helps you push through the final leg of the journey.


That’s all we have for now, I’m sorry my brain is poop right now, but hopefully with these tips, your brain will be relieved of some stress for whatever big shindig you’re about to do.

You got this, we believe in you :’)

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