Summer’s here, the Summer’s heeree! Summer is finally here and even though the English weather can be a whirlwind, there’s plenty of sunshine and activities to take advantage of. Our lovely Daniel Anderson has collected a list for our newsletter of some of Play Actors favorite things to do in the Summer, at home or around London, so we thought we’d share them with you.
His main tip is intermittent fasting. He usually skips breakfast and lunch in the Summer months. It allows him to have a big dinner and dessert (he loves dessert), whilst still hitting his nutritional targets. And it keeps him sharp during the day, so he can get a lot more done in the hot weather. Our Peruvian actress Pepa is also focusing on physical targets this Summer. It’s called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). She manages to fit in sessions wherever it’s convenient for her, as they are not long. This helps her gain the stamina she needs to be productive in this weather. Here’s one you can do at home that only takes 24 minutes.
Staying on the physical tips, but moving a little bit more into the mindfulness, both myself and Enya are really enjoying Yoga with Adriene on Youtube. She has hundreds of videos and tutorials and you can opt for some of her long-term sessions, for example her 30 day journeys. It’s a great way to stay grounded and calm in a stressful city over Summer – and all year around. Maya continues with tips down the mindfulness path, as she likes to spend her Summers meditating – especially on the tube, where it’s easy to get stressed out. She listens to podcasts a lot and Here’s a link to her favorite one this season.
Moving on to something just as important to keep your cool, is food. Our Calin really enjoys a good picnic, and who doesn’t with the abundance of beautiful parks around London. Amongst Calin’s essentials are a decent sized blanket, a cooler and a natural bug repellant. He suggests citronella based repellants. For me, a nice, chill sparkly wine or two are also picnic necessities. Swiss Charlotte agrees that food is a priority these months – she enjoys an ‘Apéro’ and she agrees with me that a sparkly rosé is a must. She also has a recipe for a delicious guacamole with broccoli instead of avocado. Recipe here. She even suggests a specific park, Primrose Hill. Which is also my absolute favorite, with a gorgeous view over the London skyline.
On a more cultural note, Lory always uses Timeout Free, when she has a bit of spare time. It’s a list full of suggestions of things you can do for free in London. I also like to take advantage of TodayTix, for last minute theatre tickets as well as the social media account Secret London. It’s always booming with pictures of beautiful places in London, less known to tourists.
One of my favorite Summer events, if you’re a little more into the party type of culture, is Notting Hill Carnival on the 25thand 26thof August. A great carnival that takes over the streets of Notting Hill and celebrates all sorts of cultures, but mainly the Caribbean. It’s been taken place since the 1960’s and is a great way to spend a cultured, fun bank holiday weekend.
Let us know if you take advantage of any of the tips from our international actors. And let us know if you have more tips on how to best enjoy the Summer, in London and internationally.
Make sure to follow us on Social Media @PlayActorsCom
Blinkist in an app that captures big ideas and delivers them in small digestible packages. Dan says about the app that it changed his life: “In essence, the Blinkist team reads non-fiction books and sums up the key points in an easy-to-understand format (blinks), enabling you to get the gist from each of the books on their data base in under 15 minutes. All the books you save work immediately offline. I tend to use the app on the tube when there are no lines to learn, or to have something to think about before I go to bed. Do the trial and decide for yourself”
The app is free to download. It gives you a free trial for 24 hours, with unlimited blinks. After that you get one free blink a day, or you can pay 50GBP for a year and get unlimited blinks.
Where to find it : https://www.blinkist.com
Alice Birch’s stunning, Katie Mitchell-directed new play is about three generations of women struggling with their predecessors’ legacies. Alice Birch describes it as “choose your very own bleak adventure, basically”. Anatomy of a Suicide’ is essentially three dramas set in different time periods, all performed on stage at the same time. The three women whose lives are on display are Carol (Hattie Morahan) in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, Anna (Kate O’Flynn) in the ’90s and ’00s, and Bonnie (Adelle Leonce) in the 2030s. We understand shortly into the play that the three women belong to the same dynasty.
In Marta’s words, it is a spectacular play with a very interesting and ambitious staging, and beautiful acted.”
Read Alice Birch humorously talking about her play here: https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/alice-birch-its-like-choose-your-very-own-bleak-adventure-basically
Where do I get tickets:
According to this book, You can go after the job you want…and get it! You can take the job you have…and improve it! You can take any situation you’re in…and make it work for you!
Since its release in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Dale Carnegie’s first book is a timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.
The book offers to teach you: the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
Calin heartily recommends the book “because of it’s timeless approach to people and how to get yourself out of your shell as an actor and a person in general. I wouldn’t stick to the advice in it word for word but one read may have a positive effect on how to treat with people in our industry and in our lives.”
Calin is not the only one who thinks so:
“it changed my life” (Warren Buffet)
“The most successful self-help book of all time… Carnegie has never seemed more relevant” (The Times)
“It’s helped me immeasurably in life. I think everyone should read it” (Jenny Colgan, Independent on Sunday)
Where to find it https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People-Dale-Carnegie/0091906814
You probably already know about the Mono Box, but if you don’t, you’re missing out.
THE MONO BOX defines itself as “a collaborative, not-for-profit network that caters for actors and theatre-makers seeking alternative, affordable training. We are committed to empowering actors by opening the door to what can seem like a daunting industry. Over the past three years The Mono Box has become a go-to resource, creating a dialogue between the professional world and those who are emerging into it.”
Their mission is to support emerging talent in theatre
To provide access to a unique resource of play texts
To encourage the personal, professional and social development of young artists
To equip young people with practical tools for the industry
To form a collective that fosters and nurtures creative relationships
I have been astonished by the diversity and the quality of workshops offered. From Meisner, to Viewpoints, to Brecht to offering audition and speech “surgery” workshops, to comedy, you can find an astonishing range of practices taught. The faculty brought in is of incredible quality and there is a strong sense of community present.
No matter where you are in your career and craft, the Mono Box offers wonderful opportunities to refresh, expand, challenge your craft and meet wonderful, ambitious and dedicated fellow artists.
How do I take part: http://www.themonobox.co.uk/events
Catfulness is a book on mindfulness with a twist. Cats are used as examples of the practices we should follow: the art of being “Catful”. It’s an attitude that acknowledges and develops the best of who we are as human beings. The book uses inspirational quotes, and illustrates them alongside photos of cats in a humorous way.
Marta recommends it: “it’s very funny, weirdly applicable to me, and useful in dealing with the anxiety that being an actor sometimes brings”
Since Chiraz Aich has be cast in Théâtre Privas’s production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, (in the Ardèche region in France 16-30 novembre 2017), she has been practicing aerial silks to prepare for the role of the Shakespearian aerial spirit: Ariel.
Chiraz says that “Silks is amazing! it is physically challenging as well as mentally. when you are four meters off the ground and have to wrap yourself a certain way to then drop, you have to be focused, keep calm and be fearless.” She says that no matter how she feels while going into class, she feels happier 10 minutes into the class.
She recommends it to anyone, regardless of experience, as there are classes for all levels.
Where to do it: www.flyingfantastic.co.uk.
Of course here is a show that needs no introduction or anymore publicity, as it is the box office dynamite of the moment, however I was lucky enough to win tickets in the ballot, and can testify that the show is well worthy of the commotion it’s causing.
Tony Kushner’s masterpiece feels more relevant than ever, depicting an America torn by political and ideological differences, “abandoned by God”. The show feels monumental, like one of those special instances where all the elements needed to make a show come together all work brilliantly and elevate the show to high art. The performances, design, directing, writing all elevate are astounding, and create an unforgettable event.
The show is also a master class in acting, in which the actors seem to give to the audience and to each other, every last ounce of their physical strength and internal emotional life, struggles, pains, and sense of humor. I was left astonished by the feat, profoundly moved, and with a sense of hope in the tenacity and resilience of the human spirit.
Angels in America runs in two parts at the National theatre until 19 August. There are still different ways to get tickets, through a ballot system, returns, or day tickets. Find more information here: www.nationaltheatre.org.u3k/shows/angels-in-america.
Headspace offers different meditation programs with different aims, geared towards getting you started on meditation in a simple and effective way. There are different themes that the user can orient their practice towards, such as sports, health, performance, or relationship related topics such as self-esteem, kindness, focus. There is a more advanced practice available as well, for those who don’t need as much guidance.
Eva-Marie says that what she loves about the app is that all of these programs consist of 10 to 30 minutes sessions and they are designed for you to do one session a day. So it unlocks one session after the other on any given course. The app tracks your progress as well. 10 minutes seems quite manageable, even in the busiest of days, and you can virtually do the sessions anywhere. The presenter is a Buddhist monk and has an accessible very pragmatic and physical approach to meditation. His meditation practices are grounded in tools highly useful for actors and creatives, such as focusing on your breath, feeling the center of gravity in your body, etc…
Eva-Marie recommends the app, and says that “having done it for a few days now: It totally makes a difference. Just this short moment of allowing yourself to stop, connect with yourself and finding your inner calm. Every day I am looking forward to my one a day!”