Sunday, January 25, 2009

Preparing for a Time of Day

The brain works differently at different times of day. Usually this is just a scientific curiosity, but it becomes a practical consideration when you are preparing for a performance. A performance isn’t just a juggling act or a competition. It could be any situation in which you have to deliver results in a limited period of time. Anything you prepare for is a performance. You’ll be better prepared if you do some of your preparation at the same time of day as the performance.

For example, if you will be taking a test at 8 a.m., don’t do all your studying late at night. Do some of the studying in the early morning. That way, you’re likely to remember much of the material when you sit down for the test. Of course, this means you need to start preparing at least 24 hours before the test.

Theater groups know about this, and the tradition in theater is to run the last one, two, or three rehearsals just like an actual show, on the same stage with the same curtain time if possible. If the show goes through one of these dress rehearsals well, the company can be confident that it is ready to do the show for an audience.