Finding the time

Evie Koop Sawatzky

Special to the Times-Herald

Find the time.
That’s not an order. It’s a perspective shift.
If you want to do something, you will make time and prioritize it — of course. That specific time set aside will account for the majority of your rehearsal time and nothing can replace that. But, if you look closely, there is a lot of hidden time that we just let slip away every day.
My secret. Turn waiting time into practice time.
You might be waiting for the rest of your family to get into the car or you may have completed all your schoolwork and are waiting for the clock to let you go home. We wait for our rides to come and wait for commercials to end. I challenge my students to look for time that they are killing, and instead of checking into Facebook, pull up the pictures you took of your sheet music or monologue and review words.
Visualize your blocking or if you are able do it full out — great. Not all rehearsal requires noise though.
Connect with your character and analyze the motivations and background of the event that lead up to your scene. Do research on costuming or watch a video on how to curtsy or hold your fan.
Spend that commercial break stretching or reviewing a dance step. There are so many layers that go into making a character your own and it far surpasses just the words on the page.
In order to practise on the go, you need to be prepared. Have work with you that can be accomplished. Carry your music, script or other theory or memory work that needs to be absorbed with you at all times.
If you don’t have it with you, you can’t work on it when time becomes available. Listen to the music you will be performing or do clap-back and interval training during your commute into town, on the way to school, while you are walking or on the bus or subway.
Put it on your iPod to review while waiting in line at at the food court or during unexpected breaks throughout the day.
Many experts agree that visiting a skill several times a day for shorter intervals can have a greater impact than cramming it all into a long study session.
I am currently writing this column while standing in the aisle of an airplane with a few hundred people waiting for the airplane door to open and set us free in Toronto.
When you live a life that is full, you maximize every moment (now I’m walking to the baggage claim.)
To achieve your goals, you need skill, dedication and a little innovation. What is your goal and how are you creatively using your time to make it a reality?
If you don’t have time, talk to a dancer, and change your perspective.