A couple of months ago, I came up against a very tight spot in my work schedule. After returning from Hawaii, the plan was to go to the 5th Avenue Theatre to do Guys and Dolls, followed almost directly by Aladdin. If it sounds like I’m talking gibberish, it’s because I have kind of a goofy job—I work backstage, making musical theatre magical. The 5th Avenue is fast becoming one of the most influential and important regional musical theatres in North America—to wit, Norbert Butz, who won the Tony last week for Best Actor in Catch Me if You Can debuted that role on our stage in 2009, and Casey Nicolaw won the best director award for Book of Mormon—he’s directing out brand-new-for-the-stage Aladdin. And that’s just the recent accolades. We’re kind of a big deal these days! Don’t get me wrong, I’m just a small cog in the machine, but it’s incredibly demanding work, and the hours can be downright inhospitable. We are currently scheduled for 14-hour days, six days a week, but due to time spent waiting for set pieces to be completed, our schedule’s even screwier than that, and we are having to also work on some Mondays, eliminating the day off.
A few days before I started Guys and Dolls, I got an email from Backpacker about doing some ongoing work for them. I’m currently under contract for 6 gear reviews in 12 weeks, with an option to extend the contract. It’s terribly exciting, and I absolutely LOVE the work. Every two weeks, I go through rigorous edits, and at the end, the reviews I’m bylined with look better than any writing I’ve done in the past. Additionally, I am in the process of working out another deal for a kind of art project. I wish I could say more, but the contract isn’t signed yet. Stay tuned! What might this have to do with tea, you might ask? Today I had to go home from the theatre at lunch with body aches, phlegm, a headache, well, you get the general idea. It’s tough under normal circumstances to stay healthy, but I’m burning the candle at both ends—and Aladdin does not close until August. I found myself reaching for the tried-and-true fix: Owl Instant Ginger Tea with Honey. A big bag of it runs about 5 bucks at my local Asian grocery store. It’s simply dried ginger and honey, though as you dump it out of the single-serving packet, it’s ugly little dried brown clumps. Once hot water has been added, it becomes nothing short of delicious, giving your senses a big hug of spicy ginger and earthy-sweet honey. I love to take it backpacking for its therapeutic and calming properties, but it’s also a nice option when you’re too sick to want to eat much of anything. I find that it gently soothes achy bones and plugged sinuses, and it’s equally tasty drunk hot or cold.
I don’t know if it’s going to get any easier for me to perform at the level that’s expected of me this summer, but I’m not going to forget to have a little Ginger Tea.