Because my first real job was performing with The New York City Ballet, I didn't have a lot of prior experience with workplace jargon.
(Full disclosure, I did work in a movie theater when I was about 14,
making popcorn and taking tickets but that's another story...)
So when I heard the term HUMPDAY for the first time, it was in this context.
Any performer lucky enough to grace the mega stages in New York City, either with the ballet, the opera, or on- or off-Broadway, your "job" includes an 8-show performance week. Generally Mondays (but sometimes Sundays) are what we call DARK, meaning that there is no performance. Tuesday has an evening show, but by Wednesday it's pretty standard to have a DOUBLE SHOW DAY with a 2pm or 3pm matinee, and then an evening performance as well. As soon as you finish the matinee, you slap on your dark glasses to avoid the extra wear and tear on your skin of reapplying makeup twice in the same day, and you head to the deli for some food. A quick rest on the floor of your dressing room and before you know it, it's "Ladies and Gentleman, it's half-hour please," which means it's 7:30pm and the curtain is going up in 30.
When you get through the show on Wednesday night, you're sliding down the other side of your week, heading to the magical moment when the second DOUBLE SHOW day is within reach. A long hot shower with plenty of hairspray removal and makeup wipes await you, and a general feeling of accomplishment after entertaining 8 packed houses and giving it your all.
The hardest HumpDays for me were performing in the National Tour of CAROUSEL. With a 3 hour performance, there was very little recovery time in between shows for body or spirit.
But my hat is tipped to my sister-in-law, Angela Reed. She is currently starring in the San Francisco run of "HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD
," an elaborate production in two parts (different plays, in fact), each lasting two and one-half hours. Angie's HumpDay (she has 2-3 of them in an average week) consists of TWO separate plays BACK TO BACK!
Whatever your work schedule is like, and I hope you are performing work that you love. And when you make it to Wednesday, check your inbox for a new email series I'm starting, called HUMP DAY HELP. In it you'll find some tips to help you to make it through to your weekend with spirit to spare!