College can be one of the most wonderful and exciting, but also stressful, times in a student’s life. The new freedom of being on your own in college is no doubt wonderful and a little scary for a lot of students. With classes everyday, papers and readings to keep up with, remembering to feed yourself three meals a day, and if you’re a Theatre major, learning lines and auditioning can get a bit overwhelming. This is why Department Chair Patrick Gendusa brought in Broadway guest artist Hardy Weaver to his Acting I classes this year.
A New Orleans native and a NOCCA graduate, Weaver made his Broadway debut in The Book of Mormon. Before that, he was in the 2nd national tour of The Book of Mormon as well as A Chorus Line and Cats. Weaver is a successful performer, but found himself getting anxious and having trouble sleeping so often that it seemed to be taking the joy out of performing. As a way of alleviating stress, Weaver tried Vedic Meditation, “an ancient technique where thoughts are a part of meditation,” and hasn’t looked back since.
Weaver spoke to the class about living a healthy lifestyle and meditation, noting that taking care of yourself is an important part of a performer’s lifestyle. It is necessary to prevent burnout. When you’re a performer, taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health.