Many of us have been doing this for a while, but we can take it to the limit without even noticing it. We will be sleep deprived, dehydrated, malnourished (with a fatty high caloric egg and bacon diet). When I do this to myself, I can only think which other profession really goes this far to get the job done. If you are in the live event business or live streaming business, you will be familiar with some of these things we all go through.
You pull a 3-day long event running 12 or 18 hours straight each day, just to make sure it is a smashing success. Yes, the self-rewarding feeling of a successful event might be all worth it, but at what cost?
Your body receives a full-on, war-like regiment, like if you were in the SAS or in some sort of post apocalyptic movie. It might sound exaggerated, but for those that have been there, you know what I am talking about.
At the end of a long day, you are running on some sort of over-drive energy and you just keep on going without even realising that you are at your breaking point. It is difficult to explain unless you have been there. But at the end… call us crazy, but we love every minute of it, and we will keep on doing it again and again. There is also that smooth whisper that tells you that the event and the client are the most important thing. ALWAYS!
So here is a small list of things you can do to survive throughout the streaming zone…
Go to sleep early… you are going to wake up at 5 am anyways so why do you want to do this to yourself? If you do this enough times, you will get used to it. You will even wake up naturally at 6 on the weekends. Yes… you will become A MORNING PERSON. There I said it, if you were not one already, well… welcome to the sunrise movement my friend.
Hydrate… the zone will keep us moving from one little task to the other, checking cables, connections, colour balance, camera apertures, if the client is here yet, and if you are going to have some face time with them. Hours can go by and you haven’t had a sip of water. Just have a bottle of water next to your laptop and every time you check if you had an email with yet another ppt version of the presentation from the client, have a sip of water. Your body will thank you and you will feel much better throughout the day.
Easy on the coffee. We all need that first cup of coffee at 5 or 6 am when we get to the venue. Yes, keep that sweet black elixir coming! And we all know if there is something that flows all day from somewhere in a venue is coffee and biscuits. I can even tell you which venue in the city of London has my favourite. Well… to rephrase that, let’s call it “the least bad” coffee machine. But there is that feeling when you have had enough coffee and cheap biscuits that you feel disgusted with yourself. And guess what? Not good for you either. I guess 3 cups is plenty… I know when I have had my share when my left eye is twitching. (this really happens to me.
Bacon is love… yes it is, and sausages are too! But honestly how many can you have each week? I have committed the cardinal sin (if there is such a thing) of asking for the triple whammy and having the egg + sausage + bacon combo of love with a side of cholesterol please! SO… Yes, I gained weight, felt awful and lost all “good” condition I had. So I had to limit this to a once-a-week occurrence. To be honest, you will be more productive if you have something healthy and nutritious like porridge and fruit. Snacking on nuts will give you energy and keep you going through the day.
The after pint. It is very easy to go for a couple of drinks after the setup or catch up with the crew on the latest production jokes (there is no such thing, our jokes are honestly bad) But, in real honesty, if you do this and you need to focus on the next day you won’t be able to achieve much. We have deadlines and the clock is always ticking. It is no time to be confused, lethargic and zombie like. It might be just me and my tender age of 35 but I cannot have a few beers and then feel fresh in the morning. I honestly need to be sharp and make “things” happen. And if I have a trashy hungover, I am no good to anyone.
So, there it is… some very obvious points that you might have thought before, but there they are. To stare you in the face and make you feel guilty. Our main priority is the event and you know this. The event will go better, and you will be able to do much more with yourself and your time. You will be able to go there into the trenches and kick ass.
Live production and streaming is hard enough of a job, so just make it easier on yourself and have a moment to care for your well being. We will never been yoga masters (based on the look of some technicians I have met). But we are damn good at our job, so let’s be good to us.