Stage & Candor


Line, Please!?

An Advice Column - March '17

Written by Liz Richards         
March 30, 2017


Hi, I’m Liz and I’ll be offering you advice on navigating the tricky situations that can come from working in or being a fan of theater.
I’ve been doing it out on my blog,, for a while now, so it seemed only natural to migrate here in a more official Advice Columnist capacity. I’ve freelanced as a stage manager around New York as well as regionally, I’m a member of Actor’s Equity and a total contract junkie, and I occasionally cohost a podcast on theater and performance (Maxamoo).

To submit a question, email



Dear Liz,

This is sort of a weird question but what you do eat during tech? I get so tired after long days and I either get so busy i don’t eat anything or I eat a bunch of junk food because it’s there.


This is a good question! I used to operate the way many young technicians do, which is with a bit of a martyr complex: come in early, stay late, don’t take breaks, eat junk. Then I learned that will burn you out SO FAST. Self-care is important, especially in long rehearsal days, and there’s no shame in making sure you’re functioning in top form!

I’ve gotten very good at meal-planning in the last few years. It’s a habit you have to force yourself into, because it takes prep time, but it has immense benefits. The basic requirements for tech food for me are that it has to taste good at room temperature (I never know if I will have access to a fridge, or will get more than few bites in before it has to sit), is filling, not too fussy or loud, and is something I actually want to eat, or else I’ll just head out and buy a pack of gummi bears instead.

(Actually, gummi bears are one of my favorite tech snacks. Not the most nutritionally sound, so sue me.)

Some suggestions:

  • Mixed nuts — especially all the different flavors of almonds (wasabi soy is my favorite)
  • Clementines — they pack well, plus they smell good
  • Pita sandwiches — I don’t like soggy bread, and pitas are sturdier and more travel-friendly
  • Grain or bean salads — lettuce wilts. My personal favorite is Texas Caviar, which is recommended as a dip but is hearty enough to eat on its own (and delicious). I also make this tabouleh salad with chickpeas. You can make these in bulk on your day off and eat it throughout the week. They also taste better the longer they sit.
  • Gummi bears — or your candy of choice. Look, sometimes you are going to be really cranky and you don’t want the healthy food. Having a treat you like can make it better.

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