As I write this I am slowly recovering from a particularly nasty and persistent sinus infection and what, I hope, is the end of a slight case of the flu. With all the various germs flying around these days and the weather throughout the country being so odd, unpredictable and varying in temperature (especially in Southern California where it can change by 30 degrees in a day), it’s a wonder any of us are muddling through and able to wobble on our feet.
At the end of this holiday season, as I was becoming ill, I husbanded my energy. Despite my many precautions, the germs got to me and took me down. Although I am rapidly improving, I’m still not well. Since I know how important consistency is in getting anything accomplished, I record Voices For Fun with the fabulous help of Yasmeen Al-shawwa, my media consultant. We met briefly on the outside of my home to create the weekly show. I was careful not to touch her (she’s so sweet it’s hard not to give her a hug) and made sure I did not breathe in her direction. I also didn’t invite her inside my home or do any more business than was absolutely necessary.
When we finished, she told me how at one time, no matter how sick she was, she would always show up for work. Her focus was on doing what she thought was the responsible action. I told her I used to think the same way: show up no matter what. My parents, as did her parents, instilled in us the importance of a strong work ethic, which is certainly a contributing factor to being successful in what we do.
HOWEVER: if our goal is to be truly responsible, showing up for work when we can spread germs is never a good or responsible idea. Not just for us, but for the people who we can infect, who will then bring those germs home to their families, who will spread them around even more until we have an epidemic. I don’t mean to be the harbinger of bad news. It is quite possible to feel unwell and not be contagious. My sinus infection is not contagious; the flu is. So here are a few ideas to keep in mind.
- If you’re sneezing and coughing, you might not be infectious, but the body fluids coming out of your orifices may be. Stay home.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially if you’re going out or coming home.
- If you’re auditioning outside the home and you’re recovering from being sick and are not contagious, bring your own headphones and make sure you wipe down the microphone with disinfectant.
- If you’re really too sick to work, don’t. Most directors, bosses, other actors, and workers will appreciate your consideration. The few times this has happened to me, my director was able to reschedule. Not the same as working with the whole cast, but certainly a way to show my respect for them.
- Even if it’s a big, important party or function and you know you’re going to have fun and PAR-TEE, if you’re contagious, stay home.
This year, I missed the South Park wrap party because I thought I was getting sick. It would have been a total blast. I had my gift all wrapped and ready, but by the time I was ready to go, I just wasn’t feeling that well. Because I stayed home and rested, I staved off the infection that finally got me for about 4 weeks. In that time I was able to work on my blog, record several Voices For Fun, write and storyboard several parts of Adventures Of Puss And Dick-A Survivor’s Guide To Relationships, and prepare for and give our Thank You Celebration Party.
So, my friends, may this 2018 be filled with good health, success and joy. And may we be kind to one another and leave our germs where they belong: away from other people.
If you have a story you’d like to share about this subject, I’d like to hear it. We learn from one another. Post it on the blog or on monamarshallsocial.com