How To Rock a Nightshoot
So! Lots of us models have to get through a nightshoot at least once in our careers. Sometimes they’re scheduled, and other times (worse times) they’re when a regular shoot runs on into the wee hours of the morning. Nightshoots are really tough, because you have to keep up your level of modelling performance when your head feels as heavy as a boulder and your heartbeat is starting to do strange things.
I have a few tips, gleaned from years of getting it wrong, to help you out. I recently shot from 16:00 to 06:30 for a car commercial, mostly outside in the cold, and it was a real test of my modelling endurance. But I followed these simple rules and not only survived, but absolutely rocked it! Here we go…
1) Sleep right the night before
Get off to sleep as early as you can the night before, as the sleep you sleep before midnight is far more valuable than after. Avoid coffee and booze so you’re in a really good zen-like state. Follow my tips for a good night sleep here and here. If possible, sleep in as late as you can and nap in the daytime if the shoot is starting in the PM. You want to feel relaxed, like you haven’t exerted yourself in the day and you’ve preserved your energy for the evening ahead.
2) Do some yoga and stretches in the daytime.
Everyone has a different approach to what relaxes them, so if you love your HIIT and sweating it out at the gym then go for it. However I found yoga and a bit of gentle swimming great for avoiding sluggishness but not using up all my energy – I needed it for the night ahead!
3) Coffee-lovers, plan your caffeine intake.
I do love my coffee, but I try not to have it every day. I avoided it all day so that I could save that caffeine kick for when I really needed it! It also meant I hadn’t spiked and crashed in the day beforehand, and I had a nice milky coffee at 3:30AM when I was tired and cold – it gave me just the right level of comfort-with-a-jolt!
4) Food is ALL-IMPORTANT!
You need to avoid all the treats the put out for the crew to keep everyone going. Sweets, sandwiches, pizza, hot toasties, chocolate, donuts – just don’t go anywhere near them!
Those foods are going to…
a) Make you feel rubbish in your outfit
b) Make you feel heavy and unsexy
c) Make you feel sluggish and slow
d) I just love lists
So! Firstly, eat light and healthy for breakfast and have a good lunch. You will be having dinner late into the night shoot so it’s best to make sure you’re sated. I enjoyed a nice tuna salad – it had the protein with the fish and the carbs and healthy stuff with all the yummy veg – which filled me up but didn’t weight me down.
Then when dinnertime comes, go for a similar vibe, whatever gives you the most energy. For me I want something a bit more warming than a salad. If it’s a catering van on a big film shoot, eating right is a nightmare as it’s meant to feed loads of burly men rather than waist-conscious models. Just go for the meat/fish/veg and avoid the pasta/mashed potato/chips and fill your plate up with the salads and veg.
So! That’s dinner sorted, but around 2AM is when they start getting those snacks out for the crew. If you’ve had brekkie, lunch and dinner then remember, just cos everyone else seems to be chowing down, a whole extra meal just isn’t necessary.
You don’t pop out of the club for a jacket potato on a night out, do you!
Pump for apples, nuts, dates, bananas, grapes – and of the fresh fruit and veg they provide on a shoot. Make sure you stay hydrated with peppermint teas, and water
5) Mental Attitude.
Above all, what’s going to get you through the dark patch of night shoots, when you’re desperate to give into sleep and/or a tantrum, is your mind.
Firstly, you need to remember that, in fairness, YOU said you’d do a nightshoot. YOU agreed you’d put yourself through it. If you don’t, just say no to the job and let another model do it.
Sounds harsh but you wouldn’t believe the amount of models who moan the whole way through a long day. The client said they were really impressed with my professionalism but seriously – all I had to do was sit in a car for most of it! It would be churlish to moan when you’re getting paid to do a specific job.
So here are a few tough love thoughts I repeat to myself when I’m feeling the pain…
i) Everyone else is working so much harder. Yes, it was 1:30 AM and my body wanted beddybyes, but there were men up cranes setting up camera rigs, and runners sprinting all over the place* while I had numerous breaks in the nice warm trailer.
*who are probably getting paid a fraction of what you are
ii) It’s one night of your life. You’ll get home, have a nice sleep and recover. You only need to get through the next few hours.
iii) You have stayed out later on nights out: and that’s voluntary! Still dancing wildly at 4am means you can pose and pout and get paid for it on this night shoot.
iv) For my friends who are mums, this is just a standard night!
v) just wanted to reach v, really.
The more you focus on how tired you feel, the more tired you’ll actually feel – and that’s a fact. It’s best to keep your mind occupied with a book, some music and some chatting and do everything to avoid focusing on that nodding head feeling!
I hope this helps anyone working late into the night out there. Make it through without a complaint or falling asleep on the male model and drooling on him in front of everyone, and you’ll actually feel really proud of yourself. You’re young, you’re able to do it, so get on with it and (dare I say it)…ENJOY yourself!
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