How to Survive Audition Season Allergies

New Yorkers are collectively breathing a sigh of relief – as well as one of joy- that it is finally Spring! However, along with the flowers and higher temperatures also comes a thing us performers have come to dread: allergy season. Runny noses, sore throats, coughing, and don’t get me started on the sneezing. And all of it has to coincide with audition season! With our hectic schedules we sometimes don’t have the time to make it to a doctor, so here are a few helpful remedies to get you through the Spring.

1. Steam Inhaler

You’ve probably seen your favorite performer post an instragram backstage with their steamer before a show (I’m looking at you, Mr. Mientus), and there’s a good reason why. This bizarre little contraption uses warm, moist heat generated by steam in order to soothe clogged and irritated airways in the respiratory system. It works wonders on those days when you wake up feeling groggy and super congested.

2. Hot Water with Lemon

By Denise Chan via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Denise Chan via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Hot water with lemon is supposed to have a lot of health benefits – something to do with the electrolytes in the lemons – but can also do wonders for a sore throat. A lot of performers drink this religiously every morning, sore throat or not. It’s incredibly soothing and even helps flush out toxins in the body! Try it out for a week, and see if you notice a difference.

3. Neti Pot

"Let it be known that it is impossible to look cute or sexy using a Neti pot." Via Sean-Franc Strang on Flickr / CC 2.0

“Let it be known that it is impossible to look cute or sexy using a Neti pot.” Via Sean-Franc Strang on Flickr / CC 2.0

The Neti Pot is the Audra McDonald of sinus remedies: it’s truly magical. Yes, it’s a bit gross, but the results are incredible! Every performer should own one, and use it at any sign of PND. For those of you who’ve never used one, basically what it does is thins mucus and flushes it out of the nasal passages. Cute, right?

Here’s a fun how-to video from Kyle Riabko (Hair, Spring Awakening, Degrassi):

Watch this video on YouTube.

4. Mucinex

There are people who swear by Mucinex. It’s an over-the-counter drug that treats chest congestion and coughs. It’s great for when you feel like you’re about to cough up a lung or like a small army of mucus has taken up residence in your chest. Gross!

5. Humidifier

Like the Neti Pot, a humidifier should be a staple of every performer’s arsenal. And not just in the spring either. They’re awesome for dry winter nights and especially in dorm rooms and old apartments where circulation can be quite poor. A humidifier is exactly what it sounds like: a device that increases humidity, or moisture, in a room/building. They’re excellent for dry sinuses and if you’re prone to bloody noses. However, make sure you clean it regularly, as they can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.

6. Honey  

Honey: Mother Nature’s gift to singers! Honey is supposed to be a natural cough suppressant, as well as an amazing sore throat soother. You can put it in tea, mix with hot water, or even take a spoonful of it plain. It’s also said that local honey can help with allergies. Performers on tour will sometimes track down a bottle of honey in every city they’re in to help combat that area’s specific allergies!

Help out your fellow performers and share some of your favorite remedies!

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