One of the stars of the current Gaiety Christmas panto has admitted that the gruelling 14 hour days over the festive season takes its toll.
Carl Maguire, from Kimmage, Dublin, who plays Pinocchio, in Little Red Riding Hood in the Dublin venue, says that most of the season’s run involves two shows daily.
“We are doing two shows a day from the beginning of December until 2nd January and it is very hard work. We get two days off over the Christmas but apart from that it is full on until the show ends on January 24th,” says Carl (35).
He goes on: “On many days I would be at work from 8am until 11pm that night. When you play Pinocchio a lot of make-up is required. In addition, you have to warm up your voice and your body as, while Pinocchio is a wooden figure, the full on dance routines places a lot of pressure on your body.”
The actor and dancer loves the stage, lured into the greasepaint through the legendary Billie Barry theatre school. “Since as long as I can remember I wanted to be an actor and a dancer and it is all I have ever done,” he admitted.
But faced with the gruelling Panto season Carl discovered his energy levels had dropped significantly. “Since the early Summer I had noticed by lunchtime I had become sluggish and had lost a lot of energy. It was like a midday meltdown. In this business you need to keep your energy levels high,” he said.
“I found it hard to get to the energy level I should be at. As a dance and fitness teacher I should have had the highest energy in the room and I found it hard to reach that. My stomach felt boated and I didn’t have the drive I should.”
After a suggestion from a friend to undergo a food intolerance test, Carl was recommended by Yorktest to cut out wheat, eggs and lentils from his diet.
“It has been a transformation since I followed up the Yorktest advice. I did a simple blood test which was analysed in a laboratory and that indicated I am intolerant to wheat, eggs and lentils. As soon as I followed their advice and cut them out, I had energy to burn. I love the new energy I have – makes me feel like I’m in my early 20’s again. I have super energy these days and as a result my dance/fitness classes have really taken off,” he said.
Such has been the boost to his energy levels that he recently completed a dance training course with the legendary Darcey Bussell, the former ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge. Carl is now a qualified DDMix (diverse dance) dance teacher.
“After the intolerance test during the Summer, I went to London in September to train under Darcey for her DDMix , which is essentially a full aerobic workout through dance. I brought DDMix back to Dublin and am operating my own DDMix sessions in locations in Dublin. It has proved a great success for loads of people who want to get fit, lose weight but in an enjoyable way through dance,” Carl says.
The Dubliner has ambitious plans to expand the number of DDMix classes he offers once he removes his large nose and hangs up his costume in the New Year.