We work with plenty of big name performers from the world of sport but it isn't only athletes who are benefiting from using Precision Hydration...
Actor Jake Sharp is currently playing the starring role as Jack Black's character, Dewey Finn, in the West End musical, School Of Rock. We spoke to Jake about the demands of his job, life on stage and how PH has helped to improve his performances.
Jake came across PH thanks to our role as official hydration partner of Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers FC...
I first heard about PH when scrolling through the Instagram feed of my favourite football team, Wolves. I had previously tried a few other hydration tablets/powders and had been reasonably happy with them, but clicked on your site and I am completely sold because the results have been so effective.
Which products have you been using specifically?
I'm a very heavy sweater and I have been using the PH 1500 powder about an hour and half before the show. I find that preloading helps me start physically and vocally hydrated. I have also been experimenting with using powders in the matinee and at the end of the show.
I have been finding the product amazing to be honest with you because I'm playing the Jack Black character in School of Rock in London’s West End. I’ve previously found that as soon as I’m dehydrated it really effects my singing voice as my vocal folds dry out - but using your product has helped incredible amounts. Without going overboard, I wanted to say thank you so much and let you know PH benefits actors as well as athletes.
Have you noticed a difference since using PH during your performances as the Jack Black character, Dewey Finn?
I have definitely noticed that I am starting the show in a better place vocally and physically. Annoyingly the vocal folds are one of the last parts of the body to hydrate (specialists say to drink water four hours before singing to allow it to get to the vocal chords) and as the role is particularly physical and sweaty, I often struggled to rehydrate vocally for the next day in the past.
It must be pretty exciting going on stage, what do you enjoy most and least about performing in the West End?
The most exciting part is the adrenaline and the relationship with the audience. But, similar to an athlete, it is extremely demanding physically, emotionally and vocally. I sometimes crave a break and to have a normal evening with friends but that vanishes pretty quickly.
It sounds demanding! Do you have a nutrition plan to help you prepare for the shows?
I am a sweater - a heavy sweater - always have been. And I’m now heavier than before to fit the role of Jack Black. So combining the additional weight with adrenaline and stage lights, and running and jumping in a corduroy jacket, trousers, shirt, tie, knee pads and a woollen tank top, I sweat uncontrollably. I have recently started a nutrition plan to help with recovery and fuelling, and I'm still refining what I eat and drink to help produce my best performance.
What does a typical show involve?
The show itself is basically non stop. I only have time to go back to my dressing room in the interval and at the end, the rest of the time I change in the wings as it’s too close for time.
Physically it is demanding as my part involves a larger than life character that spends most of the show jumping off desks, knee sliding and head banging, all while screaming out rock songs. Emotionally it is also extremely draining with the amount of text to remember, but also with the relationship with the kids in the show. They are incredibly talented but are still young children and so you have to be 110% focused to make sure all is going smoothly and you can cover if any mistakes happen. I’ve noticed that often when my energy drops so does theirs, so you have to keep pushing through.
I originally trained to be a Primary School teacher which has helped a lot with this job. I quit to train as an actor at East 15 Drama School and have been working on and off in the business (small cameos in Doctors and commercials). This is my first big job so I am desperately trying to find ways to keep improving to move onto other exciting challenges, be that theatre or film and TV.
How do you fit your rehearsals and keeping fit around a busy life performing in the West End?
A typical working week for me starts on a Wednesday. I usually do three-to-four of the eight shows in the week. Another actor plays the part five times (he’s a machine). We alternate due to the intensity vocally so that we never have to do two shows in a day. If I am not doing a show on a day I still have to be in the theatre ready to go in case something happens to the other guy.
Performances are usually at 7.30pm, while some are at 2.30pm. On show days it is very difficult to plan eating times because you would end up bringing it back up during the start of the show so we find that eating a good breakfast and then a meal at about 3pm is about right. The problem then is that you are starving by the end of the show (10.20pm) but have to be careful eating that late as it causes acid reflux which damages your voice. It’s all a balance.
How do you keep fit? Do you have a fitness regime, go to the gym, take part in sports?
Fitness wise I do most of it during the show . Because of the emotional crash afterwards I rarely fancy doing much on a day off. I have been thinking that I should be doing other things too now that I am getting more used to the gig - lighter stuff like swimming and cycling. It’s something that I do need to focus on.
Sports is a tough one because we don’t want to get injured or do something that directly negatively effects the show. Unfortunately I am a huge cricket fan and have played all my life, but I can’t find a time to play that doesn’t clash with the show.
You must have been delighted with how Wolves performed this season - do you get much chance to go and see them play?
Come on you Wolves! What a season! I didn’t manage to get to a single game at the Molineux though so I am definitely changing that next season. I always ask other cast and crew to whisper the scores to me when I run off to get changed, or whenever there's a brief chance. In the FA cup semi final (I’m still not over it) I was on stage and one of the cast told me we were 2-0 up - I have never jumped so high and head banged so hard as I did in the end of that show. I then ran off at the end, got it on my phone just as Watford scored one, then two, then heartbreak as they beat us 3-2. So it was my fault, sorry Wolves fans.
Next season should be great though and I'm predicting a top-six finish and a decent run in Europe, with a top-four position within four years. More like a fantasy than a prediction perhaps...!