Cold and Flu

Health secrets from an actor who hasn't taken a sick day in 12 years


While 9-to-5ers can simply call in sick if they’re feeling under the weather, taking time off is much more complicated for Broadway stars. Understudies must be prepped, and devoted fans who shell out more than $100 for a ticket get upset hearing their favorite performers are out. And with marquee names, there’s even a risk of tickets being refunded altogether.

So how do dedicated actors keep singing out and kicking high eight times a week? Here, a few of Broadway’s brightest stars reveal to The Post their secrets for staying well.

The cure: Hot water, cider vinegar and steam
“I haven’t missed a show due to sickness since 2004, maybe,” says Michael Cerveris, the Tony Award-winning star of the musical “Fun Home.”

The actor relies on his trusty humidifier, which he cranks up every night during the winter when New York apartments are driest.

In the morning, “my first step is to get in the shower and surround myself [with] the steam,” he says. Then he heads to his pantry. “Apple cider vinegar is always on my shelf,” he adds. “It helps your body fight infection.” He stirs a tablespoon into hot water and drinks.

Cerveris shows up even if he isn’t feeling 100 percent. “Maybe it’s a fear that I have really good understudies and I don’t want people to know how good they are.”

More on this...

The cure: Coconut water and sleep meditation tapes
This has been the first real winter for Ana Villafañe, who grew up in Miami and Los Angeles and plays Gloria Estefan in the new musical “On Your Feet!”

And the actress isn’t taking any chances: “My biggest thing is drinking a lot of water and coconut water,” she says.

Rest is a vital part of Villafañe’s regimen as well, and she gets it with the help of Dr. Brian Weiss’ sleep meditation tapes, given to her by Estefan. “Usually I pass out halfway through.”

Click for more from the New York Post.