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In 250 Words: What’s In Your “Rider”?

In the 250 Words series, the RU Student Life writers are posed a question, and in 250 words they each offer their insights.

Question 11: What’s in your “rider”?

In theater (and musical performance), a rider is a set of requests or demands that a performer sets as criteria for performance. For our context, we thought of it as those things that calm you down or get you ready to tackle something.

Jessica: An Abundance of Light

The root of the word “rider” reminds me of poetic lyrics alluding to magnetic lovers and free-spirited souls. “To ride” is to surrender pre-notions of what is expected and live in a manner that wholeheartedly (and unapologetically) embraces the present.

Passed down from my mother, who learned from her own mother, I am a believer of Feng-Shui, a Chinese philosophical belief that your immediate space can either calm the mind or evoke chaos. Despite this theory being scientifically unproven, it’s a common philosophy. Celebrities like Prince, David Bowie, and Kanye West have outlandish demands of what they require in their dressing room pre/post performance.

In my dream “rider”, there would be an abundance of natural lighting. The room would be furnished in Victorian decor, with couches overflowing with fluffy white pillows resembling theoretical Heaven. There would also be an extensive hors d’oeuvre table featuring a bottomless bowl of Salt-n-Vinegar chips. The mini-fridge would be stocked with luxurious bottles of champagne. Technologically, I would want high speed internet, a large flat screen TV, and a surround sound system. But most importantly, I would want my ride or die family members and friends by my side.

My realistic “rider” would include the most important people in my life, nostalgic trinkets, and comfort items that allow me to tap into that unnerving, maverick side of me on day to day basis.

Stef: Iced-Coffees, Green Plants, and Juno

Well I’d definitely need to have an iced-coffee (however cliche that might be). It would be a fresh cup made from vanilla-flavoured beans with a splash of almond milk. If I was feeling really fancy that day, I’d have it served in a ridiculously pretty mug. I’d need a small notebook with a spiral binding to take notes in and a Bic pen, the really plain ones, because they are the only things I can write with. Trust me when I say there are few things I do without taking notes.

I’d need a green plant and a Himalayan salt lamp to set the mood and a candle if I was feeling stressed, preferably one that smells like lavender or vanilla. The Arkells and July Talk would be rotating on my iPhone but I would be the only one who could hear it through my headphones – the ones that block out all background sound.

My dog Juno would be lying at the foot of my chair with her paws resting on my feet and I’d be feeding her treats, reluctantly. Lastly, I would need a plate of fries waiting for me after the show with a Sriracha-Ketchup mix on the side at a 40/60 ratio respectively, or anything spicy that I can dip my fries in, I’m really not that picky.

Sunita: Autumn Colours, Snacks, and the iPod That Won’t Die

Maybe I’m just feeling festive but when I imagine my rider, the first thing I see is autumn colours everywhere. Vibrant reds and browns and oranges, in drapes and rugs that would give off the ultimate cosy vibe and resemble the treehouse I dreamed of having when I was little. Scented mandarin and cranberry candles would surround me, and countless pillows and blankets would be needed just in case I feel the need to build a fort.

Snacks are a necessity. A supply of my favourite British chocolate would most definitely be required, with and an endless amount of English Breakfast tea. I would also need a cheeseburger and fries to have while I binge watch my favourite reality TV shows.

There are certain objects that I need close by me when I feel stressed, such as the iPod classic I’ve had since I was 14 that’s chipped and dusty and that I will keep forever, as well as the picture of my favourite director that I framed when I was 13 that constantly reminds me of my purpose. When I need to prep or relax, I don’t like a lot of people around me but I would keep my laptop nearby so I could Skype with those I love. My favourite books would be with me such as my favourite fiction novel ‘Saving June’, a book called ‘Calm’ my best friend bought me and my personal notebook filled with my favourite quotes in case I need to flip through to dream, reflect and to find some inspiration.

So, what would be in your dream “rider”? Let us know @RUStudentLife or send us an email at or FB message of your own 250 Words.

Read more 250 Words questions and responses here.