Surviving those post-show blues...
By Bob Simpson (Writer)
Many of us have experienced that marathon leading up to a production. Daily rehearsals, often stretching far into the night, tech runs, dress rehearsals, all leading up to the great inevitability of opening night. At that point, you'd expect your life to calm down, but many actors out there agree with me when I say that the first time a performer can really take a breath is when the show closes.
The irony, however, is that the endless euphoria of performing is replaced not by a sense of relaxation when the show closes, but the doldrums. You know it well, I'm sure: the post-show blues. Granted, these only occur when you've been working on a show you genuinely care about. In all other cases, we tend to rush out of the dressing room, screaming something innappropriate and cliche like, "Freedom!"
But when you have those opportunities to work on something really special, it hurts when it's all over, especially for someone like me that doesn't have the time to perform as much as I used to. Such was the case this weekend when The Unknown Artists closed our show, "Right Together, Left Together." I found myself yesterday, walking in a fog, partly because of a hangover, but mostly due to a stifling sense of "what the hell do I do now?"
So, for all of us out there that've experienced the post-show blues, here are some survival tips.
1. Take your dog to the closing/wrap party, and have him poop on the hostess' carpet.
Granted, this wasn't a planned incident, but it ended up being pretty satisfying, both for me and the dog.
2. Avoid all photos that were taken during the recent run.
Trust me, you'll just find yourself rifling through Facebook, sporadically breaking out into convulsions and weeping like Rick after Carl shot his mom.
3. Participate in the endless, sprawling group text messages that will inevitably result from your cast being in love with each other.
Though it may seem annoying at first, the incessant and endless vibrating of your phone is pretty soothing, except at 3 in the goddamn morning when someone is texting everyone about a couch or something. I don't know, I might have dreamed that.
4. Find a way to stretch a strike that should take an hour into about 4.5 days.
Trust me, it helps. Some ways to stretch a strike is to say a rosary before removing each screw, loading and unloading every truck twice, and chopping off your finger.
5. Start writing post-show blues fan fiction.
Having trouble letting these characters go? Well, now you don't have to, thanks to the miracle of fan fiction. Take some time and explore what happens to each character after the curtain fell. Did they win the lottery? Journey to the moon? Stop a train from hitting the Empire State Building? You decide!
There, you're welcome. Of course, the pain may never truly go away, but more than likely it will be replaced by another emotion, like hunger.
BOB SIMPSON is a writer and lives in Los Angeles, where he works for Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., though the views and opinions expressed in this and other articles are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views or opinions of Warner Bros. There, disclaimer done. Bob is also a geek - gentledgeek.blogspot.com
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