Completing the run of a show can often be accompanied by an abundance of emotions: sadness, nostalgia, relief, anxiety…
The songs you’ve sung, the scenes you’ve rehearsed, and the people you’ve seen every single night for the last several weeks will no longer be a part of your norm. But if you think about it, just a few weeks ago, your norm was different! It’s okay, you’ll get back into the swing of things, whatever those things were.
In the meantime, we’ve got five home remedies to help you alleviate those troublesome post-show blues.
1. Sleep forever!
Do nothing for at least 24 hours! Or… at least do as little as possible. 8 shows a week, 6 shows in one weekend, touring from city to city, or even a single, dramatic performance can be incredibly taxing on the mind, body, and soul. You must rest! We know that can be difficult if you work full-time or if you’re in school, but you have to do whatever you can to recover. Aaaand that usually means LOTS of sleep. If you’re Ashley, that means sleeping for 17 hours. If you’re Kayla, that might means a good 6 hours (with a 6-month-old, 6 hours of sleep is a DREAM, if you will). You’ve got to do whatever your body is telling you it needs. Which brings us to our next points…
2. Focus inward.
You’ve just spent the last several weeks putting everything out there, giving 110% of yourself, interacting with cast-mates, backstage crew, and audience members. It’s time to shift your focus from outward to inward. Take a breath, and tune into yourself. How are you doing? No, how are you really doing? Close your eyes, take a breath, and check-in with every single inch of your body and every corner of your mind. Identify your needs. Spend some time alone.
Then, once you’ve had some time to yourself, spend a little time with your immediate family and closest friends (if you want). Chances are you haven’t seen much of them lately. If you’re an introvert, and time with others doesn’t “fill your cup,” feel free to keep the focus on you for a few more days.
3. Need what you need.
During your time of focusing inward, it’s important to identify your needs, whatever they may be, and then, be sure to meet them! Sometimes that means hopping in the car and taking a road trip to somewhere new. Other times it means playing a record, taking a bath, and eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s paired with a glass of your favorite cab’. I mean… sometimes you just need what you need.
4. Don’t worry about the next steps.
Okay, the show’s over. Now what!?
Don’t worry about it and don’t feel like you have to keep up with anyone. Maybe a few of your friends are already cast in the next show, before the current show has even ended. Maybe you’re graduating and some of your friends have already booked summer stock gigs. It’s easy to feel like you have to run that race. We know that feeling…
Here’s a little anecdote: back in the day, I (Kayla) felt like I had to audition for every. single. show. I thought that I needed to pounce on every opportunity to perform so that I could build my resume in order to become a “serious actor.” The burnout was real, y’all. But listen: You are not your resume.
It’s okay if you don’t know what you’re doing next. Repeat steps 1-3 and figure out what you actually need. Listen again: if the devil can’t make you bad he’ll make you busy.
5. Make a playlist!
Alright, this last one takes a little planning but it’s a fun alternative to printing cast photos.
First, at the beginning of a production, create a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music, or even Youtube, and start off with a couple of songs you’re currently into or that remind you of the show.
Then, have each member of the cast contribute a song and share the link with them.
Finally, listen to the playlist on repeat throughout the production process; doing this ensures optimal brain absorption for post-show nostalgia.
Once the run is over, anytime you listen to this playlist, it will remind you of the show and the great times you had with your fellow cast members! There are no rules for the playlist. Once everyone has contributed, you’ll have an eclectic mix of songs and artists and that makes it all the more fun!
Here’s an example: this is the playlist we created for Arrant Knavery’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Now, whenever I listen to this playlist, I think of cool autumn evenings, rehearsing and laughing in a warehouse with a handful of people I’d just met, but who would become some of my dearest friends.