It is the same every time..you've been working on a show for, possibly months, and towards the end it gets really INTENSIVE. There are more rehearsals and meetings and even when you are not rehearsing you are sorting costume and sorting your arrangements for the busy performance days. The show literally..
The other cast members or members of the team have become more like family, in fact, you are spending so much time with them that you start to notice their annoying habits as well as their good ones. In those days leading up to a performance, especially with larger casts, things can get fractious but even when this happens there is still a sense of solidarity as we are all in this together and the show must go on...
in the zone
and even the most annoying cast members with their bizarre dressing room rituals, which can range from some form of tai chi to yodelling (and sometimes a combination of both!) cannot and will not put you off.
The next morning you wake up and you are too exhausted to be sad but very soon it's Monday morning and you suddenly realize you have to face the week ahead without any scheduled rehearsals and no shows at all.
You had forgotten how it feels until the moment it strikes, but when it comes back you remember this oh so familiar feeling. The despair, the will I ever perform again feeling, the is it all worth it mood and why do all the other performers have lots of work already and I'm just refreshing my inbox.
Yeah, the blues are back and when we say blues, what we mean is a sadness that invades our life for a little while. A sadness that things have come to an end and a sense of missing those people who we saw more often than our own family, for a short time anyway. The point is we go from such intensity of rehearsals, tech, dress and then the performance days and then, well sometimes,
N O T H I N G
However, I do need a bit of wallowing time, a space to evaluate why I am in this position and what I need to do next and to get over myself!
For me the nothingness of an empty space, a rejection, a failed funding bid, countless e-mails that don't get replies, all of that which is negative, actually spurs me on.
4 Olympic/Paralympic ceremonies.
Housewives, teachers, bankers, became drummers, dancers,
nurses, and workers of the Industrial Revolution.
40 ceremonies performers explore how they live on, now 2012 is over.
The Legacy was basically a show about post show blues on mass; as it was about how the volunteer performers felt after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games finished. Despite the joyous experience and community it was celebrating, it was a really somber show until the final closing moments.
For me, there was a beauty in exploring that dark place that exists when things come to an end and looking at what the experience leaves behind and what 2012's legacy was to the performers.
- Plan for cast drinks/meetup a month after the show.
- Use any free time to reflect on what you enjoyed or didn't about the experience and what you would like to do next.
- Start applying to do more creative things!
- Enjoy the free time and relax, go shopping and calls friends you haven't called for a while, go to the cinema and make the most of it.
- Focus on long term planning of your career beyond the next show.
Despite always feeling that you will never work again, before you know it, the next theatrical experience is upon you and the cycle is about to begin all over again!!
Do comment below and let us know about your post show blues experiences. I would love to write more on this subject in future so do get in touch.
Some great books about dealing with the life of an actor/performer.