In any profession, there are the little insider secrets and parts of the job that don't get much media. The less sexy side of being a lawyer is that you spend long, long, long, looooong hours sitting in a little office writing. Professional dancers get endless injuries and bloody feet. Movies don't show you the dirty, gag-worthy aspects of being a doctor. Distance runners inevitably hit "the wall" and battle their bodies and minds to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Actors? Ask any one of us and you'll get a knowing nod when you mention the "Post-Show Come Down."
It's that moment after you take the final bow on stage, the light fades and you look up only to hear the lonely swish of the broom as the theater usher sweeps away any sign of an audience. It's that moment when the 1st AD (Assistant Director) announces "That's a wrap for Anony," the film's cast and crew claps for you and you take one last breath on the set, determined to remember everything, then slump into the airplane seat to go home. Then it's that moment when you step through your front door and realize that beautiful, wonderful, spectacular show you've put your entire soul into is gone. It's finished, your work is complete and the absence leaves a gaping void in your life. This demon has also been named the Post-Show Depression, and I liken it to the Mean Reds. In case you don't know what those are... no one better than Ms. Golightly herself to explain...
So like any normal person, I have been subconsciously fighting this inner demon with carb loading and ice cream. Which, (no big surprise) doesn't do a damn thing to yield more auditions. Thank heavens for yoga and 5 mile runs, otherwise I'd be out of working shape with all the fro-yo and pasta I've had in the last week. Still, it is in these moments that I have to remember to just let go of the irrational fear that this train won't keep moving. I am not, in fact, back at "square one." I will have more opportunities; I will work again; my career will continue to climb. It may not seem like it now, but career -- and life -- will actually move on.
I tell you this not to depress you, but because I have vowed to show you what it's really like in the trenches. The Come Down is normal, and we all go through it. So if you're nearing the end of the run of your play or your film is wrapping, just know you may experience something similar. With love, let go of the past project. Let go of the fear of what the future may (or may not) hold. You may have to dig deep, Lord knows I certainly sometimes have to, but you too can push through and keep on fighting the good fight. There is always, without fail, something bigger and better on it's way.
Get excited for that.