Who am I? : The Post Show Blues

Liz Chirico

  • OnStage Massachusetts Columnist

Post show blues are in full swing. Which I didn't expect given it was a dance show. The routine for this was so different from theater I naively thought the aftermath would be different too.

In the past they've faded as the next show, the next opportunity comes on the horizon. There's something achingly familiar and oddly comforting about the post show blues. Last year OnStage founder and fellow blogger, Chris, wrote about how to deal with the them. He talked about how the post-show blues mean it was a wonderful, transformative experience. Yup- totally on point. How, if you miss folks, you should reach out to them. I can pretty much guarantee I'll see the majority of these folks in September when dance begins again. (My fear of forgetting everything I've learned over the summer, however, is a topic for another post). And some of the women are already dear friends, meaning our conversations and outings will likely continue; though perhaps we’ll be less sweaty and slightly better dressed.

Embracing the break is something Chris mentioned that I’m having trouble wrapping my head around especially this time. I think what triggers the post show blues for many of us is that break and the unknown. Looking back on my 4 years in the performing world, there have been breaks. They've been needed- 2013 saw only about 8 weeks of me NOT rehearsing something so my hiatus was embraced. Last year, I had a wedding to focus on so it made sense to carefully select my shows. Now though there's nothing. An entire summer and more stretch ahead of me with no plan, no outlet in sight.

I think for many of us who perform be it theater, singing, dancing, it’s our release. We need it, we crave it like oxygen. It's when, for many of us, we can be wholly ourselves, let loose, escape into characters maybe we wish we were more like in real life. It's where we see progress, where hard work and dedication are rewarded in ways they might not be in other areas of life. In my job it’s hard to have quantifiable results that illicit praise from the higher ups, but I know if practice I'll learn the lines, hit the notes, perfect my pullback (still working on that one).

We all need to know we're doing something right, doing something well and when performing you have that feedback; in rehearsals it’s called director’s notes, at performances it's the applause. Maybe if life came with applause, our breaks would be more bearable.

I joke that I don't remember how my life was before I met my husband. The same goes for me pre-performing. How did I occupy my time without songs to sing and steps to dance? If I'm not on stage, if I'm not rehearsing- who am I?