- OnStage DC/LA Columnist
Whenever a show ends people always have that “post show slump” when they realize the stage is empty, the wings are clear, and the cast is gone. Whether you enjoyed the cast or not you still have spent months working with each other and now you probably won’t see most of them ever again. That can be very tough, especially if you’re like me and have over-attachment issues. When a show completes its run there is still so much energy flying around and no way to get rid of it. We can try to satisfy ourselves but nothing will let us reach the same satisfaction as performing.
When I finish a show it hits me harder than most people. I’m often asked why this happens to me and usually I just brush it off with an “I don’t know” or an “I guess I’m just emotional like that” but today I thought I’d share the real reason why with you. In retrospect this could have been just an angst-y Facebook post but OnStage is such a great outlet for people to read and discuss and I thought maybe there are others who feel the same way and are looking for something to relate to. God knows I’d love someone to say “exactly” or “I thought it was just” after reading this.
Anyway, the reason it hits me the way it does is simply this: I have nothing else. Theatre is all I’ve got. I don’t have a day job that I work at because I know I’ll never put as much into anything the way I do performing. I don’t have a big family where we can go on vacation or have family dinners every week. I don’t have friends that I hang out with every week or even once a month because I’m not good at opening up to people. Performing is what I do, when I’m not performing I’m scrolling through audition groups to see is there’s anything coming up soon to perform in. Theatre isn’t a hobby that I do in my free time; it’s what I do to survive. It’s like oxygen to me. I know that’s a cliché people use quite often but it’s completely true for me. Theatre is life.
I’m really good at being a character; I’m not good at being myself.
Of course I know that theatre is a hard business to pursue and there will be times, sometimes very long, where I won’t be performing/able to perform and I’ve accepted that. Believe me, I’ve accepted that. However I’d rather spend my life trying to do what I love and failing than living a life as a failure because I stopped trying. I also know at some point I’ve gotta find out who I am myself, without a script by my side but that’s not gonna happen overnight. Trust me, I’ve tried. The way I see it is that I’ve made a huge step today by opening up to you and telling you something about me that not even the people I consider my closest friends know. Progress is progress.
Thank you for listening to me and I hope there are people out there who know now that it’s not just them. That other people need the stage just as much as they do. That they’re not alone.