Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I have PSD

And no, I don't mean a PhotoShop Document (although I have a few of those, too).

I mean Post Show Depression.

I'm quite familiar with it, although I haven't had this bad of a case in a long time. I've mostly warded it off this past year by being in rehearsals for a new show by the time the previous show ended. 5 times. But this sixth time...

Not only am I not currently in rehearsals, but I don't have an answer for the dreaded "What are you working on?" question. Heck, I don't even have an answer for "What's up next?"

Summer vacation? Time with my family? Summer camps galore?

All valid answers, but the not the answer that helps cure these blues.

I'm too busy this summer to be in anything that opens before September, and so I've watched audition after audition go by. Things I'd love to do.

Sure, I joke about rehab. And maybe in a way I do need it. Time to do the things I've neglected since last September, when I first began rehearsals in this daisy chain of shows. Time to refocus my energies, my life. I said to my husband the other night that maybe we could actually go on a date. "What's that?" he asked. (Fortunately The May Queen was quick with an answer. "That's when you go out and do something fun!" What a concept.)

But still... I miss being in the theatre. I miss the focus and the new ideas about my character. I miss the camaraderie of the cast. I miss this last show in particular. It was a great one to end on, but also a hard one to end on. Catherine is a character I feel I could have played for years. It was the best kind of work - continually challenging and rewarding. At the end of each show I felt like I had done well, but not that I had nailed it. I was never finished.

I still think about it daily. Mulling things over: moments and character history and specific wording. I have no need to. But it has become a part of me.

I put away my script today. Tattered and falling apart, I placed it on the bookshelf with so many other scripts. Scripts from productions gone by. Plays I hope to do some day. Things I was forced to read in college.

I put the play on the shelf.

And I wanted to cry.


Mary G said...

That kind of angst is not unique to the theatre, but I expect that the intensity of rehearsal and the adrenaline rush of the performance itself makes the withdrawal symptoms very severe. Cleaning house and all that are not good substitutes.
You probably badly need a rest and some fun, intermixed. I hope you get both and can relax a bit. (Some concept, hmm?)
And thanks, once more, for being the MM facilitator, on top of everything else you do.
There needs to be more than one May Queen, 'cause you deserve a crown too.

Mary Beth said...

I haven't done any dram/theater since high school, but I still remember the rush of adrenaline just before going on stage. It could easily get addictive and when the show is over, there's the natural let down. The good thing is there will be more in the future:)

Karen said...

oh, I can see how that happens. When I have none of my own working happening...well, all the things I love about love and mothering and friendship and family - they loose their shine a little bit, because I don't feel particularly anchored in who I am. I need it/want it/love it. I don't think there really is rehab for your life's passion, my friend.
The drier seasons are, hopefully & perhaps, just incubation periods for what is to come.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing the same thing right now. The orchestra season is over and I'm really missing all of it. August can't come soon enough. :(

Amelia said...

I recently read an article where it explained that the most common times for depression in people's life were the end of events that require much preparation: trips, parties, etc. I would guess that with theater that would be magnified because of the duration of the event and the adrenaline rush that comes with each show. And the camaraderie. It's easy to see how the daily and mundane would be a let down after that. I hope you pull through it soon.

kaye said...

(((hugs))) If it was me I'd take a few weeks just to wallow in my mysery :)

Ms. N said...

To me the end of each production was like the end of a relationship. I had to morn and rehash before I could fall in love again, but I always did. Eventually something I couldn't resist tickled my brain in just the right way and off we went on the wild ride. Be gentle with yourself. You need a little space.

Kyla said...

Aw! This makes me sad for you.

After I finish with a big load of classes I have a bit of a let down, too, I'm just so used to the frantic pace of life, the ALWAYS having something to work on...normal life is just unsettling!

Anonymous said...

Completely natural and understandable. But I am confident that your blues won't last long - you don't seem like the kind of person to dwell on the down side - especially with so much going on in your life.

The sharks are waiting for you!

Anonymous said...

finishing a large project (or several in a row) will do that to you. the best thing to do is continue to unwind, even if it feels unpleasant while you are doing it. in the end, it will feel right.

Jenn said...

Oh, the angst.

I'm so sorry; how odd it feels to place something on a shelf that is such a part of us.

You can come rehab with me if you'd like.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

That seems so completely understandable PM. I think you need a new 'routine' or new 'project' or just time and all will be well. Best wishes, your way.

Furrow said...

That sounds really rough. But how wonderful that you have such a passion that you feel lost without it.

flutter said...

Oh babe, that is a heartbreak, I know ((you))

Woman in a Window said...

It's who you are in such a large part. It's your creativity. That's not going to go away. You'll find a new outlet. You can't help yourself.

Hope you're feeling better.

No Mother Earth said...

Catherine is a truly great and complex character. It's perfectly normal that you miss her. But what a nice note to end on. September will come faster than you think.

Mad said...

I think this is why my husband is incapable of vacationing. The withdrawl is too great.