Being a part of show is more than simply singing, dancing, and acting your heart out. It’s a time in which you are a part of a community that you actually belong to. Because of this, it’s only natural that once you are thrown back into your regular daily life, you’re going to feel a bit blue. However, there are many ways that you can deal with post-show depression. Keep reading to start the healing process. And before you know it, you’ll be ready to move on to the next show!
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1. Get together with your former cast mates.
Let’s face it – separation anxiety is a real thing! A big part of your post-show depression is likely related to the fact that you’re missing the people that you’re used to seeing. But the good news is that most of them are likely going through something similar. If you reached out and asked a few of them to hang out, you’ll most likely be met with a sigh of relief and an immediate meetup.
2. Get familiar with a new show.
If you were involved with a musical, you might be having a hard time thinking about listening to any music that doesn’t come from the beloved show that you were a part of. But it is important to do so! For the first day of post-show depression, it can be therapeutic to listen to the musical you were in. But once that day is over, it’s time to start researching and listening to some shows that you’ve yet to listen to!
3. Focus on something you have been neglecting.
Yes, being a part of a show is beautiful and exciting and full of magical moments. But it’s also grueling and beyond time consuming. You probably put something (or a few things) aside in order to give your show the attention it needed. Whether it was a hobby, exercise, chill time, or your relationships with family/friends, focus on the areas of your life that need attention.
4. Try meditation.
Sometimes the depression runs on a deeper level, meaning that something a little more intensive than ice cream or physical activity is required. Try out the Headspace app➝ and give meditation a whirl. There are different packs designed for different needs, even including one for change!
5. Talk about it.
It may be tempting to bottle up these feelings. But telling yourself that you aren’t allowed to be sad because there are people who are sadder is just as bad as telling yourself that you can’t be happy because there are people who are happier. Tell a good friend or close family member about your feelings. Explain what it’s like to be in a show and what it’s like to walk away from that.
6. Take care of yourself.
Now is a great time to focus on self care! Give yourself a nice bath. Drink lots of water. Get a full night’s sleep. Watch some TV. Treat yourself to some R&R, because after all of that hard work, you definitely deserve it.
7. Go to someone else’s show.
Practice love and kindness and support a friend’s show. And as you’re watching, allow yourself to feel utterly happy for those who are involved. This is a good thing to do about a week or two after your own show has ended. From here, allow yourself to be taken by the whole experience. You might just get the inspiration you need to move forward with a new project.
8. Check out a theatre podcast.
Distract yourself with a new interest or obsession! Podcasts are so “in” right now and there are so many great ones to choose from. This might even help fill the void of being surrounded by other thespians. And to help you get started, we made a list of great theatre podcasts that you should totally listen to!
9. Audition for another show.
After allowing yourself to feel and recover from those post-show emotions, it’s time to “get back on the horse”. Start auditioning for new shows, or applying to new positions in the theatre. Keep growing! Don’t let the depression win!
10. Understand that you aren’t alone.
Post-show depression might feel really strange and foreign to you, especially if it happens to be your first time dealing with it. But it’s important to realize that you are going through something totally normal. You are not alone, and you have the right to feel sad in this situation.
11. Enjoy it!
In the end, it’s important to realize that you are incredibly lucky to have had an experience that was so wonderful that it caused sadness when it was over. Think of all the happy moments. Feel the gratitude for being able to be a part of that community. And relish in that sadness, as it’s just an indicator of how incredibly amazing your life actually is.
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Have you ever had post-show depression?
What did you do to help yourself move forward? We’d love to hear all about your own process in the comments below. You just might make someone’s day a little bit brighter!
Author: Stacy Karyn
Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.