As much as I complained about the effort involved in getting to rehearsals for the recent Come Home concert at WNO, closing the performance this past weekend has made me feel kind of … empty. Basically, I’ve got the post-show blues, or post-show depression.
I don’t feel like I’m really depressed, but I definitely feel a sense of:
- being in the doldrums
- and my personal favorite, agita [yes, I was scoping out the thesauraus)
In her blogpost, Post-Show Depression: What It Is and How To Deal With It, Irish writer Rebecca Spelman identifies three reasons why it happens:
- You’re not used to having free time
- Your creative outlet is gone
- You miss your friendsc
I feel as though this pretty much describes the feeling I had at the very beginning of the pandemic, when all my performing dried up and I could no longer see people in person, including my students. Before we all had to quarantine, I was rushing from one thing into another, and maybe that wasn’t a good thing…
Perhaps doing this show, as much as I complained about it, reminded me of what it was like to be active and vibrant and engaged. And artistic.
And respected. I’m not feeling particularly respected in some other parts of my life right now, and doing a show of this caliber with a first-rate opera company was a reminder that I have done some fantastic things in my professional life, and I’m still being hired to do so.
Ms. Spelman suggests five ways to deal with the post-show blues:
Well, I’m still in my jammies, so I guess that counts. And honestly, closing a show is often when I do get sick because I haven’t had enough time to take care of myself.
- Keep in touch
There’s always social media! As awful as it can be, it helped me keep in touch with my opera friends even when I was far away and not singing anywhere.
- Catch up on other parts of your life
I’ve made my to-do list, and there are many things to be done, especially as the year comes to an end! (Which actually may be even more overwhelming)
- Have a creative outlet
I’m about to redecorate my whole house, starting with my studio! I’m currently deciding between two colors for three of the walls, and fourth for an accent wall. (I wonder if you can guess which colors I’m leaning toward – see picture below)
- Plan your next project
I guess this could also be a creative outlet, because now I can put some time into my next performance, a reprise of Ding-a-ling, I feel so Christmas-y for the Three Arts Club of Homeland on December 13. This promises to be a little different than the one I did at Germano’s – they’ve asked for some sacred music plus I suspect that some of the selections I did in a cabaret club might not fly in this venue (i.e., not doing “A lonely Jew” from South Park this time). And I’ll also be doing it with Will Zellhofer, instead of Michael Tan, so that’ll be new. But I’ve picked really great music and thrown in a couple of pieces that I think will be terrific!
And maybe I will audition for WNO in January. Not sure yet. I’m keeping my options open.
I’m feeling somewhat better already. Now off to look at this new music and plan my patter!
Have you ever had the post-show blues/ennui/malaise/agita? How did you get over it? Any pointers that you’d like to share in the comments? I’d love to hear how others deal with this situation.
Also – depression is serious. I’m not making light of it by saying, “go do laundry or decorate your room.” If you feel that you need help, talk to someone about it or contact SAMHSA at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) There are resources available to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.