Once a show has finished, the “post-show blues” often hit students. This can have a number of symptoms, including obsessively quoting lines and song lyrics from the show, starting every story with “remember that time during the show,” missing their “show family,” wondering what to do with their suddenly very free calendar, and a general feeling of malaise, funk, or emptiness. These feelings are very normal and will probably affect every drama student at some point during their time in the drama department.
If your students are feeling the post-show blues, give them this list to review. Encourage them to complete the items on the list, and see how they feel afterwards. Teachers may find these tasks helpful as well – post-show blues aren’t limited to the students!
You’ve probably been go-go-go for a while now, between final rehearsals and performances. Now is the time to sit back and rest, and allow yourself to rejuvenate. Take care of your body and skin (especially after very strenuous shows, or shows using heavy makeup), eat some healthy food, drink lots of water, and nap. You need to keep your strength up – it’s common for students to get sick after a show, as they’ve been pushing themselves to the limit and their adrenaline has been on high gear.
Get caught up on any homework or assignments that you got behind on during show week. Go through your planner and get re-organized. Get caught up on your chores at home. Don’t necessarily jump right into another show right away. You may think it’s a good way to distract yourself from feeling lonely or bored without a show in your life, but it can lead to burnout. Your body and mind need to rest and get back to normal life.
Your family and friends outside the production have probably been very patient with you while you were busy doing the show. Spend some time doing something with them that’s unrelated to the production, and try not to talk too much about how much you miss your show.
Think about what you learned and what this production meant to you. Did you make new friends? Learn a new skill? Try a different aspect of theatre (for example, working backstage when you normally act)? Reflect on what you’ve learned – you may even want to write about the experience in your journal. Click the link below for a free list of journal prompts for your reflection.
Keep in touch with them. Send them an email or text message, or for goodness sake, pick up the phone and call them. If you’re really missing them, arrange a reunion – anything from a dinner out to a movie night to a simple backyard hangout. (Just make sure everyone is invited – it’s no fun to find out after the fact that only an exclusive few were invited to get together.)
Create a show scrapbook. Or upload your pictures to Facebook, share them on Instagram, or create a YouTube slideshow (set to songs from the show, of course). Oh, the memories!