Post-show Malaise: Putting the Fun in Funk

Ah. Another show done. I’ve directed six shows in the past year:

Captivating Rhythms
How to Succeed…
Black Comedy

And a couple of staged readings.

I’m sad and I miss it when it’s over.

This week I’m recovering from the closing of Big, the Musical. I directed this wonderful, heartfelt, endearing, and rock-it-out musical with Dexter Community Players, at the Dexter Center for Performing Arts. It was BIG. It was funny. It was fresh, and fun, and a joy to create.

Can you relate to any parts of my post-show cyclothymia? I rise and fall, like the super-fun human roller coaster we created in Big for the carnival scene, up and down, between malaise and joy, exhaustion and energy, grief and relief.

By the way, being sad about a show being over is not exactly romantic, epitomized by a single, perfect glycerin tear on one’s cheek, smiling nostalgically at dressing room pix on Facebook. It’s more like vacillating between grouchy, happy, silly, elated, bawling, sleepwalking, skipping showers, squirt gun wars in the yard, cooking pots of chili, looking forward to getting to bed–upon rising, and holding your family close to fill your love cup and refill theirs every waking (and sleeping) moment. All in one day. Sometimes, in one hour.

On the one hand, I miss the stuffings out of every cast member and wonderful person who worked to help create Big.

On the other hand, I am sooooo enjoying being with my family. And chilling. And staying in pj’s all day.

Things that help:

  • date nights with Ben
  • playing chase and pillow fights with Logan and Paige
  • singing songs from Big, especially with Logan and Paige, kind of all day long
  • keeping caught up with dishes (it’s meditative, and I hum the songs from Big)
  • daydreaming about my next project(s)
  • announcing Guys and Dolls as the Fall show I am directing (catch us at Chelsea High, November 15-17)
  • word and number puzzles
  • watching movies
  • skipping Jazzercise
  • teaching private students
  • visiting everyone on Facebook
  • planning a DVD party to watch the show with the cast, crew, team and Big families
  • catching up on Glee, although I still am having trouble wrapping my mind around Cory Monteith’s death
  • scheduling lunch with friends
  • talking on the phone to my mom for more than five minutes at a time
  • getting ready for our trip to RE (Rethinking Everything Conference — we are presenting for the first time!)

Things that don’t help very much:

  • feeling like I ought to be productive every minute (Wow, directing takes–and gives!–an incredible amount of energy. It’s challenging to dial back to a lower idle.)
  • trying to clean and organize the whole house ASAP (um, it took weeks and months to get to this state; it’s going to take a while to restore it to sanity)
  • getting ready for a garage sale (yeah, that’s a whole production unto itself…maybe I’ll shelf that ’til September)

I cried, pretty hard, last Sunday, at our last show of Big. My beautiful red roses are drooping and drying. The signed picture from the cast is hanging prominently on my frig. My show t-shirt is in the wash, because I wore it for several days in a row upon receiving it. I wish I had an audio recording of our cast, to hear everyone’s beautiful voices on all of the songs, over and over.

I wouldn’t trade the sadness for anything, though. Because  it’s a by-product of having loved wholly and openly and shared my entire self in creating something really special, really memorable, really (forgive me) BIG. Just like everyone who helped create BIG. We all shared ourselves, took risks, committed one hundred percent, and are more connected, more whole, more filled with joyful memories, than before. We’ve changed since three months ago, when we embarked on this journey to create a really cool show together. We’ve discovered ourselves, each other, how to play HARD, and live and love and laugh a little (maybe a lot) better, a little (again, maybe a lot) more freely.

I can’t wait to do it again. xoxoxoxoxo

In the meantime, I’m breathing, relaxing, remembering, playing, reading, writing, kissing, singing, and being.

How about you?


  1. Todd St. George says:

    Great as always.

  2. I’ve been struggling to catch up with things at work and at home, then I’ll be going on vacation for over 2 weeks starting this Friday. This means I’ll probably miss a DVD party. I’m thinking about doing some private lessons with you, but probably later in the fall. Thanks for all the work and heart you put into Big.

  3. The number of shows you have been involved with is LEGENDARY, but it’s nice to know that we all share those feelings of sadness as we move on. Thanks, Carrie!

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