There’s always something to closing a show. Whether it’s wrapping a film, closing night, or the end of the tour, there’s a combination of feelings that leave you a little drained the next morning, regardless of the experience you had doing the work, or the beverages you imbibed at the party the night before.
For me, I usually find that for the first week or so, I miss the routine and the people that make live performing so unique. I miss my role. I find myself mumbling lines from the play to myself in the checkout line at the supermarket, or to my family members. Your fellow actors, the crew, the theatre’s staff are all an everyday part of your life in a way that approaches family. You’ve made friends onstage and off. You’ve lived with another person (your character) for every minute of every day of rehearsal, through performance. Whether you admit to it or not, you miss them.
After that, regardless of whether or not I have a gig to look forward to, I wonder if that might have just been my last play/film. Rational or not, I always have the sinking feeling that my career might just be at an end with my last project. It’s a difficult business in which to persist. Those of you with ‘secure’ jobs, just try interviewing for a new job every couple weeks (or, often, more frequently), pile up a stack of rejections in hope that one interview will hit and you’ll be able to work for a couple months. Rinse and repeat. It transforms how you consider your future.
Then, there’s the fire and determination to get back in the saddle/on the boards/in front of the camera again. Ask nearly any working actor, and they’ll tell you to get out of the business unless it’s the ONLY thing you can do. An unquenchable thirst needs to exist to do the work of storytelling in theatre in order to make the sacrifices worth the time, the stress, the heartache, and the effort of making a life in the performing arts.
Here’s to the next project!