I don’t know how far advanced psychologists are looking into post-performance depression, but if they are able to clinically diagnose women with post-bridal depression after their wedding, they can most certainly verify that this term exists...at least on my behalf.
Post-performance depression tends to hit me hard and lingers longer when I don’t have anything else in the pipeline.
What triggers it?
The only thing that makes sense to me is the level of enthusiasm and joy that is spilt so deep in my psyche, it releases an enormous amount of adrenaline...I don’t mess around with drugs and I hate how more than one glass of wine leaves me uncomfortably dehydrated - so the only “high” I feel I get is from adrenaline.
...Perhaps I’m an adrenaline junkie.
I know all projects, all journeys must come to an end, eventually, but what happens when it does? A dream cane true, a goal is achieved, now what?
When I crossed that finish line in every marathon I ran, yes there was a bit of sadness. But I was reminded the very next day that there are more marathons out there to explore.
...To be honest, I thought my days of pursuing acting were over.This twist and turn caught me by complete surprise.
The adrenaline started from the very beginning when I received a last minute audition notice on the way to Sedona and thank God my husband planned to bring his professional camera equipment. But once we got to the hotel, it was late in the night, it was poorly lit and we had to rearrange the room to make my audition look somewhat professional. With very limited lighting and my husband reading lines, operating the camera and holding the boom - we managed to pull it off in the nick of time.
I was shocked when I found out I made the final callback, but there was no time to sit and bask in it. I had 3 different scenes that I needed to memorize within the next 48 hours.
The callback ended, I know I did my best, but thought there was no way I ws getting the role. I thought I was too young.
Then the biggest surprise was the dream come true of landing it. I took a moment to celebrate, but then it became all about the contract and getting the script in my hand before my last minute trip to Texas.
Then came the rehearsals infiltrating into filming. The stakes were at their highest when I was so stressed about making sure I would deliver high quality work.
Through the days of filming, magic happened, a family was formed, a learning experience took over. I had a massive headache and given that I was establishing the first shot of day 1 in filming - I felt my skills (or lack of) could either make or break the energy of work flow for the entire day.
The pressure was on and my head was about to explode and I loved it.
As noon rolled around, I realized that filming was transitioning smoothly from one scene to the next. By this time, I had let go of all expectations and completely fell into the mercy of the director. This sent me into a zone of the unknown. When auditioning, I had full control over bringing character choices to life. Now, in order to bring those choices to life to the extent where it is compatible with the storyline, I had to completely surrender my emotional awareness over to the director...a new frightening and liberating experience I always hoped I would have one day.
Cast and crew electrified the set with good vibes and energy. Like Ethan, my former co-star (who plays my son) once said, “I wish we could report to work here for months!”It was hard to swallow when it sunk in that our days together were coming to an end.
I thought I was going to be okay. I really did. I thought I was going to dodge the post-performance depression bullet by watching all the footage I have of us on set while finishing my blogs. But once those blogs were finished, down came the rain.
The marathon was over.
And unlike crossing the finish line as a runner, (anticipating the next race) as an actress, I don’t know when my next race will be or where I’ll go.
All I know is, the adrenaline has subsided and I’m feeling down. I know I have a lot to look forward to with the holidays coming up, but right now, all I can think about is how much work it’s going to be figuring out the turkey order and piecing together a menu, while researching what my husband and I are going to do for my birthday.
I know I need to take it one day at a time....but I can’t help but feel the harsh reality how everything I’ve just experienced are rare reminders of what it’s like to be in my element and feel that inner spark that I‘ve left unlit more times than I’m willing to admit in this post.
I hope that one day, I will get to a place where that spark is alive and channeled, regularly.
I’ve needed to pay the bills along the way and as an adult who’s had to work a stable job to earn her keep - I’m hoping that one day something will come out of the hours I’ve put into my education, the time I put into writing my own material, the moments where I lie awake at night trying to figure out my next stepping stone.
Every stepping stone is a moment rejoiced as I step onto that solid foundation, revealing that a finish line is crossed and the hard work payed off. At the same time, it becomes a gravestone for a dream that was once alive and must now lie to rest in order to take the next step up.