What goes up must come down. Or does it? I am referring to that feeling that many performers have within a day or two after a show – the dreaded “Post-show Drop.” Some want to hide in a cave and hibernate, while others have to find things to keep them busy. Not all performers experience this, but upon my discussions with many of my musician and other theatre friends, they feel it. I feel it.
Adrenaline is a drug. It’s the feeling you can do anything! Your body responds in ways you didn’t think existed, and it’s an amazing feeling! Then the need for your body to create it suddenly stops, what’s there runs through your system, and your body relaxes. It is during this relaxation time that will determine if you drop “hard” or “soft.” It’s a roller coaster ride, for sure!
During the relaxation time, I find that certain things will drop me so hard I just want to crawl into my cave. Things like a disturbing phone call or a heated disagreement with a friend can make me shut down rather quickly. Then it can take days to return to normal. Depending on how “high” I was and how long it lasted (on tours, it can last several weeks straight with no break), it can take me several days to recover completely. I try to plan time after every show/tour for this as I learned I experience the dreaded drop. Eating healthy, sleeping properly, and exercise do help with the intensity. Once I figured this out about my own body, I learned how to deal with it. And most of the time, I just return to life as usual the next day with no repercussions.
Still, many musicians don’t know how to deal with it. One day you are famous and everyone wants to come to your shows; another day, no one remembers who you are. This happens to bands and performers all the time. Those who learn how to deal with it generally continue working successfully, while those who can’t deal with it turn to drugs or alcohol. Those tend to lead to disastrous endings. Just look at the celebrities who are in the tabloids for drug rehab or other strange incidents – they crave that fame and the “high” so much that they will do anything to have it again. Others become adrenaline junkies by driving fast cars, boats or planes, or even jumping out of those planes (I was a licensed skydiver for several years – been there, done that, don’t miss it.)
Maybe it’s the pursuit of happiness to which we as Americans believe we are entitled. But are we entitled to actual happiness, or merely the pursuit of it? I think it’s up to each individual to create their own happiness without blaming others for their life choices. Oh dear, I must avoid stepping on that soapbox now.