Coming Down

Drew Lane talks about the feeling we all know and hate: the post-show blues. 
Coming DownI’ve just finished playing lead piano in a production – the season is over, the crowds have gone home, bump out has been undertaken, and the cast party has all wrapped up.  I’m sitting at home, on a Monday night, watching something random on TV, feeling slightly depressed, and wondering why I don’t recognize any of the shows on the television.

Oh, that’s right.  Monday was my rehearsal night.  And I have no rehearsals to go to.

I suddenly realize that my crappy mood today has been a precursor to this evening, the first of a couple.

Yes, I’m coming down.

Doing a show is like being on a high (no, I didn’t say “being high”, but “being on a high” – there’s a difference!). There’s excitement of working with great people, the smell of the greasepaint, the cheer of the crowd, the energy of the actors on stage, the synergy of the musicians and the conductor, and the collaborative exuberance of the whole damn thing. Plus we had a sold out season – even the matinee was sold out!

And now …

I miss the rehearsals. I miss the people in the cast and crew.  I miss thumping my way through the score.  I miss bouncing weird stuff off the people around me.  Yep, I miss all of it, and all of the people.  But most of all, I miss how it feels.

It’s a hard thing that all of us deal with. When the crowd have gone and the lights have faded, and the whole process is a memory, how do you return to “normality”? Many will jump back on the merry-go-round of doing another show, desperately trying to avoid any “coming down”. Others will revisit the show they’ve just done by playing the soundtrack in their car, watching the DVD (if they have it!), catching up with the cast, or even randomly reciting lines from the show (I got caught out doing that on Sunday …)  And then others will get the blues – a sad look in their eyes, a whimper in their heart, and a feeling of “lost-ness” that they simply can’t put their finger on.

Me?  I’m a bit of the last two categories. I need a little downtime before I launch back into another show (plus, I like sleep just a little too much!).

The point of telling you all this? Well, it’s always nice to know that you’re not the only one going through it all. And it’s a way of getting it out of my system a bit. And hell, it’s my blog, so I guess I can write what I feel like! *grins*


But all joking aside, coming down is hard, no matter how you look at it. Why? Because doing theatre is exciting, and we do it because we love it. The cast and crew become our family and, as my wife recently said, it’s always hard to let your family go.

Photo courtesy of: sffoghorn


Drew Lane

Andrew “Drew” Lane was born in Melbourne, and began playing piano at the age of four. At age 15, he began to write his own material, and was also introduced to musical theatre via shows such as Starlight Express, Les Miserables and Time. From that moment on, Drew was actively involved in musical theatre at a rehearsal pianist, musical director, or on stage performer. In 1992, Drew composed his first musical for high school, Back Streets, and in 1994, Drew was accepted into the Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts, where he honed his skills, not only as a composer, but also as a performer. Gaining valuable experience on stage and behind the scenes helped him to realise his next musical, Atlantis. A workshop production was staged for the Ballarat Opera Festival in 1996 and gained rave reviews. In the following years, Drew took up teaching but was also able to regularly composer and stage his own productions including Eva’s Wish (1997, Anacortes, WA, USA), Revelations (1998, Touring, Victoria, Australia), and Toys (1999, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia). In 2010, Drew's musical Marking Life was chosen to be part of the Festival of Broadway, hosted by the University of Tasmania, and was performed for Steven Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin). A prolific composer, Drew hopes to be able to take his musicals to Off-Broadway or the West End, and believes that his best writing is yet to come. He is presently completing his Master’s degree in Performing Arts, and has several new musicals presently in development. Drew is proud to be a regular contributor to and looks forward to hearing from all of his readers!

Drew Lane

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