"Post-show depression" is not uncommon for myself, or any actor. After spending four months working with a cast, connected with characters, lost in another world, it can be hard to come back to reality. I find love is more natural on the stage. I'm so much more comfortable on the stage. Life is so much easier on the stage.
And then there comes the time to leave it all behind. And suddenly everything I've been working on for four months–the relationships I've worked to developed, the notes I've strived to hit, the accents I've perfected–is gone. As Prospero reflects in Shakespeare's The Tempest, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounding with a sleep." Many people link Prospero with Shakespeare himself in The Tempest (Shakespeare's final play), particularly in this monologue. Shakespeare spent his entire life creating illusions that disappear at the end of the final act. The magic of his plays exists not in the text we hold in our hands but in the life the actors bring to them, and that life is not tangible. At the end of the play, we are left with a few good memories that may eventually fade and some props for keepsakes. How can one not come out feeling depressed?
This show in particular is a hard one to let go of. It's a story about community and home, and being able to share this story with a group who I have found a home with was an incredible experience. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, In the Heights focuses on the Latino community in Washington Heights, New York. The playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda commented that it was one of the first plays where Latinos weren't portrayed as servants or in a gang, but in their relationships with each other. Everyone in the story dreams of getting out of the barrio and making something of themselves. Ultimately, they realize they have been home all along.