Getting over a show is like getting over a cherished lover.
The relationship starts out imperceptibly. You’re just reading the script and doing research, nothing more. You’re quite critical of it in the beginning, finding faults easily. Every now and again you realize that you’re thinking more about the topic of the show than about your loving family, but you tell yourself that’s normal. You’re working on a show! You’re supposed to be thinking about it!
Then you hold auditions. The characters you’ve been picturing in your head gain real shape, real voices, real feelings. You’re giddy with excitement! You feel a connection, definitely useful for the task at hand. It’s as if everything is in black and white and the actors that you end up casting are in color.
Rehearsals!!! You actually manage to maintain your professionalism through the first couple of weeks. Rehearsals are work, and nothing more. You are doing your job. But after a while you finally admit to yourself that it has happened. You fell in love with the show. You count the minutes until you can go back to the theater, to your love.
This love is not sudden. Over the weeks of rehearsals, it has been growing steadily. This love is not ardent. You take it one day at a time, enjoy every small interaction, relax into each scene. But you fell deep, and you don’t fight it. It engulfs you, like the petals of a tulip closing up around you tenderly. You can’t stop thinking about it. This love is obsessive.
The weeks that follow are at the same time a blur, and the most focused you have ever been. In addition to being in love with it, you’re very good at what you do, so the show and the actors reward you for it. Your love is requited. Bliss…
When opening night comes around, somehow you think that this will be the culmination of all the hard work, all the love that you have poured into it. The climax of your love affair… But it’s not. Because opening night is the moment when the show gives you a last passionate kiss, a sad superior smile, and then turns away dashingly to go cheat on you with the audience. And the actors. And the stage manager. And the crew. Whore.
So you smile sadly and superiorly back and start the process of getting over the show. You try to keep busy around the house, but you find a million reasons to look at the poster one more time, or check Facebook for any activity related to the show. You go back to the theater to see it again, all dolled up and brilliant. It looks good, better than when you last saw it, and you feel proud. And you miss it. With time, of course, it gets easier. But you have given it a part of you that you will never get back.
And you miss it.