Post show depression. Post filming blues.
Or as I like to call it… The dreaded FILMING HANGOVER!!!
For months in advance you have prepared your character, studied the script until you knew it inside out, rehearsed and focused on your role. This is your chance to show what you are made of, to blow everyone away, and to shine like the star you know you were born to be!
During filming, the pressure is on- the schedule is tight. Every minute of every day is spent filming a scene or preparing for your next one. You don’t have time to think about anything or anyone else. It’s almost as though you’re in a little bubble and you forget the outside world even exists.
The cast and crew are no longer just ‘cast and crew’; they are now your filming family.
Everyone is so awesome and you are having the time of your life. Sure, things go wrong
(no film is without its hitches, right?) but you crack on, keeping each other upbeat with silly dances in between takes, and more innuendo than Carry On Camping.
You’re on an adrenaline high, and it’s a good job because the hours are long, and if you’re filming in the UK, let’s face it, it’s cold. No matter what season you film in, if you are filming- it’s freezing. You were due to wrap up at 6pm and it’s nearly 2am. Your body is tired but your brain is wide awake.
And then you hear those words…
“THAT’S A WRAP!”
YEEEESSSS!!! You did it. You made a film. You hug, high five and congratulate each other on being so awesome and everyone is excited about seeing the final product.
You go to bed but can’t sleep because you’re still buzzing from the amazing time you’ve had with such incredible people. It’s been an amazing journey!
You must have finally fallen asleep because you wake up with a jolt ‘what scenes are we filming today?’
Then you remember.
You wrapped up.
You don’t know what to do with yourself. You are confused. You feel lonely. Totally lost, and like you don’t know what your purpose is. You think back to filming. It was one of the best times of your life and you connected to your character so well… But now, it’s over?
The more you think back to the filming, the more you remember things that you should have done differently and you start to worry about what takes will make the final cut. Your joy is replaced with over-thinking, and why are you so emotional?
Well… What goes up must come down.
After the adrenaline high, you are likely to be feeling drained, weak and emotional.
You had no time to think about anything else and are now over-thinking things.
You’ve been safe in your little bubble with your filming family, and now you have to face the real world. Alone. OK, maybe not alone but no-one gets it like your filming family, you miss them already. You feel like something is missing and are hit by a sense of loss.
So, what now?
Should you go buy a tub of Pringles and binge watch films on Netflix until you are feeling better?
Here’s what to do to pick yourself up again.
- Let yourself feel any emotions. Don’t try and suppress them with food, alcohol, Netflix or anything else. Jjust allow them to come to the surface and deal with them as they come.
- Eat well and exercise. Often during hectic filming schedules, these things have been neglected. Get back on track and you’ll feel so much better about yourself!
- Do something that makes you feel great. Go for a walk, go to a kickboxing class, play uplifting music, sing or meet up with friends. Remind yourself that there is more to life than filming!
- Reflect on your film and answer the following.
What went well?
What could have been better?
How can I improve next time?
- Plan your next move. Re-visit your goals and decide on your next plan of action. Give yourself something else to focus on.
- Get involved in another project or create your own! Use what came up in your reflections to grow and be even better in your next project. Get excited about it!
And before you know it, you will have conquered the filming hangover and will be back to being a bad ass actor in no time. Ready for the next adventure!
You weren’t born to be ordinary… You were born to shine!
Eirian Cohen | “I help new actors to fly into the industry like silver bullets. What you believe, you will achieve” | Founder of Northern Star Acting and co-producer of ESG Media, LTD.
I think this is a great article. This is a very real thing that happens and I’ve heard many actors talk about it. Something that helps me is getting back into acting class. I have found an acting school that serves as my artistic home base, so whenever I finish a project I can go back there and start working again on something I love.