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by Darren Held

We had an awesome sketch comedy show over the weekend and I for one could not be sadder.

The first time I experienced “post-show letdown disorder” (PSLD) (what? it’s a real thing) was after our 2010 show Overexposed. That show was a killer in terms of pushing everyone (even Darren) WAY far out of their comfort zone with character monologues in costume and improv scenes. The next day, I couldn’t drag my ass out of bed. I kept crying for no reason. I called one of the girls who’d been in the show with me and she felt the same way, so I deduced that it was a sort of post-partum thing.

I’ve had PSLD to some extent after every big show since. Regular shows are fine, because there’s no real build-up before hand. But all the long form shows and now this sketch show have spawned an attack of PSLD.

It makes sense. Not to piss off the “I’m a mom and it’s the only job that matters” crowd, but whether your creation comes from your loins or your heart or your head, letting go of it hurts. For Sketchy People we had 6 weeks of writing, rehearsing and performing. Classes were running from 5:30 or 6 until 10:30 or so. Rehearsals went till midnight. People got together outside of class to rehearse. Darren worked with groups for hours. Basically, our lives revolved, if not entirely, then at least largely around preparing for the show.

Working that hard with folks is a bonding experience. It’s not like being at war with someone, but you do have to trust your partners. Everyone knows that for any scene (and the show as a whole) to work, each person has to do their job. So everyone pushes themselves to be the best they can be, and everyone learns to trust everyone else and step up and help each other out. You learn to rely on each other.

During the show, the 10 of us were crammed into a 6 foot by 8 foot space with no a/c. We ate pounds of Sweet Tarts and Bottle Caps and Cheez-its and drank a 12 pack of PBR from tiny, shot-glass-sized dixie cups. We were hot and exhausted and completely inappropriate, and it was maybe the most fun EVER.

And then, it’s just over. Done. The shows were huge hits, and it was great fun making people laugh with what we created, but it was somewhat anticlimactic after all that went into it. And now these people who have been your constant companions for the past few weeks go back to their regular lives and there’s just a big hole where they and your joint creation used to be.

But we have our inside jokes, and our new and/or improved friendships, and the great memories of starting with not even ONE WORD of dialogue and creating 11 friggin’ awesome sketches that entertained the hell out of folks. And we know that there’ll always be another show.

As much as we might want it to be just like this one, it won’t. But that’s okay, because it will generate its own inside jokes, friendships and memories… and its own bout of PSLD.

To Aimee, Beth, Bob, Darren, Kendra, Lisa, Richard B, Richard M, Viet and Walt: Thank you for being funny, inappropriate and amazing. I love you all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ma listen to the show soundtrack and weep.

By Sonnjea Blackwell

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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