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The absence of the cool-down for actors following a theatre performance; the discussion is on-going but the gap remains
Theatre, Dance and Performance Training  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-09-28, DOI: 10.1080/19443927.2021.1915860
Christophoros Panoutsos

Professional actors learn and generally conduct warm-up processes, which prepare them for the demands of performance. However, they neither learn nor gradually develop post-performance cool-down practices, despite significant activation experienced; this absence is identified as a gap in the actor’s training and practice. During the post-performance phase, actors experience adrenaline rush, hot states (emotions) and visceral drives (hunger, thirst, pain or exhaustion), regularly and up to 8 times a week, for weeks or months at a time. Moreover, established cultural norms require the actors’ engagement in perpetual performance; the blending of artistic and social performance, which further exacerbates their considerable exertion, especially when combined with alcohol, rendering them exposed to disturbed sleep, alcohol dependency and burn-out. In the first part of this paper, the cool-down is located strictly as a post-performance phase, rather than therapy and distinguished from the de-role and the de-brief, whilst six cool-down processes reflected in literature are evaluated. The second part highlights the imbalance between the emerging academic interest in the cool-down and the lack of practice indicated in contemporary professional stage actors, suggesting that training environments could do more to incorporate the concept and practice of the post-performance cool-down for their actors.