1. Expect pain.  Like a nausea, but also like a stabbing.  Then, a slight dulling of the sharpness of those sensations as the shock and numbness set in.
  2. Call or be with someone who loves and accepts you unconditionally and does not try to fix it but is just there.  In the absence of someone like that, someone who you know understands what you are feeling perfectly.  Say whatever the fuck you want, as many times as you want to this person. (know that you will get your chance to give the support back another time). You do not need to make sense, or be reasonable, or right.  Just talk.  Just spew.
  3. Expect your mind to race between sad thoughts, angry thoughts, defeated thoughts, self-recriminating thoughts and self-loving thoughts.  Included in this part are considering that the reviewers are right that your show is worthless and that you have nothing to offer an audience.  Let yourself float for a while in the rapidly shifting waters of these thoughts.  They will come anyway, so might as well surrender. Let yourself consider quitting.
  4. After your first round of racing thoughts has stilled, reach out for support from a wider group. Get your loved one to vet what you write in your facebook post—to make sure that you will not hate yourself the next day for what you wrote. (A big shout out to friends, fellow artists, and audience members/fans on facebook.  Thank you all SO. MUCH.)
  5. Let the wisdom, shared experiences, support and compliments, general and specific, sink in.  LET THEM SINK IN.  READ THEM TWICE.  THREE TIMES.
  6. Reconnect with why you made the show in the first place.  Reconnect with moments it has gone well.  Reconnect with the responsive audiences you have had.  Reconnect with the good of your work.  With the something of your work.
  7. Compose a new song or write a new piece.  As immediately as possible.  Or snuggle with your pet.  Or read something totally inspiring.
  8. Thank everyone who supported you.  Vow to totally be there for others who will go through the same excruciating experience down the road.
  9. Get ready for your next show, knowing that most people will feel like they have received something from you both as  you intended, and also in unpredictable ways.
  10. Remind yourself that putting something out into the world is super vulnerable and there will be people who do not like it, and do not like you.  Grow a new layer of skin you hyper-sensitive beauty!  Keep doing you.