Not all of my anxiety dreams are performance based, but many of them are: I'll dream I haven't warmed up before a recital or musical, or that I've forgotten all of my lines, or that my costume doesn't fit and I have to be on stage in minutes, that sort of thing. But last night I had the most ridiculous anxiety dream I've had in years.
I dreamt that I was in some sort of play like "Steel Magnolias -- not actual "Steel Magnolias," but some kind of a rip off. I was playing a middle aged southern lady (of course), but it was a fairly small role, and I was finished with my scenes when the dream began. Now, the play was terrible. Worse than many community theatre productions I've seen: actors dropping lines, ignoring blocking, awful wooden delivery. The director comes up to me backstage and says, "We've put that scene back in, you're on in 2 minutes."
Here's where it's a typical anxiety dream. I grab the stage manager's working script, but she has it on the wrong page and I can't find the cut scene. We hadn't rehearsed it since the first week, and I can barely remember what it's about, let alone what the lines were. Then the director says, "We also combined the characters of your husband and your dog."
But I only ask, "So which is the scene about?"
"Rusty," she says. My hazy dream mind understands that Rusty is the dog.
Someone shoves me out onstage. There are no other actors there, and in horror I wonder, "Wait! Is this scene a monologue?" And then I see the prop. There is a dead dog prop on the floor. I decide, almost as if I am honoring the words of every acting teacher everywhere, to Make a Bold Choice. I decide that I am going to give this audience the best grief hysterics they've ever seen, and I'm going to keep doing it until the lights dim for the scene change. So I start screaming, "Rusty! Nooooooooooo!" and sobbing and fall to my knees before the prop. Someone backstage realizes that I am not going to speak beyond that, and instead of getting on with it and moving to the next scene (which protocol demands they should do in such a disaster), someone backstage starts narrating the monologue I should have performed, like a voiceover for my grief hysterics -- which I do not stop doing. They never dim the lights at all, even when the narration ends. I finally realize that actors are filling up the stage for the next scene while I am still crying over the prop. So I pick it up, and march off stage with it, crooning, "Rusty, oh my poor Rusty!"
A dude intercepts me as I am taking the dog to the prop table and says, "That was amazing!"
I simply reply, "That was the worst thing I have ever done onstage, and I wish I had never been born."
And then I woke up. Seems like my subconscious mind made its own Bold Choice last night.
#Dreams #AnxietyDreams #MakeABoldChoice