It’s been years since I’ve had the full-blown actor’s nightmare.
I awake on a picnic-strewn blanket in the center of a brightly lit stage behind a traditional proscenium in a 300 seat theater. Not only do I not know any of my lines, I do not even remember rehearsing with these people.
Early twentieth-century dress. Ah Wilderness!? Chekhov? But no, there is no improvising my way through this one. It is Shakespeare. Measure for Measure, Act II.
My blanket-mate has a copy of the text hidden in a book! But I can never find exactly where we are in the script.
As people stomp this way and that with their arguments, I realize maybe I am part of some director’s concept about the general public waiting to judge those who had down judgement from positions of power. So I start acting in that manner, a member of the jury. Until my blanket-mate suddenly stands up to become Isabella.
My turn to “enter” is coming but I still don’t know I am, until the action stops and people glare at me for missing my cue.
And then a loud demanding meow tells me I have missed my real cue and Nisa New is heralding certain death from starvation if I do not get up and put food in her bowl.
I awoke on a sweat-strewn blanket, feeling like I need eight hours sleep.
There are few dreams that stay with me. Some I remember from decades ago, including various renditions of the actor’s nightmare, going back to my teenage years.
One thought on “The Actor’s Nightmare”
Having recurring nightmares is like having PTSD flashbacks for future events (flashforwards?).