When you're in a show, you have a lot of time to get to know your fellow cast mates. There's time between scenes, time before the shows begin, and time after the shows to chat. Last week we opened It's a Wonderful Life at Centerpoint Legacy Theatre in Centerville, Utah. Actors approach opening night differently. Some are anxious, some relaxed, all excited.
In a conversation I had with others in the show, some mentioned they actually dream about the show and about being on stage. I've done my share of shows, and I couldn't recall ever having a dream about a show, and if I did, I didn't remember it.
Last night changed that.
I actually dreamed about the latest show. It kind of freaked me out.
You know how dreams go. Details that seem so real and rational at the time, are confusing when recalled later. Here's what I remember about last night's dream. I was in a show--I can't say for sure it was the same show I'm now in, but it definitely could have been. Everyone back stage was getting after me because I kept forgetting the show, specifically, I kept missing my scenes. They got mad at me, telling me I should be on stage, but when I heard that, I was convinced I wasn't in that scene and shouldn't be on stage. They persisted and said I should. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what I was supposed to say when I went on stage.
"Where's your mailman costume?"
How did I know? I didn't even know there was a mailman in this version of It's a Wonderful Life (there isn't). I was so frustrated I couldn't remember any of my lines for the show to the point that I didn't even know what show we were doing.
If I wasn't having a dream, I would not worry about things like not knowing the lines to a show I didn't know or not being on stage when I wasn't supposed to be. But, because it was a dream, I didn't find fault in anyone by myself. I was convinced the only reason this play was a disaster was because of my age. I was just too old to do the show, to remember my lines, to remember the show at all.
I woke up frustrated at my inabilities. Of course, when reality reached my brain I realized--in real life--I wasn't missing lines or scene changes, I wasn't in the wrong play and I wasn't supposed to play a mailman. Glad it was a dream.