Saturday, January 5, 2019

Theater Dreams & Actor Nightmares

If you have ever fulfilled your dream of acting on stage, there's a good chance you have also experienced theater-themed nightmares.

I'm not a professional actor, but I do occasionally appear on stage at my local playhouse, and it seems whenever I am in the middle of the rehearsal process, I start having the usual actor's nightmare. There are many variations of this dream, but they all involve me about to go on stage for a production I haven't prepared for... Sometimes it's a familiar show, like Hamlet or Hamilton. (That's when my dream-self says, "Maybe I'll be able to wing it.") But often it's a never-performed show, and I have no idea what the heck is going on!

The last theater dream I had was so amusing and so vivid, I decided to make a little animated film about it and post it on Youtube.

(Can you tell I've been on vacation and have way too much time on my hands? Don't worry, that will all change when I go back to work on Monday.)

For me, as an amateur actor, the experience of being in the middle of a scene is very dream-like. I guess there's that deja-vu feeling because you have practiced the scene over and over again. It can be a bit surreal if I stop and think about it -- which is the last thing you'd want to do when you are performing for hundreds of people. Thinking too much is a great way to forget your next line!

There's also something dreamy about the theater space, especially in those moments before or after a show in which you are all alone... Like being out in the Quonset Hut prepping my lines...

Or getting lost in the prop attic...

I guess there's dreamy about the whole theater process. It starts with a playwright's imagination. Then a director, actors, and a whole team of dream-builders...

Dream-builders such as our amazing lighting-designers...

(Don't they look thrilled to be here???)

... our incredible set designer / set-builder...

(who also got dragged in to play a supporting character 
because Theatre desperately needs men!)

... the sensational stage crew...

(who also moonlights as our theater's phantom --- every playhouse needs one!)  

...and let's not forget the directors!

(The rumors are true: I had to sleep with one of them to get the part.) 

At our local playhouse, the Canyon Theatre Guild, we take dreams and bring them to life.

Are you involved in the Theatre? Professional? Amateur? School plays? Leave a comment or link to share your dream-like experiences on the stage.

(PS: I slept with the one on the right -- my wife!)

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