pre-show nightmares

it ain’t pretty

The weather has turned cold. This has made for an interesting new morning ritual. Whoever has to go to work makes a lot of noise and bangs things a lot, while the one who gets to sleep in makes a lot of mouth-smacking-I’m-in-the-middle-of-beautiful-slumber noises. Then the one awake and half-dressed glares at the one in the blanket coccoon and grumbles. The one in bed says, “What time is it?” The other one replies, “Early.”

“Well, how much time do I have left to sleep?”

“A while. I set the alarm for you.”

“Sweet,” says the other, and returns to warm fuzzy dreams.

Yesterday, I was the larva. This morning, it was Eric.

So this is the time of a show’s run that I start getting nightmares about the show. See, tonight and tomorrow night are the last times we can put this sketch show in front of an audience. If they don’t like it, on Wednesday we will do an improv show instead of the sketch show that we’ve all worked so hard on. It will be as if we are resting on our last audition instead of doing a second audition. Because if the show isn’t better than the last one they saw, we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot. If it is improv, it doesn’t even count as a second audition.

Lately, as I’ve mentioned before, we haven’t been getting big houses. We’ve been dropped off the advertising in the paper. I don’t know why. We’re trying to fix it, but it may be too late for this week. So if we get five people tonight, that’s not a good test of the show. A lot of our humor people only feel comfortable laughing at if everyone is laughing, so when there’s only a couple of folks out there, they get all self-conscious, and they don’t laugh very much.

And if we don’t have a house to test it in front of, it’s not going up next week.

And all that work will have been for nothing.


So last night I started getting the nightmares.

I dreamed that I got in a car wreck on my way to the show.

I dreamed that someone moved the theatre the night before, and we had no place to perform.

I dreamed that someone switched my body with Eric’s, and I had to go and do his play, and he had to do mine…

I dreamed that I was in another show altogether, but it was supposed to be our show, but it wasn’t our show, and instead we were re-enacting Madonna’s Open Your Heart video, and it was the worst piece of shit ever, and at the end when I’m taking my bow, I fly away, and I couldn’t get back down to the ground, but I didn’t want to come down because I knew I had just subjected hundreds of people to the worst piece of theatre ever.

I dreamed that I forgot all of my props somewhere, and no one else noticed that I was performing naked.

I dreamed that I got the flu and couldn’t perform.

I dreamed that everyone else got the flu, and I had to do the show by myself, and I was trying to do our eight person sketch all by myself.

I dreamed that my only other cast member was Alf.

I dreamed that whenever I opened my mouth I could only say, “Yanni rules.”

So I’m a little nervous about what is going to happen tonight. I hope we get an audience.

Rehearsal went really well last night. I think everyone is excited about the show. That’s good.

Last night someone asked me if the show was going to be good and I said, “It’s up to them.” And he was like, “Oh, excuse me. Wow. ‘It’s up to them.’” And I said, “No, really, when you direct something, there’s a point where it isn’t yours anymore. Well, usually that’s like opening night or something, but we’ve worked so much on this, it’s sort of now their show. Usually you hand it over after the last rehearsal, but now all I’m doing is tinkering with it here and there. It’s their show.” And he still didn’t seem to understand. “For some reason,” I said, “sometimes a cast will just decide to do whatever they want, no matter how much you’ve worked something with them. It’s up to them if they want to do the show that I directed, or something else. I can’t force them to do what I see in my head. If they believe in it, they’ll do it. But I’m not going to stress about it.”

And then I went to my car and shook like crazy.

What if they don’t believe in it? What if they are just being nice but they are secretly meeting in private to re-arrange the show to how they really want it? What if they hate the way the show is, but it’s just too damn late to do anything about it, so they are just planning on doing that improv show on Wednesday?


And I realize that I’m just over stressing myself out. I know that. I’m aware of what I am doing to my gastrointestinal tract. These antibiotics that I’m on say that I can’t drink for ten days. TEN DAYS, people. That’s over Halloween. Last night everyone had a toast to a great show, and I had to toast with coffee. Oh, well. Here’s to good health, and all.

But I sure could use a good drink.

And a magic 8 ball that could tell me what’s going to happen for the next week.

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