Like most people, I have a standard anxiety dream that is usually composed of being later and later to something (often work). I can’t call in or otherwise notify people no matter how hard I try, and it’s usually due to either car trouble, or not having clothes to wear on my bottom half.
Sometimes, however, it’s the old standby of having a class or being in a show, and somehow having missed all the classes and/or rehearsals so that I don’t know jack about what is going on. That’s a fun one, too.
Last night, my brain whipped up the MOTHER of all anxiety dreams… and I totally KICKED ITS ASS!
I got a standing ovation at the end. Like… seriously.
So, it starts with me being cast as Audrey in a production of Little Shop of Horrors. Just for the record, this is one of those roles – like Martha, The Baker’s Wife, and Mrs. Lovett – that I’ve always wanted to play, and actually have the voice and range to pull off.
The problems start with the fact that I’m going on some trip, and I’ll miss the first few rehearsals and costume meetings. That’s fine with the director. So, I go on my trip, and when I return, either I came back late, or they moved up the date of the show. It’s opening night, and for some reason nobody thought to call me or to arrange an understudy.
No worries. I know the role, could play it in my sleep (this is completely true, as it turns out). So I rush in to get into costume. This is where problem number two crops up. The costumers put together a selection of *Barbie clothes* for me. No, seriously. It’s like the fat nightmare where nothing fits, which I’ve heard of but never had before. And all the other people in the show are too busy to help me, even though my opening cue has come and gone. So I run to the green room, where my good friend is hanging out, and she is the one person around who can give me a hand. She puts together this totally adorable, Audrey-appropriate outfit on the fly, complete with jewelry, and I run out to the wings… just as the scene is ending.
Well, there’s important information about Audrey and Seymour’s relationship that needs to get conveyed in that first scene. So as Mr. Mushnick and the Chordettes come offstage, I run on with the opening line of ‘Sorry I’m late’. I hear a few mutters from audience members who know the show, and I look down at my wrist – which doesn’t have a watch, but does have a gold snake-chain bracelet that can play as a watch from the stage – and say in a very Audrey way ‘Ooooh. I’m *really* late this time!’
The audience laughs, my Seymour runs with it, and I am off to a thorough, anxiety-butt-kicking start.
I proceed to go through a whole scene with Seymour, hitting all the salient points of that first scene – ‘Oh Seymour… after me?’ – and leaving the audience in stitches. My Seymour is played by an old friend of mine from my Penn Singer days. Akiva was Malvolio to my Feste, Neville Craven to my Mrs. Medlock. He was awesome, if something of a missed opportunity in the crush department (he was also a fellow Fox). And he totally had my back in the dream. We improvved our way through the scene, including a bunch of really adorable flirting and physical comedy (at one point I dump a glass of water on him because he fainted because of my charms. So it wasn’t in the original. Go with it. We did.)
I leave the stage for Seymour to sing to his Audrey Two, and we get a standing ovation.
And then I wake up.
Fuck you, Anxiety Dream!