I prepare for a significant amount of time to be able to put on costumes, get up in front of people (the more the better!) and pretend to be someone else (or multiple people, sometimes) for about an average of two hours at a stretch, depending on the job.
It’s the preparation time that gives me the anxiety, especially if it’s a one-person piece like my adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” which, coincidentally, I’m opening at The Media Theatre in Media, PA on Sunday evening.
When I get this close to an opening of a show, things get a little hairy, and I’m really no good to anyone. I don’t sleep well, so I disturb my wife; I sometimes completely forget about appointments even though I have them in my calendar, so I upset my friends, my kids, and people I do business with; and I sort of wander around, lost in thought like Norstadt in “The Man Without A Face.”
I also have weird dreams like the one I had this morning…
It’s this coming Sunday, and it’s less than a half an hour before curtain on the opening performance of “A Christmas Carol.” I’ve decided that I need to go out and get something I forgot that I desperately need for the show. The thing is, I’m not sure what I’ve forgotten, I’m not sure where I’m going, and I’m riding around town peddling my guts out on a tiny tricycle I don’t recognize. It’s not even my color. I should have a red tricycle and this thing’s blue!
So I’m peddling around when I get a call from the stage manager.
“Hi! Yes. What’s up?”
“Well, it’s time.”
“Time for what?”
“Time for the show to start. You need to go on. There are people here and they’re getting restless.”
“Oh, jeeze, right! Yes! Uh, okay, I’ll be right there!”
“Where are you?”
“I’m not exactly sure. But I’m on a tricycle, so I’ll be just a few minutes. I’m on my way!”
And then I woke up.