Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Play's the Thing

I tried out a bereavement group yesterday. It went really well. As well as bereavement groups can go, I guess. Still, if there were a pedometer on my heart, it would have read well over 10,000 steps. I came home and did this:

Today I'm doing this:

because I feel guilty when I go up to my room and put a pillow over my head. I mean, my mom spends a lot of time in her room, and I think I should be around when she comes out. From this vantage point, I can see her immediately if she heads for the kitchen, so it's a chance to check in. I have a lap desk that makes it kind of comfortable to lie on my back and write. So yeah, here I am, flattened by I don't know what. I'm not actually sick, just...flattened.

I had an actor's nightmare last night although it's been years since I performed in a play.

I missed my entrance and heard the actors on stage making up lines and re-cuing me. I entered in my underwear instead of my costume and began improvising. It was sort of a plot to cover up my mistake  because it was my fault that I'd missed my entrance, but I wanted to make up an excuse about a stuck zipper in my costume. So we improved and got the scene back on track, all the while the three of us on stage were eyeballing one another with that actors' panic. When I exited I didn't have long backstage before my next entrance and I was so rattled that I really needed to look at a script so I could read over the next scene. I asked everyone if they had a copy and no one did. "I really need to see the scene in print before I go out there," I said. "I have to see it on paper." I said that over and over again to everyone, but all the other actors were off book and no one could help me.

At the end of yoga this morning, as I lay on the floor in savasana, it occurred to me that yeah, I would really love a glimpse of the next big scene in real life. What to say. Who'll be there. Do I stand, or sit on a pretty chair, or lie on the floor in a heap? What does my costume look like? Do I have any props? Is the play a tragedy or a comedy? Anyone? Does anyone have a copy of the script? I just need to see the words in print. I need to see it on paper. I promise I'll get up.  I won't miss my entrance.


Ms. Moon said...

I couldn't figure out that first picture. Were you putting a pillow over your mother's head?
Oh. Wait. That's just me.
Not that I DID that.
The actor's dream. You have absolutely figured it out. I, too, have those dreams except that mine are the nightmare of not even knowing what play I'm in. And yes, my costume is never right. And I can never find the script either.
You are brilliant.
If you find a script, let me know.

Elizabeth said...

Last night I dreamt that one of my good friends turned her back on me and walked away. I'm having lots of these dreams these days and need some answers myself. I don't have them for you, although I think at some point in your next role, drinks will be involved.

37paddington said...

why is it so hard for us to rest in the now? Maybe we've been so traumatized by past events we think we need to brace for the future. But of course the old cliche, all fear is future based and by focusing so hard on what's ahead we rob the present of it's sweetness or at least it's what is-ness. The thing that strikes me about your dream is your ability to improvise, and the presence of others onstage who help you. You are not alone. You have what it takes to meet whatever comes even if you cant peek at the script ahead of time. I'm talking to myself too. Hugs.