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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 [livejournal.com profile] tooth_and_claw 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!

Peachy

Feb. 1st, 2011 08:37 am
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Got to a bit of a rough start this morning; got to a rough end last night, in fact.  Nothing major, just grumblyness about people cooking in the kitchen until after 10 when it's my night to clean it.  I hate frittering at the best of times.  Frittering to clean just stinks.

I also pulled Gawtcha last night as my guide for today, which made me immediately go 'oh shit!'.  No taking the car out in case I get pulled over, or I get a flat tire, or it breaks in some other magical, meaningful way (not all magical meaning is good).  There is no greater fear for a devotee of Hermes than to have your mobility truncated.  Even worse is to have both your mobility and your finances affected.

So I went to bed anxious, and I had weird dreams about how I was staying with my parents in this huge mansion, but they were on vacation.  I invited a few friends over, and it ended up being a John Hughes-level high school party, complete with things breaking, naked guys passed out on my bed, messes being made… the works.  And I wandered around trying to figure out how to get all these people out and the place cleaned up before my parents got home.

So… rocky start.  But now I have peach juice, and things are looking up.  I have strong, positive associations with peach juice.  I first had it when I was 13, and I was living for a short time with my mom up here in Mountain View.  I think of that time as the time when I came out of my shell, grew up a bit.  My glasses were disposed of for contacts, I'm pretty sure my braces came off around then, too.  I got grown up clothes instead of the little onesie jumpsuits with purple hearts on the chest that my dad and stepmom insisted on buying me.  I got boobs.  I read my very first romance novel (Not sure I recall the title – Midnight Madness or something like that - but Slade Rockwell, alpha-male CEO of… something…  and Holly Holbrook, virgin-mistaken-for-whore secretary of Mr. Rockwell, will forever be burned into my memory).  I may have even gotten a friend or two.

And I associate all that with peach juice, because my mom used to buy it in these little bottles, and I had a dress the same peachy color as the juice.  The dress made me feel like a southern belle (there may have been a white hat that I wore with the ensemble).  I would wear it and drink my peach juice and I became a peach myself.  A woman, by which I mean an object to be desired and consumed.  At the time, this didn't strike me as a bad thing.

(I still have positive associations with consuming peaches, but in that dynamic, I am both the consumed and the consumer.  And… uh… suddenly this blog is turning PG-13)

At any wise, rocky hurdles crossed with the help of fond memories, I forge on into the day.

I may still decide to remain homebound.  Y'know… just in case.

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What do you do when you have an idea for a story that you're pretty sure right from the start is irredeemably bad?

I woke up this morning with such an idea.  I often wake up with ideas that I jot down - opening lines that go nowhere, titles that have no story attached, weird plots that make absolutely no sense five minutes later.  This isn't always a bad thing.  And The came out of a non-sensical dream plot.  But sometimes I think it can be bad, and today I struggled with wasting my time on a story that I don't think has any positive social or literary value.

The title is The Angel in the Walls, and the story is about a stereotypical, poorly-educated hick-child who hears voices.  He lives in an old church that (unbeknownst to him) has structural elements that pick up radio signals (a tired old trope if ever there was one).  He thinks 'Angels' are talking to him, telling him what God wants him to do and think, when really it's neo-conservative pundits on the radio, a'la Glen Beck or Sarah Palin.  After seeking guidance from his elders, who either shut him down as an imaginitive child or tell him that obedience to God is absolute (apparently, nobody in my story has heard of schizophrenia, or the tired trope of metal structures and dentistry picking up radio signals), the kid takes daddy's gun and, per Angelic instruction, goes off to shoot a local big-wig. 

So.  Like I said.  Irredeemable.  I'm embarrassed even writing that last paragraph.  It's dismissive of the nuances of human experience and perspective (crazy, backhills hicks!  Crazy neo-cons!  Crazy everyone-who-doesn't-think-like-me!).  It hits several tired tropes and does nothing new or interesting with them (I kilt him cuz the dawg tol' me to!), and it exploits a recent, real-world tragedy without (again) offering any kind of enrichment, enlightenment, or new perspective.

What do you do when the Angels in the Walls talk to you and tell you to write a story like this?  You wake up and think it through, and realize that not everything that comes out of your dreaming brain is gold or can be turned into gold.  You bring out the guy with the broom and the white coveralls, and you tell him to sweep that junk down into the pit for the big purple Dune Worms to eat up and make into creativity compost  (that's a whole other post, my purple-Dune-worm fear compost post).

Good.  I no longer feel conflicted about whether I should waste time pursuing that idea. Thank you, internets.

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