i am hounded by dreams of working in theatre. they are not aspirations of theatre work, but anxiety dreams, or the night time problem solving contemplation of a person that is completely absorbed by their work. (seriously, i once had a dream of gel coming to life and the sliced pieces angrily attacking me for having cut up hundreds of their brothers and sisters.) the problem being that i no longer do that work.
off and on i’ll still have dreams of taking tests in school and big high school games, but nothing has been as pervasive as these pesky theatre dreams. i’ve been here and working as an esl teacher for over three and a half years. only once, and only in the past week has this work seeped into my unconscious musing (that i can remember). i realize that i don’t live and breathe this work the way i did while working in theatre. i guess i’m just wondering what i’m still working on, unconsciously. i’ve passed it off to myself as being normal for my situation. i put a lot of life and love into my work, so it makes sense that i visit it often. . . but i still wonder- is it normal?
in the most recent installment my subconscious decided to play psychiatrist popping open a jar of my fears and winding my feelings of regret, failure, and loss up like spaghetti to serve them up on a mirror-like silver platter.
in the dream i was visiting friends that i once worked with. i walked around buildings, hallways, and offices. there were a number of people that i knew had left theatre and i tried to find them. specifically, i asked them if they still dreamed of working in theatre (and not the aspiration type dreams, but the dreams of someone still immersed in the work.) the problem i was running into was that i was walking around production offices. the obvious problem with asking all these people was that they still worked in theatre. only one person had quit for a while, but had returned to theatre. turned out i was walking around an amalgamation of SFO and Barter. news of a fire in the theatre circulated. i toured what was left of the theatre building. i saw more people that i knew. everyone was upset and discussing the work that was needed to rebuild the theatre. the walls and roof were gone. a section of stage floor was all that was left. i looked around and felt profoundly sad for the people working there. i felt sad for the historical loss, thinking back to the stories i heard of people before my time. the technical director brought me over to show me something. he explained that this one scorched area had been a lighting fixture. it was a permanent lighting fixture that i had fixed while working there. it wasn’t part of a show, but part of the building which gave it a sense of permanence. in that moment i reassigned everything i had worked on to this burned area. (in my morning haze, i wrote the dream down so as not to forget it. i called this spot the ‘vigil light.’ -i can’t imagine my morning mind conjuring the word ‘vigil’ so i think that must’ve been what i called it in the dream.) the technical director sympathetically explained that there was nothing left but a scorched spot and in order to build a new theatre, everything would be torn down to build from the ground up. my ‘mark’ along with so many others, would be erased.
seriously. who needs enemies with a subconscious like that?
me: “i’m sleepy”
subconscious: “i’d like to analyze your fears”
me: “errrr. . . no. . . . sleepy!”
subconscious: “let’s list people and their accomplishments by age 40 and see where you rank”
me: “michael fassbender’s steely gaze!. . . . jet boat across lake wakatipu!. . . . .fuzzy puppies!”
subconscious: dangling a frying pan like a clock pendulum “how about revisiting the biggest breakup of your life, i.e.- you from your job.”
me: pleading “how about a flying dream. you know, dodging clouds and sweeping over mountains.”
subconscious: “my house. . . my rules.”
me: “your house, your rules, my morning headache.”