Monday, September 23, 2013

Finding My Way Back to Dreamland 2

I had the weirdest dream after seeing a play last night. I think it's because I haven't seen a play in nearly a year. Yes, strange for a culture junkie like me, but after so many years of giving my sweat, tears, and blood and getting so little in return, I just began to feel like I was in some kind of sick abusive relationship and had to take a break. In my head I was writing a letter that went:
Dear Theater,  
I've loved you since I was five years old but I think it's time I face the fact that our relationship is largely unrequited. I know that you have a lot of other lovers and I've always tried to be open about our relationship. For a long time, it didn't matter to me as long as we were together, but frankly, I'm sick of being so neglected. Things just aren't the same between us anymore and I think we need to take a break. Especially since there seems to be something nice developing between me and your brother, Film. 
The fallout with theater has been going on for a while. Last year, I broke my record for least amount of support: I didn't get a single yes for any of the grants, residencies, or programs that I applied for. And I was already terribly burned out by doggedly trying to continue producing things despite the worst case of poverty I've endured my whole life, being evicted from my apartment, and the crashing end of a ten-year relationship. I pondered what Robert Patrick once said to me about quitting theater when it stopped being fun, which I used to think was so very sad, but finding myself at a new wrist-cutting low in stamina and self-esteem, I basically thought at the beginning of this year, Screw this elitist shit.

I did attempt to attend a sold-out reading; salt was added to my wounds when I was turned away despite knowing half a dozen people involved in it. And I went to one promenade theater piece that was eh. And somehow despite thinking I would take a break, I ended up working on three full productions this year. But last night was the first night that felt like I was stepping back into my old relationship with theater.

I was lured into going to a reading by Nancy Robillard, who directed a staged reading of SINCE AFRICA by Mia McCullough at Take Two, the double bill of theater and film that I produced for five years. She was directing another staged reading of the play for Red Fern with pretty much the same cast, plus Mia (who lives in Chicago) was in New York City. So I went with a bit of trepidation, but it was a really good reading and I said hello to everyone and was pleased that I had introduced Nancy to this brilliant play and it was getting another go-around in New York City.

Then this morning, I woke up remembering a vivid dream. Haven't had one since the last time I wrote about (not) dreaming.
I was in the basement of Theater for the New City, the way it looked back in the 1980s when I was a teenager and lived down there. I sat down and my cat, Isis Crisis, jumped into my lap. She looked emaciated and her white fur was matted and dull. I was rather aghast - not because she was DEAD - but because I realized that I had left her down in the basement 15 years ago and forgotten to feed her. I ran outside to buy some cat food and then went back down to the basement, but now I couldn't find her although I called and called. 
I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep,  still rather mortified that I had forgotten to feed Isis when I loved her so much. Turning the dream around fretfully in my mind, I fell back asleep and had an even weirder dream.
There was a huge escalator with hundreds of people slowly going down in a neat orderly line. Next to the escalator was a giant wavy slide that looked much more exciting. So I elected to go down on the slide, which at first was really fun. I laughed and threw my hands up in the air. But then the slide became a tunnel that narrowed to the point where I began to feel uncomfortably claustrophobic. A recorded voice informed me that I was in a tube going to an area where I would either be baked in a pie or deboned. I suddenly remembered that I had been here before and had somehow managed to get myself out. Two buttons appeared in front of me. One said PIE; the other said DEBONING. I remembered that the last time, I had pressed PIE and belatedly realized that the buttons were mislabeled when I was attacked with a set of knives. I had to kick and scream to get out of the machine - though I was hazy on all the details on how I had managed to survive. This time, I carefully managed to choose PIE. A big pie pan appeared that said LAY HERE with a picture of someone curled up like they were in Child Pose in yoga. I obeyed, wondering if I could stand being baked for an hour in a pie and how on earth I was going to escape.  
Apparently according to my subconscious, which seems to have a weird sense of humor, the fate of an artist is to be deboned or served in a pie. But now I'm forgetting to feed the kitty in the basement. Guess I better crack open a nice can of tuna...

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