Episode 487. The Actors’ Nightmares
”We’re deep in rehearsal for the world premiere of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged), which we open next week at the Folger Theatre in Washington, DC. And naturally, being this close to a major opening, the anxiety dreams known as “the actor’s nightmare” have begun to strike. Cast members Teddy Spencer, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor talk about the forms their nightmares take and share thoughts about audience engagement, the dangers of complacency, actual (as to opposed to imagined) actor nightmares, shout-outs to The Millionaire and the Bard, the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta Iolanthe, and the Bruce Dickinson, and how the nightmares can eventually (if temporarily) be shaken off. (Length 16:43)
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austin · April 18, 2016 at 9:24 am
Proof, if more were needed, that theatre is dangerous!
David Sanderson · April 16, 2016 at 12:31 pm
My nightmares have nothing to do with a real show. I show up backstage just to say hello to friends and give encouragement. The stage manager comes up to me and says I’m late. They rush to get me in a costume made for me. I’m saying I’m not in the show, but they insist I was cast. Then I’ll say I haven’t even read the script, let alone come to any rehearsals. They don’t care and get me ready to go on stage. That’s when I’ll wake with a start and just be drenched in sweat.
Also related to this episode, I did a community theater show when I was 14 years old where I fell ill with a super high fever half way through rehearsals. I had a non-speaking, rather minor part, so they left me in. I showed up for the last rehearsal feeling better. On show night my fever came back, but I did two performances with a 102 degree fever. Turned out I had mono and pneumonia, and I missed two months of school.