Monday, March 12, 2007

Performance Anxiety

This past weekend, A Prairie Home Companion aired a show compiling clips from past episodes featuring opera singers. One particularly humorous clip featured a singer detailing a recurring dream whereby she was informed that she was late to a performance, shuttled by helicopter to the theater, rushed through all the pre-show preparations, and thrown on stage, all without ever knowing what opera she was supposed to perform that evening.

I'm no opera singer, but I've gotta say, that story sounded an awful lot to me like dreams I've often had over the years. I used to be fairly involved in both drama and in chorus. Although I've detailed some of my drama experience at Montreat (I've also done drama elsewhere, including an internship where my job was to incorporate drama into worship), I've barely mentioned my choir experience (except for a brief mention of how I had to miss the lion's share of a tour, when I was largely talking about something entirely different). I've had a number of dreams in both contexts where I've been in the middle of a performance, with no idea what I was supposed to be performing! It's quite unnerving.

Do all people with performance backgrounds have these kinds of anxiety dreams? I'm not sure, but it definitely allowed me to resonate with the sketch on the radio this weekend.

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