A lot of people have asked me what it’s really like to be a working actor… What the most difficult part is… I’ve been invited to grad schools and colleges to answer questions from students about that very thing… And while I always give truthful answers: Unemployment. Uncreative people. Uncertainty. The shear madness. The lack of control. The unknowing. The waiting… The waiting… The waiting… The one part I always seem to forget about mentioning are the nightmares… Stress dreams.
Last night I woke up at 2 AM stressed, screaming at the top of my lungs, at least in my dream… “It’s not a hobby! It’s not a hobby!”
In my dream I had been on the set of the continuous, non-stop, five-season, one-night live broadcast of Breaking Bad. However, some where along the way, someone in production forgot to tell my agents about the project until the last minute, and somehow my agency forgot to tell me much information about it.
In my dream all I was told was there was a reunion of sorts of all the cast members from Breaking Bad, and where and when to show up… No one along the line told me that it was a re-creation of the entire series, being broadcast on LIVE TV that very night… No one told me I was supposed to come already dressed in wardrobe… And no one told me, there were additional scenes put in, scenes that had been cut from the original shooting schedule, or scenes that Vince thought would be interesting to see done LIVE.
So, not only did I have no clue what my lines were, but there were complete scenes that I had no knowledge of at all… Apparently (in my dream) a scene which had been previously cut was Clovis (my character) in a therapy room with a bunch of recovering addicts, including Jesse Pinkman… Well, in this dream, I had no idea I was in that scene, and supposed to be across town in that scene when it was filming…
Oh yeah, part of the weirdness of this dream was not only were they filming all five-seasons of shows, in one night, continually… With effects and costumes… A challenge that Bryan Cranston was looking forward too… But the show was being shot in all the original locations around Albuquerque, New Mexico… And some of those newly added scenes, would help costume changes and getting the stars across town, factoring in traffic…
Yet for some reason, as one of the non-leads, I was required to get myself to each and every location… And again, I wasn’t given any information… No map. No script. No times. No locations. I was just supposed to know.
In retrospect, in my nightmare, while the show was being shot, it seemed that the 2nd 2nd, the 2nd AD, and the 1st AD, had plenty of time to follow me around and yell at me… When they disclosed how a producer wanted to talk to me after the shoot, because I was unprofessional in not knowing all my lines and not being in all the right places… The 1st AD accused of being a hobbyist!
Again, in this nightmare no one ever offered any information to what scene was being shot next, or where in the city of Albuquerque scenes were being shot… In this nightmare, it just seemed that there were a plethora of people just watching me f*** up over and over, and over.
The last thing I remember from the nightmare is taking a huge set of keys they had given me… I guess to various cars I was supposed to drive, and doors I was supposed to open… And throwing them down the block in a fit of rage… “I’m not a hobbyist! This is not a hobby! This is not a hobby!”
Blame, blame, blame was putting being put on me in Bizarre-ville.
At one point, before the key throwing tirade, a line-producer chewed me out, on how I was letting the entire Breaking Bad enterprise down… “Don’t you know you were one of the surviving characters from Breaking Bad… One of the only characters who had dealings with Heisenberg who lived????!!!”… This just moments before he disclosed the new top secret idea for the spin-off, futuristic series post Walter White’s death…
I can’t remember the word on the poster board of the series title, but… it was no less absurd then the rest of the dream… Okay, now after writing this out, now I remember why I don’t disclose this information to students in assembly halls… Cuckoo.
Okay, now I have to shower and do my final-prep for a film audition, reading for two characters… An audition, that somehow I missed initially on my phone on Friday night while enjoy time away at Big Bear Lake, and didn’t find out the information about it till late on Saturday Night.
BTW… I wrote this hoping that my panicked, crazy-mind-filled, stressful dream, adds a smile and a little enjoyment to your own stress filled week! Feel free to share any stress dreams of your own in the comment section.
– Quiche Out
PS. If you want to read a brilliantly written piece on another’s actor’s nightmare… Read Christopher Durang’s play… The Actor’s Nightmare. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Actor%27s_Nightmare