This morning, I had a strange dream. What with attending a couple of recent song performances given by GodDaughter2, my subconscious somehow persuaded itself that I was also having to do some singing, in front of a similarly discerning audience. But of course I had no idea what I was supposed to be singing. Also, my singing is ridiculous, and it has been ever since my voice broke. Nobody sane would gather into an audience to hear it. Nevertheless, there I was, on a stage, waiting to perform, with three other actual singers, totally clueless. So far so ordinary. A classic unrehearsed performance anxiety nightmare.
At this point, however, a slightly more conscious layer of my subconscious deduced, in an actually quite relaxed manner, that this was an unrehearsed performance anxiety nightmare. At which point, it told me to look the audience straight in their eyes, and I said words to the following effect: “This performance may seem like it’s going to be a dream for you, but actually, it’s really a nightmare. My nightmare. And I’m not having it. I’m not going to do any performing, and I am not going to feel bad about this. I’m out of here.” And I was. I left the stage, and all those present just had to deal with it.
At this point it got strange. Instead of me waking up, the dream carried right on. The media decided to take an interest. There were TV crews interviewing the other performers, the ones who had actually been doing some rehearsing. What was that about? Who was that bloke? It was quite a drama. As it would be, if a performer made a speech like the one my subconscious and I had just made. I tried to hide behind a door in the room where all this media frenzy was unfolding, but the media spotted me and advanced towards me. Only then did I wake up.
What did this mean? What was my subconscious telling me? The usual unrehearsed performance anxiety nightmare seems to say: rehearse better. This revised version seemed to say: relax. But relax about what, exactly?
They say that if you have a weird dream, then if you just write it down, as best you can, or, if you are the picture-drawing sort, if you draw yourself a picture, then whatever message your brain was trying to get noticed in another part of itself is from then on regarded as having been noticed, and the weird dream does not return. What matters is not the accuracy and quality of what you write or draw. Simply making the effort is enough.
It feels to me like this was something to do with getting old. Getting old means that you just get less bothered about things generally, and unrehearsed performance anxiety nightmares in particular. Time was when you worried about such things. Now, you just bugger off out of there. If others object, that’s their problem.
Also, if you think this is a bizarre blog posting, … well, you know, ditto.