It can be exhausting being an imaginator... You are getting ready for your day ahead, you are in the shower and you start to imagine a scenario of a meeting or a telephone call that may or may not happen later in the day. Your mind begins to go and then suddenly your body is on auto-pilot performing whatever mindless duty is at hand while you begin to play all the roles involved in your pretend scenario. You play out the whole scene in your mind, and even start to get really invested in why the "person" you are "talking" with just "responded" in a way that was not what you "hoped." ...Do all actors do this? Do normal folks? Is this going to get me locked up? I'll tell you right now I am not taking the meds...
Ok so how about this one...You are driving in your car or say you are riding the bus or the subway. Suddenly you get short of breathe and for one brief moment you have a flash of real terror because you imagine that an accident is about to take place. The driver in the car next to you is wanting to get over, you can just feel it...or the car next to the bus is just a little too close to your lane and that driver isn't even aware of it...or that girl on the subway is just about to snap (you can see it in her eyes) because she has had a really terrible day at her temp job where she puts labels on coffeemakers out in Yonkers but what she really wants to do is be a dancer but she has to have this temp job to pay for her crappy apartment where she lives with 2 room-mates who.... You can see it all play out in your mind in a nano-second.
So we were traveling this weekend. My husband and I are not seated together on the way home. I get to my row and an older man is in my seat. "18E?" " Yep, 18E." A very helpful steward (is that right? I can still say that?) comes over and suggests I sit down in the empty seat adjacent to the man while the rest of the plane boards while he gets the passenger manifesto. I learn that there are 4 dup's (the steward is laying down the lingo for me -- duplicates) on this flight...Ok. I think, hm that's strange and unusual. He asks if I am me. I say I think so. He looks at me, I say yes. He reseats the man to his real seat according to his print out...at the back of the plane. I ask another steward, "Does this happen often?" I guess it does. But generally not this many on one plane. "How does this happen?" Some glitch in the system she tells me -- but the real problem is when they print off the passenger list too early then that is not "right" either...They work out my situation just in time before another issue arises...Another pair of travelers are double booked with seats. The one in the aisle is traveling with her mother and insists on sitting with her. Oy. We wait. The woman from the ticket counter inside the terminal comes on board. Neither woman is budging and the passenger that is seated can not find her boarding pass...Seriously? Now she is saying that the ticket clerk took her ticket. "I am the ticket clerk, m'am." Oh lord...what is happening. I feel my mind starting to go...who is this person? She is a business woman by the looks of her. Very nice handbag. Expensive. On comes the newly printed passenger list. They work it out, just in the nick of time before the passengers around them start to get antsy and before I convince myself that she is not a business woman by an international spy...Somehow the nice steward works a miracle and my husband is sitting next to me now...I notice this guy two rows up...how do I know him? Was he on our outbound flight? Hm. He looks so familiar to me...As Brendan sits down he asks me to casually look in the row behind us. There is a VERY chatty red-head. He swears I know who she is...I do? She has on a houndstooth scarf. Is she from Alabama? She is clearly drunk. And as I over hear her conversation...(oh please don't act like you don't do it too...) I learn that not only is she from Alabama, she is from Birmingham, we went to the same university, her parents now live in a town on the other side of the state where I did a show last season and she is in the high end real estate market. I dare not look back again. Bren is convinced we know her. I am convinced otherwise. But who is that guy in in 16F? I DO know him...I think I know him...
As we sat on the tarmac waiting for take-off, the captain comes over the airwaves. "So ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. In my 20 years of flying, this is a first. Our brakes appear to have lock-up on us..." AAAaaaaannddd we're off, there my brain goes...Something is not right here. They are bringing a crane or something to pull us back to the terminal but I have stopped listening to the captain. I am having a full-blown Shirley MacLaine moment. Out on a Limb. The camera in my mind is zooming in and pulling back at the same time. I should text my family. I think this may be it for us. Why do we know these people? Maybe this IS why the guy in 16 looks so familiar to me and why the woman behind is someone Bren has seen before. Do I know her? We are on the brink here of having a major life (death) event so we must intuitively know some of this, all of this...Everyone is very calm on the plane. The atmosphere is very positive. Is that a sign? Why is everyone so happy? I can see exactly how it goes down. Various scenarios play out in my mind while I am looking and nodding and smiling as my husband is saying something to me that I just can't quite hear. My mind is filled with dialogue & scenarios of the tragic future events playing out in the movie in my mind...We are back at the terminal. We change planes. After snacks are purchased and bathrooms are used, we all load onto another plane. How is it that they just happen to have another plane sitting there? Conspiracy minds at work...Here we go again...Now they are handing out free cocktails. Oh no. They know. They are just trying to make us comfortable. I successfully distract myself with a book. Someone else's story. And suddenly I am fully engaged in Gloria Vanderbilt's childhood...Before I knew it we had touched down to earth once again...
But my god. Imaginators busy at work...Please tell me that this is the unfortunate side effect of the creative brain...#actorproblems
ps. I don't know who you are jennifer nicole lee but that image rocks and you have disappeared off the interweb...
I'm a southern gal with liberal politics who has worked my ass off and sacrificed a lot in order to be a working regional theatre actor. There are lots of working actors who are out here grinding without begin famous. And we consider that we have already MADE it. I really like to tell stories and solve the puzzle of the text. I LOVE untangling scripts and unlocking characters. I really give a damn about the planet and am an avid gardener. I love to get my hands dirty. I am completely fascinated by fellow journey(man) actors and how we survive and thrive. Ballin' on a budget, Baby. http://www.rachelburttram.com/