September 13, 2006 

”I arise from dreams of thee In the first sweet sleep of night When the winds are breathing low, And the stars are shining bright.” —Percy Bysshe Shelley "The Indian Serenade"

Dear Dream Zone, I've had the "actor's nightmare" several times. I find out that I'm in a stage play (the stage looks like the one from my high school). I know I have a supporting role but have no clue what my lines are and I feel embarrassed because it's the night of the show and I don't know my lines after months of rehearsal. I mysteriously find the script but can't find which scene I'm in and where my part is within the script. I usually don't recognize what the play's plot is but feel I'm going to let the cast down if I don't get on the ball quick. By the time my scene comes up usually the dreams ends. I have some guess what this is about but what do you think? It's a reoccurring dream but usually leads me to feel anxious and confused while I'm having it. —Marianne 29, Boston, MA

Lauri: You get this dream whenever you are feeling the pressure to "perform" in waking life. Notice how you have a supporting role ... and not the lead. This is a good indication you put pressure on yourself to play a supportive role in real life such as being supportive to family or friends or perhaps even at work where you may not be heading up a project but are an important part of it. Where in real life do you have people counting on you, just as your cast members are counting on you in your dream life? That would be precisely what this dream is about. These dreams are the way you are telling yourself that you must be prepared so you can get the full appreciation ... or standing ovation you deserve!

Marianne replies: I'm surprised by your interpretation because I'm a single parent with a busy 2 and half year old boy who keeps me on my toes. I also work as a case coordinator in a group residence for mentally ill male residents where I support my clients and my supervisors. Having these two roles in my life leads me to kind of "run around behind the scenes". Very interesting analysis. Life with my two year old in particular does have lots of unplanned events that leave me wondering "ok, what could I have done to prevent this?". Thank you again! I'm fascinated in how this dream in particular had a connection to my daily life.

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