Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dream Log: James Franco in Big-Time Community Theatre

I dreamed I was participating in a theatre project in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan led by James Franco:

The project was being held in a theatre in a public high school. Mr Franco's participation, and the thronging level of activity, made it seem like big-time theatre. The peeling paint on the walls, and the dark overly-done lacquer on the wood -- the stage, the seats, the doors, the trim -- and the generally-run down appearance of the place, plus the fact that it seemed that just about anyone who showed up could participate, made it seem like community theatre. The place was run down, but the stage was big, and the house was big, with hundreds of comfortably-large seats.

This was a 14-day project, 7 days a week for 2 weeks, starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday. The idea was to have 7 days of preparation followed by 7 different shows on consecutive nights. one of the points of the project was to demonstrate that theatre done on a tight schedule could still be good.

Mr Franco was going to give a lecture in the evening on 6 of the first seven days: Monday, and then Wednesday through Sunday. He was also going to direct 6 of the 7 shows: again, Monday and Wednesday through Sunday. Another person was going to give the Tuesday lecture and direct the Tuesday show. A group of us were sitting in the house on the afternoon of the first Monday, when Franco, to my great surprise, pointed at me and said that I was going to be that other person.

I felt utterly unprepared. Mr Franco got up onto the stage to give the first lecture. I was hoping to get a lot of ideas for my lecture from his lecture, but he was speaking into a microphone which seemed to be malfunctioning, and, sitting in the back of the house, I couldn't understand what he was saying. I kept hoping that someone would fix the microphone, or yell out that they couldn't hear, but the entire lecture went on like that for an hour and a half.

Mr Franco was thronged after the lecture, so that there was no chance that I could huddle with him and ask for help with my own lecture. I was just able to call out to him and ask when I should show up the next day, and he called back, "6 o'clock."

At first I thought he'd meant 6 AM, but -- somehow -- it became clear that he'd meant 6 PM. Nevertheless, I figured I had better not leave the theatre at all, but work overnight and hope to be prepared somehow.

But early in the morning, I realized that if my brother, mother, father and I went out to a certain Volkswagen dealership in suburban New Jersey, I would be able, with their help, to use the machinery in the dealership's garage to make 100 clones of John Goodman:

and 100 clones of Anna Kendrick:

and that these clones would be a great help in getting this job done.

On the way to the Volkswagen dealership, my brother, mother and father all made fun of me and my theatrical ambitions, saying that I was being ridiculous by still beating this dead horse at my age. When we got to the dealership, they played keep-away with the doors to the showroom.

My brother said that Volkswagen were cheap junk and that the average sticker price inside that showroom, for a brand-new VW, was probably around $6200 dollars. I said that he was mis-informed, and that no sticker price in that showroom was anywhere near as low as $6200. He unlocked the door, grinning, confident he was right, but of course he was wrong. There was no sticker price as low as twice $6200, and one was more than 10 times $6200. Impressed by my business savvy, he agreed to help me in the garage, and very soon we had built 100 flawless clones of John Goodman and 100 flawless clones of Anna Kendrick. I was able to get all 200 clones into vehicles on the dealer's lot, and we drove back into the city and were at the theatre before noon.

I just basically let the clones take over for me. One of the clones of John Goodman gave my lecture that evening. The following Tuesday one of the Anna Kendrick clones directed my play. All 200 of the clones were very helpful, onstage and behind the scenes, with all 7 plays, not just mine.

I was thronged with accolades. I told James Franco that I didn't think I deserved so much credit. He replied, "Hey, you brought the clones. You definitely deserve some credit."

Then I woke up.

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