One of my favorite parts of week two was when I did an exercise in which I narrated a dream while seven of my classmates acted it out. I got the suggestion, which I think was light, and began by describing a small light in front of my face–it was an anglerfish and it was trying to eat me! I tried to swim away but couldn’t tell if I was swimming up or down. I ended up discovering a civilization of mermaid people– they were fish from the waist up. I tried to communicate with them but couldn’t. I realized one of the mer-people was my mother and she was telling me I was never going to finish school and then I was suddenly giving a graduation speech and was also naked. Later there were jellyfish and they started stinging me and then I realized I was an anglerfish and I was eating and chasing all the characters from the other parts of the dream. And then somehow I was across the room from the rest of the class. They were twinkling like stars and invited me to be one of them and when I come over something else happened and at some point I got born again. I started growing, growing (and the class physically lifted me up) and I established that I grew to the point that I was wearing the hospital like a dress. I was surrounded by teeny tiny people, like Lilliputians from Gulliver’s Travels, and they tied me down and were living inside of me–with all the members of their community making bread out of me–and then they were force feeding me a sandwich made out of me and I exclaimed, “I taste good!”
The dream exercise was fun because it was very meditative since my focus was on the present moment, specifically what I was saying and the group. It also gave me lots of moments of inspiration, like when I got to heighten silly things (fish from the waste up, suddenly I’m giving a speech and I’m naked, Lilliputians) to dream like things (being unable to communicate and then discovering that I wasn’t me at all but the angler fish the whole time).
Some of the themes of the dream were the inability to communicate, growth, acceptance, transformation, and self-acceptance. The last part is especially interesting to me. The Lilliputians (the rest of the class) got inside of me, fed me to me, and I said, “I tastes good!” It was as if they had to strap me down to force me to experience myself and I ended up liking me, which I actually think is a thing that I am working on.
This class is forcing me to accept myself! The thing trying to destroy things isn’t some monster–it’s me! I’m in my own way! I AM THE ANGLER FISH!
As I was working on the entry about embracing my comedic instinct, one thing that had come out was that I am not truly comfortable being myself in an improv scene. And by that I mean I’m denying some of my impulses because I think they’re not what the audience wants to see–not because they can’t handle it but because it’ll evoke a response along the lines of, “Shut up, Mr. Opinionated,” or, “Don’t make jokes about that!”
But the people I respect most wouldn’t let those fears get in their way. So I won’t either!