I would guess that most people have bad dreams about their jobs. I haven’t waited tables for 15 years, but I STILL have the occasional nightmare about that profession. I had one just a couple of weeks ago where for some reason I was walking into some restaurant kitchen and see my name listed for a double shift on the weekend. I get very frustrated in this dream thinking, “why am I on the schedule! I’m a professional comedian! How can they expect me to be there?” Cut to me waiting tables that weekend.
Now I don’t have any training as a dream analyzer, but my guess is that I still have these waiter dreams because I have an underlying fear that the standup gig could dry-out and I would be back to waiting tables. This is just one of many reasons that I’m the waiting staffs best friend when I perform at a club. I know what the gig is like.
By the way, here is my favorite crazy waiter nightmare. As most of these begin, I’m in the weeds (weeds is a term servers use for being too busy to get to all your tables in a typical fashion). Just when I don’t think it could get worse at my job at Chi’s Chi’s (defunct Mexican food chain that I worked at in early 90’s), I realize that I’m also supposed to be waiting tables at the Red Lobster at the same time. (cue Benny Hill music) So I sprint out the door and run 3 blocks down the street until I get to my section at Red Lobster. My customers are very angry and I feel incredibly guilty. Don’t ask me how I come up with this scenario.
My standup nightmares generally are one of these 3 options.
- I show up to the gig, only to realize I’m not wearing pants. Interesting element to this is that I’ve done a show where many of the audience weren’t wearing pants. (see Nudist Resort show.) What I usually feel from this scenario is Why did I leave the house without pants? I’m guessing it has something to do with not being prepared.
- I lose my voice on-stage and I feel desperation as I can’t deliver what I’m supposed to do. I have done shows where it is so loud in the bar that I’ve pretty much felt like no one can hear me, so I kind of have lived this one.
- I am on my way to my show and one obstacle after another happens so I end up being so late I don’t make my show. Since I’ve never missed or even been late to a show, this hasn’t happened, but it is a fear I have—which is the reason I always leave plenty of extra time so I don’t end up having to sweat it.
- I perform my show and no one seems to be laughing like they should. Guess what, this has happened in real life. It’s called bombing and I will write in more detail my thoughts on that one another time.
I would be curious to hear what nightmares you have about your job. I think it is pretty interesting.