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Strange Audition

Dreamed 1948 by Nancy Price

Source: Acquainted with the Night by Nancy Price (1949), selections from an experimental dream journal she kept for one year.

What an audition! I had to cast three plays from this crowd. Not one was a whole man or woman: a beautiful pair of hands, a fine head, but claws instead of feet. The head of an elephant and an old man's body, horns on a boy's head, a scaly body, walking awkwardly on fins: bird's wings with the head and feet of a woman, and the leading man with a perfectly proportioned youthful body, and a wildly lashing lion's tail. Strange fantastic creatures. I recognised almost every type of animal and bird, combined with various parts of men and women; not one was wholly flesh, fish or fowl.

But they all seemed keen to act, apparently unaware of anything strange about themselves; it was only I who saw anything odd.

Some told me they were experienced, others were new to it, but all had scripts and read in turn, managing in some way to hold their books with various parts of their strange anatomies.

I heard myself saying--"I don't think Shaw will be pleased, but it's all I can do".

Then it seemed to me we were all transferred to an immense theatre. I saw Shaw, he was in the gallery.

"Can they all be heard," he shouted.

"Oh, yes," I said, "but they are odd-looking."

"As long as they have intelligence," he said.

Then I called the first batch, and mercifully awoke.

Sketch by Chris Wayan of a dream by Nancy Price: a lion-tailed man and a bird-bodied woman audition for parts in a Shaw play.

Among the correspondence on my breakfast tray was a letter in which I was approached by one of Shaw's biographers enquiring if I possessed any letters from him? While looking these out I found one of his characteristic postcards concerning 'Androcles and the Lion', asking me if I fancied the part of the lion! Then I remembered my dream.

LISTS AND LINKS: on the job - drama - animal people - birds - lions - dream humor - more Nancy Price - predictive dreams - psychic dreams - George Bernard Shaw - intelligence! - across the Atlantic a child dreams she's a similar bird-girl, in Running Bird

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