Updated: Jan 13
I was performing in a play at a theatre in Japan. On opening night, I was approached by the company director who asked me if I would like the honor of introducing the mayor of the city prior to our performance.
I was then introduced to the mayor and had the chance to ask him some questions that would be relative to my introducing him later that evening.
I then took a seat in the house to begin writing out my introduction.
Before I knew it, one of my fellow actors came over to me in full costume and make-up telling me I'd lost track of time and needed to get into costume and meet with the rest of the company backstage.
Just then, panic set in as I remembered how bad I was at learning and memorizing my lines and that I was sure to flop at the premiere which was just an hour or so from commencing.
Suddenly, I had the idea of finding someone who could stand in the wings and prompt me if and when I forgot my lines, which I certainly would do.
Realizing I was in Japan and that it was unlikely I'd find anyone I knew, the audience started to fill the hall and I noticed a familiar face, my boyhood friend Joel, who was taking a seat in the first row with his wife.
I went over to Joel and asked if he'd remembered me when he reminded me that we were re-united in Amsterdam a few years back after more than 35 years without seeing each other.
I told Joel of my predicament and he said he'd be more than happy to help me out.
I took him back stage and grabbed a copy of the script from a podium where the stage manager stood and handed it to Joel.
Then I woke up.
[Photo: My boyhood friend, Joel, and I, in Amsterdam, April 2013 and Chicago, c. 1975]