Under Pressure

I was going to talk about the stress I’ve been under, but instead I’m going to talk about why I cannot listen to Under Pressure by Bowie and Freddie Mercury without getting flashbacks.

See, I was in this play in college. From Up Here. Good play, really bizarre, heavy subject material, minimalist set, a really really horrible/amazing song in the middle that I still sing sometimes, I got to be shirtless on stage. 

But anyway. It opened with my character, Aunt Caroline, dropping from the 40ft ceiling of the auditorium, from the lighting catwalk down to the ground, stopping halfway to give a short monologue about how I’m climbing in the mountains. the director was really adamant that I descend from the ceiling. And because I’m an Aries, I said SURE to the wacky plans no one else wants to actually do, and suited up. I had actually ready taken the school’s Adventure Course. I was used to hanging from high places.

But here’s the kicker. Did she get one of the xsports guys with big muscles to lower 215lb me down those 40 feet? No. The director used another of the people in the play, who didn’t have a scene til later. This kid? Half my weight.

Okay, but there are safety precautions right? Well, they taught the precautions to J, the guy, once. And then left.

I’ll cut this story short. He dropped me. Three times. Three separate times, two during one rehearsal and one during the next. The director sent me home early both days because I fell about twenty feet the second time and only a little fewer on the first and third times. I legit thought I was going to die before he magically caught me and got the safety measures back in place because he hadn’t done it right the first time (or second or third time). 

Why does this have anything to do with Under Pressure?

Well, the show had a playlist going while the audience was sitting waiting for the play to start. To get them in the mood. And the final song before my cue to drop?

Under Pressure.

Specifically the end. When they go, “under pressure *dun dun dun dundundun dun*” three times? I would jump my butt off the single slab of wood sticking out from beneath the lights, barely attached to the catwalk, right after the last *dun duns.* 

So every night, it was places, and I would climb up into the catwalk, and I’d sit on that ledge, and I’d listen to Under Pressure while wondering if I would die that night in front of an audience. And now I can’t stand listening to that song without being like NOPE.


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