At 7:45pm, I was frantically getting ready to go to a Verdi Opera in San Francisco where I was the featured piano accompanist. The problem was:
• The Opera started at 8:00 and I wasn’t dressed yet or hadn’t eaten dinner.
• I had never played for an Opera in my life.
• I didn’t know this Opera and had never heard or seen the music.
• I was concerned that I might be sight-reading a musical interlude as a featured soloist.
• I was worried I’d be accompanying an Opera star trying to follow her fermatas—again, with music I didn’t know in the slightest.
• I forgot my suit and was frantically looking through my closet for something presentable to wear.
• A bus passed by outside and publicly announced the opera with a loudspeaker that blasted “featuring Doug Goodkin on piano.”
• It was now two minutes to 8 and I had yet to leave.
I woke up.