I played Renfield in my high school's production of Dracula my senior year. It was great.

The play was in November. I stopped shaving and getting my hair cut in September to look the part. I could get away with it because it was for my craft.

I played Renfield like a crazy but brilliant person--horrifically misunderstood. Quite a stretch, huh? Anyway, my costume was striped flannel pajamas, a bit rumpled looking. I went barefoot which isn't a great idea in a theatre (think nails and staples from set construction, as well as broken glass, and just dirt. Oh, God, the dirt!) And, to build up anticipation for the play, we got to walk around in costume all day the opening day of the play. So, I got to walk around school all day barefoot and in pajamas.

One of my most intense seens is when Dracula finds out that Renfield sold him out to Seward and Van Helsing. We're the only two on stage. It goes something like this (quoting from the script):

(RENFIELD slowly rises; looks about him. RENFIELD howls in terror; crouches in firelight as far away as possible from doors and window. Retreats to footlights R. DRACULA appears, door C., in PALE BLUE LIGHT, in evening clothers, dress and cloak as before. RED LIGHT from fireplace covers DRACULA. As DRACULA moves, RENFIELD'S back is to audience) Master. I didn't do it. I said nothing. I am your slave, your dog. (DRACULA steps toward him.) Master, don't kill me. For the love of God, let me live. Punish me--torture me--I deserve it--but let me live. I can't face God with all those lives on my conscience, all that blood on my hands.

DRACULA (with deadly calm) Did I not promise you that you should come to me at your death, and enjoy centuries of life and power over the bodies and souls of others?

RENFIELD. Yes, Master, I want lives, I want blood--but I didn't want human life.

DRACULA. You betrayed me. You sought to warn my destined bride against me.

RENFIELD. Mercy, mercy, mercy, don't kill me!

There was then a dramatic scene where Dracula was supposed to pick me up and throw me, but we had no money for rigging, so he just sort of psychically strangles me, reaching out a hand and I'm a few feet away.

So, last dress rehearsal, we had a plan. I changed all my "don't kill me"s to "don't tickle me"s with appropriate changes in dialog, and the strangling scene instead being Dracula psychically tickling me by poking his fingers in the air. Being the accomplished professionals we were, me and Dracula kept our cool, but when the rest of the cast is supposed to burst in, they had completely lost it.

The best part of this was the director, who when I first said "Master, don't tickle me!" just looked up from the audience and said, "Tickle?" and let us play it out. She was cool.

So I have good memories of being Renfield.