Potter’s ‘Falling to Fly’

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What is your earliest memory? For the climber and base jumper Dean Potter, it’s a flying dream where he’s joined by others above a “desert wasteland” before panic and anxiety gets the better of him and he starts “divebombing towards the ground.” Gaining speed as gravity has its way with him, just before impact Potter exits the dream by waking up.

Quite a doozey for a first memory, eh? Especially, when it keeps coming back for more. “The dream recurred all my life and whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s formed who I am.”

A new production sponsored by Prana, “Dean Potter: Falling To Fly” is a feature on the dream and Potter’s creative method to take his bull by its horn. Instead of turning to the therapist’s couch, Potter has faced his dream head on in his waking hours in some of “the most exposed places on earth.” His goal: To “stare down his dream” that he always assumed was the premonition of his death.

Going mano-a-mano with his subconscious also forced Potter to unlearn one of the tenets of his life. “As a rock climber, I’ve trained my whole life to hang on and not to let go. And then, miraculously, when I do [let go] this whole new world opens up.”

Check out what happens when Potter forces his own edit to the dream he’s had his whole life. When he challenges his dream, it’s no Freudian Slip either. It’s something entirely his own. Maybe the Freudian Freefall?

—Stephen Krcmar



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