Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The Understudy...

To quote a song: Oh, what a night!

Last night was "costume fitting night". At the theater we were each called, one by one, to try on various costumes to see which one(s) worked best. My luck: I wasn't called until after 10pm!

This was only supposed to take an hour, from 7-8pm. It took much longer. Mind you, we still had plenty to do.

I ran my scene with Clair, the girl who plays Stella. Have I mentioned that she's proof of the divine? I could stare at that girl for hours without moving... okay, that's an understatement. I'd jump on her. Sadly, we only have one short scene alone together and no kissing. Dammit!

Robert, the Inspector, and I ran our scene. He was rather displeased that I was off book but, as I told him, he has most of the lines in the scene. Of course, he'd need, want, and deserve more time to memorize his lines!

This was the night I was also going to give smoking lessons. Yes, smoking lessons. The Julies (Stephanie and Michelle) have to smoke and didn't know what to do, how to hold it, etc. Enter your friendly, neighborhood cancer-man.

Then, Teri (our director) asked me to run my scene with Stephanie's understudy, Michelle. Stephanie, you'll recall, plays my mistress. I have no problem kissing her. She's cute.

Okay, this is where I'm gonna sound like a pig. You're going to hate me. Thankfully, only two people read this and when I read it later, I'm sure I won't be too offended. Here's the deal: the understudy, Michelle, isn't cute. Okay? In fact, I don't find her at all attractive. This is my prerogative. We all judge what is attractive and what isn't - and it's easier to play kissy-face with someone you think is attractive! Pretend this woman is my mistress? I wouldn't want to pretend she was my plumber... however much more she'd fit that part.

"Are we going to be kissing?" she asked.

I tried not to cringe... on the outside.

"I guess that's up to you." No, never, I thought.

"Okay," she said. "Let's kiss."

Oh, great. Please. Let's.

We have two kisses. One tentative. One (as the script puts it) "proper".

I moved in for the tentative kiss...

... and moved back right away, beginning my line.

Then, the proper kiss came. I'm leaning against a desk and she's supposed to move in. She plants her feet on either side of the leg with which I'm bracing myself. "Do you want me to straddle you?" she asked.

I didn't take the bait. You'd be amazed at how self-controlled I am when I have to be.

During this kiss, she's supposed to sit back on the arm of a sofa... but I couldn't get her to move back. I was literally pushing her! She broke from the kiss. "What?" she asked. "You need to end up back there," I told her. "Oh. Let's try it again.

Take two.

This time, she moved in, put on hand behind my head... and proceeded to attempt a tonsillectomy!

It was an aborted attempt!

"I've got an idea," I said, getting around her in a move that made me think I really should have played football. "The sofa's too far away. Why don't we start moving before the kiss?" "How?" she asked. Thank god I can think on my feet. Quickly, I choreographed it.

Take three.

"Are you ready?" she asked.

"Whenever you are."

"Wait," she said, taking off her sweater. "You make me so hot."

Grand Canyon, where are you when I need you?

If only Rosa could see me now, I thought, she'd laugh!

As she pushed her mouth on mine, I pushed her backwards. Got to get to the sofa, I thought. Her mouth began to open. Sofa! Sofa! Just as I felt something wet on my lips - BUMP! I planted her ass on the sofa like a 757 without engines.

"Wanna do that again?" she asked in a way that made me understand what it's like when you're about to be raped.

"Smoking lessons," I cried out. "Let's go do the smoking lessons!"

I grabbed a cigarette from the stage, one of Christie's (Karen's) Virginia Slims, along with the box of matches and ran.

And you bet I smoked!

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