Thursday, December 11, 2008

How do I get myself into these things?...

The subject heading is a misnomer, sarcasm at best.

This morning, I didn't get much of a chance to hear my alarm go off. Vicky startled me with, "Turn off your alarm!" and I did... and fell back asleep...

I got a call about a replacement being needed for a show that was already having performances. It was a show I'd already done, so everyone assumed I'd know my lines. Of course, once I got on stage, this little, dinky box stage that was deeper than it was wide, I needed to constantly refer to the script so obviously it was embarrassing.

"Tell me now! Tell me what I did was right! Tell me before I plunge this dagger through my heart!" This was only followed by a "shuffle shuffle shuffle" as I scanned through the script for my line as she held the knife aloft, dramatically, ready to plunge it... "Um... Yes. You did."

It was a play about vampires and I was dressed in the layered outfit with a huge overcoat on top. It had to be huge, cause so was I! I was fat, slow, forgetful, and unable to maneuver through the simplest exchange. Soon, I realized all of the other actors carried scripts as well and we were being booed. Then, Act One ended.

I couldn't believe it. "This is crazy," I told the director. "Absolutely crazy. I'm better than this! I know I am! This is inexcusable!"

"So? What are you going to do?" he asked.

"I'm going to go through the script and memorize the lines!" I told him.

There were some further exchanges in there about football players at halftime being pissed off because they weren't playing to their fullest potential and that was me. I knew I had only 15 minutes at most to memorize Act Two and I scanned through the script but I couldn't find the lines. Page after page was covered in advertisements. The director told me that was the only way they could afford to print scripts any more.

And then, the curtain was coming up and I hadn't even found Act Two, yet.

And the lights were on me...

And I woke up. Grateful to be in my bed.

I knew I was trying to tell myself I was out of practice, out of shape, inexcusably absent from the stage... but, hopefully, when I do return, it'll go slightly better than that.

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