Friday, May 10, 2013

the stage, the backs

It is nearing summer and the auditioning work begins. The odd call for commercials, the odd extra work for film, for series. If lucky, a speaking part.

Being on a live set is fantastical. The really dreamy part begins in the backs of the theatre/the off-camera area. Once in the lights, once passing over the threshold of that tape mark on the floor, you are expected to--no, paid to--slip into a new presence, a performance in thirteen acts. The sky is yours, the task of the translator manageable within the space of the small room (we live in the sentence), the stage offering plenty of exits through heavy dark curtains that seem like secret passages, that you covet and recall under heavy blankets while you sleep.

The before is almost as sweet as the duration. All black boxes and white lettering and metal poles and roped knots, bold lines taped in X's and L's to mark place and to mark light. Where every outfit is a costume simply by putting it on. And everyone understands that you are playing a part. And nothing else matters but the minutes spent upstage or down, standing in the place assigned to you, improvising as is your nature in that costume you're wearing, in the back of something waiting to be someone else. Embracing that part of yourself that you can't explain to anyone how/why it exists and so you simply must show them. Show, don't tell.

Sometimes life is like this.


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