“Fifteen minutes until curtain. Have a good show. Works going out.”
Breathe. Breathe. Goddammit breathe!
It’s a little spooky back here just before the audience comes in, everything bathed in the muted blue of the running lights. The long shadows reach across the walls of the backstage area, as if they are trying to rip down the black curtains that surround the stage.
Why is it quiet?
Did the technician forget to play my preshow music?
Oh no! Should I yell out? Should I go to the booth and turn it on? SHOULD I…
There it is.
Breathe. Air in, air out. Pace back and forth.
I hate this song, why did I pick it?
I know it hints at my character a little, but I’m sure I could have found something appropriate that didn’t hurt my soul, like this song does.
That’s why I didn’t look for a different song.
I’m always doing that with my preshow music; throwing it together at the last possible second, forgetting that I’ll have to listen to it every performance before I go on.
Forget about it.
Concentrate on the show.
I have to remember to hit that spike today, and THEN say my line, so the tech can do that cue smoother.
Say my line.
What is that line?
Oh God what is that line?!
It’s in the kitchen scene…
Ah yeah. ‘I saw my mother cooking through the window and I couldn’t sneak in….’
No, that’s not it…..
‘I looked through the window before I snuck in and saw my mother…’
Where is my script, what is that line?
It’s in the kitchen scene… page 8?
Here it is. ‘I peeked into the window and saw Mom cooking’
‘I peeked into the window and saw Mom cooking’, ‘I peeked into the window and saw Mom cooking’, ‘I peeked into the window and saw Mom cooking’, ‘I peeked into the window and saw Mom cooking’
Hit my mark, THEN say ‘I peeked into the window and saw Mom cooking’
Breathe, air in, and out, pace back and forth. ‘I peeked into the window and saw Mom cooking’.
Did I turn the oven off this morning before I left home?
I think I did?
Crap, I can’t remember.
Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. That’s all I need. All my stuff going up in flames because I’m lazy and didn’t turn off the oven.
I got up and put that breakfast burrito in the oven… I checked online for tickets to 6 Guitars and Die Roten Punkte...
Wait, that was yesterday.
This morning I had breakfast at the Burger King.
I didn’t use the oven this morning.
Breathe, air in and out, pace back and forth, ‘I peeked into the window and saw Mom cooking’.
Did I turn off the oven yesterday?
Has the oven been on for two days?!
I can’t do that to myself.
Do the show, then go home to check the oven, and if my stuff burned in a fire, I’ll just buy new stuff.
That’s what I’ll do.
Breathe, air in and out, pace back and forth, ‘I peeked into the window and saw…’
“WELCOME TO THE FRINGE, WE’RE ALL FRIENDS HERE…”
Ok, cell phone announcement, 3 minutes left.
Breathe air in, and pace back and forth, and out.
I wonder how big the house is.
It sounds like there is a bunch of people out there.
Maybe a hundred?
Should I take a peek and see?
No… concentrate, concentrate, concen……
I know that laugh…..
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh God why is he here?!
Why did he come to this performance?
Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap.
Can’t think about that now.
Gotta concentrate, gotta…
There go the house lights.
Get into position.
Music is fading out.
Slow fade up of a spotlight, downstage.
And step out into the light…