I have this idiot clear red poker visor on right now, because our director Bill had this obscenely large box of them (frightening only because it implies he had some sinister use for them in the show that never came to fruition) and he had the entire cast and crew pick one of the garish colors out from the box during our strike. Honestly, it’s sort of like always being under a red spotlight, because it casts the same glow the lighting gels do, and it washes out all of the red coloring of my hands when they’re in the light. Maybe Bill meant to say we’re always under the spotlight, or maybe he just wanted to get rid of thirty ugly poker visors, or maybe he just wanted his whole cast to look silly as they trudged home from the show.
There was this idiot kid dead center tonight. I talk to the audience once at the very beginning of the play, and once at the end; at the beginning i am in character and warming them up to the sort of show they’ll be seeing, and at the end i am totally myself, telling them that there is no happy end to be found. The ending is hard to find humor in, as the primary cast stalks up to the front of the stage one by one to remind the audience that there is no happy end. Tonight i walked forward for my solo bit of the epilogue, and that kid was right there. I remember him from orientation …, he wore this idiot blue visor with all of his chunky dyed blonde hair sticking up behind it, and he kept trying to break dance at night even though he was awful at it and he was getting in everyone’s way. It struck me that he mocked everything because he wasn’t really a part of any of it.
Tonight i walked past him and he wasn’t laughing with me but at me, and not in the way an audience is meant to. I just said my line to him and walked away. “Unhappy endings were expected too…” I had the stage, i was a lead in a play with my own song and my name listed first in a program, and he sat there in the audience and tried to have power over me with his hollow little laugh – as if i was supposed to see him mocking me and just break character and forget all of my lines and break down and let him win. But, he had nothing on me, because no matter how much i might have hated being in this play every night, when i’m on stage i am in charge.
He wasn’t wearing his visor, though. And i’m sitting here, wondering what else i have in common with him.