Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the curtain

     Doing the same thing over and over again can lead you to be absurdly excited over the smallest variances. I am so grateful for my job, don't get me wrong, but when something happens differently from my expectations it can be most welcome.

   Not when it compromises the integrity of the show, mind you. 

   Never then.

   But let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

   A moving curtain. 
  Allow me to explain. While playing Detroit, things were...tough, to put it lightly. I had returned from a beautiful vacation in Southern California and instead of just going back to work (which, let's be honest, can be hard enough), I faced being back at work in the frozen and depressed area of the world that we kindly just call Detroit (instead of The-Frozen-And-Depressed-Area-Of-The-World, which might be kind of rude, considering the negative connotations that title could have on the people who actually do live there, let alone who try to entice others to actually visit them there).

     It was opening night and as I was standing on the line I happened to glance over to the right. To my utmost surprise, I saw that one of the wings was moving, seemingly of its own accord, back and forth, back and forth, like the pendulum of a clock. I kept on thinking it would stop, but to my delight, it did not. So whenever an actor on my right was featured, I was so happy since it meant that I could gaze at that moving curtain while making it seem like I was watching the onstage activity, you know, appropriately and all that. 

    That curtain moved with some sort of magic. It made me smile; it made me happy in an inexplicable way.  I told one of my friends in the cast about its brilliance and so he, too, started looking at the mysteriously moving curtain whenever he could. It became our secret, and accordingly, we gave each other knowing and covert glances because of it.  

   And the curtain kept moving throughout our shows there. We often talked about how that curtain was getting us through the shows despite the small houses and the deafeningly quiet response of the audience members who actually managed to afford a ticket, bless their hearts.  It moved side to side and somehow managed to move our hearts to buoyancy; call me crazy, but it's true.

  Until one day when we were at places.  In horror, my friend showed me the ugly clamp that bound that curtain to one place, that made what once was moving now so terribly dull and still.

  Just like every other curtain in our lives.

  We were so sad, we didn't know what to do. At any moment we were going to be called onto stage without the comfort of our curtain shifting its weight back and forth, moving like it was a thing alive. 

   Desperate times call for desperate measures. 
   My friend grabbed the clamp and removed it from the curtain entirely. He gave our curtain-friend a small push since it had been a captive for who knows how many hours and might need the go ahead to do its thing.  We hoped for the best and walked out onto the dark stage, ready to hear Zach yell again! right before the lights clue the audience in about us.

  And yes, when we looked to our right the curtain was moving. Just like it should. We both breathed a huge sigh of relief and knew that once again, all was right in our little world. 

  And we still don't know exactly what made that curtain move like it did, but we didn't need to. 

   We just loved the fact that it did.


Emily said...

bizarre and lovely.

peaj said...

Such a delightful, childlike response to what others might find irksome. Father is probably proud.

merry said...

I would have loved it and I love your friend for loving it too.

Natalie said...

This story was wonderful. Seriously. That's just so terribly funny. I'm not entirely certain why, but it is.

My greatest fear (at the moment, anyway) is one of the legs falling, especially on me. We were striking a set last year when one came down on our tech director, so I KNOW it can happen, which did not help, haha!

Jessica Latshaw said...

yes, mer, my friend can be quite irreverent with me and we laugh at most things--even when others fail to see the humor...

Natalie--never thought about a leg falling on me--yikes!

Peaj--not sure that He is proud of us taking the clamp off the curtain (obviously someone in charge did NOT want it moving...);-)

kathiek said...

Maybe there was an angel in the wing! (ha ha)