”One hour to curtains.”
Performers are costumed. Their faces are painted.
I am a performer.
“Focus, this isn’t time to be an amateur”
Every moment is coordinated, every step is planned. It is not time for me to improvise.
“Half an hour to curtains”,
“Practice makes permanent”.
The show has rehearsed for months. It is not necessary to think, just do.
“If you believe it the audience will believe it too”.
“Fifteen minutes to curtains”.
Voices continue to echo and flow around my head.
I’m not sure where they’re coming from. It doesn’t matter.
I have to ready for the show.
“Five minutes to curtains”
I take a deep breath. Show time.
The curtains are up, but I am hidden far back stage.
It is the character that the audience came to see.
That is how it has always worked.
Off the stage the same principle applies.
I perform the way I am expected too. No surprises, no complications.
I have a character; my real self is hidden deep in a shadow.
It is my character that fits into the show.
Real is dangerous.
Inside I feel confused and upset, but I must be reliable and encouraging.
That is my part.
I do not trust that any other character would fit into the show.
It is how I have been cast.
There is no more room in the plot for any complications that I might add.
Make up completed, costume on, and then it is show time.
“Don’t break character”.