Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Send in the Clowns

She basks in the light as though the moon has turned it's eye on her alone and left the rest of the world unlit. Her face is rent with sadness and a waterfall of tears has gathered at her feet. Words pour forth as she shares her heart's brokenness with the few hundred who spectate on her sorrow and she moves forward to gather them into her grief. Her woe moves into agonies that stir the hardened beholder to near tears themselves as the soliloquy reaches its desolate orgasm. A pin dropping would be ashamed to have broken the stillness and the actress bends forward to weep in the fading spotlight...

The silence is deep and profound and appreciative of the moment so the actress doesn't move, patiently awaiting the bone crushing response such performance is due.


She peers up from her pose on the wooden floor out into the dim faces of her audience to find their gaze intently on her, yet mute and motionless.

The curtain lowers, slowly hiding their watchful stares and the stillness of the nearly full auditorium continues as the chains and actress hit the floor as one. "Don't they get it?" Rising, she moves quickly to where she can fix her stare on the stage manager who tiptoes back into the darkness, abandoning curtain and call for safety. "Don't they understand what they saw? Can't they acknowledge it and show some appreciation?" She spins toward her fellow cast members. "That was great." No questions asked. "Don't they get IT?" As a group, the thespians scuttled back to their dressing rooms to avoid the possibility of flying props or tossed tools. They knew their leading lady too well...

As they scamper from view, the diva pivots in uncertainty then pauses, pregnant with idea. She walks to the corner of the curtain, yanks it back and thrusts herself back out onto the lip of the stage, the crowd restlessly poised for departure.

"What is your problem?" Her voice is perfectly trained to reach the uppermost seats under the balcony. "Don't you understand what you saw here tonight? Don't you get it?" A few faces turn toward her, smirking slightly, then turned to follow the rest of the exiting crowd. "Are you so stupid?" At her full voice the windows rattle threateningly. "I am fucking good and That..." she gestured back towards her final moment. "deserved a standing ovation, I think. Don't you think?" The crowd moves more quickly with each word, pouring through narrow doors with an urgency that speaks volumes. "God damn it, would someone answer me? Don't you get it? The silence is killing me! Was I really that bad?"

The final question, overflowing with insecurity and fear, catches a young man's attention just before he herds out of the building. He pauses and looks back at the wannabe starlet exposed as a child longing for attention. "You're the one who doesn't get it," he steps a foot or so forward so he will be heard. "We were moved beyond words... beyond applause. It seemed we had been allowed into the privacy of your soul... clapping seemed a mundane response to the moment. We didn't respond because we didn't want to intrude. You were wonderful, you stupid cow. And now you've ruined it all by screaming for applause." Then he turned and walked swiftly out the door as she puddled to the floor...

1 comment:

  1. So dear reader: is it the fault of the actress who is too immature to understand how she has moved her audience or that of the audience who assumes she knows how moved they are by their silence?


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