Monday, 9 August 2010
I wake two minutes before the alarm is due. If I don’t set the alarm, I don’t wake. This, I have never understood. If I had chosen to be an academic, I might have been interested in such phenomena. I am not an academic, though. I am an artist (better).
When I awoke upon my second day as a professional player, the red digital display stood at 0730. As rehearsals were only forty minutes away and started at ten, I allowed my body to fall unconscious in warm sleep again. To dream of tennis-girl.
Upon the next occasion of waking, the display still read 0730. So blurred by fatigue was I, it didn’t occur that this might be strange. It was only on my third waking, with morning light streaming through the side gaps of the blind, that I found it peculiar that the clock should continue to read 0730.
Either time was fucked or my alarm was broken.
My wristwatch (expensive and trendy) told me the truth. Time wasn’t fucked, my alarm was broken. The correct time was 0947.
“Fuckers!” I screamed and jumped naked from the bed, genitalia bouncing.
There was no reaction as I entered the rehearsal space at a quarter to eleven, forty five minutes late. Of course, nobody else was behind time. And so there was only one seat free. It was next to the ugliest of the witches again.
I, fairly noisily I concede, pulled my script (now in two separate pieces) from my Manbag and tried quickly to identify which scene was being read.
As I listened to Banquo being killed, I thought my lateness excused. Perhaps the director wasn’t so bad? The more relaxed a working environment, the better the dynamic between actors and more arresting the final piece. This is a theatrical truth, Reader.
However, when the scene concluded, Macbeth stood and approached the director. He spoke a few hushed words into her overly-large ear, and the director watched me, nodding. She replied ‘300 per cent correct’ and Macbeth returned to his seat (next to Lady M, looking fine, my man).
As Macbeth sat, the director announced that she would like ‘a quiet word with Kay before starting the next scene’. A soldier asked if this pause would replace the scheduled half-eleven break. The director told the soldier that, yes, it would. This response wasn’t received gracefully, by soldier or cast.
The director requested I follow her out to the foyer. I expected a dressing down for my tardy arrival. I was ready to take it on the chin. A fair cop, Guv … etc … etc …
“Julian,” she began.
“What?” I interrupted.
“Macbeth,” she said.
“Ahh,” I responded.
“Julian has voiced his discomfort with your apparel.”
“My what?” I said.
Of course, I knew what she meant, but saw no need for such pretentious expression.
“Your T-shirt, Kay. It’s offensive. You need to cover it up. Do you have a jacket or a jumper?”
My t-shirt was not offensive. In fact, it was terribly expensive. ‘Girls are gay’ it exclaimed in lime green on a black (and tight) background. I’d bought it off e-Bay from a man in Japan.
“This cost me eighty pounds,” I responded.
The director told me to wait in the foyer. And I did for three whole minutes, blood bubbling. When she returned, she held a cream cardigan between thumb and forefinger.
“Wear this. Don’t moan. And turn up on time in future,” she moved as if to return to the rehearsal, and then hesitated, holding the door half-open. “Have you learnt your lines yet?” I shook my head. “Learn them,” she said and wobbled away.
In truth, I wouldn’t have usually worn the t-shirt. It possessed a history of creating stir. But it had been a rush to leave the flat and I had grabbed the first items of clothe that my desperate hands fell upon.
This also explained my wearing of such an extremely tight pair of jeans. Like a second skin, they were. It was when the ugly witch missed her third cue in a row that the director asked me to follow her outside once more.
“It’s Kay. He’s fiddling with himself,” the witch had said.
I fear the bearded lady may have mistaken my ‘readjustment’ for something less innocent.
The director stated that she didn’t care whether I was masturbating or not, but she knew for sure that I was being incredibly distracting and in anybody’s book my trousers were massively inappropriate. She’d not seem them earlier as she’d been distracted by the offensiveness of my T-shirt. She told me that she knew certain men in Soho that would have hesitated to wear such trousers.
I was dismissed. She would read the few lines that remained for my character. I was told to go home, ‘sort out my head’, and buy some clothes appropriate for rehearsal. I did go home, but I didn’t say goodbye to anybody (when I returned to the rehearsal room to collect my Manbag).
Posted by Kay Richardson at 13:38