Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Why give Macbeth a dildo?

This question haunted my day-thoughts. From the Sunday fry-up at Irish Lucy’s at eleven (in the morning) to my retirement (to bed) at a little after four (in the afternoon) (I’d made the error of drinking a number of lunchtime pints of Budvar over The Observer in Blackheath – there’s nothing like lager to drain the energy from your bones), the question ‘Why give Macbeth a dildo?’ consumed my cognisance.

I had hoped to embarrass the man. I had hoped that an inappropriate pressie would spark a light of humility within him. I wanted him to laugh at himself, Reader. Ever since my opening audition, in which he unnecessarily sat, I’d been astounded by his arrogance and monomania.

He wore stupid glasses and claimed on eight occasions to know Chris Martin.

I thought buying a dildo might shock Macbeth to self-knowledge.

Reader, I’m man enough to acknowledge my error of judgement.

Monday: things began ominously when I fielded a telephone call from the director at a little after eight in the morning. I had been dreaming of chasing dogs in a forest. I had been wearing a red satin cloak (in the dream) and shouting in a language that sounded Spanish.

“Come in early today, Kay. Come in for nine, please.”

She had sounded civil. Suspiciously civil. Stomach-wrenching civil.

Something was ‘up’. I suspected that it was the phantom of the dildo (idea for musical?) come to haunt me. I expected to be punished. I didn’t suspect sacking. Being placed in charge of collecting doughnuts was the worse I thought I’d endure as punishment.

Reader, I was mistaken.

When I arrived at the Thames-side rehearsal space, the director and Macbeth were stood waiting in the entrance hall. The security guard smiled. They led me to an office on the ground floor that contained a small table with two chairs on one side, and one on t’other. I attempted to sit on the side with two chairs, but the director directed me to the opposite side of the table. The room was impossibly small. I suspected the table had been originally constructed in the room, for it seemed unlikely that it could have fitted through the small entrance. It was a hefty challenge to pull the chairs from under the wooden table, so close were the walls. The strip lighting hummed above and spewed forth harsh white. After much fuss and squeezing and squealing of chair legs, I sat down opposite the director and Macbeth. The director was the first to speak. She exhaled hyperbolically.

“We’re forced to ask you to leave the production,” she said with the gravity of a policeman informing a mother that her daughter had been found dead in Wales.

“Fuck?” I said.

She repeated herself.

“What?” I said.

Macbeth spoke.

“You’re a sound actor, Kay. But you’re a poor person.”

The director frowned.

“This isn’t personal.” Macbeth shrugged and half muttered something about the dildo being personal. The director continued. “So there is no misunderstanding, we have composed a list of reasons why I believe it’s best that you leave our production. It speaks volumes that you’ve managed to accrue a mighty catalogue of misdemeanours in such a short space of time.”

Here is that damned list:

1) Altering appearance without contacting Director;

2) Refusal to engage in whole group activities;

3) Inability to arrive to rehearsal on time;

4) Refusal to take direction;

5) Wearing of inappropriate and offensive clothing to rehearsal;

6) Inappropriately sexual behaviour in rehearsal;

7) Harassment of female cast members;

8) Failure to learn lines;

9) Substance abuse;

10) Verbal abuse of cast members;

11) Homophobia;

12) Fabrication of CV;

13) Inappropriate present-giving.

I allowed the litany to soak into my consciousness. Finally, with grave timbre, I responded:

“I learnt my lines. You can’t say I didn’t learn my lines.”

Macbeth rose awkwardly to his feet, his chair hitting the wall behind.

“You’re a disgrace to the profession. If there were enough space to storm out of this room, I would. I don’t want to spend any more time in your loathsome presence, you see. You’re a laddish sham. And I’ll tell you something – the way you conduct yourself with Lady Macbeth is embarrassing. You’ve no idea. That woman’s too delicate for pondlife like you.”

“Julian,” barked the director. She softened her voice. “I think this is best for both the company and yourself, Kay.”

“I’ll go alright, but before I do – hear this,” I said and pointed to the director’s jammy face. I was going to say something coolly threatening and better profound. Instead I erred and ummed for a few seconds, clambered to my feet, pulled the door open and left, leaving the embarrassed and incomplete sentence trembling behind me.

I determined to contact Equity about this outrage. But I remembered that I’d also lied about being a member of a union.

Know this, Reader: Macbeth sacked me ‘cause he saw me as a threat – professionally and sexually. And that ain’t cricket.

I’d take him down. Take him down to Chinatown.

15 comments:

The Book Blogger said...

I blame the cycling shorts. The dildo was just the cock that broke the camels back!

Sam said...

Superbly written, I shall be following your posts avidly.

Sam

MDale said...

Ouch. I was afraid Macbeth would get you fired.

Take heart. Excellent blog. I love your writing not only for turn of phrase but for the tension. I actually couldn't read the part with the gift exchange; it was too much like watching a car crash (which also speaks well of your writing skill). When you've become a famous actor, and someone wants you to write a tell-all, this will be great material.

Ashley said...

So sorry about the sacking. But it's for the best. You will go on to do much bigger and better things. Love the writing, am a big fan. Literally, I'm huge. Tall and fat, that's me. Hugs!

Velma said...

I'm enjoying this despite myself. I can't help the feeling I'm being jerked around, but I I'm here, reading it anyways.

Well played, that.

Kay Richardson said...

Book blogger, you are wise behind the sunglasses you wear on your head.

Sam, thanks. I love thee.

MDale, thanks for your advice. I fear that I shall die before that day.

Ashley, I cannot be friends with fat people. Our relationship must end here. Thanks for reading,t hough.

Velma, jerked, you say? If it feels this good, how can it be wrong?

Thanks for reading, guys.

nuts4fruits said...

This reminds me of Al Pacino's words in Scent of a Woman.
"There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who stand up and face the music and those who run for cover."

Sir Kay, you are destined for guts and glory.

Kay Richardson said...

Thanks, nuts. I hope you're only nuts for fruit. And not generally nuts.

nuts4fruits said...

@Kay: I mostly live on fruit and nuts and you're aware of adage "you are what you eat". On the other hand, I have a PhD in a hard science so that might classify me as a little nuts :) TMI alert!

Tasha said...

Men can be very insecure. I blame it on penis envy, the pyschiatric disease discovered by Freud. lol

Kay Richardson said...

Nuts & Tasha - a 'lol' each for both of you. Thanks for reading, guys.

cdominiquegibson said...

That was very entertaining. You set up the conflict so well, I felt like I was a stage hand watching the entire time. Excellent! (I won't lie, I may be a bit jealous)

Mad Jack said...

I'd fire your ass for a few of these... of course, I'd hire you back for others.

1) Altering appearance without contacting Director;
Does it hurt the production? No? Official Reprimand: Don't do it again.

2) Refusal to engage in whole group activities;
Such as? If said activity is sucking up to the director and Macbeth, fuck 'em. Going out for drinks after work, well... that might get you an Unofficial Reprimand: More drinking is needed.

3) Inability to arrive to rehearsal on time;
First offense is a brief reprimand, verbal. Second offense is an official reprimand and subsequent "tongue lashing" as you Brits might call it. Across the pond it's called an ass chewing with the sure promise that if you're late again you'll likely be fired. Third offense: you are history.

4) Refusal to take direction;
No soap, dope. What the fuck are you getting paid to do? Allow me to clarify: You are getting paid to do as you're told, which includes being verbally abused by the director. It's what directors do, genius.

5) Wearing of inappropriate and offensive clothing to rehearsal;
Big deal. If others objected, I'd encourage you to wear the outfit again.

6) Inappropriately sexual behaviour in rehearsal;
So long as it's heterosexual behavior. If you're grabbing dicks, you are kicked to the curb.

7) Harassment of female cast members;
Just keep your place in line, is all.

8) Failure to learn lines;
You get two chances. After that you are kicked to the curb and I'll hire someone who will do what actors get paid to do.

9) Substance abuse;
Only if you fail to share with others, OR if it interferes with the work. Show up unable to work and you'll get your ass chewed, then fired.

10) Verbal abuse of cast members;
That's the director's job. But it depends. Are you harassing the door knob sucking faggot that keeps staring at your wedding tackle? Let the others worry about themselves.

11) Homophobia;
You'll get hired back after being late a few times so long as you remain homophobic AND make comments about same.

12) Fabrication of CV;
So what?

13) Inappropriate present-giving.
Ha! The dildo! I loved it! I have been known to give anonymous inappropriate gifts myself, and see little harm and much good in it. Your only problem was in getting caught.

Look fool. Call Rosalind, take her out for a few drinks or something and then go back to your place and have jungle sex all night. Both of you will be happier for it. She'll probably fall in love with you and you can pick her up after work and give her passionate kisses in front of Macbeth and the director.

Kay Richardson said...

Wow, Mad Jack. There's some useful writing there. Your comment's almost as long as the post! Thanks for taking the time. You are, indeed, a wise man. Are you a director, then?

Thanks!

Mad Jack said...

No, I'm not a director. I'm old, by your standards. I've done some acting and general entertaining, but I retired from that industry. I also worked as a confidence man, and retired from that as well. Never been caught, you see, and knew when the party was over.