Saturday, 23 June 2012

Deja Vu

You're standing on stage, listening to a fellow actor, you hear the prompt, you say your line and suddenly you're thinking. I've been here before. A few minutes ago. In front of the same woman (or man), who said the same thing and I responded the same way. At the back of your mind (all this going on while you're watching and listening to the scene and waiting for the next moment that you're going to open your mouth), you tell yourself that you did indeed say the very same words 24 hours ago, and 48 hours and 72, but the more conscious part of your brain (which is buzzing away while your mouth is articulating your next line, a line which you are convinced you also said only a few minutes ago) is telling you that although it was 24 hours ago, it feels like that time off-stage never happened, it was a dream that compresses a day into a minute and in fact your life is now nothing more than standing on a stage repeating the same words again and again and again.

It doesn't happen every night, but there have been occasions during this run, which did not occur the two other times I have been in a production, when I have felt that I was on some kind of time-loop and that reality was no more than the doss-house room in which our characters circulated endlessly, the dark waiting area off stage and the dressing-room where we play musical chairs as thirteen of us try to sit on ten seats. It's not an unpleasant feeling, but it's weird and it is a reminder that our brains can sometimes trick us into believing that reality has somehow warped.

Anyway, whatever time-loop I'm in, I know it's coming to an end very soon. We have only tonight's and tomorrow's performance, after which I will be heading to Scotland for 12 days, where I will try both to have a holiday and to prepare for Loss (which as you all know by now, is the overall title for the four one-man plays I have written, including the one in which I am performing, next month). Throughout the run of The Lower Depths, audiences have been getting bigger, our performances have improved and I'm beginnning to suspect that I might have some kind of talent that it would be a shame to deprive the rest of the world of...

Enough convoluted prose for today. It's stopped raining and the Other Half and I may have enough time to go shopping before the downpours begin again....

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