Tuesday, August 29, 2006
All the perfumes of Arabia
"Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand?"
As a kid, I may have starred as a flower or a tree on stage, and captivated the audience by the originality of my expression. I vaguely remember such appearances. I must have been ten when I got my first starring role. It was that of Georgie Porgie (you can imagine what I was supposed to do on stage!) My performance got some critical acclaim. They said I was a natural in that role. I was so good that one of the girls on stage actually cried even before I had kissed her. I kissed her all the same - I was a true professional even in my early days. Offers poured in after that and I had a hard time refusing people. After much dithering, I accepted the role of a coughing boy and starred in a one-act play. The critics panned the play but appreciated my sterling performance. No one has ever coughed better on stage, they wrote. The expression on my face was enough to bring the audience to tears. One of the ladies even came up on stage. She had to be reassured, "Madam, he is only acting!"
There ensued a string of stellar performances. Most notably that of a mad jailer. I executed one prisoner after another with startling conviction. The performance was terrifying. The audience was so terrified that most of them left in the first half hour. Later, I even got a letter from the prison authorities. I think they were offering me a job, but I am not so sure of that.
Currently I am rehearsing for a play that could be termed as 'the turning point' of my career. The role is that of a mad doctor. When the director described it to me she said it was the role of a doctor. These days she refers to it as the role of the mad doctor, I am not sure why. Need less to say, it is a pivotal role. The role requires great emotional variety, though all I do is laugh throughout my performance. It is not easy to express sadness, anger and the entire range of emotions through laughter, but I think I can pull it off.
The director is very impressed with me so far. I have even assured her that the critics have always liked my performances even if the audience couldn't understand it. Funny, how nobody ever asked me who my critics are. Besides why should they, since they know I am my greatest critic. The director is so happy with me that she has promised me a one-way ticket to somewhere. By the way she winks at me, I am sure she is talking of Broadway.