black box snap shot

I whip into the Pacific Theatre parking lot and see the infamous adorable baby blue bike. My colleague had mentioned this bike. She was gazing at it admiringly while backing up her beautiful VW…right into a post. Oh to be cursed with a passion for aesthetic. Life can get very distracting…and expensive. While thinking this and admiring the bike, I nearly plow into the post myself. I pat my little Mini the Blue lovingly on the boot with a sigh of relief at the close call. I fly under the poster above my head and open the big heavy front doors and run down the hall, always racing the clock, past seniors playing cards, the smell of early lunch and soup, the panting of a dog in the parson’s office, a picture of Jesus smiling, a plastic stand of lilies. I bustle past the open office door and hear Ron listing off the things I served for dinner last night, “She thought the dessert was rubbery, but it suited us just fine!” I smile wide, that makes me feel great. I see Cara’s lovely face lit by her computer screen. A young apprentice is reading a very big serious Biblical book, his head bowed, his brow scrunched with intensity. He’s pursuing some kind of truth and the beauty of that makes me want to kiss him on the head with some kind of thankfulness – but I don’t – how would I explain? I open the backstage door while a bunch of seniors in the side room are enraptured, listening to an opera, loudly, on TV. It somehow seems fitting as I enter the dark black box world of the theatre. It is instantly cool and delicious, like Nonna’s cantina with hidden sugar powdery pizzelle. Like a canoe shed on a hot summer day where girls giggle about the life guard. Like the neighbour’s basement one might just play spin the bottle in, or Monopoly. Both holding the same level of anticipation at that age. Acquiring new property.Unknown-1

I always look forward to what shoes Sarah will wear.

My team is there and Rob and I dive into the language, the dance, the tingle of stage lights. We roll with the dust on the floor and drink imaginary coffee out of breakable cups. We stop. We laugh. We call for line and hear Lois’ patient measured reading, “panino with the salsiccia from Zio Mario he make” – gotcha. At lunch we spider off in different directions to arrange childcare, to negotiate with partners and exes and room mates, to run for coffee that costs a third of our paycheque, to call around for favours from friends for props. To listen to an Italian speak Italian. Smoke fret arrange auditions eat a little cupcake tell a funny story run lines wipe a power shake spill from my summer dress. And then we’re back – swishing through the beauty and pain of scenes that are a little too true to leave any of us ambivalent. Everyone has a father lying in the bed that he made.

As we work away at accents, semi-colons, where to move the furniture, and oh – a double meaning – a hundred and twenty seats sit silently watching and waiting: stiff blue backs. I feel the responsibility. But I also feel the anticipation. “Just you wait, just you wait, we’re gonna make you laugh so hard you’re going to kiss your nose to your knees.”

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1 comment

  1. lb

    can’t wait. wonderful.

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