A METAPHORICAL FANTASY LEADING UP TO OPENING NIGHT
(Or, How We All Feared It Was Going To Go Based On The Day)
ADMIN: Dr. Newelpost?
ADMIN: All right, you are scheduled to perform knee surgery this afternoon at 3:30.
DOCTOR: That’s great!
ADMIN: Yes, we’re all happy with your work. Couple quick things, nothing big – you’re going to have to perform the surgery in exactly 90 minutes because we have another surgery scheduled for right after.
DOCTOR: That’s just fine, I’m very efficient.
ADMIN: Excellent. Also – again, nothing big – this is a very old hospital, and our equipment dates from the 1880s.
DOCTOR: Oh. Okay.
ADMIN: And just to be sure, you might want to bring some equipment of your own. But it still needs to be compatible with our obsolete equipment.
ADMIN: You know, hysterotomes, arrow removers, artificial leeches.
DOCTOR: For knee surgery?
ADMIN: Cutbacks, you know. Trying to get a grant. You’ll be fine. Oh – minor thing, this – we’re not one hundred percent positive that the patient is going to be there.
DOCTOR: Not …
ADMIN: It’s a busy hospital and all, and it is knee surgery season, but you know, fingers crossed.
DOCTOR: Well, I guess if there’s no patient, I could use the time to catch up on –
ADMIN: Oh, we’d still need you to do the surgery.
DOCTOR: Do the surgery.
DOCTOR: If there’s no patient. So what exactly am I expected to cut?
ADMIN: I assume you could do this kind of thing in your sleep, right?
DOCTOR: Yes, but –
ADMIN: So just pretend you’re asleep. ‘The surgery must go on, and all that.’ So, um … you know, break a leg. (exiting) Or mend one, whatever it is that you guys do …
Fortunately … IT ROCKED. Yes, we did spend the bulk of the day searching the most consumer-friendly city in the country for a floppy disk (yes, those things) without finding one, and we did have to deal with a sudden bureaucratic staff upheaval, and we were all very aware that only two tickets had been presold to the show, and we also knew that we hadn’t actually successfully run our sound plot in that space, but our spirits were high. Backstage as we were stored in our dressing room, I mentioned something half-heart-warming about being proud of our efforts (because I really couldn’t be prouder) and that if there were only six people in the audience, we were going to rock their faces off, and the cast agreed. Most people get into theatre specifically so that they can rock faces off.
At this point, Daniel Harp (whom I have discovered to my delight has the same inability to sit still as the top from Inception) spun his way down and peeked through the curtain.
DANIEL: Yeah, so guys? There’s not six people out there.
US: In which direction?
DANIEL: The good one.
Fan-freaking-tastic, we’ve got a crowd. I peek outside and see Richard Davidson and Richard Hollis, the two splendid actors from THE ILLUSION at Triad Stage, sitting right in the middle. Nice. Now we just have to give them a show. Venue Director Natalia gives her curtain speech, the house lights go out, and the hopped-up-nervous jazz song that begins our show kicks in, and … the rest was just beautiful.
Post Script – Afterwards, Amanda and Daniel and I had the great pleasure of dining with two lovely gents: my oldest and best friend Clay Davidson, and my great friend from many years ago, the poet Rangi McNeil (whose acclaimed book The Missing is available on amazon.com.) These might as well be clouds I’m walking on.