Backstage Writers – Think Hope Do


Postmodern Challenges – Defining Impact

The Yellow Man

I had to go back to see the money people at the French unemployment office. It was a balmy spring day, and I found myself waiting outside in a long line of blank-faced chomeurs. The yellow man next to me decided to grace me with his conversation. “What are you here for?” he asked. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sandwich-maker

The other day I met a sandwich-maker.

He was waiting for the train one morning, as I was, and his gawking got me looking around. Was I really the youngest, most beautiful woman here?  Yep. All men for the moment. Come on, buddy, knock it off.  I’m not sixteen anymore. An old woman arrived. She seemed to know the gawker, and they spent the entire ride chatting.

We changed trains at Juvisy. The gawker came and sat next to me. We made small talk. I knew no evil masher could have a grandmother for a friend. Still I lied about where I lived, where I was going. Read the rest of this entry »

Moving Colette

Colette has taught me to appreciate small things. I’m not talking about rose petals and ladybugs. We all need to slow down and put our senses to use. Get a whiff of that daffodil. Listen to the girl next door struggle with her violin. When you’re 93, you can’t hear the girl next door and you don’t get out into the garden unless someone comes to visit on a nice day.

I’m talking about pleasure in something neither beautiful nor inspirational. Read the rest of this entry »

Jacques’ Nose

I got into doing make-up because I knew nothing about it. I’m a process person. I enjoy listening to the faces I dress. I study them from all angles, at nose distance or from the hallway looking into the loge, while rehearsing or in different lighting. If I know the actor’s going to pout at some point, I attenuate here, amplify there. I add a touch of charcoal or burgundy. Amazing what one can do with a dash of burgundy. I’m so full of my own science that they call me an artist.

They don’t have anyone else.

I wonder how many people have ever really looked at Jacques’ nose. Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing is set in stone – Changes as they happen on Center Stage

-I’m not sitting here, Fran!

-Oh Tod.

-Don’t start that, Fran.

-He did say, “Center Stage.”

-Why us?

-We’re props, Tod.

-Why’d he choose us, Fran? We’re not the only Americans. We weren’t first in line. Is it my weight? Is it your-

-He looked so pleased to put us here.

-And so we’re just going to sit here ‘cause “Monsieur” looked pleased? Are you nuts, Fran?

-Oh, Tod. You wanted something contemporary… You like being on stage.

-I can’t even talk to you.

-Don’t touch them!

-There’s got to be a back door. Don’t want to step over your “Monsieur”. Why’s he standing guard like that?

-Tod, you never touch the curtains in a theatre.

-Why the hell not? Let me guess, because theatre is like life? Is that it, Fran? You don’t turn your back on anybody, and you don’t touch his curtains? You’re pathetic, Fran!

-Sit down, Tod.

-I don’t like that tone, Fran.

-What tone?

-That sweet little voice of yours! I hate it when you get all nice. I know what you’re thinking.

-If you don’t want to-

-Stop whispering, Fran!

-If you don’t want to be part of the spectacle, sit down and try to act-

-Act how?

-Now is not the time.

-Come on, Fran, how should I act?

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