>THESPS

>Jonny is getting high on fresh printer’s ink, so I know I have a few minutes free. I roll my Rs out onto the page in front of me, counting them. Cracking open my lexical piggy-bank. Jonny keeps saying, “Arg, right in the duodenum!” and I know then this is his Big Line for the day, his jumping-off point to greatness.

He has three auditions today, and will probably nail all three. I have had fourteen successful auditions in my entire life, including ones I went to under duress as a burgeoning child star. I am Max Entere, he of the cherubic blood-bloom cheeks. I am that boy who held that candle in that television ad looking at you beseechingly to donate to prostate cancer research. Yes, the why isn’t daddy coming home? kid. That is pretty much where my career has stayed.

Jonny wears a beaded skullcap in public and actually owns three separate sets of bongos. Jonny had a walk-on part in this country’s most popular drama, the one with the police officers who work as vets as well. Jonny has invented a different handshake for everyone he knows, and some extras for strangers. I have mastered every exercise in the entire oeuvre of The Complete Voice Exercises for Professional Actors. I buy expensive imported New York newspapers concerning professional entertainment news.

Jonny will be famous one day. Of this he is sure and so, unfortunately, am I.

Theatre is dead.

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