Wednesday January 22nd, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the performer.

Took Max back to StrongStart this morning and he had his usual blast. It was more crowded than usual but he had no trouble either entertaining himself or playing with others. Plus, once he's fully comfortable, he really does love to have a crowd to perform for.


A spotlight so bright it burns a hole in the stage, its beam glittering and beckoning but it's still a cage. Relax, calm down - I'm not about to fly into a rage. Out there, before all those waiting fans and critics and bored dates, is where I earn my wage.

And it's a good one, I'll be the first to admit. But it requires so much, I must fully commit. Every single night I start again, it's all on the line; I can make it, or I can lose it.

The pressure never leaves. My career, my life depending on what everyone else perceives. I can only pray that they are honest, not petty little thieves.

So why do I do it, why don't I walk away? Why do I dance so dangerously close to becoming one more tired old cliche? I've thought about it, part of me is dearly tempted, but I delay, I delay. I could lie to you, pretend I'll escape one day, but I know I'll always stay.

What can I say? I don't know any other way.


Greg said...

Sounds like you've got a politician in the making there! I hope Max continues to be this social and friendly as he grows up :)
Ah, I rather like it when your pieces mingle prose and poetry like this, and I have little trouble imagining you performing this at a poetry-slam somewhere. That would make it somewhat self-referential I suppose, but that's no bad thing!

The performer
I see a little silhouette of a man.... Strings reach up the ceiling as though the actor were a marionette, and hidden ratchets catch up the strings when his arms go up and let it out again when they go down. He moves jerkily across the stage, silhouetted against the brightly-lit back-drop. There's a large floppy hat with feathers, a swirling cloak and what look like wide boots of the kind people like to think were worn in the Middle Ages
Scaramouche, Scaramouche,....
"My name is Scaramouche!" he calls out. "I have laid waste to countries, terrified kings, and eaten entire armies!"
The audience murmurs softly at that point. Did he really say eaten?
Will you do the fandango?
"Oh silly me," he says, and a laugh rumbles from his belly, echoes in his chest and bursts vibrantly out through the top of his hat. "Did I say armies? I meant audiences!" There's a ripple of amusement in the audience now, chuckles here and there. Am I the only one bothered by the laugh bursting through his hat?
Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightning... There's a rumble of thunder and the lighting changes, the backlighting winking out and the stage lighting rising. Now it's apparent that Scaramouche is not human at all; that "hat" is the top of a bulbous, pustulent head with six mouths arranged sinusoidally around it. Eyes wink and weep from its belly, and that was no cloak, it was wings of tatty, mouldy-looking skin. The boots are clawed legs, with scythe-like dew claws just below the knee. The smell of the charnel-house, rich, fly-blown and rotting rolls across the audience in a wave.
"Me!" yells Scaramouche the devourer, triumphantly.

Marc said...

Greg - me too :)

Fantastic piece today. Love how you worked the lyrics into it, and the imagery is brilliant.

That's certainly a different take on Scaramouche as well, and the whole thing is all the better for it :)

Woo, caught up again! Let's see how long it lasts this time...