Backstage

Tonight the green room is red from a lamp with a red gel scotch taped over the bulb. The floor is painted gold concrete, with a strip of corrugated steel down the middle that bangs when someone steps on it wrong. Two carpets cover most of the floor. In the corner is a big chest that has Leonard Nimoy's name painted on it...presumably from a show he did once. A shitty costume rack with not enough hangers. In the corner is a big hulking mass of electricity--things plugged into stacks of outlets. I have no idea what it is but it feels very theater-y--probably powering the lights and the sound and everything. Then you think about how they need a new roof and you imagine the water coming in on this massive humming hulking mass of electricity and you start to question the whole enterprise.

The dressing room mirror lights are mostly burned out, but still bright enough. The door to the backstage says "ACTORS ONLY" so I feel I must be trespassing every time I go in. The corner outside that door has two airline seats.

The dressing room is full of a quiet but unsettled group. A is curled up on the floor, T is next to her popping every joint in her feet and legs, I'm bouncing through this weird cycle I've stumbled on. I pour all my weight into my feet. From the ankle joint I move my shins like pistons and this movement ripples and bounces up my body and I think it just looks like I'm loosely waving around like those wacky inflatable guys at a car dealership. Then I get bored and move from my knees or my hips. I don't know where this came from but it's entirely set at this point.

Outside the green room a couple other dancers are hanging out in the lit lobby. They're rehearsing sections that give them trouble, or just noodling. We are all waiting. We talk, sometimes, but we keep very quiet. The other piece has noises which we've learned--the part where they jump up on the edge of the risers. The part where they all groan. And finally toward the end, the lone yelp. This is my warning. It is time to stop my weird rolling hips, waving warm-up and start walking around. Start bouncing a bit and rolling through my feet. Go through those last few moves that I feel nervous about. And then clapping, then the lights come up and we all cluster, we get excited, take a deep breath and then off we go into the weird dark box of the stage and we dance.

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