I love when I’m getting involved in a new production in the theatre! The excitement of a read-through never gets old for me. To get a glimpse of how the cast will come together to make an audience think, laugh, cry, and smile -it is marvelous!
April 2010. After a couple of days of auditions, the show has been cast and we are meeting for our first read-through. I get to the theatre early. As I have already mentioned this is my first show with a new company, and I am excited to get to know the cast, many of whom are company regulars.
The show is a mash-up of sorts involving scenes from different Shakespeare plays. My friend S has cleverly crafted a through-line to mold it all together. He has an interesting script and I am eager to put the faces to each character.
I am sitting on a couch in the green room waiting for everyone to arrive, when the Smurf sits down next to me. I later learn that he has been involved in this company for many years, but at the time he is just another actor to me, all be it a very expressive one.
He asks me, “What are you doing here?” This seems an odd question that takes me back for a minute. Does he think I don’t know where I am? Or is he just awkward?
“I mean…” he stammers, “Not, like, what the hell are you doing here, but – who are you? What are you doing for the show?”
I tell him my name and say that I will be the assistant stage manager. He welcomes me, and then I’m sure there is a little more small talk. The others begin to arrive, and the read through begins. I can tell this show is going to be amazing – we have such a strong cast!
After the read through, I ask if perhaps I can get a ride to my car. I’ve parked farther from the theatre than most because I wasn’t sure where I needed to be. Most everyone either car-pooled or has somewhere to be, but the Smurf says that he is also parked where I am and offers to walk with me.
My friend T, being goofy, says, “Yes, that’s a great idea! You two walk together and flirt!” She is joking, and we are good sports about it, jokingly “flirting” as we walk out the door.
He walks me to my car, and we exchange some “see you laters”. Little do I know that T’s suggestion of a flirtation is only the beginning…