Pushing loos

I’m off for an early-ish bed tonight. The carnage is about to start. Tomorrow is our first capacity crowd and being Thursday it’s likely to be pretty boozy. It’ll take all our energy for the two of us to keep hold of the reins, and after losing my voice last weekend I want to be well rested and fighting fit.

It finally feels like we are in the run now. We don’t need to lose our days to it. I’d like to see some sunlight tomorrow morning if there’s any to be had. I’ve got a car and a bike to sort out, and a life outside this show to reclaim.

There’s a pattern now to my pre-show. It still requires some time but I know it and it helps me get into the right mindset. It goes like this: Coffee, steam, attach 26 candles to various candelabra, make sure the ring is stuck to the tankard, reset the ledger, place water glass, check tricks, check knife. Do the bloody shutters. Get changed. Check slippers and gown and hat. Light 26 candles. Write new debtor. Check wardrobe door and smoke machine. Warm up further. House opens. Look at audience through secret window. Shift head and internal rhythm. Keep warmed up. Solve whatever random problem happens or marvel as someone else does. Watch out for ghosts. Hug everybody. Mutter humbug. Showtime. Be Scrooge. Keep voice safe. Hit the beats. Look after Jack. Keep track of improv for reincorporation. Finish. Load up a tupperware, eat some food, wind down, go home, feed cat, wash, rest.

This evening’s unexpected delight was to do with portaloos. Two out of the three were clunged up with gak last night. The venue was going to empty them this morning but somehow – oh how we were surprised – that didn’t happen. Instead actors with sticks happened to the portaloos and we all thanked the lord that there were only 30 biological entities witnessing the entertainment, with their inevitable messy human processes.

Amazingly nobody emerged howling from any of the three of them, and the last thing we did this evening as a company was pushed three extremely full cludgies down a corridor to the place where we are optimistic enough to believe that the venue will empty them out tomorrow.

Acting. The glamorous profession. “Where do you see yourself in 20 years time, young Alexander?” “I’m glad you asked me that, Colinbert. I would like to be dressed in a soiled Victorian nightgown pushing a loo full of shit down a freezing corridor in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in the East End of London.”

Everyone is pulling in the same direction. The atmosphere is brilliant. Nobody is using poisonous words like “should”. We are all just coming together and making a happy Christmas show in a weird space. Pushing loos is not costing us anything, and is really just quite funny. Also they slide very well. Although you wouldn’t want to push them too enthusiastically in case they snag on something and fall on you.

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Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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