It was a dusty night. Hot and dry. The kind of night that makes you wonder if the gods have it out for you. I was in my office, nursing a bottle of gin like it was my only beloved child. I had just made mincemeat out of the first half and was looking forward to not remembering the second when she walked in.
Maybe it was the dust in the air, maybe it was the gin, but I knew this squirrel was gonna be more trouble than a traffic cop with indigestion. She had gams that went all the way to the top where they met eyes like flying saucers. I can’t remember what color they were but I was begging to be abducted.
I offered her a glass of gin and she downed it with the grace and class of a european princess at a sorority party. Then she looked at me and said, “so, you’re an actor I hear.”
I choked on my gin. How did she know my M.O.? All I could finally mutter was, “Why? You looking for a birthday clown?”
“Maybe in the spring, but that’s not why I’m here.”
I tell you her voice was like a silk slipper kicking me in my bad intentions. I removed the clown nose I had prematurely pulled out of the desk drawer and asked, “Then why are you here, kid? You don’t look like an agent and I can’t possibly be of any other use.”
That’s when she laid it all out. She had heard about a show that Bag & Baggage was doing. A show about women in the fifties fighting to claim relevance in a male dominated world. The show would need two male actors and one was already cast. They would need me to play 4 male characters who help support the arcs of the female leads. The show was called The Best of Everything.
I looked her in those giant baby blue headlights she called eyes and asked why me and what does she have to do with these Bag & Baggage folks. She just smiled, drank the last of my gin and started walking to the door. Her hand reached for the handle and lingered over it like a hurricane over Miami.
“Me? I don’t know them from Adam. Just heard it all on the grapevine. Why you? There’s a couple noir-ish scenes in the show and for some reason I thought you could handle it.”
With that she walked out into the sultry night, never to be seen again. I looked at what was left of my gin. Did someone slip a mickey into this thing? The hell with it I thought, and downed the rest.
A couple months later and we’re two weeks from opening. I’ve gotten to explore the joys of finding multiple characters and how they transition, on stage, from one to another. I’m lucky enough to be a part of an incredibly talented cast bringing a well written and timely play to life. I’ve had the chance to enjoy watching the vision of the director form along with the instincts of the actors to shape a very organic and flowing production. Yeah, I feel I’m the schmo who’s got the best of everything.
I still don’t know who that damsel was but I’m thanking the god of dusty summer nights that of all the gin soaked imaginary offices in all the world, she walked into mine.
Bag&Baggage Resident Actor
The Best of Everything