The Closer

Getting ready for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been a whirlwind. Somehow, when I met up with Bobby at Patisserie Valerie two weeks ago, I accepted the part, agreed to help promote the show and signed a contract all before our cappuccinos arrived. He must have worked in sales – he knows his stuff: Always Be Closing.

The production is a modern interpretation of Twelfth Night; I’m playing Viola. I guess I was the only one who auditioned who was tall enough to pass as the twin of Ben, the actor playing Sebastian.

In preparation for the show, I had to muscle my way in to Toni & Guy for a last-minute haircut by using phrases such as “photo shoot” and “international tour”. So I exaggerated a bit. It was urgent. Rehearsals have been going fine but I must admit, I think we spent more time arranging our cast photo than blocking the scenes. I suppose there will be 15 thousand flyers printed, so we want to get it right.

We took part in a Fringe Fest Preview show last night – 10 minutes of stage time preceded by at least an hour of chaos while the producer/actress who organized the event waited for one person to arrive. (Press?) The “person” never showed and a few audience members started leaving, fed up with the endless waiting. The actors had similar feelings and we just stared at each other with that “what are we doing here” look on our faces.

When we finally performed, our 10 minutes of hard work was rewarded with exactly one free beer each. It’s good to get paid for a hard day’s work.

The preview performance helped iron out some of the kinks – well for one scene anyway. I still had to memorize the dialogue from the other two hours of the production.

Bobby seemed to recognize the panic starting to creep in as I made this realization. He swooped across the room to extract me from the self-obsessed producer/actress’s conversational stranglehold, proclaiming he had to give me some acting notes. When we got outside, all he said was “just go home and learn the rest of your lines.” Always Be Closing.