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Chuckie Finn

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Almost Entertainment
By Chuckie Finn
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Rated "G" by the Author.

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I wonder if this is how Brad Pitt got his start....

George had assembled his crew of theatre maintenance forces and informed us as to the venue of the week’s assignment. Auditions were being conducted for aspiring performers as well as for a variety of other vacant positions for a diverse cast. Each person of which was hoping for a chance to break into show business. Many technical artists and managerial personnel were to be on hand to view the prospective candidate’s talents. It was our job to insure stage props and musical provisions were easily and readily accessible to those who may require it.

“The first day of a rehearsal is the most important part of any play once they have been selected to be in the supporting cast,” George said chewing on the stub of his cigar. “Young or old, each person showing up with their portfolio of theatrical accomplishments is going to be very nervous. Therefore, I expect each of you to stay out of their way while they are doing their script readings or even a simple choreography. I will not tolerate any shenanigans like the last time we held open auditions here when one of you started clapping your hands together and shouting AUTHOR, AUTHOR, after the amateur actor finished the scene of Hamlet.”

It didn’t take long for George to become bored with the continuing tide of multi-talented actors and actresses to perform on stage. As polite acknowledgements and discerning smiles were passed between the interviewers and applicants, George sighed deeply and looked at the stylishly dressed man next to him and shook his head in flippant ridicule of what was happening on stage.


“That performance by that no talented young actress was absolutely dreadful!”George said recklessly. “She couldn’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance without stumbling through it.”

The man casually turned to George and replied, “That no talented young actress happens to be my daughter.”

“Oh, excuse me. I wasn’t aware,” George stammered. “Well her weak anemic material and script she was reading from was the cause for my rather foolish outburst of opinion.”

“That script you are being critical of took nearly two years to complete and was written by my wife and I!” He replied through gritted teeth. With a pompous sneer, he pivoted sharply and stormed from the stage wing.

Witnessing the conversation and sudden retreat, I approached my boss with a bit of reservation. “Wow George, maybe you shouldn’t be so critical about a play and a thespian’s performance. After all, how can you judge play when you never wrote one? ” I said placing a reassuring hand upon his shoulder.

“I never laid an egg either, but I sure as heck know the difference between a good omelet and a bad one,” George answered. “But it’s like one stage producer once told me. If the play is bad, have the showgirls wear more make up and wear a higher skirt. That gentleman’s play needed the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes to make it a good one.”

One of the final auditions for the day was a scene from the Pulitzer Prize winning play Picnic. The stage scene was prepared to resemble a small farmhouse in the mid-west. Live chickens, ducks, and a rooster were roaming freely on stage as two thespians recited their lines in the roles once played by William Holden and Kim Novak. Each time the handsome stranger tried to direct his attention to the sweet innocent country girl sitting on the porch, the pesky rooster would sneak up and peck the back of his leg causing him to shuffle his steps a bit and ad-lib to the script with the word “Ouch!” No matter where the actor roamed on stage and yelled his lines from, that Rhode Island Red followed just waiting for it’s next chance to make an painful impression on his calf. Although the full moon was shining bright in the backdrop against a darkened sky, and the sound of crickets in the fields could be heard, that rooster’s persistent crowing and interrupting the romantic scene was becoming comical. The actor looked at his wristwatch and shook it before pressing it to his ear. He finally looked to the “audience” and said his watch must be running a bit slow.

By the end of the week, the actors and actresses were selected for their roles and a walk through rehearsal was to be conducted for the benefit of close personal friends and relatives of those connected with the play. Limited seating and stage personnel were on hand as needed. George was asked to assist in ushering. There were only a few single seats left when the mother and daughter of the stage director entered the theatre and were informed they would have to be seated separately.

“Oh dear, I really don’t wish to leave my daughter’s side, George. You wouldn’t want to separate a loving mother and her daughter now would you?”

“Of course not. I did that once when I got married and I’ve been regretting it ever since,” George replied turning away so only I could see his wry smile and the tiny wink of his eye.





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Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/4/2004
fun write, chuckie! thanks for sharing; enjoyed much~

(((HUGS))) and much love, your tx. friend, karen lynn. :D
Reviewed by Amelia Peterson 8/31/2004
LOL...enjoyed the humorous bits throughout this entertainment tale.

Amy




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