Tricks of the Trade

The Playwright, In The First Week Of Rehearsal, Makes Herself Plain

“She has beautiful shoulders,” I said. “And the light pours off
of her skin.”

Because an actor can do anything she took a breath and shone.
But then

all the female actors who had been listening in had beautiful

and light pouring off of their skin. I had to rein them in. There
was too

much light bouncing around the rehearsal room. “No,” I said.
“Just her.”

I know too much about this game but I don’t know everything.

the homeless squatted, in distressed costumes, smoking bumpers,

in a ragged line for the free lunch. Hunkered deep into their roles.
An apt

tableaux. “Perfect, perfect,” whispered the playwright. “Don’t

a thing.” We could smell the free lunch cooking as we clattered
back from

bistros. The downcast eyes took in our feet, but one or two lifted
a glance

with a curious squint, a cool and tilted assessment of the portion
we would

get. Then we were gone, one blink, we were no longer there, we
were voices

ringing from inside the old church hall, emphatic footsteps dancing
to my tune.

Jennifer Compton


Jennifer Compton lives in Melbourne and is a poet and playwright who also writes prose.

© 2020