The producer looked Tracey up and down. She couldn’t read his face. Normally when men looked at her, their eyes widened slightly. If they were a few shots down in a club, it wasn’t just their face that gave them away. Even though she was more casually dressed in jeans, they were skin-tight, as was her top so she’d expect some reaction. In the back of her mind, her gaydar sounded an alert.
“Well Tracey, love.” he drawled, “How have you been getting on with learning the lines.”
Very badly. Never one for homework, she’d tried to read through the wad of paper but nothing seemed to stick.
“Well, it’s all a bit new to me. I’ve tried my best”. She tried to sound confident but the reality was starting to bite. Chatting to her friends on Facebook and boasting about taking over a lead role on stage had been great, but now it was put up or shut up time. The theatre world didn’t seem so glamorous at nine in the morning in a hired village hall. At least it was slightly less daunting rehearsing in a hall than in the theatre.
It didn’t help that the producer wasn’t happy with her being cast. She’d overheard him chatting on the phone as she came in and caught the words ‘amateur’ and ‘Bloody am-dram’ before he’d spotted her.
“Look, let’s start slowly. You read from the script and I’ll play all the other parts for the moment.”
“Aren’t the other actors here?”
He smiled. “I thought it would be better if we started without them. They’ve been rehearsing this for weeks. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
Tracey’s heart sank. “OK. I’ll do my best.”
“I’m sure you will.” He looked down his nose at her.
Tracey gulped. “But, I think I need to nip to the loo first.”
An hour later things didn’t look quite so bleak. They had covered the opening scene three times and it was starting to make sense. At first, she’d struggled over the words but each time it made a bit more sense.
“I am Morgina, a poor slave girl. How can I serve you honoured Mr Baba?”
“Very good. I want you to keep an eye on my brother and see where he goes each night.” bellowed the producer in a terrible accent.
“You wish me to spy on your brother, Master?”
“Yes my dear. He is up to something and I want to know.”
“Morgaina exists stage left.”, she blushed, “Sorry, I’m not supposed to read that bit am I.”
The producer groaned. “No, Tracey you aren’t.”
“Don’t worry dear. Let’s move on to another scene. I’m getting bored of obsequious Morgina anyway.”
“Yeah, she’s a bit of a wimp at the moment.”
He laughed. “Considering what she ends up doing later on, it’s quite a change. Just remember not to rub my lamp.”
For a moment she paused. Had her gaydar been off? Then the plot came back to her.
“Yeah. OK, no polishing your shiny bits!”