Sitting in her dressing room, Tracey relaxed. The second half had been pretty much incident free. She didn’t have so much to do and her big finale, killing the baddie had gone well. Best of all, when the cast have come on to stage for their final bow, the audience went wild as she walked on. As a main character, she processed down the steps in an amazing gown that looked like it should be in a cake shop. All the applause was for her. It was possibly the most wonderful moment of her life.
All the learning, all the work, it was worthwhile. Would the thrill still be there after a month of performances? It didn’t matter. For the moment there was a bottle of chilled champagne and a dozen roses sat beside the mirror. There wasn’t a name on the card, and she knew they were probably from that soppy old sod Gareth, but it didn’t matter. This was the treatment stars got and she wanted to revel in it.
Freddie stuck his head into the room. “Well done Tracey. You played a blinder. Who’d have thought you’d never done this before.”
A few minutes later, the dame wandered in and said the same. “Darling, you are a trooper. We didn’t think you’d do it, but you only did.” He gulped down a cup of the bubbly, “Listen, a few of us are going for a drink later. Fancy it?”
She paused. Normally a drink after work would be just right, but she was tired. On the other hand, how often is a girl asked out by a man in that much makeup? Not in the sort of bars she frequented of course.
“Oh, go on then”, she replied, “Are you going to get changed back into your normal clothes first?”
“Darling, you don’t think I’m going out like this do you? Gotta keep the magic in the theatre. It’ll be too exciting for civilians to see me in full regalia.”
She laughed, “Anyway, you might get asked again if you are a transvestite.”
“OMG. That little kid earlier. We drag them up on stage for a little time in the limelight, just so the moms and dads can Instagram a picture you know, and the little bugger asks that! He said his auntie had told him to say it too! What a bitch!”
“It made the audience laugh though.”
“Oh yeah. They love it when stuff goes wrong. Look how they laughed when Ali opened the shop door and the whole front fell backwards.”
Tracey looked puzzled. “I didn’t see that. What happened?”
“You were probably doing a costume change. Yeah. Ali Baba opens the shop door and the bloody set only goes and collapses.” The Dame fluttered her hand about to demonstrate.
“Aren’t these things tied to something?”
“Should be. Looks like one of the crew didn’t do their knots properly. I mean it’s only a canvas painting, but it still looks a bit rubbish.”
“And the pyrotechnics almost blew up the camel.”
The Dame laughed. “Poor guys got a dose of exploding stars up the jacksie. Enough to give them the right hump!”
Tracey frowned, “Quite a lot seemed to go wrong then really. I’m glad it wasn’t just me.”
“You? Oh no, you were fine. Look luv, we all fluff the odd line. It doesn’t matter so much for me as I can just mess around with the script anyway.”
“Doesn’t the director mind?”
“That old queen? Nah. Anyway, I’d soon give him a slap. Scripts are just for guidance in panto. We do something different every night.”
“Oh, I’ve been learning it by heart.”
“And very good you are too. You stick to the writer’s words and leave the ad-libbing to me and the others for the moment. We’re old pros. It takes years of practice, and that’s just for applying the makeup. “
With that, he swept out of the room leaving Tracey to her thoughts. Maybe she was OK. All the cast had been lovely and she had got most of her lines right. Give it another few performances and perhaps she’d feel more confident. One thing she did know, Tracey Dunn-Jones had found something she was good at.