Visual Club

How To Get Through Your Daytime Preview Theatrical Performance

  1. Get up at last possible minute. Practice morning ablution rituals with machinelike precision. Execute efficient coffee transaction. Discard cigarette 1 second before entering office doors, no strides broken. Arrive ten minutes late anyway. Feel stupid.
  2. Take note of tech people hurling themselves around the office, weeping brokenly and babbling in their creepy alien tongue, and occasionally bursting into flames. “Oracle! SQL! Down! Hardware! Two network drives! Fucked! Firewalls! Remote servers! Choking on vomit! Noam Chomsky!” Eventually tire of this puzzling scene, go to office.
  3. Read sweaty, dense emails from aforementioned incontinent tech staff. Finally decipher that all databases are somehow royally fucked all to hell, and might be for some time. Note with rising pleasure that this means it is basically totally impossible for any work to be done.
  4. Get bored, torture office mates. Hang sign on Tiny Administrative Girl’s office that reads “ACTUAL SIZE SHOWN.” Maliciously inform Caftan Guy in dark tones that the database was no doubt “a problem way, way down on the hardware end. I’m pretty sure a backbone got hit with a DDOS, because the staff is saying that the DNS issues here are propogating across multiple networks.” He nods sagely.
  5. Leave work early to walk to theater to get ready for inexplicable Wednesday afternoon preview performance. Greet other actors and note that they–a notably nocturnal species–look kind of grey and wilted in the bright sunlight, like old mushrooms left forgotten on a countertop. The sun beats down with oppressive, cheery wrath; enter the vaguely sinister dank theater for refuge from the awful sleet of photons.
  6. Greet tech staff, who are performing their mysterious preshow functions while gabbling amongst themselves. Like the tech staff at work, these are freakish, incomprehensible beings with a chittering, insectoid language. “Leko fresnel!” Or something. Then, incredibly, someone on a ladder says something murky about Phoebe Cates, and everyone laughs. What? Run downstairs.
  7. Walk into dressing room, immediately deal with the psychic strain of inadvertantly being presented with fellow actor’s bare ass, pointed directly at you as he bends to change pants, as if it were some sort of siege weapon from a William Burroughs novel. Note also that actress in next room (actually just a curtained-off area) is singing along to Sting’s “We’ll Be Together.” Hazily think that God really did exist, He would probably be a lot like Adam Sandler.
  8. Shave angry, overshaved neck, while fellow actors struggle with their ties. They look like clumsy fishermen wrestling with handfuls of madly thrashing eels. Stare at own tie, which you realize appears to be a sophisticated homage to quantum string theory. Actors, for no explainable reason, cannot dress themselves.
  9. Perform! Huzzah! It’s showtime! Aaarooogah! It’s two o’clock on a Wednesday! There’s twelve people in the audience, including the director, who is furiously writing a note chastising you for some awful, bumbling thing you just did! Also, there’s the twisted local amateur drama critic, who is writing down a cutting remark about your belt, for some reason! Listessly wander through rest of show. The acting all around is half-speed and blunted. Receive perfunctory applause at curtain call.
  10. Immediately feel nine times better upon removal of costume. Note sudden re-animation of rest of cast, exactly two minutes after leaving the stage, where it was so desperately needed. Reflect: this is why you never, ever go to the preview performance of a show.