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Line! or The Stage Manager every Actor Dreads

By Jeff Folschinsky

As I look back at my life. I realize that… that… Ah Jesus, I know this. No really I do. I did the whole thing, from beginning to end at lunch today.

Christ. LINE! Hello?

Okay, yes I know we’re not supposed to do this at this point but I really need help. I’m blanking out for some reason and all these people staring at me is not helping.

Hello? Hello!

Oh, for crying out loud, can you throw me a life line here? I mean, yes, I know the director informed us you wouldn’t be doing this type of thing anymore but this is embarrassing.

Of course if you didn’t think you would be doing this anymore maybe you weren’t following me in the script. Is that it? Are you trying to find out where I am right now? Should I just stand here and wait or should I leave? Hello, is anyone up there listening to me?

If it helps I was at the part where my character was looking back on their life and was about to come to an astonishing conclusion. I’m not really sure what that conclusion is obviously. I mean if I knew that then I wouldn’t be standing here with egg on my face; now would I?

Hello? Hello?

Oh come on, don’t be a fricking jerk. Just give me the damn line so we can all move on with our lives. I’m waiting.

Wow, you my friend are one sadistic son-of-a-bitch. It’s not like I’m asking you to finish the piece for me. I know it, really I do. I just need a line or two to jog my memory. If you’re worried that this will become a habit I assure you it won’t. I swear I knew this thing earlier today. I went over it at lunch in front of a work colleague and he assured me I was word perfect. Of course he was laughing all the way through it which I found odd, since it was such a sad piece, but that’s not really here nor there right now.

Come on, I just need a little help. Things aren’t going good for me right now, on stage or in life. Things are tough on the relationship front, my boss hates me all of the sudden, and for some reason my car has been acting funny. So I really need this right now. Can you please help me out?


Really, I’m pouring my heart out here, with all of these people watching me and still nothing from you? I don’t know what happened to blacken your heart like this but may god show you the mercy that you’re denying me right now, because it’s obvious that your soul is truly lost my friend.

Well, since it’s obvious that you’re committed to this course of action. I see no other alternative but to leave this stage and deny these people the end of what could have possibly been my best performance ever. I hope that you’re proud of yourself, and if anyone feels they want their money back because of this episode. Take it up with smart person in the tech booth back there.

(Actor leaves the stage and then comes running back on a few seconds later.)

Oh, I remember what it is now. As I look back at my life, I realize that…




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