Monday, January 7, 2013
The Devil You Know Part 7
I became fast friends with everyone in the cast and was totally excited about seriously making my life in the theatre, even though it was community theatre, I was in another show. Heaven Can Wait was interesting to watch from the wings for the first week and then I started to get bored. I was hoping to be discovered as dead body number 3, drowning victim, by someone in the audience within the first five minutes I was out there. I was hoping to get a chance at a second show somewhere. I was always trying to get everyone’s attention in the cast and lived just to be onstage. Fifteen minutes before the show ended, me and the other dead bodies would run to the dressing room and reapply our corpse make up for the curtain call. We had to look freshly dead as the curtain came down. One night after the show the director pulled me aside and reminded me that corpses don’t wear rouge. I reminded her that I was freshly dead. She reminded me that what she said went.
Two of the friends I made at Albany Civic Theatre were Ann and Iris; they both played maids in the show and were very close friends. Iris had a twisted sense of humor and a wicked laugh that came quick and fast. Ann was a little more low key and had a laugh that reminded me of a fog horn, if you made her laugh she would bleat like a goat and then snort it back in. Iris loved to make Ann laugh onstage and we would often draw attention to ourselves in the wings while Ann was out there. Iris was a little dizzy and referred to herself as a “Total Blonde.” Even though her blond hair came from a box and she was a little zaftig, she adopted what she believed was the proper behavior to go with her hair color. Iris even went as far to adopt the voice of Marilyn Monroe, not only onstage but in life as well. So many times I would tell her that I didn’t understand what she said in a breathy tone, that she would repeat it in her native Bronx tone.
Ann on the other hand wanted to be a serious actress, which was her goal in life. Standing at Four foot ten with a face that only a mother could love she cut a shapely figure with a tiny waist. Her ass on the other hand was enormous and would often leave the stage five minutes after she did, but it was a spectacular ass. We would joke that it had its own dressing room.
When Iris and I were not on stage we would hang out in the costume shop and try things on. Rumor had it that the costume shop was haunted along with the theatre. It was a converted old firehouse and the closet in the costume shop lead to a tower. There was a metal ladder attached to the inside of the closet that leads to the roof and it would slightly bang on the wall during a windy day. If we listened close we could always hear the ghosts of dead fireman calling to us, or at least that’s what we thought. One game we would play in the costume shop while the show was going on was to go into the closet with a costume in your hand, turn out the lights and try to put it on. We never made it and we were sure that someone was in the closet with us; we would end up scrambling to get out.
Iris had a roommate named Pam. Pam looked very much like Pam Greer in her afro phase and she had exotic records that she was always listening to. One album cover that we sneaked a look at had a naked effeminate guy totally on the cover. The title of the album was Prince but we thought Prince would be better titled Princess. Pam would tell us to shut the fuck up whenever we talked about Prince.
An apartment opened up downstairs from Pam and Iris and Ann moved in. Everything was great until Ann took out a restraining order against Iris because she believed that Iris was stalking her. I knew that Iris was completely consumed with Ann but did not know that many times Iris would climb down the fire escape and sneak into Ann’s house when she wasn’t around. One night I spent the night at Iris and Pam’s. We tied a glove to a broom handle lowered it out the window to Ann’s window where we taped on her window. Iris told me that she wanted to scare Ann and Ann thinking that Iris was breaking in to her house called the Albany Police. Five minutes later just as I was pretending to be Linda Blair on Iris’ bed the police arrived. I was bouncing myself into the air pretending I was possessed when the bell rang. Iris began to panic when the police announced through the intercom that they were here. Iris looked at me and I quickly told her to take off her clothes. I followed suit, stripped my clothes off and messed up our hair and pulled the sheets from the bed and wrapped them around ourselves. I told her to tell them that we were having sex and that was the noise that Ann heard.
Ann screamed “He’s Gay!” when she overheard Iris’ excuse for the noise. “And you’re crazy!” Iris screamed down the stairs. The cops clearly didn’t want to get involved, told us to keep the noise down and returned to their patrol car. From there they drove to the top of the hill where they had a direct view into the front window of Iris’ apartment. We came up with an idea as we watched them with the lights off. I stepped in front of the window and dropped my sheet, and then Iris came to meet me and stand naked in the window with me. The cops believing our story quickly drove off.
Ann was a good friend but I also enjoyed torturing her a little because she was always so dramatic with every story. I introduced her to Jack and Frankie and she became part of our little group. One night I went to get David from work and was told by the bartender that everyone was upstairs at Jacks house. I climbed the back staircase and knocked on the door. No one answered but I could hear people in there. I pushed the door opened and stepped into the room. The sounds were coming from the living room. As I turned the corner I saw Frankie wearing an SS Uniform, Ann was chained naked to a wall and Frankie was beating her with a riding crop. When Frankie sees me she holds out the riding crop and asks if I want a turn.
To be continued……
Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.