Secret weapons

So the show that I just finished, The Gold Lunch, is a 12-minute monologue that comes at the end of an evening of shorter and longer one-acts. For an 8:00 curtain for the first show, I come on at about 10:25, but I like to get to the theater for the first curtain. So I spend a lot of time backstage. Survival tools: a fat collection of Raymond Chandler novels, an iPod loaded with all the episodes of David Terry and Michael Kraskin’s Catalogue of Ships, my water bottle, and (once the penultimate play—a version of Chekhov’s The Brute well-played for broad laughts—starts) lots of pacing back in the construction shop.

After the opening performance to a small house on Thursday, I had my doubts about how well the show would be received. But Friday’s house was with me from the second line, and that night I had one of those rare audience rushes—just everything was clicking, and all I had to do was tell the story.