Showtime

Her: But he always does that. Haven’t you noticed?

Me: Does what?

Her: Won’t say yes to your idea. His is always better. You haven’t noticed that? He has NO RESPECT for the work.  We’re trying to improvise a show here! Doesn’t he? I mean… Fucker. I know he hates me.

Me: Of course he hates you.

(long pause)

Her: What?

(long pause)

Me: Nothing.

(long pause)

Her: What’s that supposed to mean?

Me: Nothing.  He’s Kyle’s best friend. He thinks you’re the devil. You can see that, right?

(pause)

Me: Let’s just get ready for this show. Huh? He’s funny. You’re funny. No bigs, right? Let’s change the subject.

Her: Let’s go into this grocery store.

Me: Why? Do you need something?

Her: I’m a little hungry. We’ve got 20 minutes to kill before we warm up. Come on.

(we enter the store)

Her: Ooh! Look at this. Marshmallows! Yummy right? Pretty. Don’t you want to eat them?

Me: I’m full, but you should get some if you’re hungry.

Her: No. They’re made of cow hooves. I just remembered. Don’t you think he’s a little bit of a steamroller? I mean, he just powers through scenes. There’s no subtlety.

Me: He’s a big player. He plays big. What do you want? He’s fucking hilarious.

Her: See. That’s what bugs me. He gets rewarded for doing bad improv. He doesn’t support. Oooh! Look at this melon.

Me: It’s a watermelon.

Her: But doesn’t it look great? He’s a dick.

Me: He’s not a dick. You can’t buy a whole watermelon right before we do a show.

Her: Why not?

Me: You won’t be able to cut it open. He’s just super aggressive with his moves and so are you. It can cause friction.

Her: I’m not aggressive!

Me: You are. It’s a good thing, remember?

Her: I’m not aggressive like he is.

Me: I mean…

Her: I’m not! Am I?

Me: Yes. You’re aggressive. We all have our shows where we’re barreling through. I have to remind myself to slow down. What about a granola bar?

Her: I don’t want a granola bar – ooooh, look at these pickles! They look so good!

Me: When did pickles become 11 dollars?

Her: They’re artesianal.

Me: They’re cucumbers.  Are you hungry or what?

Her: Whydoyouask?

Me: Jeez. I dunno, Ellen. I guess because every time you’re stressed out over a show you take me to a grocery store and look at food items you don’t purchase.

Her: Is that weird?

Me: A little. I mean, especially knowing you had an issue with anorexia.

Her: I usually eat some bread and cheese in the morning to make sure I have some protein inside me.

Me: That’s not reassuring. I’m sorry to tell you this, but yes, we’re all aggressive sometimes. And yes, Carl hates you. You broke his best friend’s heart. You had an affair with one actor in the show, and then you had an affair with another, and you expect everyone to just get along, when both men loved you.

Her: I LOVED THEM TOO. I’m not a monster in all this!

Me: I’m not saying you’re a monster. I’m saying, people can’t always put their feelings aside and do the show.

Her: I can.

Me: Can you?

Her: YES. I’m a professional. He’s not. I’m only aggressive in scenes with him!

Me: That’s not true, but even if it was – how is that you putting your feelings aside?!

Her: He hates women! He doesn’t do that with you, does he? He can’t stand an assertive woman improviser, that’s what it is.

Me: That might be part of it. You’re aggressive onstage.

Her: Assertive.

Me: AGGRESSIVE. And yes. Comedy is full of immature boys that condescend to women. Please don’t start crying. We have to do a show in ten minutes. Come on. Let’s go.

Her: (still crying) Why does everyone hate me?

Me: They don’t… because they’re jealous of you. You have a big talent and it’s intimidating to them. They probably don’t even know they’re jealous of you. You’re a force to be reckoned with. Look, we all love each other, even when we get jealous. We all love being here, and respect each other.

Her: How do I know you’re not just saying that because we’re going onstage right now?

Me: You don’t. You just – we have to trust each other. I’m on your side. Okay?

Her: I guess.

Me: I’m sorry I brought this up at the wrong time. I was a jerk for doing that. Will you eat something?

Her: No.

Me: Okay. Let’s go. It’s showtime.

2 thoughts on “Showtime

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