Scoop 8: Ordinary People

We are sitting huddled around the fire in a house in Melkbosstrand. Me and my fellow actors. We are staying in the house of the director of the production “A Seder Val in Waterkloof”. There are two weeks left before we leave for Nelspruit for the Innie Bos festival. Its raining and cold and the warm fire and sherry warms up the bones after a long day in the freezing cold rehearsal room. I am at word. My fellow actors are tucked away under blankets listening to my tales of the Lollipop Lounge, the girls, my team, my strange, strange world.

Now, you see, I know the world of an actor. The auditions, the long periods without work, the little money if you are lucky enough to get a job. The words “Next!” after a short audition piece that you had such a good feeling about.

You see, I studied Drama at Stellenbosch before the world of Exotic Dancing swallowed me up and spat me out. Not in an ugly way, when you see someone hanging over the toilet, trying to clear his gut from what upset his stomach. My spitting out, was the birth of a wiser, streetwise performer. GiGi the showgirl was born. I must say it took many, many shows and many, many late nights before I truly made my mark by 2004. It was the stories of those years that captivated by little audience on those cold and raining nights in Melkbosstrand. “I am coming to waitress for you as soon as this production is finished.”

One red haired born and bred Nelspruit performer proclaimed. “I am coming to visit!” The aloof brunette on the couched joined in. “Really?” I teased in a playful manner. “I have never been to a strip club, GiGi! I am coming to visit!”

Two months later the young red head joined the Lollipop Lounge as a waitress. She started with enthusiasm. She had an energy and freshness that was contagious.

Then two weeks later she phoned. “Sorry GiGi, I cannot do this. I can’t sleep, the long hours are killing me and deep down I just do not feel good. Earning tips from customers that ogled at girls for hours on end.” And so came the end of my red haired co-actor, cum waitress.

By the end of the year. I was wondering what happened to the aloof brunette. I phoned her up. “I have not seen you for ages. Come for dinner at the Lollipop Lounge. I will show you around. There are so many of my friends that would like to meet you!” She phoned two days later. “ I am sorry GiGi. I am not going to lie. I can never visit the club. Please forgive me, but it’s not my kind of place.”

Only then did it strike me. Although they might be actors, they are still ordinary people with ordinary lives and I am on the outside looking in.   I appreciated her honesty. I took my friends to meet with her at a little Portuguese restaurant down the road. She looked like she enjoyed the dinner and the company. We kissed and hugged and went our separate ways.

Separate worlds, separate dreams, light years apart.

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