Short Story – Committed Actors
The windy and cold but hopeful New Yorkers, walking everyday past famous opportunities, acting has changed since the 30th century now the 31st century. Actors have to become their characters literally, if their character is to die then the actor will have to commit to that character and die. If they have a broken arm and no teeth, then the actor will have to commit to the painful realisation of their character. Acting has changed since the old days and Timmy is about to do something that will put him in shame. Part of the committed actor’s theatre play, on the Jesus Christ story, Timmy is playing Jesus, meaning he is to die on the cross, to commit to his character on the cross.
The last scene to come, he has put him self through 10 death experiences, making him ready to die on the cross in the theatre, the theatre director Samuel Jones and all the other actors tapping him on the shoulders and a warm good bye. Timmy had started acting when he was very young and always wanted to become a committed actor. He has watched every movie and every known theatre play and all the actors that have died on stage, that they have committed so beautifully but today, he was feeling nervous.
Three quarters way through on the cross, about to get nailed, Timmy decides not to commit to his character, Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and would have been paid highly in cash to his family and respect as an actor, but he bailed.
‘I can’t do it; I don’t want to, get me down!’ Timmy cried
The crowd awed in shock and in embarrassment and shamed the theatre director Samuel Jones, in all his 40 years as a theatre director had he now, for the first time experienced an actor not able to commit to his character. He didn’t want to die, he was 28 years old and he thought to him self, he didn’t want to be a committed actor any more. There are two types of actors in the world now. Those who commit even to death and those who don’t are the old type of actors, not very popular now. People want realism and real tears and blood, pain.
In the backroom full of embarrassment and confusion, upset at what he had done and second chances don’t come very easily these days. Comes in, his long time friend who is a girl Francine, another committed actor awaiting her turn to, one day play a character that has death written all over it, in the future, to make her name as an committed actor. She tries to comfort Timmy but seems useless; she knows he is in big trouble.
‘Its ok, you didn’t want to die I’m sure Samuel will figure something out for you’ Francine spoke reassuringly
‘No its over for me, I didn’t commit to my character I should have died tonight as Jesus Christ’ Timmy spoke unfaithfully
Comes in Samuel Jones with an angry face and sweaty forehead with an embarrassment look on his face but he only had a few words to say to Timmy.
‘Theirs no place for you here Timmy, you need to get out’ Samuel spoke angrily
Timmy got up and changed into his every day clothes and he goes home to his flat, broken down and hardly any electricity left in the building, with a feeling of loss and cowardice and he fall’s asleep in his bed, just forgetting what happened tonight. Samuel the director gives his actors a few words.
‘We are committed actors, we commit to our character 200%. If any one here is afraid or has doubt that he or she will one day not able to commit, because one day you will play a character who will die or has a broken neck, teeth ect, can all of you commit? Because I don’t want another replay of tonight’s play. Timmy should have died tonight on that cross but he didn’t, now you all know what will happen to you if you do the same, you will be out!’ shouted Samuel Jones
Home is where the heart is
Months on end, eventually no money left to pay rent. Only one direction is left for Timmy and that is to go home to Canada. He has an ordinary family, a mum, dad and no siblings to look up to him. He looks at his apartment and remembers all the fun times he had, sleeping with women and acting.
He lives in an ordinary Canadian home, four rooms and his father a retired businessman and an ordinary mother who cleans and nurtures. His father warned him about being a committed actor and the dangers but his youthful rebelliousness was too much for Timmy and he went down that long route.
Knocking on the door and his mother opens it with open arms and a smile while his father has a look on his face, which tells Timmy that he was right and Timmy himself was wrong. His father is a respected man in the area, the Costello family that’s what every one call’s them.
‘Right dad no need to tell me I was wrong’ Timmy spoke
‘But I was right son, its all over the paper’s and news, Actor from the committed actors theatre, failed to commit to his character, Jesus Christ’ Mr Costello spoke firmly
Timmy just ignored him and went straight to his room; he fell a sleep on his bed and dreamt what he wished he had done. His loving mother brought food up to his room while he was a sleep and she kissed him on his forehead. He had to go get a normal life now, normal job and normal wages and do normal things and no more acting.
The next morning he got up straight away and gave his curriculum vitae to every shop and business. He has had some work experience, before he chose to become a committed actor, as he was searching and walking round the Canadian area looking for normal work a man came up to him.
‘Hello’ the strange man spoke
‘Hello?’ Timmy spoke back confused
‘I have a job offer, I run a theatre acting group and I recognise you’ strange man spoke, interrupted by Timmy half way
‘Sorry I don’t act any more’ Timmy replied
‘No, we are not committed actors we are only actors’ Strange man replied
‘Ok where, is your theatre?’ Timmy answered finally interested
‘Here is my card and come to this address, my name is Jonathon Nolan, theatre director’ Jonathon spoke finally not a stranger
Timmy had a smile on his face, a new hope of fresh air. If he couldn’t make it as a committed actor he will try just being a normal actor. He went home with a better morale; he couldn’t wait for the next day to come. He checked on his computer and an email from Francine but he didn’t feel like talking to any of them, they reminded him of what he did that horrible day.
He got up straight away the next day and goes to the specific address on the card and it was just like any other theatre. He goes in and gets greeted in with friendly welcomes; Jonathon gives him a part, already to play for tonight. It was a small part with not many lines but was to introduce him to the theatre. They were normal actors like back in the day, where they didn’t completely die or had to have real broken bones.
As the play is going on, he realises something, there were not many people in the theatre to watch the play and no where near the amount he used to get when he was a committed actor. A full house, this was not even near half. He was disappointed and at the end of the play, he sat with Jonathon and gave his opinions.
‘Hey Jonathon thanks for the offer but’ Timmy spoke, interrupted by Jonathon half way
‘I know you don’t want to carry on with this theatre, normal acting is not very popular any more but thanks for coming’ Jonathon spoke
Timmy goes home, disappointed and despondent but goes home to a surprise. Sitting in the lounge was Francine with a cup of hot chocolate made from his mother; she had bruises all over her body, because she was playing more serious part’s she was committing to her characters pain and injuries. Timmy knew where they came from, when he looked at them, she is becoming more famous and he sat down next to her.
‘I see your playing more serious roles now’ Smiles Timmy
‘Yes, the bruises will definitely tell you that’ Francine replies
‘Why have you come down here?’ Timmy questions
‘My next role, I play Juliet, I am going to die in my next play Timmy, I just wanted to see you for the last time and I’m going to commit to this character’ Francine spoke hesitantly
‘You don’t have to’ Timmy spoke
‘I want to, I have trained for this all my life as a committed actor, come see me play, please timothy’ Francine begged
‘Ok’ Timmy accepted quietly
‘The play is in two days ok’ Francine spoke wanting timothy to come to see her for the last time on stage
She left after giving Timmy a kiss on the cheek and smiled at him, he looked at her and saw her walk away until she disappeared completely from his eyes. 2 days went fast pretty quickly and Timmy with his tickets went to the New York committed theatre play of Romeo and Juliet.
He sat down at the back of the theatre with a hooded top so no one really recognised him in the New York committed actors theatre. Timmy didn’t want to see the play but forcing him self to, when the play was coming to its end, where Juliet wakes up to see Romeo had killed him self and Francine looks at Timmy, right at the back of the room she looks at him and stab’s her self. Committing to her character she dies on stage and a roar of claps every where and Timmy is crying behind the hooded top.
After the play, he goes to the back of the stage and sees her dead body wrapped up and cloaked ready for burial, Timmy staring at her body and staring at the theatre director Samuel Jones but no word’s to say to each other. He goes into his office and passes over a script he had written. It was about a man who has lost his love of his life and like a black hole, sucks every one and anything with him, Samuel reading this looks at Timmy and smiles.
‘Can you commit to this Timmy’ Samuel Jones questions
‘This time definitely’ quietly but firmly spoke Timmy
Timothy play was advertised everywhere, this time Timmy didn’t have to have any near death experiences to prepare him for death because the death of Francine was enough. It was another night that had a full house and everyone in the audience, given a script to read along. Samuel Jones was excited about this play called the ‘black hole’ by Timmy Costello. Their was bomb look alike things all over the theatre and the main character Timmy, getting near to the end of the play, a woman who dies on stage first as Timmy’s lover. He gets out a remote with a button ready to detonate the whole theatre, now the whole audience realising what the play is really about, they all start running for the door but then Samuel Jones comes out and shouts,
‘Sit back down all of you, commit to the play, this is a beautiful play about a man who has lost his love and he has turned into a black hole and takes everyone with him, these actors have committed to their part and now you need to commit to your part, as the audience tonight we will all die, as the play suggests the main actor destroys everything in his path because of his lost love, sit down all of you!’ Samuel Jones shouting
They all sit down this time even the audience committing to their role as ‘everyone else’ to be sucked in by the lost lover’s black hole and Timmy presses the button and blowing up the theatre and at the same time speaking,
‘Here I come, Francine I committed to my part!’ Timmy spoke passionately
The whole theatre blows up and all over the news and newspapers, the committed actor’s studio had committed even the audience and Timmy’s name had been restored as a committed actor.