I Auditioned Kinski
It’s really quite a contraption. You wouldn’t know it when it pulls into your town but the entire insides of the truck are the stage. The left side is hinged and opens up, dropping down in a way that, when two pedestals are placed beneath the corners, it extends the acting area of the stage about 8 feet out into wherever the truck is parked.
The stage directions called for the theme color to be “clay beige”. Everything was to conform as seamlessly as possible. Floors, walls, ceiling, pedestals—yes, even the uniforms!
The closest my crew could find were variations of “mocha latte” and “camel hump”. A traveling show must make adjustments when necessary.
There were the Four Guardsman. Before and during the performance they simply milled around aimlessly on the sides of the stage (inside the truck).
In retrospect, in something resembling dream-logic, there have been rumors that these roles were played by famous performers doing anonymous cameos.
And then—walking forward from the back of the truck towards center stage—we are quite suddenly in the presence of the Commandant.
The Commandant’s coat has a fur collar. He is played by Klaus Kinski. This is the Kinski of the 1978 film “Song Of Roland”. His hair long, blown wildly by a wind machine out of view of the camera—his eyes looking right into and out of Darkness itself. He carries a cane with a crystal ball at the end.
The Commandant approaches.
Approaches me. I am playing someone very much like myself.
He taps me with his cane on one of my bare feet.
Unacceptable—his voice thunders. Your toes are not properly clean.
Ruffled for but a moment I come to my senses and reply quite boldly, indignantly—completely oblivious to the dangers that the khakiness of this grim scenario may have been trying to suggest.
Now wait a minute. I happen to take great care of my feet! I clean them regularly, applying moisturizing unguents quite often.
I even cast aside one of the most absurdly powerful straightjackets of my gender and, finding it looks attractive, I paint my toes! Usually a metallic blue, as it goes with my eyes.
Kinski here, towering above me—obviously wearing platforms because he is not a tall man—stands frozen, like a cardboard cutout of himself, obviously struck speechlesss. I raised my hand to my mouth, blew breath onto my fingernails and then rubbed them on my shirt front.
The Four Guardsmen flutter in the wind like laundry on a line.
As a matter of fact—I snap back—I’ll come back later when I have done them up. And so I turn on my heel and leave the stage.
Later, inspired by a book I saw just days earlier at a used book store—”Insomniac Dreams” by Vladimir Nabokov (in which the master writer wrote down his dreams first thing every morning)—I sit and type this out.
© AleXander Hirka 2020. All Rights Reserved.