As an actor, I have always strived for that elusive moment of blurred reality onstage. That moment you forget yourself, forget the theater, and lose yourself completely in the moment. I have had a few of these moments, but one, absolutely made my career.
The show: No Sex Please, We’re British. The character: Eleanor Hunter. Typical British farce, lots of slamming doors and underwear.
It was well into the run, and one night during Act I, I had to exit into the “bathroom”. I opened the door, and walked in. This was the moment the world of the play became real. The “bathroom” smelled like someone had just used it. There was no sink, no toilet, but the unforgettable stench of poo lingered in the air. My mind took me there, to the world of the play, and I saw it in all of it’s glory. There was no theater. There was no audience. The characters were alive, and it was beautiful.
Then it hit me. One of my cast mates, well-known for his flatulence, was the last character to enter from the “bathroom”. I was standing amidst his crop dusting thinking, “Is this life imitating art, or art imitating life?”