You begin rehearsing when you’re very young,
Testing tactics, gesture, and use of voice
To guage what actions elicit embrace. You clung
To the director’s words and based every choice
On a raised eyebrow or the cessation of speech–
Which way of performing will win the boss’s
Favor again? If nothing else, you teach
Yourself how to ignore your secret losses
While looking competent but exhausted. When
They see how hard you’re working, they’ll take note,
Right? They’ll smatter you with claps. Then
You’ll be significant, reciting lines by rote.
Soon, you won’t even need a script anymore.
You’re memorized, tight-costumed, half lit. Encore.