|Faking It – by Sal Monid 2012
“Fake it ‘till you make it.” It’s what he’d always advised to those around him. When people felt there was something missing in their lives or their personalities, Reginald would offer up his standard advice. It seemed catchy and was an easy tidbit to offer. Reginald hadn’t considered that he would ever have to consider the advice for himself, and yet, here he was rationalizing his inability to laugh. If that wasn’t scary enough he also couldn’t draw laughter out of anyone else.
‘Knock, knock’. Reginald’s blood flowed cold through his veins and the cold nervous sweat beaded on his brow. Glancing at the too small window, Reginald dismissed fleeing – he didn’t want to face the crowd that waited in the club. They waited for him to draw out their laughter. He’d done it for years and now he could do it no longer. He was broken. “Fake it ‘till I make it.” Reginald scoffed aloud as he adjusted his sport jacket and strode to the door.
“Reg, you’re on in ten.” Billy the producer topped the list of Reginald’s favourite people.
“Billy, come in a moment.” Reg waved Billy into the room and closed the door against the building crowd.
“Hey man, you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Billy wrapped his arm around the big man’s shoulders as he guided him to a chair.
“No. I’m not okay. I’m sick. I can’t go on.”
“Sick? Sick how?” Billy looked deeper into Reginald’s eyes. “I’ve never known you to be sick but clearly something’s shaken you.”
“I can’t be funny.” Reginald blurted in defeat.
“What the hell do you mean you can’t be funny? You’re top of the comedy circuit right now – there is no way that you couldn’t be funny.” Both men whirled on the door when the knock came. “You’ve got five minutes to pull it together bud.”
“Billy, how can I go out there to that audience when I can’t make them laugh – hell I can’t even laugh at myself.”
“You’ve now got four minutes to figure that out. We can’t just walk away, there’s too much invested in this show. Just remember, ‘fake it ‘till you make it.”
“That’s a big help.” Reginald released a heavy sigh as Billy left the room and let in the roar of the crowd. ‘I may not be able to make people laugh, but I’m not a coward. I’m going out there and I’ll give them a show they’ll never forget’, Reginald thought as he lunged for the door.
“I want you all to put your hands together for Reginald Member the finest comedian to grace this stage...” Billy announced Reginald’s entrance which was right on cue with the wild clapping from the audience.
Reginald clutched the microphone in his sweat slicked hands and tried to ignore the cold trickle that weaved its way down his spine.
“I’d like to thank you all for coming out tonight. I’d like to say that you’re going to see one heck of a funny show tonight but I don’t want to lie to you.” In the pause the laughter roared and Reginald was confused. He hadn’t said anything funny – why were they all laughing? In his natural manner for being on stage Reginald strode to the left side of the stage from centre where he’d arrived on introduction.
“Who here has heard the phrase, ‘fake it ‘till you make it’? Let’s see some hands up.” Reginald scanned the crowd and although he saw many hands raised in the air he was more astonished to see that the audience was still happy. He couldn’t find a single face brushed with the paint of discontent.
“Excellent --- excellent. So you’ve heard the phrase but have you ever tried it?” the question incited waves of laughter. Again Reginald was confused, he wasn’t trying to be funny and yet the audience still laughed.
“I’ve been privy to the problems of many people and that has been my stock advice, fake it ‘till you make it. Who here has ever given that advice to themselves? Maybe in the office? Maybe in the bedroom?” Reginald failed to see the humour in his delivery but the audience went wild through Reginald’s entire self-help lecture.
“The show was a great success. I bet you’re wondering what you were ever worried about.” Billy clapped Reginald on the back as they were leaving the club.
© Copyright 2012 Sal Monid (UN: gaiachi at Writing.Com).
All rights reserved.
Sal Monid has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
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