The Act

“I cannot act like this!” the Actor exclaimed, swinging his clenched fists into the air. “I simply cannot! This is a farce, and I refuse to participate!”

“But why?” the Director asked, obviously puzzled. “You are so talented, so masterful, so brilliant! Why this? What reason could you have?”

“Do you realize, that every time I step onto the stage and start performing my Best Act, the famous Woe Is Me scene, the entire theatre breaks into a Standing Ovation?!”

“Why, yes, since you do it so wonderfully and are so truly believable! But what is the problem, good sir?”

“Do you realize, that every time the audience breaks into a Standing Ovation, it pleases me greatly, and in my endless enjoyment I break out of character?!”

“Why… That… I…”

“That is precisely right! How can I play the Tragic Character, when I cannot hold myself and start smiling like a madman?! This cannot go on like this! I quit, you hear me?! I quit!”

“My, my, you are indeed a master of your craft, sir!” the Director exclaimed, beginning to applaud. “So convincing, so angst-full, so believable!”

“Damn you! Damn you all to hell!” the Actor yelled and stormed off.

The sound of applause continued to echo in the theatre for a long time…