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Ah Belinda, I Am Prest...

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Cecile Landgrebe
Splendid Contributor

Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject: Ah Belinda, I Am Prest... Reply with quote

“A tree? It says ‘chorus’ here, why should I be a tree?”

“Artistic liberty, Diana.”

“But why a tree, Juniper? Can’t I be a noblewoman or a guard?”

“Being a chorus of noblewomen would involve acting. You will be a tree. Hold up those branches.”


“Shhh…Dido speaks.”

Harriet straightened her back. “Ahem…Ah Belinda, I am prest. With torment not to be confest. Peace and I are strangers grown. I languish till my grief is known, yet would not have it guessed.”

Harriet beamed a smile and jumped up. “I got it right!”

“Yes yes…Mengxia?” Juniper waved the little blonde over. She spoke softly.

Grief increases by concealing.”

Mine admits of no revealing.”

Then let me speak…”

“Mengxia, do come and stand a bit closer to Harriet. You can’t hide behind the tree, it’s not right. No one ever saw a Dido and Aenea with Belinda hiding behind a tree.”

“But Juniper, I thought I would be in the chorus too. I don’t really want to pl…”

“I know I know. Harriet was supposed to be Belinda and I would have LOVED playing Dido, but Beatrice has not been well lately so *someone* has to be Aenea. A good actress can play a brunette too, so I play Aenea, Harriet gets to play Dido and that is why you are now Belinda. Don’t be scared Mengxia. Don’t you want to be an actress?”

“No, not r…”

“Of course you want to be an actress. Everyone wants to be an actress. But only the good ones make it in the entertainment industry. Everyone has to start somewhere, you will start as Belinda. You should be happy. The chorus is not a good place to start. You actually play *someone*. Now…come and stand next to Harriet. Where were we?”

Harriet pressed her hands to her heart. “Mine admits of no revealing.”

“Oh yes. Mengxia?”

Then let me speak; the Trojan guest. Into your tender thoughts has pressed. The greatest blessing Fate can give, our Carthage to secure and Troy revive.”

When monarchs unite… I say, Juniper. Will Beatrice be a tree too? Or do you think more of her acting? Where is she anyway?”

“No, Diana, Beatrice will *not* be a tree. I don’t know *where* she is but I do know she’s LATE! Now…the chorus.”

Diana sighed.

When monarchs unite, how happy their state..”

“Branches higher, Diana.”

When monarchs unite, how happy their state, they triumph at once o’er their foes and their fate.”

Wayward sisters, you that fright. The lonely traveller by night.”

“No Shin-cheri! The sorceress doesn’t come on stage until the second act.”

“Dear lady, is this not the second act?”

“No! This is the first act. We’re not even close to the second act.”

“Oh, there was so much talking I thought we had reached the second act. I was afraid I was late. Excuse me.” Shin-cheri reverenced and trotted off the stage. “Shen, we’re not up yet!”


Harriet giggled. “Poor Juniper. Don’t worry. We’ll get it right eventually.”

“Harriet, a true artist has a difficult life and is seldom understood.”

The tree sighed.

“Hold up those branches, Diana. Higher!”
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Padraica Yatsenko

Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Higher! Higher!" mimicked Diana in her mind, groaning ever so slightly as she shifted her arms just a half-inch higher, letting them sag to where they were before. Surely the tingling in her fingertips was a more authoritative force in the height at which her arms could be safely suspended than Juniper!

Diana shifted her eyes to Harriet's brilliantly golden head and discovered with surprise that Harriet was giving her a small, tremulous smile. Diana's eyebrow shot up involuntarily, but she tried to smooth her brow and give a rather hapless grin. Her arms crept up that last half-inch and managed to stay... at least until Juniper came streaking by, cueing Harriet into her lines and waving her limbs in every direction at once.

At least the costuming wasn't complete. Diana thought the heavy, leafy oak branches were enough of a departure from her usual wardrobe, but when the blondes began twittering about the possibility of gluing bits of bark to a set of brown Kadorian shop coveralls and tethering Lady Endeline's rather frantic canary to her arm, the normally mild and acquiescent Diana firmly put her foot down. The brown shop coveralls would stay, unfortunately, but the bark and bird were most certainly out.

One thing she had grown so basically accustomed to that it might as well be part of her costume was the presence of little Mengxia's arms twisted tightly about her knees. The little bit was so scared to go on that Diana had become accustomed to having her piece of twining ivy. Although, she thought to herself, would be nice to have blood flowing to all four extremities.

She felt a bit mean. Beatrice had laughed at her when Diana reported the day before that she had been cast as a tree. Never mind, thought Diana grimly, I'll be laughing when she crawls out of her fog and sees what part she's landed.
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Mengxia Yu
Contributy supermaiden

Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 435
Location: Arkadya

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Edited for continuity--I missed an important detail!)

Diana couldn't help a small snicker. Oh, yes...she would laugh very hard when Beatrice found out her new part. But, honestly--who wouldn't find the drop from Aenea to a bunny rabbit a little amusing?

"What's so funny?" Mengxia whispered, momentarily distracted from her stage fright.

"Oh...I just now understood the punch line to a joke I heard yesterday," Diana answered. It wouldn't do for the young students to catch their elders enjoying a giggle at the others' expense--at least, not quite so early in the year.

"Tree Number One!" Juniper barked. Diana straightened, automatically lifting her branches higher out of habit.

"Yes ma'am?"

"Is this a comedy? Do Amazonian trees often giggle?"

"No ma'am."

"Please do keep your mind on the play. Even the chorus has to feel their parts. You have to be the tree!"

Diana thought a moment, then rustled her branches in what she hoped was an arboraceous manner. Juniper beamed.

"Good! Branches just a little higher. Now, we'll take it from Dido..."

Diana cast a glance at the orange papier-mache lump sitting empty on the ground. It was supposed to look like a carrot, but it missed the mark. Last she had checked, carrots didn't have fountains of orange flowers sprouting from their tops. Honestly! Those stage-prop-blondes...there was artistic license, and then there was overboard.

Offstage, Shin-cheri examined a pair of rabbit ears attached to a headband, wired so that they would stand up. "What do you think, Shen? Aren't they smashing?"

"Oh, yes. They're the height of bunnicular fashion."

"Miss Diana? Where's Miss Beatrice?" Mengxia whispered again. "Shouldn't she be here by now?"

It was a little odd. Where had Beatrice gone off to?
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