Back to blog
Until Eleven
Share your work with family and friends!

I was one of those daydreaming kids. I dawdled, I hummed. I made poor use of my time. I spent a lot of hours idly drawing on my wall with my fingers, staring at ladybugs, talking to myself. As a result perhaps, most of my memories of my childhood consist of being constantly interrupted. It seemed like as soon as I got into something, a game of jax, or a book or, later, talking on the phone with a friend, someone needed to talk to me, not imminently enough that they would consider walking to wherever I was, but importantly enough to yell at me until I came to them. The only times I wasn’t consistently interrupted were when: a) I was already doing some dumb chore I didn’t want to be doing; b) I was in the bathroom, or c) I was asleep at the same time as everybody else. My family was quite small, just my sister, my mother, my father and me and yet, between pots clanging, dogs barking, people arguing and my sister’s Wagnerian rants, the cacophony was impressive.
Is it really any wonder then, that I became an actress? The theatre is a wonderful place, truly, a dreamlike sphere where imagination and creativity live unmolested for a few hours in a world set aside for that, both for the audience and for the artist. A voyage to a different world, a vacation, if you will, with a prescribed time limit and, importantly, once the lights go up, without interruption. While that wasn’t the primary drive behind my wanting to be an actress, it was a very important part.
There is an old saying among actors that: “Eleven o’clock always comes”. This means that no matter how badly the performance is going, no matter who forgets their lines or misses an entrance, no matter how embarrassingly one’s costume snags on the furniture or how stiff and wooden the romantic lead is or even how certain you are that the audience has been administered Ambien or something else that precludes them from laughing or clapping or even keeping their eyes open, you know that at eleven o’clock that performance is over and everyone can leave the theatre and put it behind them using whatever medicines or strategies they deem necessary.
However, the theatre is also real. It exists in time and in space and between the hours of eight o’clock and eleven o’clock, there is a place where nothing outside of that script and that performance can happen. You are safe. The entire world is in abeyance and yes, the play is not only “the thing”, it is the only thing. There is a moment right before you step on stage, before you leave the dark wings, leave your everyday existence, leave your stage fright and your cares, right as you make your first entrance, when you know that, barring nuclear war or a good earthquake, nothing will interrupt you before eleven o’clock and that you are, until then, home.

Leave your comment...