So much rides on adherence to script –
carefully mapped out movements and
lines delivered with precise intonation.

Creativity stuffed into memorized
passages, rehearsed roles, timing
contrived for optimum reactions.

It’s all about the audience, approval,
the importance of positive acclaim,
aiming for that encore performance.

My soul is an improviser –
loathes conventionality,
fears stagnation,
disrupts routine scenarios
with flashes of spicy wit;

thrives on the unexpected,
fueled by gasps, or ohs, or titter,
ignores the pandemonium
as fellow players scramble
to find their cues,
fall in line.

A trickster-spirit
arrogantly hogging the stage
deliberately sabotaging
prescribed protocols;

I am contrite, beg forgiveness,
swear to behave in character,
follow predetermined dialogue.

Curtain is set to rise on Act II;
pressure mounting; conformity
threatens to strangle my soul:

panic sets in –
I am not prepared,
have not committed to memory
this role I’ve been assigned –
am certain to disappoint,