When the music suddenly stops playing and there’s that awkward silence, the stage looses it’s magic. At once, you’re just a fool in a bear costume that now feels hot and heavy and the audience’s eyes burn into you like flaming arrows. You look left for support from the stage manager, she shrugs and takes off the headphones. You look right for the director; he just threw down his clipboard and walked away.
The red velvet curtain inches down, creaking and pausing. Some idiot in the back starts a slow clap and the rest of the monkeys follow suit. Backstage’s dark belly finally opens up and swallows you whole.