Dabbing white cheeks to make them amplified red targets. Rouge on her face and knees. In the mirror, sitting down, in the green room, she puts on her face. She does not smile, but her brows are furrowed; She is concentrating. A forgettable performance. Monumental effort. “5 minutes to curtain”. She feels like she’s going to throw up. She flips her hair upside down and puts on her net, then her wig. Multicolored and flowing. It is just her. Backstage is silent. She can hear the light din of the audience conversing, their silverware clinking the plates as they dine. If she closes her eyes she can hear the ice tinkling in their glasses. She hopes they’ve been drinking. She stands, gives herself a once-over and sighs. “Tonight will be the last time,” she tells herself. “Tomorrow, I quit.” She hears the drum roll, sees the lights go low from the side of the stage and walks towards it. The announcer calls the audience to attention, calls her name. There is trumpet. Then applause. Then she takes her first step onto this stage she’s known for way too long, smiles through the hot lights, and waves.