I frowned and walked off, shrugging away my frustration. Show nights made me antsy - always had. I couldn't let it get the best of me, though. Not tonight.
I briskly returned to my dressing room as to put the finishing touches on my exotic make-up, put a few more 'just-in-case' pins in my wig. I blinked at the heavy fake lashes, dark and thick around my eyes, that spread their wings like oversized butterflies when I opened them wide enough.
With all this dark hair, I looked like my mother. I smiled sadly at my reflection, the powdered face that looked like her beautifully Italian expression. I always thought I looked more like my father - light hair, pale skin. I was also more familiarized with that side of the family, even if I was named after an unknown Italian grandmother. Mom had come over to America as a teenager with her father, motherless herself, and married the tall, glasses-wearing Jacob Hurst fairly young. She captured him with her vivacious nature, her mysterious look, and her amazing voice. She was a fantastic singer. Everyone knew she could've been famous if she wanted to.
But that was all I knew of her past, knowing her as the mother who had sang me to sleep each night until she died. She passed when I was twelve, some years ago. Our sweet family had crumbled apart. Dad sank into depression, immersed himself in work, and, on the weekends, drowned himself in alchohol. That lasted only a few years, ending when he re-married a woman he met in a bar. My step-mother, Linda, didn't like me very much, especially when they had a couple kids of their own - my half-siblings Jerry and Anne. Seemed to patch up Dad's life, but the two of us had become disconnected and my family was still disjointed. My days were filled with dance, and I led a life of my own.
I glanced at my phone, picking it up and flipping it open. My father almost never came, and wasn't coming now. He wasn't going to change his mind. He was probably at Anne's clarinet concert, or playing catch with Jerry out back. Maybe he was out shopping with Linda. No, he certainly wasn't coming. Even on opening night, even as the biggest character of my career.
I slapped the cell closed and tucked it in my purse. I closed my eyes and sighed as they announced the fifteen minute call.
Applying a last layer of lipstick, I then warmed up my voice and made my way backstage, where I could find a little corner to do some final stretching. I wished a couple passing girls good luck but otherwise remained focussed, running over lines as I loosened my calves.
"Places! Places!" came the hushed orders as the lights began the fall, the faceless crowd beyond the curtains falling silent.
I stood, unwrinkling my sparkling costume. I swallowed past a sudden rush of nerves.
And so it begins.