(123-10-08) Juggling Compromises
Juggling Compromises
Summary: Sal has agreed to Loryn's offer to entertain outside the Whimsy; Loryn has some ideas on how to improve.
Date: Oct. 8, 2016
Related: Balls, Proper Arses

Forecourt - Whimsy Theatre - Beacon Boulevard

The Theatre of Whimsical Dreams, better known as simply The Whimsy, is a large, round-shaped building in the form of a 21-sided polygon, constructed of timber and stone. At ninety-eight feet in diameter and three stories high, the theater is set back a good distance from the boulevard, with a wide forecourt sandwiched between the shops to either side. Here, a few vendors have set up stalls to sell ale, wine, and foodstuffs to be enjoyed during performances. There's even a stand where real and silk flowers can be purchased.

At the front of the theater building is a small stage, where mummers and musicians can put on small performances for whatever coin is to be had. There's also a tiny puppet theatre, where farcical versions of more famous plays and legends are played out. To either side of the small stage are the wide, arched doorways into the theater itself. There are a few wooden tables and chairs scattered about the forecourt.

Admission to the theater is relatively inexpensive. Groundlings, who stand in the yard around the stage itself, pay only three copper pennies. The more expensive seats in the gallery vary between two and seven silver stags, depending on how good a view of the stage there is.

A juggler has joined the array outside of the Theatre of Whimsical Dreams, adding another layer of whimsy. It took her awhile for the newcomer to step foot on these grounds, but now she performs with the confidence of an old hand; Sal's craft draws the eye toward her and the vendors with each artful toss and catch of the juggling balls, which — every so often, depending on who's watching — she sends sailing into more intricate patterns in the air. Her deft hands refuse to let them touch the ground, no matter the heights. While the rest of her garb is as common and worn as ever, she's donned a cheerful red mask, pieced together from bits of fabric and shaped, bird-like, across the top half of her face over her nose and feathering out past her temples; it seems to lend both character and ambiguity.

On the other side of the wall, inside the main auditoriu, rehearsals are in progress. Once in a while a few bars of music or an exclamation makes it to the forecort. There's quite some to and fro as well with people taking breaks when not needed or running hasty errands.

After some while the juggler's audience grows by one finely clad young man in green pants, brown boots and a rather fancy dark-green tunic into which tiny pink roses are sewn. A few people greet him with respectful bows or leisurely waves, but he just gestures to keep watchimg. So he can watch too, arms crossed in front of his chest, a little smile on his face.

It's hard to tell if the juggler notices the addition to the audience. The eyes fashioned into the mask are over-sized, but nearly overhang her own, casting them in shadow most of the time. Perhaps, however, it isn't coincidence that she takes this moment to speed up her performance. Her juggling gains a burst of energy, the number of balls in the air becoming blurred, they're tossed so quickly-and yet she doesn't falter. The part of her face that is visible is touched by a perpetual little smirk.

The audience responds to the performance with a round of applause and a few appreciative whistles. Which may not -only- be for her juggling skills. An elderly man in a nice dark-blue shirt and jerkin made of very soft leather leans to his neighbour Loryn to make a quiet remark that brings a smile to the Tyrell's face and a nod. He responds something in an equally low voice.

If those appreciative — and imaginative, given the generally vague and unflattering state of Sal's attire — fans' whistles could turn into coins, that'd be great. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for Loryn), she keeps her sassy mouth shut and keeps it up, juggling the balls higher — and at jaunty angles, as though she purposefully means to toss them away. Toward the forecourt, toward the audience members, straight toward Loryn, making a few folks scatter - but before the projectiles escape her, she snatches each them straight out of the air one by one with quick reaches and a nimble twist of her body without ever leaving her spot. It's almost acrobatic. Trained. She goes right back to juggling as usual without pause.

One enterprising young fella manages to almost catch one of the balls but the juggler is quicker, a fact he responds to by making her a rather obscene offer. Something similar may be on the elderly man's mind when he leans towards Loryn again, if the Tyrell's widened eyes are anything to go by. But he keeps his peace and just shrugs, making a vague gesture towards Sal.
Somewhere else in the forecourt something crashes to the ground causing some ruckus and unfortunately for the juggler, some of her audience to turn away to see what was happening.

Maybe she wants a break anyway. The performer vanishes from her spot — or just as well, as she hops down amid the stragglers and practically appears behind Loryn, near his elbow on the other side from the elderly man, her arms crossed, juggling balls still in hand, mask still on, tied around the back of her head with a bit of leather cording. "That sounded right bad, didn't it," she remarks casually as though she's been there the whole time. "Should probably check on that."

Loryn jumps a little bit when the woman suddenly appears at his elbow, but shrugs to her comment. "Sounds like someone dropped a barrel that split.", he explains as if losing a few litres of ale was no worry to him. When there are actually a few enterprising youths on their -knees- to lick what they can.

"I'm glad you decided to come and perform.", he tells Sal then, smiling, "Have you found it to your liking? When someone told me there was a new hot juggler offering a show, I hoped it would be you."

"Hot? An' here I ain't even set anythin' on fire yet," Sal responds sarcastically — although not entirely without cheer, grinning wide when she speaks. She shifts the cross of her arms, offering Loryn a one-shouldered shrug while she looks toward the source of the ale crash. "It's not too shabby."

"Making an income yet?", Loryn asks and places a hand to the small of her back to subtly steer her away from the elderly man who's clearly hoping for an introduction, "Can I at least buy you a drink?"

Ignoring the elderly man so fully he might as well be a statue, Sal is steered easily enough away. "Income's a stretch," she replies, only to then temper her cynicism, "but it's early yet, eh?" She tosses a ball into the air once, catches it, and tucks them all away into the pouch at her belt. Another shrug. "I suppose I'm a bit thirsty."

"Little pro tip here - don't disappear at the end of your performance but do a round with a hat in hand.", Loryn winks as he leads her to the nearest stall. Nearby two befuddled young men are picking up the pieces of the broken ale barrel, while a bunch of never-do-wells try to keep a woman from mopping up the spillage with a cloth. In response to which she flicks the cloth at them until they take of.

"Just another day at the theatre.", Loryn sighs and decides to order wine which should still be available. He hands one of the cups to Sal and gives her a look. "I… uh…" He looks sheepish, "I assume you don't take… extra work?"

Sal just grins at Loryn's advice, and carries on following him, amused at the cleaning woman's handling of the young men, approving of her methods. As she takes the cup, her expression turns upside-down. Now that they're mostly out of sight of what used to be her small audience, she shoves the handmade mask up into her hairline so as to give the nobleman the full scope of her incredulous, much-furrowed expression. She juts her chin at him, affronted. "The hell's that supposed to mean? What kind've bloody theatre are ya running?"

Loryn holds his ground though at least the sheepishness of his expression increases. "I… uh… I figured you'd say that. Which is why I didn't introduce you to the gentleman who was just dying to make your acquaintance.", he explains rather pointedly, "But just in case, I wanted to check. Come on, don't look at me like that.", he adds and offers her a chirpy smile.

Sal will look at Loryn even more 'like that', thank you very much! She raises her brows higher, sending a wider array of furrows into her forehead. "Seven hells, does he have cataracts?" She gestures at herself, torn-sleeved leather gabochon-style shirt that would better fit a broad-chested man. She swallows downs a gulp of the wine and the subject with it; once she's tasted wine that isn't watered-down sludge, she's well on her way to drinking the entire cup at once.

Loryn shrugs a little - there's no accounting for taste or, in some cases, male despair, and looks her over. Well she did gesture! "Do you have any other clothes?", he muses thoughtfully, "I think a prettier outfit might help to attract a bigger crowd…" If she does drain her cup, he's only too happy to help her with a refill.

Sal readily holds out her cup for more, but can't help but regard Loryn slightly suspiciously for his generosity. "Yeah," she replies indifferently, lifting her refilled cup on the heels of yet another shrug. "But I don't wanna be too flashy, like."

Loryn smiles. "Why don't you come along?", he suggests, "We have dozens of costumes in storage from previous productions. We sometimes hold yard sales to get rid of some we don't need anymore. You could take a look, see if there's anything you like from the costumes… a few may be flashy but others aren't…"

Sal considers with a brooding back-and-forth shift of her jaw, thinking about the notion longer and deeper than such a thing as a wardrobe change usually warrants. She swiftly downs the very last dregs of her wine and says something that sounds vaguely like an accented "all right".

"Good, follow me.", Loryn empties his own wine cup and sets it down, then steers her through the people loitering in the forecourt to a discreet door that connects the front area directly to the backstage area. It's chaos there with pieces of scenery piled up, two people hammering away at what might become a wooden tower and a woman practising her big tune - rather off-key for now. Finally they reach a door which Loryn pushes open, offering for her to enter - the room is only lit by one small window in the opposite wal and stacked to the rafters with chests, hangers and shelves, all dripping with clothes from queenly bling to a fluffy cow hindpart.

The performer has a keen eye; she takes in every chaotic backstage sight and navigates past it. No wide eyes or overwhelm here to see behind the curtain, only a cock-eyed grin as she hears the off-key singer. She squints at the clothes, cow-first; she begins poking through them warily, but is soon rifling through unshyly, tilting her head this way and that at the wild assortment. She pulls out a few nicer dresses only to shove them back. "This is all mummer's shit," she states mid-perusal, but tugs at a knee-length, navy blue tunic (likely fitted to a boy) paired with red-and-orange fancifully striped sleeves and a prettily woven red leather belt. She holds on to that longer. "Is this too plain?"

Loryn bites back a comment when she complains about mummer's shit, but nods slowly to the outfit she finally picks. "It's not bad… a bit colourful, yes, but you do want to draw attention on stage, don't you? I had been thinking of something a bit more… feminine though.", he explains and begins rummaging around until he finds a bright-red number, long-flowing skirt and tiny tight shirt that exposes the midriff, something of definitely Dornish cut with some nice golden embroidery. "Now that's an eye-catcher, hm?"

"An old-man-catcher, more like," Sal retorts, rolling her eyes. "I'm happy with my feet on the ground and my stomach not catchin' a fuckin' cold." She pauses, mouth open, as if to consider at least adding m'lord, but nah; she's confident enough in her vulgarity and goes back to rifling through the wardrobe. She holds up some greenish hose - which, while not usually for women, would be much more form-fitting than her current skirt-and-trousers combination — and gives Loryn an animated, wide-eyed, impatient expression. Compromise?

Loryn doesn't deny or confirm that notion! He gives in with a little chuckle though and goes back to leaning against the door frame while she continues her search. The greenish hose meets his approval. "I think you'll look good in that.", he smiles, "Needs a nice top though. I guess you could combine it with a plain white shirt and that fancy belt you had earlier. Why don't you try it out? Borrow it for a few days…", he offers.

"Are you Lord of Fashion as well as Theatre," Sal complains as she folds the hose over arm and goes on the hunt for the aforementioned belt again to pull it from the tunic. She nods more agreeably as she winds the belt up. "I'll take proper care of them," she assures, pauses, and adds, "Long as I can still wear the mask." Spoken casually, but she eyes Loryn for a yes.

Loryn shrugs in an elaborate way, arms extending to the side. "Well, excuuuse me. I've got some experience in what audiences like to see. And sure - " he nods to the mask with a shrug, "Don't know why you like to hide yourself, but I understand that the mask adds some mystique to your performance, so why not." Seeing as she seems content with her finds, he takes a step back, out of the room, to let her pass outside as well.

With her new (albeit borrowed) gear tucked under her clutches, Sal walks past Loryn with a big grin and, mid-doorway, folds herself into a low, similarly elaborate bow with arms spread. "Glad to see ya understand my air of mystery, Lord Laurel," she jokes, winks, nudges her mask back down over her eyes, and carries on her way. "Breeksless," she adds after several paces.

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