(124-07-30) Rope Tricks
Rope Tricks
Summary: Sal shows Loryn what she can do.
Date: July 30, 2017
Related: New Beginnings

Amphitheatre - Whimsy Theatre Beacon Boulevard

The Theatre of Whimsical Dreams is a three-storey, open-air amphitheatre, approximately ninety-eight feet in diameter, which can house some two thousand spectators. At the base of the stage, there is an area called the yard, where, for three pennies, groundlings stand on the rush-strewn earthen floor to watch the performance. Vertically around the yard are the three levels of the gallery, with more expensive stadium-style seats.

A rectangular apron-stage platform thrusts out into the middle of the open-air yard. The stage measures approximately forty feet in width, twenty-four feet in depth and is raised about seven feet off the ground. On this stage, there is a trap door for use by performers to enter from the cellarage area beneath.

The back wall of the stage has two doors on the main level, with a curtained inner stage in the center and a balcony above it. The doors enter into the tiring house where the actors dress and await their entrances. The balcony above houses the musicians and can also be used for scenes requiring an upper space. Above the balcony is the apex, which has windows and a battlement-style walk.

Large columns on either side of the stage support a roof over the rear portion of the stage. The ceiling under this roof is called the heavens, and is painted with clouds and the sky. A trap door in the heavens enables performers to descend using a rope and harness. The rest of the theater is crisscrossed with wooden support beams, over which a white oilcloth can be stretched to keep out the rain, and also provide a reflective surface to help light the theater.

As Garden Isle starts filling up with relatives from Highgarden and Longtable to coo over the littlest Tyrell and prepare for the nameday party, Loryn is spending more time at the Whimsy again to escape the fuss. He has also selected two potential company managers to deal with the day-to-day-business of th Whimsy, a young chipper fellow called Pip and an older laidback geezer called Matty. Right now Pip is chittering away on his ideas for the future as he and Loryn stand on stage, looking out into the deserted auditorium. Plush cushions for the seats. Drink holders. Better facilitiess to stop the certain odours that now and then drift through the theatre, especially after intermissions. It makes sense, bur Loryn looks like he's biting into a lemon. Money.

All important conversations, but it looks like Loryn needs to be rescued. At least, it looks that way to Sal who is, by the by, nowhere to be seen, but evidently she can see them, because the trapdoor in the heavens above the stage opens and a rope abruptly unfurls down. It nearly smacks Pip on the head and swings to and fro between the gathering of men with more aplomb than necessary. "SORRY," shouts Sal from above, not sounding sorry at all. Is she even supposed to be up there? Probably not. She sticks her head out and follows up her shout with another, amused with herself: "I thought ya might wanna take a break to see my tricks, Lord Laurel."

Loryn looks frightened for half a second when something comes down from the skies, but not as much as Pip, who doe three hurried steps backwards and promptly falls over a set piece backwards. "Oh, it's you.", Loryn realizes with a grin and steps forward to help Pip get up. "Of course, Sal, glad to!" And he looks like he really is. "Come let's watch", he suggests to the other and nudges him down a small flight of stairs to the stalls, where they can take a seat on two crates and watch whatever she is offering them.

Sal laughs; it's more of a cackle, made more off-kilter by the fact that she's poking her upside-down head out of the trapdoor. "All right," she says, hauling the rope up so that it's several feet off the stage and disappears, leaving it swinging faintly in her absence. She reappears via the normal route on-stage, carrying two crates not unlike the ones Loryn and the others sit on. She has on the simple hosiery and belted tunic she usually wears for juggling, but the sleeves have been cinched closer to the elbow to keep any billowy fabric out of the way, and she wears no boots. "I had to make do with what ya got, so…" she shrugs, pulling her mouth down. She sets the crates next to each other under the rope. Now that she's empty-handed, it's clearer that she's restless. It's not nerves, exactly; it's not even stagefright, though it certainly might look like that as she makes her way stage right, stretching her interlocked hands out in front of her, looking over her shoulder and around the theatre over the men's heads every few seconds.

She stops to shout at Loryn again. "Use your big curly head to imagine there's music!" And then she begins: she walks just as quickly, walking switches to a cartwheel and a cartwheel into hands-over-feet flips until she's standing on her hands, her back to the first crate. She lowers her feet behind her, toes first, until her feet rest on the crate and her body is curved backwards. She stands abruptly, arms outstretched. She spends some time skillfully performing acrobatic flips, handstands, and feats of balance, strength and flexibility on the crates — she wasn't lying; this is a trained performance, not just some street rat learning to play games — before she starts to climb the rope.

"If you need anything else…", Loryn begins to offer, then thinks better of it. He first needs to see how good she actually is. So he shuts up and crosses his arms to get more comfortable while watching. Pip leans in to whisper something with a chuckle, that makes Loryn's cheeks go slightly red. But as the performance continues, the whispering subsides as they both start to watch in earnest. "She's not gonna…. oh she is…", Pip murmurs, when she actually goes for the rope. "I hope she secured it properly.", Loryn worries a little bit.

Maybe she hears them; she makes a show of tugging on the rope, peering upward, and giving a big, theatrical shrug. She scurries a few feet up, deft as a squirrel, and immediately drops upside-down, hanging on by her ankles and the curve of her leg. She reaches down, grabs a crate with either hand, pulls a silly face at her audience of three, and tosses them off to opposite sides of the stage … where they hopefully don't break, being property of the Whimsy. Now with a further distance between the rope and the stage, she flips back upright, climbs higher, and twirls this way and that with myriad tricks and spins, sometimes purposefully tangling it around her body to hang boldly from an arm or leg, all skilled and occasionally even elegant. She gains momentum on the thing, and soon it's swinging all over the stage while she holds on with just her hands; as it comes to the center, it spins her dizzyingly, so swift that Sal is a blur. Just as it starts to slow, she flips upside down and holds her hands out — she's hanging on with just her ankles — and slides from top to bottom as though gladly facing her death, smiling all the while. Or is that wincing? Hard to say. She stops a few feet short of crushing her skull against the Whimsy's beloved stage, hops down slightly red-faced and possibly rope-burned but otherwise no worse for the wear, beams, and drops into an elaborate mummer's bow.

Both Loryn and Pip hop up for a spontaneous standing ovation and there's clapping heard here and there from other nooks and crannies of the Whimsy where people stopped doing what they were doing to watch. "That was amazing, Miss!", Pip calls out and Loryn nods in agreement. "It's been a while since I've seen something like that.", he agrees, "This should definitely be part of a show. Perhaps until you can train a few people to join you, I can look for one or two more people… but I daresay this alone is worth paing for.", he smiles, "Why in all seven hells did you hide your talents so far?"

Sal smiles at the cheers, but that too has an ounce of a wince in it; she ducks her head down soon after the bow and flops down on the edge of the stage, letting her legs hang off. She swipes a few rope fibres off her reddened hands and swears distractedly several times before answering Loryn. "I guess…" she starts reluctantly, shrugging one shoulder, looking at the ground. "Last time I was part've a performance troupe it didn't end well. Y'could say everyone's not a big fan of Sal's bloody hijinx. I had to— I dunno. Whatever," She gives a curt, avoidant shake of her head and looks up. "It's better with more folks," she agrees. "As long as they know what they're doin'."

"Had to - what?", Loryn probes with a slight frown, followed by a little sigh. "You've been part of this troupe for a while now and you haven't given me any cause for concern. I hope that stays this way.", he continues, offering her a warm smile, "And as for knowing what people are doing - it's up to you to train them properly, mhhm?" And, having learned what makes the young woman tick, he adds: "There's some sort of salary in it, as a coach…"

"Salary?" Sal repeats as though the word is in a foreign language, but by the eager, alert lift of her eyebrows, it's obvious enough she gets the drift. She hops down from the stage. Her smile, though more of a grin, is sincere. "I'll do my best," she vows.

"I will double your current earnings since you will be doubling your time on stage with a mix of this and your juggling.", Loryn clarifies, "And I will pay an additional bonus for your training some new acrobats to make up your own troupe of sorts. I will have to set it up in writing though. A contract. If you agree to train a few people, I will gladly pay for your trouble, but I must also be sure that you will then use these people for shows at the Whimsy, so I can earn back my investment and not have you run off with them to perform elsewhere. That makes sense, yes?", he makes sure she gets his proposal and tempers it with a smile. "I think we're onto something great here. You pick your candidates, but I'll have final say in who we hire, ok?"

Sal listens quite intently, Loryn's business talk drawing the cleverness to the forefront of her gaze. She seems to find no holes in his arrangement. "Hey, sounds good, boss," she confirms, grinning so big her eyes just about disappear behind the apples of her cheeks. She grasps for his forearm heartily to shake in firm agreement as though they're two gentlemen making a lordly accord. "… I don't suppose I could get, what's it called, something in advance, ya know, for my trouble," she ventures confidently. It's worth a shot.

Loryn arches an eyebrow. "For WHAT trouble?", he can't resist asking, but he doesn't seem to be actually struggle with the concept of giving her money. "I'll give you a little allowance for new costumes, props and so on to prepare this new show of yours.", he suggests, "How exactly you spend the money is your own business, as long as I get a good show here, alright? Come to my office in a little while, I'll draw up the contract and have the allowance ready."

"It's not my money if I gotta spend it on the show, is it, eh?" Sal argues, though it's in good spirits. She gestures, palms spread. "You owe me somethin' for these rope burns alone," she points out, and given that her gesturing spreads to her general upper thigh area she's not just talking about her red hands. But she's not too set on bickering just now, a smart alecky sparkle in her eye as she nods along and meanders past Loryn, agreeing, "Yup, yeah, I'll be there!"

"Well that includes clothes and whatever other stuff you need, face paint and so on.", Loryn points out, a little confused. What -else- could the woman possibly need? "I'll see what I've got handy in the chest upstairs.", he offers, which could mean anything or nothing. "There'll be a bigger bonus when you get this up and running.", he promises. As she begins to wander away, he gives Pip what he hopes is a meaningful look. See, this is how you deal with performers. Dangle, carrot.

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