He looks in the mirror and stares into his own, empty, lifeless eyes, and tries to smile, but his eyes convey more sadness and the smile deteriorates into a haggard, old, worn out frown.
He lets out a sigh as he picks up the eyeliner and begins applying his make up for the show, when there is a knock at the door and a young man quickly makes his way in, looking at him with concern.
“My god George, we’re on in five minutes, and you haven’t even got your make up on, what’s taking so long buddy?” He asks.
“I’ll be ready, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and five minutes is all I need.”
“George, mate,” he says as he pulls a seat up next to him and straddles it. “I’m not having a go at you here, so please don’t take it that way. But you’ve got to remember, this isn’t your dime you’re running on, it’s mine, and I’ve taken a huge hedge bet tonight in giving you this spot. So get your face on and get out there and wow the fuck out of everyone,” he says as he slaps George on the back and gives him a wry smile.
George gets to his feet proudly and looks down at him, “Don’t talk to me like I’m not doing you a favour here, when my name was attached to this pathetic attempt at true theatre it opened doors for you that would’ve never been within your grasp. I legitimised your hack job of a show, so you give me the respect I deserve.”
He holds his hands up and smiles broadly, “Whoa there old fella, I never meant any disrespect, I said that, I’m just doing my job. Part of it is to make sure egos are removed, mine included, this is everyone’s baby, and I’ll remind you, you’re not doing it for free so I have to flex some muscle to keep the line towed, you understand right?”
“I understand, and you understand this, when the reviews come in, and they praise my performance as the only truly good thing about this show, I will demand more than the measly few dollars you seem to only be able to afford to me, just know that, you worm, then we will see where the table sits and who is at the head.”
He slowly stands up and smiles again, “a lot of people warned me against offering you this role, they said your ego was massive. But you know what, sure, whatever it takes old man, you want a bigger cut of the pie, go out there and fucking sell it, be the great George Slangzer, show the world you’ve still got it, and show me I’m right to let you carry the show. You make this a hit and you can have whatever you want, money, a writing credit, women, men, whatever, I’ll get it for you, but if this bombs, because of you, we’ll make a new deal, and it’s going to really benefit me.” He says as he holds out his hand.
George stands there, silently, “Kid, I actually might come to like you,” he says as he shakes his hand.
“Said no one ever, to the devil,” he says with a smile.