Greek Week: Julie's TalebyDonnerBBQ©
© 2010 by DonnerBBQ. All rights reserved.
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
In a previous story, Greek Week, I wrote about a college play with a female lead, Julie. It was told from her boyfriend's perspective. This is Julie's version of the events. This version is meant to stand alone, so you don't need to read the earlier story to know what is going on. On the other hand, if you have then there will be a small amount of redundancy. - DonnerBBQ.
When I was a junior in college, I was invited by my boyfriend's friend John to take a lead role in his play that he was directing for that year's Greek Week competition. The idea behind these play competitions was that fraternities and sororities would pair up and present plays, and sell tickets to the students. There would be four performances of each play on consecutive nights, Thursday through Sunday. In addition, DVDs of the last performance were sold. Each play could set their own ticket and DVD prices and whichever play made the most money won the competition. It was all for charity, but everyone involved took them real seriously. There were all sorts of side bets too between the houses and individual members, so there was a lot of secrecy about the plays along with attempts to spy on others and even occasional attempts to sabotage other plays. It was a major competition.
When John asked me to take a lead role I was ecstatic. Although I had some minor roles in a couple of previous Greek Week plays, I had not had any major roles since high school. However, when I pressed John for details he wouldn't provide any. Apparently he was still working on the script so I had to wait to find out more about the part that he had in mind for me.
We sat down together a couple of weeks later and he told me about the play. It had some crazy plot with pirates hijacking a modern-day cruise ship. Yes, it was silly, but it was meant to be fun. Anyway, mixed in there was a love story about two people, Diana and Steve that meet on the cruise ship. He wanted me to take the role of Diana. He hadn't yet cast Steve, but was working on it and was considering taking the role himself if no one seemed suitable for the part.
As he was describing the play I could barely contain my excitement. I hadn't realized how much I had missed acting! I thought it was pretty obvious that I wanted the role so I was surprised when he said, "Julie, before you agree you need to know a little more about the role."
"Okay, like what?" I asked.
"So you know it's a love story. There'll have to be some kissing with whoever is playing Steve. Are you okay with that?"
That hadn't occurred to me yet, but it made sense. I certainly wasn't averse to kissing, but I wasn't sure how my boyfriend Ronny would feel about it. John observed my hesitation and asked, "Is that a problem?"
"Oh no, I don't have a problem with it. It's just part of acting. My only concern is that I'm not sure that Ronny will understand."
"Well you don't have to agree today. Talk to him first to make sure that it is okay with him."
"Okay, I will," I said.
John then added, "There's something else."
I looked up at John and just waited for him to continue.
"I don't know how to say this so I'm just going to say it. You know that sex sells and selling tickets is what this is all about. To that end, I put in a hot tub scene to generate some excitement. For that scene I want Diana to strip down to a bikini which she'll have on under her clothes, preferably a small and sexy bikini. "
It took a few moments to process what he was saying. I wasn't thrilled at the idea of being on stage in a bikini. I mean, I wear bikinis at public beaches and pools all of the time, but being on a stage in one in front of people who are not dressed similarly is another matter entirely. And again I thought of how Ronny would react.
John then added, "You don't have to give me an answer now. Just think about it and talk it over with Ronny. But you'll need to let me know soon. I'm sure I can find someone else for the role, but maybe not anyone with as much acting experience as you."
I thought about it for a day or so before talking to Ronny. I wanted to first decide for myself whether I wanted the role before I talked to him. The more I thought about it the more excited I got. Kissing some other guy wasn't a big deal to me. But I did feel self-conscious about being on stage in a bikini. Don't get me wrong - I think I look great in a bikini - but the thought of having all of those eyes on me while I'm wearing one kind of freaked me out. I figured though that it was only one scene and that I could just concentrate on the acting and get through the scene.
The next day I had dinner with Ronny. At this point I was pretty convinced that I wanted to do it. But I was nervous about how he would react. I started by telling him about the silly pirate plot and he seemed to think it would be fun. I then told him about the kissing. He took that pretty well, actually. I thought I could detect a little reservation on his face, but I think he understood the need to have kissing in a love story. I then told him about the bikini. Surprisingly, he seemed less concerned about the bikini than I was! I was just starting to relax when he inquired as to who was going to play Steve.
I told him what John told me, that it wasn't known yet but that John himself might take the role. Ronny suddenly looked irritated. I assured him that John wanted to make sure that he was okay with it and had even encouraged us to talk about it before I accepted the role. After a bit of reassurance I calmed Ronny down and he gave me his blessing to do the play.
The cast came together over the next couple of weeks and John did decide to take the role of Steve himself. Ronny sort of scowled at that news, like he thought it was some ploy by John to get into my pants. Granted, I too had a suspicion that John liked me, but he knew that I was with Ronny and they were friends. So John and I were going to kiss some in the name of acting. I just couldn't see getting upset about a few kisses.
We spent quite a bit of time rehearsing the play over the next weeks. I had selected a cute orange bikini for the hot tub scene that fit me well. At some point though, John said that he needed to speak with me about the hot tub scene. He explained, "I think the hot tub scene is good right now. You look great in that bikini that you brought. I'm sure the audience is going to love it."
I couldn't help but blush at the complement, but it was obvious that there was more.
"We're not going to be the only play to show a little skin. In fact, from what I've heard, our play is going to be pretty tame compared to the others in terms of sex appeal." I could see the disappointment on his face as he explained this. I was disappointed too. We were just putting so much effort into this play. He then added, "Look, I think we need to be more competitive. I've made a few changes to the hot tub scene to increase the sexiness of our play. "
He was carefully watching my reaction like he wanted to know what I thought. It was his play and it sounded like a decent plan to remain competitive so I said, "Sounds good!"
It then occurred to me that it involved me. "Wait, wait, what kind of changes?" I quickly asked.
"As you know, the hot tub scene is when the pirates first arrive. Right now, we are just hanging out in the hot tub when that happens. But now Diana and Steve will get a bit more intimate before the pirates run on stage. The scene starts off as usual with Steve and Diana getting into the hot tub and talking. But then Diana will stand up and go to Steve, straddling his lap. They will kiss more and things will get hot and heavy between them and they will end up having sex in the hot tub. Of course the sex will be simulated and the water will cover everything, but we can make it look real."
I think my eyes were bulging out of my head in disbelief. "Wait, you want us to fuck in the hot tub?" I asked.
"No, I want us to fake-fuck in the hot tub. Actors do it all the time. We'll have our bathing suits on and everything. It really isn't that crazy."
It wasn't sounding quite as ridiculous now. But it was still pretty shocking. "I have to fake an orgasm?" I asked.
"What, you've never done that before?" John asked with a smile.
I had to smile too. "That's not the point," I responded, avoiding his question. "I don't know if I can do it in front of such a large audience!"
John thought about it for a moment. He then said, "Well, we can have the pirates run on stage just prior to climax. That way it won't be an issue."
That change definitely helped. I was glad that he was being responsive to my concerns. I nodded my head to let him know that I was okay with the changes. Honestly, I still wasn't sure that I was okay with them and I was apprehensive about how Ronny would react when I told him. Ultimately, I didn't tell Ronny right away about the change in the scene. I wanted to know how the scene was going to play out before trying to describe it to Ronny. Or at least that's what I told myself.
Later, John and I ran through the scene. It felt surreal approaching John in the hot tub. It almost felt like I was cheating on Ronny but deep down I knew that I wasn't. I knew it was just acting. But there I was in a bikini walking towards a half-naked man. After I reached John, I began to slowly sit down onto his lap. John reached his hands up behind me and placed them on my back. I initially jumped at his touch, but I soon relaxed. I put my arms around his neck and we kissed a bit. I could feel my bikini-covered breasts rubbing against his bare chest. Before long I began to feel him thrusting into me and I matched his movements. His hands slid down to the small of my back to help pull me into him. So just like that we were fucking, err, fake-fucking in the hot tub. The water was splashing all over the place but we continued. We kept it up for a couple of minutes and then John suddenly said, "Pirates!" and we feigned surprise.
As we got out of the hot tub I could see a tent in John's shorts. He was trying to hide it from me, but it was rather obvious. He realized that I noticed it and he apologized, "I'm sorry, I don't think that I can prevent that." He looked rather embarrassed.
I just laughed and told him that it was okay. We then talked about the scene. He said, "Jules, I think that went pretty well. We obviously need to practice a few more times so that we don't jump when we touch each other but I don't think it's going to need a lot of work. I also want to make sure that we don't over-rehearse the scene. If we look robotic in our movements it will look awful. I think we should feel free to improvise a bit during the scene with our movements and hand positioning. I just want it to look as natural as possible."
I was really pretty impressed by John. He just seemed to sincerely care about how the play, and particularly our hot tub scene, looked to the audience. Over the next couple of days we rehearsed that scene a few more times. It felt more comfortable every time. The last time I didn't even jump when John slid his hands down from the small of my back to my butt to help with the thrusting. John still got an erection every time and we always joked about it.
After the last rehearsal of the scene, I asked John if he thought that our play would now be competitive. He paused and said that he wasn't sure. He said that he thought that we would be on par with the others, but not over the top like he had been initially hoping. He tried to sound optimistic, but I could tell that he was more disappointed than he was letting on.
The next day John approached me and said that he had an idea. He seemed excited to tell me about it.
"Okay, this is a bit gimmicky, but what if we push the hot tub scene a little further every night. If we let it leak out that we're going to keep changing the play and making that scene sexier every time, maybe we'll create some excitement and keep people talking about the play. People may even come back to see it more than once!"
I was skeptical. It sounded kind of weird, but maybe it would work. I had to ask, "How do you propose to make that scene sexier?"
"Well, I think we can figure out the changes that we want to make after each show. I think that there are plenty of things we can do. We could get a different bikini for you or we could make the sex portion longer or I don't know. I'm sure we'll think of things. It sort of depends on what the audience reacts the most to."
I told him that it sounded good. At the time I really didn't feel like I was agreeing to anything because the changes weren't going to be determined until after the first show. Later that evening I realized that I implicitly had agreed to make some kind of changes to the scene to make it sexier, but I presumed that I would have a voice in the changes.
At some point I told Ronnie about the play. He hadn't known anything about the fake-fucking or the incremental changes, so I needed to prepare him. He planned to be in the audience all four nights and I really did want and need his support.
Opening night was nerve-wracking. The scene that I was most nervous about was the hot tub scene. I still didn't feel comfortable wearing a bikini on stage and fake-fucking John in the hot tub, all in front of a live audience that included my boyfriend. Just before curtain time I peeked out and was a bit relieved to see that the attendance was not that strong. It was a Thursday night which was generally the lightest of the four nights, so it didn't really put a damper on the atmosphere backstage and personally I didn't mind having a smaller crowd for our first show.
The play started off reasonably well. There were a few minor glitches with actors stumbling over lines or not entering on time, but nothing catastrophic. When the hot tub scene came, I tried to put myself into a zone where I just concentrated on the scene and blocked thoughts of the audience out. It worked, but only briefly. When I started to strip off my clothes to reveal my bikini, the audience cheered and it totally knocked me out of my zone. While pictures were occasionally taken prior to that moment, a whole slew of pictures were taken of me standing on stage in my bikini. I tried to block it all out but it was definitely distracting.
John got in the hot tub and I followed, sitting opposite John. We had a few lines of dialogue that we got through easily. Then it was time. I stood up and walked over to John. I looked down at him and slowly sat down on his lap, facing him. I could hear the audience reacting and could see flashes from cameras but I was pretty well focused on the acting at that point. We began kissing and we pressed our bodies together tightly. John's hands went behind my back and I could feel him start to thrust into me. I began thrusting too, and I felt his hands again slide down to my butt. While we continued to fake-fuck, my mind would occasionally drift to the audience, which seemed to be reacting positively to the action. Between grinding into John and thoughts of the audience, I hadn't thought much of the pirates' entrance and I did not have to feign surprise when they came running on stage. Just as surprising to me was the audience's reaction to their entrance. They booed, as if they didn't want our copulation interrupted. I almost laughed at the thought, but I managed to resist the temptation.
John and I were forced out of the hot tub at sword-point. John's erection was obvious and the crowd reacted to it with a mixture of laughter and cheers. The audience also cheered and snapped pictures of me as I got out of the hot tub and stood in front of them in a wet bikini. I did my best to block it all out of my mind, but it was a strange feeling standing up there with all of these people staring at me.
The rest of the play went okay. I stumbled over one line of mine but all in all it went pretty well for the first night. Afterwards, John congratulated us all on a job well done and said that the cast would meet on Friday afternoon to practice a few things and discuss any changes. I later saw Ronny. I think it was a bit shocking for him to actually see the hot tub scene, but he really handled it well.
On Friday afternoon we spent a few hours running through scenes that did not go smoothly. There were a number of places where people forgot their lines, or didn't enter the stage at the right time, etc. It was a far cry from a disaster, but John wanted to iron out the wrinkles. Afterwards, John described a few minor tweaks to the play that he wanted to increase the sexiness of the play. They were all small changes and none involved me. He then said, "Jules and I are going to talk about the hot tub scene to see what we can do to make that more exciting for the audience."
John pulled me aside and said, "Look, I think our hot tub scene went great for the first night. The audience definitely responded to seeing you in a bikini! As we've talked before, we're going to have to raise the bar to keep people interested in the play and to compete with the other plays. The hot tub scene is our best opportunity to sex up the play."
"What do you have in mind?" I asked.
"How would you feel about taking your bikini top off during the scene?" he asked.
I was shocked and I'm sure that it showed. "You've got to be kidding! You want me to be topless on stage?" I asked.
"Well, yes and no. I was thinking that you could have your back to the audience so no one would really see anything. Maybe a few people would see the sides of your breasts, but that should be it. Most people would just see your bare back. It would be really sexy."
My mind was racing. I wanted us to win the competition and I knew that sexing up the scene was the key. But I hadn't imagined that John would propose I get topless on stage. If John was right then most people wouldn't see anything really. If a few people saw the sides it probably wouldn't be that bad. It did sound like stripping the top off would be exciting for the audience and may considerably help ticket sales. I couldn't believe that I was even considering taking my top off on stage.
I stood there for a moment just thinking about it. I was thinking of saying that I'd do it, but making the vocal commitment was real hard. I knew as soon as I agreed that it would be difficult to change my mind.
"So what do you think? Will you do it?" John asked.
I looked at him and I could just see how much he was counting on me. I nodded my head and said "Okay."
"Great, thanks! I'm sure that will really help."
"So what happens after I take my top off?"
"We'll just proceed with the rest of the scene normally. I'll sit facing the audience so when you join me in the hot tub you will still have your back to the audience. We'll do our simulated sex bit as usual. As you get out of the hot tub you can keep your arms across your chest so no one sees anything."
"Okay, it doesn't sound like it will be that bad."
"No, I think everything should be fine. I still think it's important that we feel free to improvise the scene a bit. To the greatest extent possible we should just put ourselves in the shoes of these lovers and do what comes naturally. Remember, this is the first time that these characters have been intimate. If we're a little clumsy, that's okay. Just as long as we aren't moving around like robots I think the scene will be a big success."
"Should we rehearse the scene again?"
"No, I think it's better if we don't. It was pretty smooth last night and I don't want it to look too practiced. Oh, and one other thing, the audience may get loud during the scene. If they get real loud, you need to wait for them to calm down before proceeding. Otherwise, nobody will be able to hear the dialogue or concentrate on the story. So if that happens, just pause where you're at and wait a bit."