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Voices From the Workshops: Tina Silver

December 4, 2011 | Dawn | Comments (0)

Quiet Lies by Tina Silver

I like her immediately.  She’s youthful and pretty but humble.   She’s copying show music; ‘What I Did for Love,’ from Chorus Line and ‘I Know Him So Well’ from Chess.  She says “The Chess song’s actually a duet but you can do it as a solo.”  I smile, because I’ve done it that way, too. 

She’s going on an audition for community theatre, her first.  She tells me, “I wasn’t meant to be in front of a computer all day.  Theatre is my love.  I was really involved in high school but in university I studied accounting.  I’ve had my desk job for three years.  My family are science people.  They would never support my theatre full time.  They did come to my school shows, but just to humor me.  You know, ‘get a real job’ and all that.     Only my friends really know how passionate I am.”

I don’t tell her that I’ve just copied sheet music, out of habit, for auditions I no longer go to.  I don’t say how I believe the things you love never go away, even if they’re forced to hide in dark, small places for years at a time.  I can’t speak, because if these thoughts come out as words they might scream.  They will nosedive through the library’s atrium, shaking every floor between fifth and the basement newspaper room.  They will rattle walls, quiver the building in its foundation and maybe even cause structural damage.  Slanted cracks on the walls.  Everyone will go running out to Yonge Street.  That’s what could happen because there is no quiet way to say ‘don’t listen to your family.  Live the life you want.’  Instead, I save my dignity and hers, keeping the building intact in the process.  Living a lie can be done quietly.    


This monologue is reprinted with permission from the author. It was performed at the Toronto Reference Library as part of David Young's Writer-in-Residence workshop program, on November 30, 2011.


Playwright David Young will be blogging in this space from October - November, 2011 as Toronto Reference Library's Playwright-in-Residence.