My name is Luke. I am a professional waiter.
I arrived at the venue at 3.30pm for my 4pm rehearsal. At 4.30pm I was finished.
Now it’s 6.30pm. The show starts at 8pm. My act is at the start of the second half.
I should start my make-up when the show starts.
Right now, there are thousands of performers all around the world doing exactly what I am doing now.
Together, in our own way and in our own places, we wait.
Does this connect us all on some level? The juggler in Berlin with the snake-charmer in Mumbai? The trapeze artist in Moscow with the preacher in New Guinea?
Breathing, sleeping, reading, stretching – thousands of us, spread across the globe in whatever passes in that particular locale for a “backstage”.
How exhilarating that realisation is! I am not alone! As I type these words, I can imagine a shared consciousness, a body of experience shared between performers of all races, faiths, and skills. Connected by the act, by the art, of waiting. But not mere everyday, amateur passive waiting – waiting not for a bus, not for a train or in a queue, but waiting for the moment of stepping onto the stage, of stepping into a more “real” reality. Waiting for the moment of transformation!
I am sorry. I think I have too much time on my hands…
Luke Wilson, in a backstage in Berlin. Waiting.