Chaste guy gets found out and exploited at a strip club.
I could scarcely believe it. I was thrilled and terrified. I felt a huge flutter in my stomach. I felt queasy.
"David, can I speak to you a moment?" It was Layne Douglas. He was squatting down at the edge of the stage. I walked over to him.
"I know you are going to great job. You and I will have to make time to work together on your solo and your duets. You will be onstage eighty percent of the night. I am going to teach a few tricks to keep your voice strong and how to rest without looking tired between numbers. Lafitte is about passion and leadership, not feelings and friendship. You will be the leader in more ways than one. But I will be right next to you the whole time. Deal?"
"Deal." We shook hands and I swear I felt something different in that handshake. More of a promise than an agreement.
"One of the conditions of your part is hair. You must let your hair grow. And your beard. Lafitte had long flowing hair and a well-trimmed goatee. And you need to get comfortable in a dance belt and tights."
Great. A dance belt. An elastic waist band that had a single elastic band that stretched from your belly to the small of your back and was meant to hold your cock and balls motionless and shapeless while you wore tights.
"I might have to sing soprano then, " I joked to hide my nervousness.
"There are ways of being comfortable in a dance belt as well. I can show you if you are interested and can't figure them out on your own."
I was suddenly very interested in learning how to wear a dance belt comfortably. And I was thrilled about Layne Douglas showing me how. At that moment I had the fleeting idea that being gay was as natural as wind and rain.
The remaining auditions were fierce. As parts were cast, the roles became even more hotly contested. We were all friends, but we all wanted good parts too.
On Friday night, after the final audition, the call-back lists were posted. Some of the roles still had multiple names by them. Only five roles had a single name. Lafitte was one.
"Dude, you really nailed your audition," my best friend Colin said. "We were all talking about it. Nobody knew you could sing that well. You are gonna ROCK Lafitte into the 20th century." I heard a lot of comments like that for that night and for the next day. I had to come back on Saturday to play the part of Lafitte for everyone who was up for St. Bonivenue. Mr. Abbott and Layne wanted to see us together. Of course Colin and I have been best buds since before we could talk and it showed on stage. We weren't acting so much as just hanging out. Colin got the role as my first officer. This was going to be a great Spring.
By Sunday night the show was cast. Rehearsals for the principals were going to be done in two stages. Stage one was musical rehearsal. One on one, two on one, with Layne. Stage two we would join the rest of the cast for the onstage blocking and acting.
During stage one the ensemble portion of the cast would be working in the gymnasium, learning the dance moves, the choruses, and the blocking for the big numbers. The stage was laid out on the gym floor. There were small risers to indicate where there were changes in elevation and large risers for where the ships would be placed for the sea battles. During stage two we would be working in scene groups until the final two weeks when we would start run-throughs and dress rehearsals. From the very beginning there was the distraction of set building, costume making, advertising and publicity, scenery, sword practice, flying practice. It was an incredible amount of work and worth every minute.
Layne and I started rehearsals for my solo in the drama classroom. After I had the words all down we started discussing Lafitte and his history. Finally he told me it was time to work on the blocking. From then on, during rehearsal I was required to where the knee high boots, the tights and the dance belt.
"If I have to rehearse in a dance belt and tights, so do you. After all, you have to be onstage the whole night."
Layne looked at me with a lit