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Boy Toys


Boy Toys

Post by Nasku on

Sighing, Nasku slumped back in the chair he had been occupying on and off all morning, and pulled loose the tie he was wearing, opening a few buttons on his shirt. It was no use. He was never going to find real talent in this forsaken place! He should have gotten a theatre smack-dab in the middle of Downtown, maybe more people would have ventured here then. As it were, the theatre he had purchased a while ago but only started renovating a few months previously was on the outskirts of the district, bordering on no-man’s land before the city of Marn hit the river separating it from little Shim.

Yet when he let his eyes roam over the object in question, he knew that he couldn’t not have purchased this particular piece of architecture. It may have looked a little lost and abused when he got it, but none of that remained. The workers he had hired and stressed for months now had done a great job. Finishing touches still remained to be completed but in general, it looked just like he had wanted it to.

The stage was in front of him with a decent sized area below for a few musicians in case he wanted to go such a path. Heavy red velvet curtains with gold and silver thread worked through the edges currently hung open, framing the area where too many untalented people had demonstrated their skills over the past few days. Behind Nasku, rows of comfortable seating stretched in a semi-circle. He had removed all the old seating to be replaced by seats that were more comfortable and left more leg room and space between the chairs. It may have cost him quite a few seats but he preferred the audience to be comfortable. It would draw them back, he was sure. All around the theatre, there were private booths for the rich and influential of Marn. At first, Nasku hadn’t wanted to put up the balconies, but considering the way the Puradyne considered the rest of the populace sometimes, if he wanted to draw in the money, he had to entice them to come here. Without specialty treatment, the Marn elite wouldn’t go out of their way to come to this place. And for that, he also needed a special treatment as far as acting and music was concerned.

Getting out of his seat, Nasku stretched his long limbs languidly and yawned widely before running a hand through his hair and moving towards the stage. His top hat and coat lay abandoned across the seats and a row of cups and mugs were strewn on the small table he had pulled up along with a myriad pens and papers. Once up on the stage, he turned towards the seating area and let his thoughts run wild, once again.

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nicolai on

Nicolai Svecha tried not to yawn as he stood outside of the construction project of a theatre, his domra in a special case beside him. He actually hadn't been aware that there was a theatre going up here in the outskirts of the city and may have missed auditions all together if a friend of an acquaintance hadn't mentioned it in passing. The arts were his forte and dream so if there was a spot open Nicolai was willing to do whatever it took to secure that spot. That included staying up all night to make sure that he was perfectly prepared for anything that might be thrown at him, from singing and dancing to having several different monologues prepared depending on what might be required or for whatever the mood was that day.

The past two years in Marn had certainly opened more doors than his life as a traveling actor had but it was a long way from the fame and fortune he craved. Sure there was the occasion well-to-do family that would hire him to play music for some kind of social get-together but that wasn't exactly what he had in mind. Nic rolled his shoulders back and shook the hair out of his eyes, all he had to do was impress some rich guy who probably didn't know much about theatre and hopefully wouldn't get bored of the whole project several months in. Actually Nicolai knew very little about Nasku Oslun besides his name. There hadn't been enough time before auditions closed to prepare properly for an audition much less figure out exactly who he was auditioning for.

Looking down at his mother's instrument Nicolai took a calming breath. It had taken him a while to decide whether or not to bring the old stringed thing along with him but in the end it would be in his best interest if he was able to show how versatile he was in many arts. And if the audition failed he supposed he always could ask to be apart of the construction crew or a stage-hand. Both those options were less then desirable but Nicolai had done worse to get by.

Straightening his good navy jacket a final time Nic flung the arm of his silver scarf over his right shoulder, pasted on his charming smiled and strode into the building, doing his best not to scuff his carefully polished shoes. Once inside the theatre he couldn't help but admire all the work that clearly had been done. His heart swelled with a bit of hope, he could almost hear the applause from an adoring audience. A place like this might not be as bad as he feared it would be, so long as it lasted long enough to become popular.

His focus shifted to the person on stage who seemingly was in the same world that Nicolai himself had just been in. His eyes briefly swept over the man. He looked to be a little dressed down for someone hoping to impress but perhaps it was for a piece he was reciting? Or perhaps he was simply planning on charming his way in with his some-what-okay good looks. Either way Nicolai wasn't about to be cowed by some boy who didn't look to be any older then him and who probably wasn't more then a pretty face with a mom who told him he could act well.

Tossing his hair back again Nicolai strode towards the stage stopping before what would be the musicians pit and looked up at the young man before allowing his gaze to sweep around the room again. "Excuse me? Do you know where I might find the proprietor of this establishment? I was lead to believe that auditions were still being held today but I don't see anyone around besides the construction workers." You didn't have to be above someone to look down on them, although Nicolai was hoping that his confidence and ease would simply shake the other man enough to perhaps give Nic a head start, so long as he had not already had his own audition.

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nasku on

If only he could finally find the right person to perform on this stage. Someone who wouldn’t attract all the alley cats thinking they had to respond to a challenger, someone who could dance, if only just a little, someone who had charisma, a presence on stage. In short, he really wanted to find someone who could awe people with the simplest of recitals, someone who…

Jostled out of his thoughts by a voice, Nasku blinked a couple of times before looking down at the man who had so rudely interrupted him. He was well-dressed, better dressed than some of the people who had shown up for auditions so far. He also carried an instrument with him, though that was no guarantee for the man actually being able to play it. Nasku suppressed a shudder as he remember the poor fiddle he had been tempted to release from its proprietor’s terrible abuse.

The man’s hair was a little unruly, but the length was one skilled hands could definitely work with. The colouring also seemed to be easily compatible with whatever costumes might be required. So far so good. His built seemed just fine. From this angle anyway. Though he might be a little on the small side. The voice, well, he would decide on that sooner or later. As for the tone he had employed….

Nasku raised an eyebrow at the man. “Do you think the proprietor of this establishment would leave people gallivanting around on stage on their own?” Shaking his head a little, though the corners of his mouth were tipped upwards in amusement, he went to the very edge of the stage and jumped down. As he walked up to the newcomer, he introduced himself: “My name is Nasku Oslun. I am the one you seek.” Once he had reached the man, he held out his hand in greeting. “Not to worry, you are not late for auditions. I have merely taken the liberty of sending everyone else on their way.”

Then he gestured to the stage with a “please” before striding to the seat he had occupied for the last few hours. “Before I’m giving you details on the show, I would like to see you perform something of your own choosing.”

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nicolai on

Nic's acting skill certainly came into play in hiding his embarrassment at confusing Nasku for a common actor. But sometimes it was better to go with the flow instead of kissing the ring and mumbling apologies. Thankfully the young man did not seem insulted by his assumption, unlike some patrons of the arts would have been. Being an artist and supporting one could be considered vastly different worlds and taboo to even consider them to be similar.

He smiled as they shook hands, "Nicolia Svecha, I am honoured to be given this opportunity." With a respectful nod of his head Nicolai turned and took several steps toward the stage before setting his instrument down. Shrugging out of his jacket he revealed his crisp white shirt tailored properly to show off his muscular, though slight, build. Folding it carefully and placed it on the nearest chair, it was his only good jacket, much like all the clothes he was currently wearing, and it wouldn't do to have any of it getting dirty, or sweaty. As he approached the stage his mind raced through what he had prepared before finally settling on something that hopefully would be perfect.

Nicolai found centre stage and closed his eyes, his head lowered. Slowly he stretched his arms out to either side and breathed in deeply but slowly as he got the feel of the space. It truly was magnificent and would only improve with presence of an audience. His hands fell to his sides silently as he looked up, his stormy blue eyes shining with anticipation. He was ready.

"Can you here it?" He paused, a finger in the air, his head tipped to the side as if listening for something. "The winds whisper through the willows and on into town. Through the square and past the river, far beyond where any of us have ever travelled. He began to set the stage with a hushed tone that still managed to drift to the far corners of the room. "A young man wandered. Lost. Forgotten. Searching for something, something we all desire and so few of us find...."

For the next ten minutes Nicolia told the tragic love story that once was so popular in his home town, his voice changing with the characters, pacing the floor, his arms reaching out to grasp onto his love as she fell. As he drew to a close, a single tear rolled down his cheek.

He paused for a moment after it was done before returning centre stage and bowing again. "I apologize if that was a little long. I thought that perhaps you may have gotten bored of hearing monologues. A folk tale might be a little unorthodox but it is entertaining in it's own way." Nicolai hoped that the fact that Nasku had not interrupted him part way through was a positive sign. He rarely told stories as his audition piece but Nic had gotten the feeling that Nasku was not exactly like every other director he had worked for any maybe, just maybe would appreciate something more original. Either that or Nic had just screwed up something that could be very big.

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nasku on

Nasku leaned back in the chair, observing the man on the stage. He had recovered quickly from his little blunder, which was yet another thing that spoke in his favour. The man certainly took his time in getting accustomed to the space, which Nasku could understand. A stage wasn’t necessarily a stage and every space had its own feel. Besides, it gave actors a few moments to gather themselves instead of stumbling over their own tongues.

Nasku’s knee began bouncing a little of its own accord when Nicolai took more time than others to start his performance but once again, he didn’t think that was a bad thing. It would have to be calculated into preparation time before going on stage but that wouldn’t be an issue. Now if only he would start performing so Nasku could properly assess his voice and talent.

And then, then the young men finally started performing and Nasku found himself listening intently. The voice carried nicely, even when it was pitched low. It changed with the characters, was strong where needed and all the while, Nicolai never sounded as though he were forcing his voice to do anything that it didn’t or couldn’t do. There were no blunders in tonality, no hesitation in the performance and the text or lyrics were delivered naturally.

Yes...

Nasku found himself nodding along when Nicolai addressed him, though he was still lost in his own thoughts. It took him a few more moments to realise that Nicolai had addressed him in the hopes of receiving an answer and not just watching him contemplate the performance.

Clearing his throat, Nasku sat up in his chair and replied: “Monologues are indeed rather dull after a few repetitions. You did well in choosing something less conservative. It also showed off your talents more than a monologue would have, I dare say. The acting you might still have to work on a little, but we’ll see about that at the next audition. If you would be so kind? I asked several people to come back in two days in order to set them up into groups to see a performance with multiple actors.”

Without looking at the young man, Nasku began rifling through the papers in front of him. He had to go through them twice before he found what he was looking for. Removing the small stack of papers from the larger pile, Nasku got up and made his way over to the stage. “This is what I would like you to read through for the next audition. You don’t have to prepare for a specific role. I just want you to get a general idea of the play.”

As he handed the papers to Nic, he smiled at the man. “You can ease up; you did well.” Before he released the papers, he cocked his head to the side. “It won’t be a problem for you to return in two days, I expect?”

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nicolai on

Nicolai tensed up slightly when his acting was critiqued but any evidence of that was soon gone. After all - he had told a story, not done a monologue or acted out scenes from a play so it was only natural that Nasku wouldn't have had the proper opportunity to judge him on that key fact. Not to mention he was getting invited back! This was actually starting to look like the start to something perfect.

He copied Nasku's move and casually jumped off the stage as the man walked over with a script. Accepting the papers with a grin, Nicolai glanced down momentarily before walking to were he left his jacket and instrument. Kneeling slightly he opened the case and slipped the script into the pocket where he often stored music.

"That shouldn't be a problem at all." He lied before looking around the room a final time. "Let me know if you need an extra set of of hands around here as well. I am more then just a pretty face after all." Nicolai said jokingly with a coquettish grin and a wink before becoming a little more serious. "I was apart of a troupe that travelled around and as a junior member I ended up doing more construction and sewing then acting for the longest time. Well I suppose I shall leave you to your work. Thank you again for this magnificent opportunity." He bowed slightly before grabbing his jacket and tossing it over his shoulder, his domra in his other hand.

As he started towards the exit his mind was already racing. It had been hard enough to get the afternoon off for this audition and to have another one so close? There was no way that he would be able to keep his currently construction job, especially after the guy who hired him to help rebuilt the wall around his estate caught his wife staring at the extra help a little too long. Shirts were now mandatory no mater how hot and sweaty they got - which Nicolia doubted would stop the missus from looking either way. Oh well - THIS is what he wanted and there were always odd jobs that he could find if for some reason he didn't make the final cut.

Nicolai had every confidence in his own ability he was a little apprehensive about a group audition. Sometimes it didn't matter how good an actor was - he had seen perfectly good actors kicked out of the troupe because the chemistry wasn't there - they weren't bad people, at least not all of them, but they just didn't mesh well with the group. Fingers crossed though, he would fit right in.

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nasku on

Nasku looked at the man, not letting any particular expression show on his face, but when the actor offered to give a helping hand with the finishing touches of the theatre, he couldn’t help but wonder what the undertone to that comment was. It was certainly not just a friendly offer. Nasku could always use an extra pair of hands, especially since it began to look more and more as though they were getting behind schedule – though it might also be good practice for actors to rehearse with a lot of distracting background noise.

When Nicolai went to explain, Nasku let a small smile tug at the corners of his lips. “Sounds fascinating.” He let that comment hang in the air for a bit and Nicolai took his farewell in the brief moment of silence, shouldering his instrument and thanking him for the opportunity, a comment that earned him another half-smile from Nasku as well as a nod.

The theater owner continued to watch Nicolai as the latter made his way towards the exit. Thoughts were racing in his mind, a few in particular pushing to the forefront but being pushed back as soon as they popped up. However… There was something in the man’s eyes, no matter how well he tried to hide it. Besides, that offer had had a more hopeful tinge than Nasku would have expected from someone who had just auditioned to become an actor. None of the others had cared about the work that still needed to be done. None of the others had seemed even in the least interested in getting their hands dirty.

Especially that last thought decided it for Nasku.

“The workers usually get here around 7 in the morning. Join them whenever you want. Audition starts at 10.”

Not waiting for a reaction, Nasku turned away and slipped backstage, barking out an order at a couple of workers who had thought they could use his distraction to their advantage and lounge around.

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nicolai on

It was all that Nic could do to hold back his excitement that Nasku had taken him up on his offer to help out. He waited until he was a block away before he danced a little jig before sitting down on a bench. His hands shook a little and his breathing was heavy, it felt like he had been holding his breath the entire audition until now. Leaning back Nicolai lounged on on the bench, his eyes closed as his face turned towards the sun a grin permanently stuck on his face.

This was all working out better then he had hoped. He didn't have a doubt that he was going to get a part, after all he was good looking as either a boy or a girl, proven in multiple dramas although small. But still - he was only human and this was his first acting audition in almost a year. Not to mention this would be his first debut in a real theatre with an audience bigger then most of the villages he had visited. Of course that would be the case if this Nasku fellow was as shrewd a businessmen as Nicolai hoped he would.

Nicolai's thoughts turned to the theatres proprietor. The man certain was clearly close in age to himself and it was obvious their interests ran in the same circle - if all else failed, not that it possibly could, it certainly wouldn't hurt to befriend the man who really could make his career and perhaps even his life. Nic certainly had heard the stories of actors who rose from humble positions to become wealthy and well respected among the upper class. This was his door to that life and Nasku was the one cracking it open. Nic grinned wider as he remembered the man's small smile, framed by the white hair that strangely only seemed to add to his good looks. He rolled his eyes as he caught his thoughts wandering - he had no doubt that this man probably used his looks and had at least half a dozen girls hanging off him at any given time if he wasn't yet married.

Kicking up his heels Nic stood up, grabbed his instrument and headed home to drop everything off and get changed. The rest of the day was filled with running around the city. He quit his construction job and got his pay - as well as a little note from the mistress of the house mentioning where she went for tea every Tuesday afternoon. Tucking it away for later thought he quickly made his way to the shops. With the pay from last weeks work he had just enough to buy himself a secondary suit of clothes (because how embarrassing would it be to show up in the exact same outfit as last time). This time he settled for a deep green jacket that was on clearance. It was rather large on him but he couldn't afford to be picky and thankfully Nic knew enough about sewing and his own body that it would take no time at all for him to make the jacket fit perfectly. Running through his limited wardrobe in his head Nic decided that his brown boots would be fine for both work and auditions so long as he remembered to bring a cloth to polish them up a bit in between. With his last few coins he couldn't help but purchase a handful of carved buttons to replace the boring ones on his new jacket.

As much as he wanted to go out and buy a drink to celebrate Nic headed home and spent the hours before bed working on his new clothes before carefully packing them away to bring the next day and setting out a simple, but clean, workman's outfit. Sleep came quickly as did the morning. Grabbing a cup of coffee and a cheap pastry Nicolai got to the theatre with plenty of time to spare. Sitting down on the steps he ate his breakfast and took in the neighbourhood. Before long he was twiddling his thumbs - perhaps it was a bad idea to show up almost an hour early but once he had woken it was impossible for him to sleep with the excitement of the day before him. Suddenly he remembered - he had yet to read through the script that Nasku had handed him the previous day. Silently cursing himself he shuffled around the music in his domra case until he found the stack of papers and started to read - his mouth moving along as he silently read while he waited.

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nasku on

It was always the same with these workers and Nasku was starting to really reach the end of his patience. If they didn’t pick up their pace a little, they were going to seriously fall behind schedule and that simply wouldn’t do. They were only barely going to manage to finish on time as it was.

With a loud holler, the black sheep of the Oslun family brought the head worker to stand before him and without even letting the man utter a single word of fake apology, he laid into him. By the time Nasku was finished with the man, the workers were all studiously avoiding his eyes, avoiding to catch his attention at all costs.

Maybe he needed to hire a few more men after all. Or maybe he should simply hire someone who could handle the pressure of being in charge of others a little better. Sighing, Nasku immersed himself in his notes for a while, trying to figure out what to do with his actors. He still had another day to think over pairings and groupings, but it was always good to get a head-start on these things, especially now that he had the time, because if anyone knew just how quickly a plan could be completely overthrown, it was Nasku.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The night had been a short one and Nasku wasn’t completely awake yet when he made his way to the theatre early. He could have slept in a little and left his workers to do their thing but he just didn’t trust them enough to not check in on them first thing in the morning. Besides, there were a few more things he needed to take care of and he needed to go over the various actor groupings again.

When Nasku turned the last corner before arriving in the street where the theatre was situated, he almost stopped short. Were his eyes deceiving him? Was there really someone sitting on the steps already? It certainly can’t be one of the workers. Every day they made it only just in time with barely a few seconds to spare. Probably just an urchin resting a bit before dashing off again.

As he drew closer, he realised that the form was too large to be that of a child and Nasku wondered who could possibly be waiting for him at this ungodly hour – for the upper class anyway and who else would want to talk to him?

It turned out however to be none of all the options Nasku had considered when he realised that the man sitting on the stairs was no other than the actor whom he had offered work.

“A little early, are we not?” Nasku asked when he was almost upon him. The corners of his lips lifted to assure the man that he was merely joking, and already his brain was starting to lay out various smaller jobs Nicolai – ah, yes, that was his name – could accomplish before the workers got there.

“Let’s go inside and see what we can do, shall we?” Nasku quickly unlocked the side door and beckoned Nicolai follow him.

“Alright!” Nasku rubbed his hands together and let his eyes sweep over the place shortly. “Broom and bucket are behind the curtain.” Nasku gestured towards the backstage area. “Whatever else you need you should find there, too. It’ll be a daily job but the stage area needs regular cleaning or we will never be rid of all the dust before opening night. Besides, I assume I am not the only one who prefers to work in a clean area?” Nasku raised his eyebrows at the actor, with that small smile still etched on his face.

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nicolai on

Nicolai was too engrossed in the script to see Nasku approach but upon hearing his voice Nic looked up, his brown locks falling in front of his eyes. Running his hand through his hair to push it back he smiled "Well, they say the early bird catches the worm." He explained with a cheeky grin as he tucked the papers away. He had managed to read through them several times and even had pieces of it memorized - there would still be a lot to do but it was just supposed to be more of a read through vs a full on performance so at least he had that.

Walking into the building Nicolai's eyes roamed the place excitedly. Again - the potential was there, the potential for great things, for HIM to become great was there. He could almost taste it.

The excitement quickly plummeted though and for a second his one eyebrow twitched, the only indication that there was possibly something wrong. A broom and a bucket? Really? A glorified cleaning boy was his new job? Nicolai quickly squashed down any remarks and tell tale emotions. It was a job - one that may not pay as much as his former construction job but it was moving....somewhere.

Nic noticed the small smile, almost a smirk it seemed to be, on Nasku's annoyingly perfect face. Some part of Nic felt that this was perhaps a test of some sort - perhaps a hazing situation. After all he was relatively new to the finer side of the business. Street performances and the like didn't compare well to the theatre.

Fine - if he wanted a clean stage he would get a clean stage. Rolling his shoulders to remove the tension he felt building already Nic grabbed the broom and set about sweeping, doing his best to keep a pleasant and relaxed look on his face. After that was done he grabbed the bucket and successfully found some soap and access to decently clean water. Unfortunately the mop was filthy and he wasn't about to spread that gunk all over the stage. But there were sponges. Heaving a sigh he grabbed his tools and kneeling down began to scrub the stage.

While he had gotten the place fairly clean with the original sweep it was obvious the years of disuse had caused a fine layer of gunk to settle. With a strong arm the filth was scrubbed away revealing almost beautiful floorboards. A decent waxing would be all that it needed to make it look like new.

Several buckets of water later Nic was done. He still felt sore about the task he had been given, after all any kid could have been hired to do THAT job, but it was satisfying to see the place one step closer to it's full glory. Looking at the clock Nic realized that it was almost time for the second bout of auditions to start. He was certainly glad he brought a change of clothes. Running to where he had stowed his belongings he found a quiet corner to strip out of his wet workmans clothes and slip into his previously planned outfit.

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nasku on

Setting the actor to cleaning had been a test as much as an actual job that needed to be performed. Nasku grinned to himself when he noticed the dismay Nicolai tried to hide, but he was pleasantly surprised by the vigour with which the actor threw himself into the job. If he did everything with as much zeal, then he was definitely someone to keep around, if not for acting then at least for the work that still needed to be done.

As Nicolai set about his task, Nasku checked up on his workers, some of which were already in the full swing of things, while others were lounging around chatting. As soon as they saw Nasku though they jumped up and busied themselves with what they were supposed to be doing. Their boss was nowhere in sight. Yep, heads would roll. Later.

Nasku went back to his usual work station not far from the stage where all his papers were still lying as though they had exploded into a pile of disorder. There truly was a system in it somewhere though most likely nobody but Nasku would be able to figure it out without putting some serious thought into it. ‘Ordered chaos’ was what he liked to call it.

After rather more fiddling than he had planned, Nasku finally had an idea in mind about who to put together for the group project he had in mind. The story Nasku had given to all the actors who were going to come back revolved around a group of friends going off into the woods together and finding themselves enchanted and played tricks on by some fairies with various mix-ups – it was a fairly well-known play but he hadn’t divulged the original title or the author to see if some of them knew the playwright’s work.

There were another five men and three women coming back, which served his purposes well. He had put two men and one woman into each group and would have them come up with a way to interpret the scenes he had selected for them. And for that exact purpose, he had wanted the stage to be clean so the groups could each settle in another corner on the stage.

That done, Nasku looked up just in time to see a handful of workers enter the door with a questioning look on their faces. Getting up from where he was seated, he waved them forward and greeted them. “Thank you for coming on such short notice. If you please follow me.” He lead them towards the back of the theatre where a larger group was currently working on some decorative beams that needed to be put up with the balustrades once those were completely finished. “You will be working with these men. I would like to have the wood work in this area finished as soon as possible. You will most likely receive another helping hand towards the end of the day or latest tomorrow.”

Next stop, he went to fire some of the lazy ones, who were once again lounging about and doing as little as possible. The shock on their faces quickly turned to pleading as they began to narrate tales about wives and children. Nasku usually had sympathy for families with little income but these men didn’t strike him as actually being part of that category. Otherwise they would actually have been working and not just faking it. He told them as much, in no uncertain terms, and they were quick to leave afterwards.

On his way back to his paperwork and most importantly, to greet the returning actors, Nasku passed by Nicolai who just emerged from a quiet corner in a new set of clothes. “You did fantastic work with the stage. Thank you. Depending on how long auditions are going, I would like you to stay on afterwards and help the men with the balustrade. As you have experience in that area, I’m sure they’d appreciate another set of helping hands.”

Re: Boy Toys

Post by Nicolai on

Nicolai emerged from his shadowy corner just as Nasku walked by - the timing couldn't have been more perfect. Nicolai was proud of the job he had done, regardless of the humiliation of it, yet he kept a straight face as Nasku complimented him. After all only an idiot could have screwed up that job so really it wasn't a big deal. He did manage a small grateful smile at the promise of more work that day helping the construction crew. Finally a real chance to show some of his skills.

"I am willing to do whatever job needs to be done." He said seriously, "After all, it is good for one to be proud of his place of employment. Having a hand in the success of such a place as this would be an honour in itself." He turned to walk away before spinning around slowly.

"I have heard that the deadline is upon you," Nic said carefully, not wishing to offend. "And if you don't wish to push back opening night - well I am available to work late whenever you need. Just say the word and your wish is my command." With a small but respectful bow Nicolai strutted off, a grin on his face.

Perhaps he had taken a risk at bringing up the looming deadline - some might think of it as an insult. An insinuation that he could not manage his business in the way that it should be. But Nicolai took a calculated risk, assuming that Nasku Oslun was not exactly like the rest of his kind in that way but similar enough that in offering up himself for his use would either endear himself to Nasku as a hard worker or feed into his sense of power. After all some men loved to be in charge, to have their pawns jump to their every whim. Nasku didn't seem to be that type but then you never knew with these 'come from money' types.

Nicolai observed the other men and women who had shown up for the auditions before joining the group and introducing himself. The women he turned on his charm with, smiling as he kissed their gloved hands. The men he acted a bit more familiar with, shaking hand and clapping them on the back as they told a few jokes and made small talks. All the while he carefully scrutinized his competition.

He was lucky to be joining the whole show right at the beginning of the business. Unless Nasku had already hired almost a whole acting troupe then it wasn't as though they were all competing for one or two spots. At the same time the man clearly had an eye for talent and knew what he wanted. This would be a competition eventually, if only for the best role and Nicolai was not planning on settling for anything but the best.




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