A stage is filled with flowers. On one end there is a piano; a female cellist is seated nearby. The stage is ready, the show can begin. The audience immediately recognizes the actress when she enters ̶ she has played most of her career in this very theater. She is retired now, and has come here to say what she thinks is still worth telling after all those years of acting. To look back and list what she has left behind: roles, directors, acting partners, flower bouquets, borrowed identities, theatre stages which she stood on, fan letters, enemy letters, achievements and unfulfilled expectations. It is time to settle the bills and say goodbye to everything that is now over for her. But ̶ is it really over? One cannot stop acting on command. After all, the stage belongs to you! In her autobiographical narrative, Polona Vetrih, an actress, talks about her professional career and personal life, and explores in an in-depth way the mechanisms underlying the world of theatre and the role of actors, cogs in the wheel that one often finds baffling. Her testimony is direct, and presented in a way that blurs the boundaries between Polona, the actress who invariably becomes »somebody else« at the moment she touches the stage, and Polona, a retired woman, reflecting on her life choices and paths without reservations and false identities. The stage and life have fused,
the retired lady keeps acting.
There are things that choose one, and there are those that one chooses oneself. Who chooses who in the stage-actress couple? Who belongs to whom more strongly? The life of a great actress is, seen from the outside at least, wonderful: stage lights, receptions, champagne; fans, letters of admiration and flowers that would occasionally fill up an entire florist shop. And then, one beautiful day, the actress is ambushed by a sheer horror, on the stairs or at the door of her dressing room: a dismissal. Just like that, unexpectedly. Where the hell did it come from, out of the blue? Notwithstanding the number of years spent on the stage, the silenced allure of the stage does not cease, and the actress wants to fly up again. Acting manages to lift her up so that she ceases to feel the ground beneath the feet. Will she really need to wait until the very end to smell the flowers again?