The Lives of a Showman-Part Three


I duly presented myself at the night club the next evening and
did indeed see Mr. Mustapha in attendance. I did the first show
and went over tolerably well as usual. It was always the second,
later show that caused the difficulties, because by then the alcohol
was flowing and the club was busier. However, I saw no sign of
the act from Poland who was to be auditioned. I reasoned that he
would probably show up at the second show, and I was correct.
In the dressing room before the 1.00 a.m. show I found that I
was in the presence of a rather egotistical acrobat from Poland. He
told me that he had travelled all over the world with his wife and
that he was one of the top acts in the business. He also informed
me that Mr. Mustapha needed a novelty act for the club and was
going to decide between him and me.

I had a sinking feeling that I had no chance competing against
an obviously seasoned professional, especially since so far I
had done so badly at the later shows. My negative vibes were
confirmed when I went on and died the usual death. The acrobat
and his wife on the other hand performed with great aplomb and
left the nightclub floor to a rousing ovation.

The acrobat, however, didn’t come straight back to the
dressing room. I noticed that he and his wife had gone to sit at Mr.
Mustapha’s table and were entering into deep discussion with
him. I figured that he was probably going to get the job and my
show business career was going to come to an abrupt end before it
had even had a chance to begin.

My suspicions were confirmed when he came back into the
dressing room bragging away to me how he had been booked for a
month with an option for another month. He was going to start on
the Monday of the following week. It was obvious that I was out
for the count, but I still had to hear it officially.

I therefore left the dressing room to find Mr. Mustapha, who
had done his usual disappearing act. I then decided to do the next
best thing and speak to the head waiter whom I had now found
out was actually Mustapha’s brother. As a matter of fact, I discovered
that many of the waiters and other staff were related to Mr.
Mustapha, and virtually everyone who worked there, apart from
the entertainers, happened to be from Turkey.

After locating the head waiter, I was informed that Mr.
Mustapha would call me if he needed me, but it was perfectly
obvious that he didn’t. There was, however, the little matter of
payment for the three nights I had already worked. I was told to
call Mr. Mustapha in a few days when he would be returning from
some business trip or other.
So what happened next? Something quite unexpected! Wait until the next entry to find out!

The Lives of a Showman-Part Three

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