The Actress

“Ok, that’s enough for the day, see you all next week” the director called out from her seat in the front row of the theatre. The actress, Paul sighed and made to follow the other actors off the stage. The rehearsals for the play were not going well and he knew that he was primarily to blame. He knew too that his friendship with the director would not prevent him from losing his job if he did not improve quickly.

“Paul, could I speak to you for a minute?”

As if divining his thoughts Sarah called him from where she sat in the stalls in the front of the stage. “What’s the problem?” she asked when he pushed down the seat next to her and lowering himself dejectedly into it. He made no pretence of not knowing what she was talking about. “I just can’t identify with the part,” he told her honestly, “it doesn’t work for me.”

Sarah looked concerned. “You know how important your role is. The audience have to believe that you really are a woman up to the final act, not just a man in drag.”

Paul looked at her without speaking. Any other director would have sacked him already and he honestly could not blame her if that’s what she decided to do now.

“I’m going to give you one week to get this right or I’ll have to get someone else,” she told him. “But I think you are going to need some radical help.”

“What do you mean?” Paul asked. He was happy to have been given another week and was willing to listen to anything that she might suggest. “I think it might help if you were to live as a woman for a while. That’s the only way I can think of that you are going to learn to fit the role and be convincing.”

Paul stared at her in disbelief, but he saw immediately from her determined expression that she was not joking. “I can’t do that,” he rejected the suggestion, “it wouldn’t work.”

“Thats up to you to decide,” Sarah said standing up. “Really its a question of how badly you want this part. And if you are a good enough actor to play the part then you will make it work.”

She got up then and started walking along the aisle towards the exit. Paul stared after her and knew instinctively that she had washed her hands of him. She had questioned his commitment and challenged his ability. After that it was up to him. He had one week in which to prove that he was right for the part or else he would be out of a job. “Wait,” he shouted and ran after her, “I’ll need help.”

She turned back to him, and to his relief she smiled and told him that she had known he would see sense, and that she had every confidence in him. This slight praise was a welcome boost to Paul’s dented confidence and he readily agreed to call at her house early the following day.


 

 

He arrived at her home early the next morning, and a heavy knot of apprehension filled his stomach as he pressed the door bell. While he was keen to keep the part in the play and recognised that he did need to do something to improve his performance, he felt nervous about the idea of actually trying to live as a woman.

“Right, upstairs with you and into the bath,” Sarah said when she opened the door. It was obvious that she was intent on taking charge from the start and was not going to give him the opportunity to chicken out. Sarah led him to the bathroom where she handed him a towel and a tube of depilatory cream. She left him with instructions to use it on his legs and underarms. Once alone, he filled the bath and lowered himself into the warm water. Leisurely he washed, then reached for the tube she had given him. He read the directions then with a sigh of resignation, unscrewed the cap.

His nose wrinkled at the foul smelling odour as he smeared the cream on his skin but he waited the recommended length of time before rinsing it off and drying himself. Sarah was waiting in her bedroom when he finally padded in, a towel wrapped around his hips.

He sat on the edge of her bed and watched without comment as she picked out some clothes for him to wear. “These should fit you well enough,” she said, dropping a pile of clothing on the bed beside him. “At least they will do until you buy some of your own.”

“Do you not have anything without the frills?” Paul asked, picking up a pair of skimpy silk panties edged in lace. “Yes,” Sarah answered patiently, “but there would be little point in letting you wear something that could be regarded as unisex. The whole idea of this is for you to become as near to a true woman as possible. And women like feminine things.” Realising that he had little choice in the matter, Paul dropped the towel and stepped into the panties. At first the skimpy garment bulged out at the front in a very unfeminine manner, but at Sarah’s suggestion he tucked his penis back between his legs and managed to achieve a reasonably acceptable profile.

Next Sarah handed him a bra and gingerly he put it on, padding out the cups with tissues to give himself a more realistic female shape. She nodded her approval and handed him a suspender belt which he fastened around his waist. Then he took the dress she had chosen for him and pulled it on over his head, reaching behind him for the zip.

Paul sat on the bed then and picked up a pair of stockings. Carefully he rolled one up his leg, noticing as he did so how smooth his hairless skin felt, and fastened it to the straps of the suspenders. Soon the second leg was similarly covered.

“Try these on, they should be your size.” Sarah handed him a pair of shoes which she had borrowed from the props room back at the theatre. They were plain black court shoes with heels and they were a perfect fit…


 

Paul stood up and took a tentative step. The material of the dress brushed sensuously against his stockinged thighs as he moved, and he blushed at the pleasurable thrill this gave him. Balancing precariously on the high heels he tried a few steps.

Although he was a little wobbly at first he soon found that so long as he did not take the long strides he was accustomed to then he could walk easily enough.

“You look great,” Sarah encouraged him, “now come and get some make-up on.” Obediently Paul went to sit at the dressing table. He knew the basics of using make-up from working on the stage, but did not know the techniques required to give him a natural feminine appearance. Eager to learn something which may benefit him professionally, he paid close attention to each step as Sarah transformed his features. In a matter of minutes she was satisfied and reached for the wig he was to wear. Placing it on his head he pinned it in place and brushed it into shape.

“How do I look?” he asked when Sarah pronounced herself satisfied. “Come and see for yourself,” she suggested, and Paul stepped over to examine himself in the full length mirror on the back of the wardrobe door. He was surprised and strangely pleased to see a very attractive young woman look back at him. The hem of the dress stopped a few inches above his stockinged knee and he noticed with a certain satisfaction that wearing heels gave his lower leg a convincing feminine appearance.

“Well I certainly look the part,” he observed and smiled at the reflection in the mirror. He felt no embarrassment or unease at seeing himself dressed as a woman, only a growing confidence that he would be able to play the part after all. He turned from admiring his transformation to see Sarah locking the clothes he had worn to come to the house in a cupboard. She locked it with a decisive click and removed the key. “You won’t be needing any male clothes for the rest of this week,” she stated, “so we may as well put them out of temptation.” Paul did not argue. He needed the part in the play and was grateful that Sarah was giving him this chance. And if he were honest with himself he had to admit that the actor in him was beginning the enjoy the challenge of the masquerade…


 

By lunch time of that first day, however, Paul was disheartened. He had played the part of a woman as well as he could, but it had become apparent that feminine gestures and mannerisms did not come naturally to someone who had lived all his life as a man. He felt awkward and clumsy.

“I’ll never be able to do this,” he said dejectedly when Sarah had to remind him for what seemed like the millionth time to smooth his skirt under his thighs as he sat down.

“Of course you will,” she assured him. “The problem at the moment is that you are still trying to act like a woman. You have to relax and become one – then those small gestures will be natural.” One look at his face told her that drastic measures were necessary to counter his negativity. “Right, we are going shopping this afternoon,” she told him in a voice that brooked no argument, “you need to meet people to gain some confidence, and we need to buy you some clothes of your own.”

Paul felt nervous about being seen in public and it was with growing trepidation that he followed Sarah out of the house. The heels of his shoes clicked loudly on the pavement as they walked to the bus stop, and a light breeze swirled his skirt around his legs. It was a pleasant sensation but it also made him feel vulnerable and defenceless, and not just through fear of being ‘found out’.

He had a sudden insight into how a woman on her own must feel while walking home at night, and with it came the realisation that he had just experienced his first female thought. Their first stop was to buy him a handbag. “A woman never goes anywhere without her handbag, so you won’t either.” she told him.

Paul readily agreed to this as he had quickly found that while wearing a dress he had nowhere to keep his money or even the key to the house. For someone like him who normally had pockets crammed full of things that he could not live without, the purchase was a necessity. For the remainder of the afternoon they browsed among the shops fitting Paul out with a complete new wardrobe. He discovered that he enjoyed the experience. The sales staff were pleasant and treated him as they would any female customer. And no one suspected that he was anything other than what he appeared to be. “No one suspected at all,” Paul said gleefully to Sarah when they returned home.

That night Paul stayed at Sarah’s. She had given him a nightdress to wear and as he slipped it on over his head, the flimsy material slid sensuously against his skin. He shuddered with pleasure and climbed into bed.


 

The following morning Paul woke early and picked out what clothes he would wear. He washed and dressed quickly and, without waiting for Sarah to do it for him, began to put on some make-up.

“Not bad,” she decided when she saw his first attempt, “you are a quick learner.” Paul smiled at the praise and followed her downstairs to have breakfast. As it was a Sunday they still did not have to go to the theatre but Sarah insisted that they go out for the day. “It’s important that you get accustomed to being treated as a woman,” she explained. “That’s the only way that you will really learn what it is to be female.” Paul agreed readily. He was discovering that the longer he spent in female attire, the more comfortable he felt. It was almost as if his usual weak male personality had been taken over by a stronger feminine one. The day was an unqualified success. By the time he was curled up once again in his borrowed nightdress he had complete confidence in the female side of his personality.


 

The following morning Paul woke early and picked out what clothes he would wear. He washed and dressed quickly and, without waiting for Sarah to do it for him, began to put on some make-up.

“Not bad,” she decided when she saw his first attempt, “you are a quick learner.” Paul smiled at the praise and followed her downstairs to have breakfast. As it was a Sunday they still did not have to go to the theatre but Sarah insisted that they go out for the day. “It’s important that you get accustomed to being treated as a woman,” she explained. “That’s the only way that you will really learn what it is to be female.” Paul agreed readily. He was discovering that the longer he spent in female attire, the more comfortable he felt. It was almost as if his usual weak male personality had been taken over by a stronger feminine one. The day was an unqualified success. By the time he was curled up once again in his borrowed nightdress he had complete confidence in the female side of his personality.


 

The following morning Paul woke early and picked out what clothes he would wear. He washed and dressed quickly and, without waiting for Sarah to do it for him, began to put on some make-up.

“Not bad,” she decided when she saw his first attempt, “you are a quick learner.” Paul smiled at the praise and followed her downstairs to have breakfast. As it was a Sunday they still did not have to go to the theatre but Sarah insisted that they go out for the day. “It’s important that you get accustomed to being treated as a woman,” she explained. “That’s the only way that you will really learn what it is to be female.” Paul agreed readily. He was discovering that the longer he spent in female attire, the more comfortable he felt. It was almost as if his usual weak male personality had been taken over by a stronger feminine one. The day was an unqualified success. By the time he was curled up once again in his borrowed nightdress he had complete confidence in the female side of his personality.


 

Are you nervous?” Sarah asked as he put on make-up the following morning. “Not at all” he told her, and he realised it was true. As a man he always suffered from stage fright to some degree but as a woman he felt more confident. They headed to the theatre for rehearsals.

“Okay, thanks everyone, that’s it for today.” Sarah called when the rehearsal was done. “Paul, could I have a word before you go?”

Paul walked gracefully to the side of the stage where he carefully negotiated the narrow steps. “They weren’t made for anyone wearing heels,” he thought as he came across to where Sarah was sitting. He pushed down the theatre seat with one hand while the other brushed his skirt against his thighs, then sat down.

Sarah noted with a smile that the action had been done without conscious thought. “You did well today,” she told him, “there is no doubt that you can do it, but I think you should still practise for the rest of this week. You don’t want to risk getting complacent at this stage.” Paul agreed and for the next four days lived entirely as a woman. Each day he became more confident and his acting improved accordingly.

“You’ll be trying to take over the show soon,” she joked as they ate a celebratory dinner together at home on Friday evening. “That’s the idea,” he agreed with a very unmasculine giggle.

“Well it took drastic measures but you stuck it out. I expect you will be glad to get your old clothes back.” Paul looked across the table at the woman who had become his friend and sipped his wine to avoid answering. “Well, you will. Won’t you?” she persisted.

“I’ve been thinking…” Paul began.

“Yes?” she prompted him.

“Well, it’s just that since I have been such a success this week, I thought that I might continue to live like this for a while. At least until the play is finished.” Sarah stared at him for a long moment then slowly smiled as she understood what he was saying. “Just until the play is over?” she questioned in a teasing tone. Paul grinned widely at her, grateful that she understood.

“Perhaps,” he answered….

The End

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