There is a point in the first act that the action switches from backstage to the show itself, so this is my solution to really cueing the audience to this fact. They are part of the show now, and Alex is the way to draw them in. It’s also where I want the audience to really get to know and like Alex, thus this bit of interaction. It will never be the same twice and will take dedication on the young actors part, as it’s only hints of dialogue dependent on the immediate situation.
(The house lights go up as Alex comes down the center aisle with an old fashioned snack tray around his waist.)
Popcorn! Five cents a bag! Popcorn only a nickel!
(He looks around at the audience.)
What? None of you got a nickel?
(He shrugs, and hopefully, someone will hand him a nickel. If not, he has to work harder)
One of these bags has a genuine diamond pin in it. Really. Probably. Popcorn. Thanks, lady (Sir). A woman (Geltelman) of culture. Popcorn! Get it while it’s….Sort of warm.
(If someone from a balcony yells for one, he can look at them with exasperation and say…)
Who do I look like, Ty Cobb? Give me a break!
(If someone throws a nickel down, he can say…)
You’re very trusting, you know.
(…and attempt to lob one up, or get someone from the audience to do it for him, even better. He can give the volunteer a free bag.)
Hey Met’s, Sign this guy. (If he’s good)
That one’s yours now. (if he’s terrible. A+ if Alex then does it, followed by the victory dance and signaling for applause.)
That’s ok. The rat’s l’ clean it up for us later. (if it goes everywhere.) I’ll hear from management about that one.
He throws the bags to customers in the middle seats after they pass a nickel down the aisle. All this coming from a cute kid in the cast is to work the audience and set the notion that you are the audience who came for the tent show.
Yes, the popcorn is real, and if you give him a nickel, you get a little brown grease-stained lunch bag with a bit of popcorn in it. And one bag contains a dime with a hole drilled in it pierced by a safety pin—a fun little joke for whoever gets it that will get onto social media for advertising.
Anybody get the prize? (Yes) Tell em’ what you won! A Dime in pin!
After a bit, he crawls up on the stage and pitches whatever is left, if there is any, into the crowd from there.
Nobody wants leftovers, right? Don’t rat me out.
(He exits left)