Learning to Smoke

In Three Legged Race’s new show, After, Life, my character smokes.

I don’t.

It’s not a natural skill.

Apparently you don’t hold a cigarette like a blowgun. That, I think, is a missed opportunity for the tobacco industry. How much cooler would smoking be if you looked like you were shooting a poison dart. But when I do it, Doug the director makes a sound like a snare drum mating with a bagpipe. Instead, you have to cradle it in a V in your fingers, like a peace symbol at yourself. I’m just saying, the Fonz never had to do that.

Now that I’ve figured that out (mostly), Doug still isn’t satisfied. In my smoking lessons, he’s very insistent: relax your fingers. Now tighten them. I kind of think he’s just doing it to mess with me. We have that kind of relationship.

I won’t be actually smoking in the show; Chicago bans lighting up on stage. Or maybe it’s all public indoor places, I don’t really know, not smoking and therefore not caring much in any direct way. We’ve got a couple of fakes, Camel and Nubby, that I’ll be puffing on at various points in the show.

The show opens March 27. See the 3LR page for full details (and to realize that I’ve mostly lifted this post from there, although I did come up with a new metaphor for the sound that Doug makes when he watches me fake-smoke. Which I think makes the reuse completely acceptable.)


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