He is banging his head against the doors of the subway car. His voice is a whine.
"I just want something to report back. I had so many people behind me."
He is young and thin with a wiry, overgrown goatee. His voice is loud. The girl at his side can't take her eyes off him.
"Maybe you try doing an unpaid gig. For the exposure." She's talking now, in hushed tones.
"For free? You think I should work for free? That's not why I moved to New York." His eyes are on his shoes.
"You are 100% right. I'm sorry. It was a silly suggestion." She is patting his cheek. Her eyes are trained on his face.
"I should have gotten that role!" He is not shouting, but only barely. "I at least should have gotten one of the two smaller parts."
"You are absolutely right. You should have." Her voice is a whisper.
"I'm going to let myself feel bad about it this morning, and then I move on. I guess I just keep doing auditions."
"What about Chicago? Some of your friends have gotten roles there."
His body becomes rigid.
"How can you say that, darling? How can you? Moving to NY is the hardest thing I ever did. How could you say that? And what about us, darling?" His voice cracks as though it may become a cry.
"You're right. You're right. I'm just trying to help."
He is louder now. "I'm just a chorus boy who dances well. That's all I am!"
"There is no chorus..."
He cuts her off. "In life! I'm just a chorus boy in life! That's all I'll ever be!"
Train riders are shifting uncomfortably, snatching glimpses of his pouting.
"Jessica Samford said one time that I'm nothing more than a chorus boy. And maybe she's right."
Her face is full of tenderness and so close to his. "That's not true. Come on, now."
His voice rings out in the quiet of the train. "Maybe I just suck!"
She is cooing to him now. She is gently leading his chin up with her hand, making his eyes meet hers.
"You don't suck, Matthew. You're brilliant."
He says nothing, only sticks his bottom lip a little further out.
The train stops with a jolt. She turns to exit.
"This is your stop? You get off here?" Her face says that he should know that.
"Okay, bye!" Suddenly his voice is bright, cheerful. "I love you!" he calls after her, but she's too far gone to respond.
The train doors close and the performance comes to an end.