My Sister's Ken Doll

My Sister's Ken Doll

By: Zylux

Our one man show this day is a continuation of My Ken Doll. But where as My Ken Doll is recounted by Laura this part is recounted by her younger brother, Mike. Our presentation opens with Mike giving a brief account of his unusual deal with his sister that climaxed on a faithful Halloween night. Mike then recalls how that night gave his life a new passion that would dictate his education choices, as well as his ensuing career and subsequent lifestyle. For those who wish to follow Mike's adventures, sit back and get comfortable, for the house lights are dimming and the curtain is rising.

Act 1, scene 1

Curiosity can do more than kill a cat. It can alter a person's thoughts, desires, and even lifestyle. I know, for my curiosity has completely turned my life in a direction I never would have thought possible. This has happened courtesy of my sister, Laura. Hi, I'm her younger brother Mike, and this is my take on how I have gotten to where I am today.

It started innocently enough back when I was twelve, with the usual older sister vs. younger brother sibling rivalry. Being the youngest, I had the usual feelings that my sister had things better than me, so I would take every opportunity to make her life miserable. It was something I did with impunity, for while she had a small advantage in height, I had a much bigger advantage in strength, enough so that she really didn't have any way of fighting back. Or so I thought, for what I didn't take into consideration was my sister having a five year advantage in schooling and life. She used that advantage to launch a psychological attack on my mind.

My sister's tactics were subtle and oh so devious. Whenever she got new clothes, she would model them in front of the family, but mostly in front of me. I knew she was doing it on purpose, most likely as a way of saying that she could experience wonders that I couldn't and there was nothing I could do about it. Not wanting to give her as much as a hint that her plan had any chance of success, I made a point of ignoring her. She in turn would give voice to how whatever she was wearing felt when she moved and how it affected her emotionally and garbage like that. Well, over time, her talking about her clothes aroused my curiosity enough that one day I found myself unable to resist taking several glances as she paraded around in front of me in a new, shiny, dark green dress. I don't know why I had to look at her; perhaps it goes back to my feeling that she had things better than me. Whatever the reason, my covert glances were enough to stir up an overwhelming curiosity to find out just what the big deal about wearing a dress was.

The opportunity to indulge my curiosity came soon after that day. My parents had decided on a family night out consisting of dinner at a family restaurant and a movie. My young mind saw a chance to satisfy my curiosity and took it. I quickly formulated what I thought was a clever and manipulative excuse for me to stay home alone. I said that I had some homework that I really need to do. While that might sound reasonable for most school age children, it was totally out of character for me as I was always trying to find a way out of doing homework. My reasoning was, if I showed responsibility toward my school work than I was mature enough to be left home alone. It worked, well, on my parents anyway. Unbeknownst to me at that time, my sister didn't buy it, and faked leaving with our parents only to stay behind, quietly sneaking back into the house.

Thinking that I was alone, I headed straight for my sister's room and her large closet. What greeted me upon opening the doors was an overwhelming display of girl's clothing. With all the different types, styles, and colors, I was quickly overwhelmed. On top of that, there were all the different materials. No wonder it takes girls so long to get dressed, there's so much to choose from, so many factors to consider. And just how was I to choose? I didn't have a clue, other than I wanted to find out what the big deal about wearing a dress was. But I guessed (rightly, as it would turn out) that each type of dress would produce a different sensation when worn. Just what aspect of wearing a dress did I want to experience anyway? Out of desperation, I started to sort through my sister's dresses, pausing now and then to run my hand over one that seemed different enough from the others to warrant extra attention. And then it happened. The touch was electrifying. It was like nothing I had ever experienced with my clothing. The feel was smooth and cool. The material was light weight but didn't retreat from my fingers as I ran them over the dress. I removed it from the closet and looked it over. It was an eye grabbing bright red dress in a very sophisticated and mature style. It was strapless, slender, and long. I imagined in my mind that the dress would hug my body and legs all the way to the floor. I instantly knew that it was THE dress I wanted to experience wearing above any other.

Well, I didn't get to, for after I had stripped to my shorts and had made ready to step into the dress, my sister made her presence known. Now, one would expect her to be very angry, and rightfully so, seeing as I was about to try on what would turn out to be her favorite dress. But she wasn't, for she had a much more devious way of handling the situation. Instead, she asked me what I was going to do with her favorite dress. I refused to answer her and figured I had better drop the dress, gather up my clothes, and head for my room before she started to yell at me. But why yell when there are far more effective ways of bending someone to one's own will. As I made to storm my way past her, she put forth a veiled threat of telling our parents what I had done. The thought of standing before my parents and explaining myself threw me into a complete state of befuddlement. I wasn't able to think straight and couldn't make up an excuse for my actions. In desperation, I confessed that I was only curious and just wanted to see what the big deal about wearing a girl's dress was. I didn't know it at the time, but that little slip would forever change my life's direction.

My sister pounced on my moment of weakness and offered me a deal. In exchange for not telling on me and helping me experiencing the feel of girl's clothes, I was to become her Ken doll, and would allow her to dress me in Barbie's clothes. She made the deal more attractive by saying that I could eventually try on her favorite dress, although she neglected to mention at the time that there were several conditions that I had to meet first. She even agreed to my terms of being able to back out of our agreement anytime I wanted without consequence and wouldn't tell anyone what we were doing. With the thought of her telling on me as her alternative, combined with the unexplainable hold that her favorite dress had on me (which I couldn't stop glancing at as it lay in a heap on the floor), I agreed to the deal.

In the weeks that followed, I ended up in a couple of dress up sessions with each one taking me deeper into the feminine world. My descent into the unknown began with my having to wear girl's underwear, something Laura insisted I would need in order to fully appreciate the fit and feel of girl's clothes. As the dress up sessions progressed, I learned that there were far more pieces that made up girl's underwear as opposed to boy's underwear and what was required depended on what outfit was to be worn. Another factor was the feel that was inherent to each piece. It was a sensation that was very different from my underwear. That difference was magnified by the outfits my sister dressed me in and I quickly found myself exploring the difference at every opportunity. Then, to extract even more unknown sensations, I started to act like a girl. My sister expanded on that by first teaching me how to walk like a girl, followed by the proper way a girl sits. She even got me to twist and turn in front of a mirror like a girl does when she checks her outfit after getting dressed.

But things didn't end there. Laura got me to try on high heels by challenging me, with a smug attitude, to try walking like a girl while wearing them. Pride got the better of me and I accepted her challenge. I had some difficulties and looked to my sister for some support but she withheld helping me, claiming that there wasn't enough time left in that session. Guessing that she would use my having to depend on her to learn how to walk in heels as leverage for other things to come, I mastered the art in secret by taking my old wore out pair of dress shoes, drilling a hole from the inside at the center of the heel, and attaching to the bottom of the heels short lengths of wood dowels with flathead wood screws from the inside. The end that was attached to the heels was cut at an angle so that the bottom end would be square with the floor. The end result was a pretty good simulation of high heeled shoes. I practiced walking in them in the garage when no one, or just Laura, (who would never enter such a filthy place) was home. In the next dress up session, I showed off my ability to walk in heels to my sister's amazement and praise. For some reason, that pleased me. It was a mystery at the time, and a subject to be pondered at a later date.

While acting like a girl and being able to walk in heels turned out to be two of the conditions I had to meet before I would get to try on Laura's favorite dress, it was a place I kept telling myself I didn't want to go; after all, I only wanted to experience what it was like to wear a fancy dress and not having to be a girl while doing it. To that end, I attempted to force my sister to skip over her plans and get to the part where I would finally get to experience wearing her favorite dress, or I would bring the dress up sessions to an end. But each time I tried to get her to yield to my way, she would pull out some new enticement that would take an uncontrollable hold on me, willing me to bend to her wishes. Most enticements were psychological, preying on my mind and emotions by offering me a chance to experience things that boys would never know of. But the most compelling enticement was just a sound, specifically, the sound a petticoat makes as the wearer moves about. Of all the things in a woman's arsenal, that wondrous, even exotic rustling, purely feminine, mind bending… Yeah, well, anyone who has heard that sound knows that it was no wonder that in spite of my resolution of forcing my sister to surrender to my terms, I instead found myself dressed in a flared yellow skirt over a full petticoat and exploring all the new wonders just as a girl would. Laura took things even farther by teaching me how a girl positions herself when she is sitting with a petticoat on so that no one could look up the raised hem of her skirt or dress.

The way Laura had me sit, while dressed as a girl, seemed odd as I couldn't recall seeing girls sit that way. We got into a discussion about it which ended with my sister claiming that modern day girls didn't want to make the effort to sit like a proper little lady. I was deep in thought about that (or perhaps under some sort of spell cast by the skirt buoyed up above my lap and legs by the petticoat) when without thinking, I made the comment that if I was a girl then I would want to take the effort to sit in a proper fashion. My sister quickly came back on that slip up by suggesting that with a wig and makeup I could (for all appearances) be a girl. I staunchly disagreed, but she countered by saying that she had a friend who was studying to be a cosmetologist and making up a boy to look like a girl was a pet project of hers, and given her talent I would most likely make a convincing girl. I was disinclined to do that but Laura countered with my having to look like a girl as the last condition I had to meet to get to experience wearing her favorite dress. Not wanting anyone else to know about my deal with my sister, and wanting to wear her favorite dress even more so now that I was so close to the chance to do it, I countered by saying that I would submit to my sister making me up as a girl. But it was a no go. She held her ground, and I said that I would have to think about it.

The following day was a Saturday, which meant that our parents would be out shopping leaving my sister and me to our own devices at home. I resorted to my usual routine of watching television while my sister launched a surprise attack. I was engrossed in a ball game on TV when Laura strutted into the living room wearing the dress I so desired to experience wearing. She had arranged her hair up in a very sophisticated manner with makeup to match. She came to position herself between me and the TV so that I had no choice but to stare at her. She struck a pose that shouted a sexuality I couldn't comprehend but suddenly had a desire to experience. The look on her face as she continuously adjusted her pose hinted that she was enjoying some inner thrill I couldn't, and I quickly became envious of her. The longer my sister posed, the more incredible she looked and the more envious I became. I just had to experiencing what she was, even if it meant giving in to her yet again and letting her friend see me in girl's clothes. In almost total resignation, I agreed to the deal. Laura then left me to watch the game, although my mind refused to focus on it. She made arrangements with her friend by phone and then left me to my own devices until Halloween rolled around.

Act 1, scene 2

The lead up to Halloween was something akin to a nightmare. The thought of being dressed up in girl's clothes as my sister's friend watched caused me no end of worry. It was of no comfort that I would most likely look like a girl by that time thanks to Laura's friend's expertise with makeup. My sister added to my worry when on Halloween, just before she got into her costume, she tossed onto my bed the most girly pair of panties she had and instructed me to change into them. I really didn't want to be standing in front of my sister's friend stripped to just those panties and protested accordingly, but to no avail. Laura countered by saying that her favorite dress demanded that the wearer must dress in underwear equal to the feminine elegance of the dress. I didn't really buy that, but having no choice, other than backing out of experiencing the wonders that the dress of my desires could offer, I silently surrendered. But it was a little while before I could bring myself to actually make the change, rationalizing it by figuring that since I was so deep in this little plot of Laura's I might as well go whole hog. I changed underwear and waited for my sister to announce that it was time to go.

Given how long it takes girls to dress, it came as no surprise that a considerable amount of time passed before Laura, dressed as a female pirate, appeared at my doorway carrying a paper bag. I knew that the bag contained my "costume" and that it was time to go. I got up and followed my sister through the house and out to her car. The trip to Laura's friend's house was, for the most part, a blur as I was too worried about what Laura's friend would think, or worse say, about me wearing girl's underwear and being dressed in a fancy dress. I had yet to come to terms with my impending situation when Laura suddenly pulled over and parked in front of a house that didn't have any lights on. She grabbed the bag from behind my seat, got out of the car, and came around the back of it. It was time for me to make one of the biggest decisions of my life. I told myself that I had come too far and had done too much to back out now. With that thought, I took a deep breath and as I let it out, got out of the car and quickly got in behind my sister as she headed across the lawn to the front door.

Laura knocked on the door in an odd way. I guessed it was some kind of a code to let her friend know who was at the door. It wasn't long after when the door opened. We were greeted by a teenage girl dressed as Morticia from the Adams Family. My sister introduced me to her friend, Crystal. It's hard to describe Crystal other than she was your typical, average looking teen girl wearing a very unflattering, long, straight, black haired wig. She led us through the living room but stopped at the hallway leading to the private part of the house. There she praised me on being the "daring type" and how she liked that in a guy. As she flirted, a strange new feeling swept through me that I found pleasant and wondrous. But that quickly changed when Crystal sort of hinted at wanting to give me some sex education later that night. It was something I found both exciting as well as frightening, for at that age, I was able to talk the part with the guys but not physically able to act the part with the girls. When my sister had informed Crystal that I was only twelve, she decided to put off my education until I had aged a few more years. At the time, I came to the conclusion that she had been teasing me and wasn't really serious, which was okay with me as I wasn't exactly attracted to her. Still, there was something about her that captivated me.

Maybe my budding fascination with Crystal was due to her uninhibited personality combined with her obvious flirts directed at me. Whatever it was, it continued to work upon my pre puberty mind, stirring up dormant desires I didn't understand, until I was soon hers to command. She got me to do things I never thought I would, often with just a look in my direction. Things like applying makeup to my face until I looked like a girl and then applying even more makeup, and a wig, until I was a girl trying to imitate a woman. Or letting my sister strip me to just the pair of very girly panties while Crystal watched. It didn't matter that at that point I looked like a girl and it was "natural" for me to be wearing them. And then there was the way she got me to wear a bra (something I had a huge aversion to doing for reasons I won't go into) with just a tantalizing look and a couple nods of her head as if to say "It's alright, you can do it." I even let her slip a pair of breast forms, that she had used when she was around my age, into the bras cups and adjust and play with the bra, ending with her staring down at me.

Crystal had a lock on my eyes and it was only after she had finished with the bra and had retreated back, severing our eye contact, did I look down to see what had happened to me. As I stared at a very girly, strapless, bra and my "breasts", I was suddenly struck by the unshakable thought that I wasn't just being made to look like a girl; I was being turned into a girl. I kept telling myself that no such thing was occurring, but couldn't stifle the desire to rip off the bra and the breast forms. But the one thing that kept me from doing so was the thought of disappointing Crystal. Then again, why should that matter? I was far too young to be involved with a girl so that couldn't be the reason, Or maybe I wanted to be involved with her at some point in the future, and didn't want to screw up any chance of that happening. My thoughts quickly switch back and forth between stopping what was happening and letting it continue on to what I had wanted to experience for so long. It was quickly becoming a battle royal.

Fortunately, Laura came to my rescue. She had pulled her favorite dress out of the bag she had brought with her and was waving it around as if to catch my attention. Needless to say, her tactics worked, and all my thoughts were quickly redirected to the object I so desired. Laura lowered the dress down in front of me. I was excited as all get out and had to reach out and place my hand on my sister's shoulder to steady myself. As I stepped into the dress, a thrill shot through me. It was as if deep down inside me, I was meant to wear such a beautiful and sophisticated dress and my time to do so had finally come. The feelings deepened as the dress was drawn up into place. I was about to turn around so Laura could zip me in, when Crystal came up behind me. She surprised me by taking hold of the zipper and slowly pulled it up. It was an incredible sensation made by the dress being drawn in around my upper body, intensified by the sound the zipper made and I was powerless to resist. All I could do was look up into her eyes as she finished zipping me up. She then took a sash that was attached to the waist at the sides and wrapped it around the front of my waist, pulling it back around, and tying it in some kind of fancy knot in back of me with the sash ends dangling down towards the floor. She then joined my sister on the bed as Laura again reached into the bag.

From the bag, Laura pulled out a matched set of crystal jewelry consisting of clip-on earrings, a choker that was wide enough to hide my up-and-coming Adam's apple, and a bracelet. I found myself actually assisting her in applying the jewelry by leaning in towards her, as if I wanted to be completely decked out as a girl. There wasn't time to reflect on that potentially disturbing thought as my sister pulled from the bag a pair of nylon footlets and a pair of matching red, high heeled, pumps and presented them to me. She slipped them onto my feet with the aid of a shoehorn and some help from me. For reasons unknown at that time, I was actually anxious to show Crystal how well I could walk in those shoes. So, as soon as Laura finished applying them to my feet, I turned away and strutted off in the best girl like manner I could muster. Upon reaching the bedroom door, I attempted a turn like a model would, and nailed it. I walked back toward Crystal with my mind filled with the odd thought of wanting a favorable review, not from my sister, but from someone who was essentially a stranger. Crystal applauded my efforts and concluded by saying that I had preformed more like a girl than many a real girl. My head swelled with the praise while Laura became miffed. That was understandable given that it was, for the most part, through her teachings that I was able to pull off acting like a girl. I probably should have said something to that effect, but was too engrossed in the way Crystal was looking at me to say anything at all.

My sister, either from channeling a building anger or trying to retake control of me, announced that she would teach me how to act according to how I was made up, that is to say, like a vamp. I wasn't overly thrilled to being back under control by my sister given the embarrassment she had forced upon me with the panties and bra. Fortunately, Crystal suddenly interrupted Laura by offering to demonstrate how a vamp acts for me to copy with my sister reviewing and correcting my efforts. That was something I strangely found myself in favor of, and quickly nodded my agreement. I got the impression that Laura wasn't thrilled with her friend's offer, but she gave in. With that concession we got to work. Surprisingly, I picked up on how each part of my body had to move to give the appearance of my being a real woman. Perhaps it was a side effect of wearing the dress, for as I walked and posed, the dress would trigger sensations on different points on my body as well as within me, and I quickly discovered that these sensations would be intensified as I moved more in the manner of a woman than as a boy would. Whatever the reason, I loved it and wanted more. And more there would be, for it took awhile to coordinate all of the parts into a cohesive, smooth, and flawless performance.

To prove that I had learned all that I had been taught and could put it all together, I put on a show aimed primarily at Crystal. I began by looking at Crystal with my take on a seductive gaze as I slowly turned away from her. I maintained a lock with Crystal's eyes as long as I could before sharply turning my head away from her with a snobbish attitude. Putting my left hand on my hip, I strutted off, slowly placing each foot directly in front of the other in an effort to emphasize my smooth, purely feminine hip movement. At the bedroom door, I made a well practiced perfect turn and briefly paused to stare at Crystal to lock eye contact. I reposition my arms to be straight down and tight against my body before strutting back toward Crystal, adding the rocking of my shoulders up and down in coordination with the exaggerated movements of my hips. I strutted up to within a long stride of crystal where I stopped with my feet and legs tightly together.

Coming to stand before Crystal didn't end my performance. I continued by bowing to her while maintaining a lock on her eyes. Reaching out to place a finger under her chin, I applied just enough pressure to get her to tilt her head up, maintaining eye contact as I rose up to a standing position. I gave her a look that I hoped would say that I had sex on my mind. Crystal gave back a look that she was willing to accommodate and started to rise up off the bed. That's when I slipped my finger from under her chin, letting her fall back onto the bed. I turned away with a stuck up attitude and took but a couple of steps before stopping and turning, but only enough to strike the same pose Laura had presented to me just a couple of days before in front of the TV. Of course I used what I had learned to improve on the pose by placing my right hand on the back of my head with the elbow sticking straight out to the side. The sensation of my bare left leg sticking out through the long side slit in the skirt portion of the dress was electrifying. I enjoyed it so much that I shot Crystal the same sexy look that she had demonstrated during my vamp training. Both Crystal and Laura stared at me with their mouths open. Suddenly, they both broke out in applause with the addition of a wolf whistle from Crystal.

I absolutely loved it all and was ready for more, but I also wanted to explore the fit and feel of the dress, after all, I didn't know how long I would get to wear it. By continuing to act like a vamp, I figured I could experience all the dress had to offer with no one the wiser. But my devious sister had formulated a new plan to increase her fun and send a new wave of terror through me. As I showed off in front of her, she caught my attention and suggested that she and I take a walk around the block, dressed as I was. I don't know if I was more shocked or horrified at that suggestion, after all, it was Halloween, the busiest night of the year by far. I was dead set against it and made ready to dig in my heels to repel any assault Laura could throw at me.

My sister began her attack with the objective of bending me to her will, as I thought she would, by saying that everyone will think I was just a girl in a costume. That would have been easily countered except Laura didn't give me a chance to. She continued with a second and unanticipated attack by saying that I would get to experience the thrill of fooling people into thinking that I was something very different from what I really was. She briefly let that sink in and then delivered the most damaging blow of all. She said that it would be an experience that SHE would probably never know. My mind instantly added that I would be doing it in her favorite dress and she couldn't. It was a direct hit to my ego. I was shaken and practically disarmed. The only defensive strike I could deploy was to ask how would she explain me if we ran into people she knew? The counterstrike came not from Laura, but from Crystal as she jumped in from the flank with a proposal of her own. It had to be the way she looked at me, for I agreed to her proposal without really having heard what it was.

The first hint of what I had gotten myself into came when Crystal got up off the bed and headed for her makeup table. She made herself up to be the spitting image of Morticia Adams. The second clue came by way of Crystal as well, when she applied some touches to Laura's makeup. The odds on favorite reason for Crystal's actions were that we were all going out into public view. Conformation came when Crystal turned Laura to face me, lowered her head down next to Laura's, and together, they both motioned with their heads in the direction of the bedroom door. Crystal slipped into the persona of Morticia as she headed out of her bedroom, which I found mesmerizing if not outright hypnotic and I was powerless to resist following her. Laura got up and fell into line behind me.

As we moved through the house, Crystal's proposal finally reached my conscious. I had agreed to go outside as her cousin. Upon reaching the front door, Crystal paused to pick up a house key attached to a small garter which she slipped over her wrist. She then opened the front door and invited me to step through with a sweeping motion of her hand. From where I stood, my view of the outside world was limited, but I could still see people walking about on both sides of the street. They had yet to spot me and I wanted to keep it that way by staying in the house. My sister, still behind me, had other ideas. She grabbed my butt with both of her hands and squeezed. Shock, combined with an instinctive desire to flee the assault from behind, caused me to leap through the doorway. But before I could gather my wits and beat a hasty retreat, Laura rushed up behind me and repeated the attack a second time resulting in my being at the front of the porch in plain view of everyone. I was so mad at my sister I wanted to chew her out, but couldn't, as that would draw everyone's attention. They would all look in my direction expecting to see an angry boy and not finding him. It wouldn't take them long to figure out that the angry boy was dressed as a girl and would stare at me long and hard. Not what I wanted at the time. The only option was to flee back inside the relative safety of the house, but Crystal shut the door on that option, literally.

Crystal made sure the door was closed and locked. She then briskly walked up to me and took hold of my hand. Without saying anything, she stepped off the porch. Not wanting to move, I held my ground and was surprisingly dragged off the porch. I lagged behind, hoping to use Crystal as a shield, but she had other ideas. At the sidewalk, she pulled me up to walk beside her. I was then in full view of everyone and wearing a dress that screamed "Hey, look at me!" All I could do was stumble along in a sea of panic. Suddenly, Laura's head was next to mine and she started to whisper to me. She first addressed me as Michelle, the name I was given by Crystal when she finished making me up as a girl. She then reminded Michelle that she was portraying a vamp. My mind seized on that and quickly reasoned that if I wanted everyone we met to not see me as a boy in a dress but as a girl in a costume, then I needed to act the part. I imagined myself as being back in Crystal's bedroom and tried to slip back into the same convincing character that dazzled Crystal and Laura. To what level of success my effort merited was quickly revealed as we were intercepted by a couple of elderly women escorting a litter of small children coming from a house they had just extorted treats from.

The women were surprised at how convincing our costumes and makeup were. They had praise for all but saved the highest praise for me. One actually thought I was a teenage girl only to be corrected by the other who pointed out that I was just a preteen girl! They didn't have a clue that I was really a boy. A strange new thrill spread through me bringing forth a feeling of confidence that I could move about in public view and not be found out. That feeling translated in my acting more like a girl than I already had as witnessed by the two mature women we had just met. They had moved on but had turned around for another look and in a voice just loud enough for the three of us to overhear, expressed astonishment at my walk. With that remark, I became overconfident and cocky, a feeling that was reinforced with each encounter with adults as we continued our walk. Of those adults who paid us a compliment, all expressed surprise that I was just a girl.

With each encounter, the terror of having to circle the block dressed in girl's clothes quickly diminished to the point where I came to embrace the challenge and was eager to circle the block. But the challenge came to an end when Crystal spotted a party at the end of a cul-de-sac that branched off the street we were on. She just had to check it out, so she turned the corner and headed up the sidewalk with me in tow. It turned out to be an open party with each house offering things like food, drink, or games. Crystal was all for joining in while Laura expressed concerns for my safety. With my cockiness in command, I dismissed her warnings. She came back with a warning about teenage boys who might not be able to control their hormones around the girl I was pretending to be. My overconfidence in my disguise caused me to lash out at my sister, accusing her of being jealous because she couldn't experience what I was. Crystal surprised me by taking Laura's side and cautioned me to not act like a vamp at the party. Being confronted by two "older women" (who had a lot more experience dealing with teenage boys than I) gave me reason to pause. My common sense rose up and I found myself promising to be a good "girl". We entered the party single file with me in the middle to lessen my contact with the teen boys.

All went well as we moved with and through the crowd, visiting any house offering something to eat or drink. As we approached the back of the cul-de-sac, the crowd became bunched up. The reason became quickly apparent, for the house at that location had a haunted house in their rec. room with access in back by way of a narrow path between the garage and the house next door. The line to get in had no place to go but down the driveway. It was long enough to reach the sidewalk and turn down it causing a traffic jam. I was about to express my interest in checking it out when a man at the next house got up on a low stage in front yard with microphone in hand. He got the crowd's attention and announced the start of a favorite costume contest. That was something I had to see, mostly to see if anyone could measure up to me.

In my eagerness to get a better look, I got out and away from Crystal and Laura. Boy, was that a mistake. I became surrounded by a group of teenage boys who deliberately pressed up against me. One, as he passed me, reach back and pinched me on my butt. It was the most shocking thing to ever happen to me in my young life. I forgot my objective and stopped dead in my tracks, turning around to see if I could see who did it. It was another mistake as it gave the rest of the boys a chance to rub up against me or bump into me giving them an excuse to place their hands on me. Suddenly I was grabbed by my wrist and embraced from behind. It was Crystal and she wasted no time ushering me through the crowd and into the street, picking up Laura on the way. It was then that I related what happened. Laura lectured me a bit on having forgotten her earlier advice on teen boys. She went on to advise me to remember the unpleasantness I experienced so I wouldn't do the same to girls in the near future. I agreed with a nod of my head.

I was in a funk and ready to return to the safety of Crystal's home when the first contestant walked to the front of the stage. The costume was typical of what one would see during Halloween, but it didn't have anything that would make it memorable, nor did the next, or the next. From my advantage point, I could see the lineup at the back of the stage. There were some clever costumes with fairly good makeup, but in my mind, there was nothing that could compare to my overall look. And as I continued to compare myself to each contestant, there came a growing urge to present myself to the crowd, to see if I could solicit a bigger reaction than anyone else. The crowd around the stage was dense and I was going to need help to work through it to get to the sign up desk. I tried to get Crystals attention but she was wrapped up in watching the contest. I persisted until Crystal finally turned to me and asked me what I wanted in an annoyed tone. She must have thought I was crazy when I told her that I wanted to enter the contest. She asked me if I really wanted to stir up "all the horny dudes", as she put it, after what I had already been through. I said that I knew there were risks, but it was something that I felt I just have to do, and I doubted if I'd ever get another chance again. Crystal checked with my sister and then took me by the hand to lead me through the crowd.

We broke free of the crowd just to the right front of an adult man sitting in a folding chair behind a small card table. The man was writing down information given by a rather well done sci-fi alien. He handed the alien a piece of paper with a two digit number on it as he instructed the alien on where to go next. The man then looked up at Crystal and asked if she wanted to enter the contest. He seemed a little disappointed when she said no, but perked up when Crystal pointed at me and said her cousin, Michelle, would like to enter. An ever so slight leer broke across his face as he looked me over. Crystal handled the Q & A for me, saving me from having to try talking in a girl's voice. All went well until Crystal gave my age as twelve. The man suddenly straightened up with a jerk and stared at me with his mouth open. I had anticipated some kind of reaction on his part but was still surprised by the degree of it. That was followed by a strange pleasure, for I had fooled him in more ways than he knew. The man handed me a piece of paper with my identifying number on it and pointed to where I was to go next.

As Crystal and I headed for the next check point, I could sort of feel the man's eyes riveted to my lower backside. A bit of naughtiness swelled up inside me and I slipped into my vamp character, giving the man something to look at, but not for long as I didn't want Crystal to catch me. Still, my performance was long enough to solicit some startled gasps behind me. Crystal caught ear of it and shot me a suspicious glare. I tried my best to look innocent but must have failed as Crystal looked like she was about to chew me out. Wanting to escape yet another lecture, I shot forward towards a woman who seemed to be organizing the contestants into groups. My ploy worked as the only thing Crystal said was something about there being no need to be in a hurry.

The woman was indeed arranging the contestants into groups and I was placed into what would be the last group. The paper with my number on it had a sticky back and I was instructed to attach it to my costume in an easily seen place. After a little thought, I pressed it to my dress on my left hip just below my waist and just to the front of the side slit in the lower half of the dress. It was an area that would be sure to draw the audience's attention at the end of my performance. With everything squared away, it was time for me to join the other contestants behind the stage.
Crystal was reluctant to leave me alone with all of the boy contestants milling about behind the stage. I prowled along the edge of the group until I found a spot where I couldn't be approached from behind. Turning to face Crystal, I nodded my head and made some gestures that said I would be okay. She gave me a look that said she still had misgivings before disappearing into the crowd. Even though I could no longer see her, I could see an obvious wave of disturbance ripple through the crowd marking her path. Restrained, didn't seem to be in Crystal's vocabulary. My attention was then redirected to the contest.

It seemed like forever before my group was called up on stage, although it probably was no more than twenty minutes. Once on stage, I slipped into character and kept telling myself that I could do it, again and again, so that when my turn came, I was able to perform as well as I had back in Crystal's bedroom putting on a similar show. A new thrill ripped through me as the crowd exploded with approval. Well, the boys (and Crystal) did anyway. For the most part, the girls stared in silence not wanting to believe their eyes. But that changed as I made to turn and slink back to my place in line. The girls that were with their boyfriends became angry that their boyfriends were openly lusting after me and let them know about it by punching them. The rest of the girls took on a look of hate towards me. But why such reactions, were they envious of me, or did they see me as a threat to stealing their boyfriends who were still whooping it up and lusting after me? The thought that the girls were convinced that I was one of them, a teenage girl, caused me to swell with pride, and why not? I had fooled REAL girls on a level I could never have imagined.

The crowd's reaction was more than enough to declare me the winner of my group and I was joined on stage by the other group winners. As we waited for the finals to start, I noticed a couple of adults off to the side writing what turned out to be our ID numbers on cards. The cards were shuffled and placed faced down on the same table used during sign in. The top card was drawn and the number called out. The contestant with that number came to the front of the stage and showed off their costume. My call came early in the completion but I didn't have any problem slipping into character as I was eager to stir up the crowd again. I gave the same performance as before and drew a noticeably different reaction. The difference was with the boys who had girlfriends. They were much subdued in expressing their favoring my look and performance. It was clear to me that the girls had put their boyfriends on a very short leash, and did see me as a threat. It was something I found to be immensely pleasing.

Even with the girl's sabotage, the overall reaction was still enough to put me into the lead and I remained there until the last contestant, a Frankenstein's monster. It was incredible in costume and makeup and deserved to win, which it did thanks to some more treachery by the girls in the crowd. It didn't matter to me as their actions only served to strengthen my pleasures. With the contest over, I retreated to the safe spot to wait for the crowd backstage to disperse before making my way to join Laura and Crystal. But it wasn't necessary as I soon spotted both of them working their way towards me. They both wore a sympathetic look, no doubt figuring that I would be in need of counseling for having possibly been cheated out of winning the contest by the girls. I greeted them with a satisfied look which cut short any sympathy on their part. They let things be as we set off to explore the rest of the party with a residual effect of the contest showing itself in crude talk and noises from the boys and stuck-up noses from the girls, all of which added to my satisfaction.

Eventually the party ran out of things to capture our interest and the three of us silently agreed to head back to Crystal's home. It was late, and the vast majority of trick-or-treaters had gone home leaving the streets nearly empty, something I found to be disappointing. Thinking back to when I started the adventure, I had complained that there would be too many people on the streets, and at the end of it, I felt that there were way too few. It's odd how one's state of mind can change over the course of a couple of hours. We made it back to Crystal's place without even the smallest opportunity of further adventure.

Back in Crystal's bedroom, Laura proceeded to undress me to just the panties which I quickly covered by putting on my jeans. I was about to put on my shirt but Crystal wanted to remove my makeup first and guided me to the chair at her table. As she got to work, she tried to get me to admit to having had fun looking and acting like a girl. I played it cool and noncommittal saying that it was a onetime experience and was not going to happen again. She seemed very disappointed but again brought up the subject after she had finished removing my makeup. It was again to no avail as I directed my attention to finishing getting dressed. With that, Crystal had to finally accept defeat, but decided to thank me for the one opportunity she did get by suddenly grabbing my face with both hands and kissing me hard on the mouth. It was my first kiss, and being unexpected, the only thing I felt was shock. That feeling quickly gave way to something more along the lines of a thrill, and then to scary as all get out as Crystal again expressed disappointment at my only being twelve. Crystal flirted and teased me with her fingers on my face before leading Laura and me to the front door. Instantly a thought came to mind that she may not have been kidding about sex, something I again found both intriguing and terrifying to the point that when she opened the door, I bolted past her and headed for Laura's car. Crystal shouted out an invitation that if I should ever change my mind (about being made up as a girl again) then I knew where to find her.

After Laura got in the car, and we were headed home, she made her own attempts to see if I was serious about not becoming a girl again. I told her that I was serious and went on to say that I was putting an end to being her Ken doll. She seemed to be surprised at that and I guessed that she either couldn't think of any counters or she was hatching new plots to entice me into dress up sessions. We made the rest of the trip home in silence. All in all, I felt pretty smug with myself; after all, she no longer had anything in Barbie's wardrobe that was different enough from anything I had already experienced that she could use to entice me into letting her dress me in her clothes again. What I didn't know was just what effect the past sessions with her, and the one with Crystal, had on my young impressionable mind.

Act 1, scene 3

The months following Halloween reverted back to the way things were before I became Laura's Ken doll except Laura was showing signs of being in some kind of funk. I got to thinking, that maybe she really missed our dress up sessions and was unhappy because I had put an end to her fun. I started to feel a bit guilty; after all, she had helped me experience what it was like to wear a dress on a level I could never have obtained on my own. I kind of owed her, but I just didn't have the desire to be dressed in anything that matched what I had already worn and she didn't have anything else that could offer me a new experience. Still, I was about to give in and let her dress me in whatever she wanted, when a noticeable change came over her. She had started to write in a journal whenever she felt really low. She always ended her writing with a pleased look on her face. As to what Laura was writing, I had no clue, but that really didn't matter. What did matter was that as long as she was happy, then I no longer needed to feel guilty, and if I didn't feel guilty, then I didn't need to offer to again be her Ken doll. All I needed to do was hope that her writing would continue through the end of the school year.

As the end of the school year approached, Laura's attention shifted from writing, to her senior prom. Of course she had to attend and just had to get a new dress. She and mom had planned to go shopping at some big department store in some mall leaving me home alone, but when I got home from school, I discovered that I was to be dragged along with them. It seemed that mom had looked through my closet and decided I needed to get something suitable to wear to Laura's graduation. I hated shopping and decided not to be cooperative. We arrived at the store, parking near the main entrance. Mom decided to take care of Laura's needs first and I soon found myself in a viewing area surrounded by all kinds of girl's clothing. I soon became aware of an inner desire to check out the dresses. I couldn't outright stare at them with mom sitting next to me, so I acted bored and twisted around in my chair, taking covert glances of as many dresses as I could. There were a few dresses that were different from anything Laura had and captured my attention long enough for me to imagine how each would look on me. That should have been a disturbing thought at best, but I was too deep in my imagination for anything else to enter my mind, until Laura made her entrance.

I was turned around, looking over the back of the chair staring at a slinky cocktail dress covered in black and red sequins, when I heard a familiar sound coming up behind me. It was a sound I had experience firsthand, a sound made by a petticoat under a full skirt and I quickly turned around to face it. The sound was coming from Laura dressed in what I would soon learn was a ball gown. She looked elegant and sophisticated and I quickly became envious of her. The way she paraded around in front of me, it was as if she was tempting me to want to wear it. If that was her intention, than she had succeeded, because for the first time in many months, I wanted to experience wearing a really special dress again.

The dress turned out to be more special than I could have imagined, for the petticoat had a magical twist to it. It had a triangular panel in back that when removed would allow the petticoat to be drawn in so as to be not so poofed out. The dress, in turn, would draw in around the petticoat giving it a whole different look and I suspected a different fit and feel as well. I couldn't help wanting to experiencing all it had to offer. But how could I? This was Laura's prom dress, something very, very special to her. It was not something she would likely want to see me wearing. Besides, I had emphatically put an end to being her Ken doll. I became depressed and Laura seemed to be happier for it, gaining a new enthusiasm for the dress. But mom had a problem with the price. Laura put up a good argument in favor of it and in the end, agreed to split the cost with mom. It was then time to address my needs. Of course, after having been tempted into wanting Laura's prom dress, the last thing I wanted to try on was some stiff boy's suit and it showed in my being obstinate. It was some time before mom got me squared away.

My antics caused a few problems for Mom that would eventually work in my favor. The first consequence of my actions was Mom's dinner plans being thrown out the window. She no longer had the time (or the desire) to begin preparing dinner before Dad would arrive home. She found a phone and called Dad just before he left work and together they made new plans. Mom finally finished taking care of my needs and we left the store. Instead of making for home, we ended up at a restaurant where Dad was waiting for us. Together, we entered the restaurant and once seated, mom filled Dad in on the reason we were eating out. He was visibly upset with me, but instead of chewing me out and causing a scene, he advanced the idea to Mom that we could take in a movie where she could immerse herself in the entertainment and forget about the day's unpleasantness. Mom quickly agreed. My chewing out would come the next day.

Normally, I would jump at the chance to go to the movies, but not this time. It seemed that seeing Laura in her prom dress had rekindled the same curiosity that culminated in my being dressed and made up as a girl. Recalling what I experienced when I wore Laura's favorite dress and what I experienced from wearing a smaller, shorter petticoat in a previous dress up session, my curiosity quickly became an overwhelming desire. Just how I was going to satisfy that desire I didn't know. What I did know, was that I needed to confront my desires, alone, and formulate a plan of action. With that in mind, I declined going to the movies in hopes that I would be allowed to be home alone. Given my earlier behavior, my parents thought that would be best.

After eating at the restaurant, we all headed for home to drop off me and one car. On the way, I gave thought as to how best address my desires. Since it was Laura's prom dress that had caused my current state, I started to hope that Laura would drop off the dress and I could possibly sneak into her room and try it on. There was a brief moment of excitement before adverse reasoning came into play. There were just too many things that could go wrong, things like that huge skirt catching on something causing a hole or even a tear. Or even something much more subtle, like not being able to put the dress back in the box exactly as it had been. Laura would notice anything, no matter how small and I didn't want to think about the consequences of that. Laura's favorite dress also entered my thoughts and the idea of acting like a vamp once again was quite appealing. The only problem was that I wouldn't be able to look like a girl, and that might shatter the wondrous memories I had of masquerading as a girl in public view. Other outfits that I had been dressed in (while I was clearly a boy) came to mind; especially a flared yellow skirt worn over the petticoat I had recalled wearing. The possibility of experiencing once again, all of the sensations that outfit gave me filled my mind, and since I now knew how to act like a girl, I might be able to extract even more pleasures. There was a safety factor as well, for there was little chance that Laura would find out, as it was a skirt that she no longer wore and she had stopped wearing a petticoat back with the start of junior high. Interestingly, all thoughts along the lines of suppressing my desires were, after brief consideration, dismissed.

I still hadn't decided on how I was going to address my desires when we arrived home. I figured I would make a decision when I got to my room, but it was not to be, for upon reaching home, Laura surprised me by opting out of the movie, clamming she had to get up early the next morning to be with friends. It was a big disappointment and meant that I had but one choice: to suppress my desires until some other time. But I couldn't and that translated into my not being able to concentrate long enough to do anything that would divert my mind. Soon, I couldn't even sit or lie down on my bed and started to pace my room when, in total desperation, my mind focused on a new idea to satisfy my desires: ask Laura if I could try on her prom dress. It was a crazy idea. There was no chance of Laura going for it. I couldn't even imagine what her reaction would be. Given all that, there was really no way I could bring myself to ask her. But maybe I didn't have to come out and ask; maybe she would offer me the chance if I said the right things. It worked for me before and I wasn't even trying, so I figured why not give it a try, and headed out of my room for Laura's.

The door to Laura's room was open and I could see her at her desk, writing in her journal. The boxes containing her prom dress, petticoat, and gloves were on her bed, unopened, hiding from me the treasures within. She noticed me and I struck up a conversation. I started by complimenting her on how nice she looked in her prom dress and then ask her what kind of dress it was. She told me that it was a ball gown and was her first one. I guessed that would make it even more special to her, and as such, she probably wouldn't want to share it with me, at least not until after she had a chance to wear it herself. My hopes of success faded and I couldn't think of anything to say to change that. But my curiosity got the better of me and without thinking; I asked her what it felt like to wear it. She said that she would be happy to tell me all about the fit and feel and the emotions each evoked, but she had to finish with her writing first. Her answer wasn't the one my curiosity wanted. Disappointment filled me and it probably showed on my face.

I don't know if Laura took pity on me, or if she had been teasing me, but she suddenly invited me to chose a pair of panties from her dresser and make the same preparations as back when I was her Ken doll. A thrill shot through me, but I didn't move. I wasn't sure if we were on the same page. Maybe she noticed my hesitation for she quickly added that it was if I wanted to experience wearing her prom dress for myself. I couldn't believe it. I so wanted to run to Laura's dresser, but was held back by the thought of there being a catch, for I instantly recalled all that I had to go through before I got to experience wearing her favorite dress. Laure smiled and reassured me that there wasn't any catch of any kind. She even said that I didn't have to look like a girl, although she did sort of make the offer to make me up as one if I wished. That was the equivalent of a shot fired from a starting pistol and I found myself running to her dresser, pulling open the top drawer and grabbing the first pair of panties I saw. It was then off to my room to get my pajamas and then to the bathroom to drop off my pajamas, strip off my clothes, and put on Laura's panties.

With the preparations finished, I hurried back to my sister's room where she waited for me holding a full slip. I closed the gap between us with my arms extended out towards her. Laura took the slip by the hem and slid it onto my arms with me guiding my hands through the straps. As I raised my arms up, she pulled it down over my head. She teased me by fussing with the way the slip fit on my body for a little bit before turning to the boxes on the bed. She took the lid off one and extracted the biggest petticoat I had ever seen. Laura teased me by holding it up high and shaking it from side to side and front to back a few times before turning to me. She held the petticoat in front of me with the waist just above my head. It was close enough to my face that all I could see was white ruffles that filled my nose with a new fabric smell. Slowly Laura lowered the petticoat down until it piled up on the floor with the waist just below my knees. She stretched the elastic waist open and invited me to step in. Her antics only served to amplify my nervousness and I had to again resort to steadying myself by placing one hand on her shoulder as I had done when I was her Ken doll. Laura worked the waist up over my hips with a rocking motion causing the petticoat to rustle. The sound was hypnotic. She slowly let the elastic waist contract until it snugged to my waist. She then suggested that I go look at myself in her full length mirror.

My sister's suggestion of my checking how I looked in the mirror shocked me and caused me to reflect on past dress up sessions. Not once had I seen an image of myself in girl's underwear and had no desire to. In fact, I seemed to have some kind of an aversion to doing that, especially with a petticoat, probably figuring that I would look ridiculous, or worse. But as I looked down at the petticoat, all flared out around me, a strange new desire welled up inside me, building up, until I just HAD to see what it looked like. But there was something akin to fear that was holding me back and my pace to the mirror was slow. I did manage to make it to the mirror without chickening out and turned to face what awaited me. The image that reflected back at me was as frilly and girly as I had feared back when I had first worn a petticoat, but I liked it. The petticoat was ankle length and really flared out thanks to layer after layer of gathered netting with the top layer being much flatter and smoother then the layers under it. It was stunning, and I suddenly had thoughts that it could be worn by its self paired with a pullover sweater or similar top. But that would have to wait for another time. I returned to my sister, eager to wear her prom dress.

I had no idea that putting on Laura's prom dress would be such a major undertaking requiring a coordinated effort by both of us. The dress had a back zipper but with me wearing a huge petticoat I couldn't simply step into it. It would have to go on over my head and that brought its own set of problems, starting with my threading my arms up through the dress. With the dress being ankle length, a lot of material had to pile up on my arms before I could work my hands into the armholes by feel, as a growing pile of fabric prevented me from seeing what I was doing. I then had to bend my head down between my outstretched arms as my sister kept the skirt bunched up to clear my head. Laura then gathered up as much of the skirt as she could in one hand and held the upper half of the dress to prevent it from popping off my hands under force from the bunched up skirt. She then told me to quickly raise my arms and head up. As I did so, she guided the top half of the dress to follow my arms and simultaneously threw the skirt portion out behind me. As the skirt spread out around me, its weight dragged the top half down my arms and on to my shoulders. Laura quickly fluffed and straightened the skirt out over the petticoat. The total effect, in both feel and emotion, was like nothing I had ever experienced before by far and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Girls have no idea just how fortunate they are, and I quickly became envious of them (and their wardrobe). My sister completed the experience by pulling up the back zipper, fitting the bodice around my upper body and sealing me into a whole new experience.

I started to explore the fullness of the skirt over the petticoat when Laura verbally stopped me. Looking at her, I could see that she had the long gloves and was holding one open, waiting for me to slip my hand into it. It was to be yet another new experience for me and I quickly thrust my hand into the glove. Between the two of us, we worked the glove up my arm. The other one followed suit. Laura then backed away towards her dresser as she watched me explore the fit and feel of the gloves on my hands and arms. I had moved on to exploring the dress through my gloved hands when my sister returned to me and caught my attention. I quickly noticed that she had paid her jewelry box on top of her dresser, a visit. She was holding up in front of me the ends of a fairly elaborate cut crystal necklace as she leaned in over the flared out dress. Even though I still looked like a boy, I made no effort to stop her. In fact, I again leaned towards her to aid in fastening the necklace behind my neck, just as I had done when she dressed me in her favorite dress. She was also holding a pair of matching, dangling, clip-on earrings which she then applied to my earlobes before pulling back. Laura looked me over a bit and then motioned me back to her dresser. She picked up her hair brush from the top of her dresser and started to brush my hair straight back from my face. I again made no effort to stop her. When Laura was satisfied with her efforts, she turned to replace her brush to its place on top of her dresser. I in turn quickly moved to my sister's full length mirror.

The image that awaited me was even more wondrous then anything I had already experienced. It was so different that it's hard to describe how I felt. The overall look was kinda of regal, like a princess, and I stiffened up my posture as I looked myself over. Even without any makeup, I didn't look much like a boy, nor did I feel like a boy. My thoughts and emotions were more along the lines of what a girl would be thinking and feeling if she were in my place. But that isn't quite right either, for I wasn't seeing myself as a girl, but more, for the lack of a better description, grownup in a female sense. It was a feeling that was intensified as Laura helped me explore as much of what the dress had to offer within the time allowed. I even got to experience what she had in the store with the aid of the saleswoman.

I had been strutting around the room, showing Laura that I had not forgotten how to act like a girl whether I was walking, standing, or sitting. My sister had filled me with so much praise on my performance and how elegant I looked, that I just had to return to the mirror for a second look. That's when Laura surprised me by sneaking up behind me and started to gather up the lower half of the dress. She told me to take hold of it and keep it up out of the way. She then took out the panel in the petticoat and told me to let go of the dress. Being in front of the mirror, I was able to watch the lower half of the dress fall down into place and conform to the less full petticoat. It was magical, and I couldn't wait to put on a second show for my sister. I was having a grand time that rivaled my Halloween experience. Needless to say, the dress up session ended sooner than I would have liked. It would also turn out to be our last.

Act 1, scene 4

It wasn't long after that magical dress up session that the school year came to an end, culminating with Laura's high school graduation. As we slipped into summer vacation, my sister became busier than when she was in school. She would get together with friends and they would spend hours plowing through college brochures. Applications were filled in and sent to colleges that were of interest. As the replies arrived in the mail, trips to visit the ones that they had been accepted at were planned and made. It was a long process that took up most of her summer time. Finally, Laura and her friends made their choices. Laura was a little disappointed that only one of her friends had chosen the same college as her, and it wasn't Crystal. The college Laura chose didn't have a program that met Crystal's needs and she opted for a local college that did. Laura spent what was left of her summer vacation with Crystal and friends she would no longer see, before having to say goodbye.

With the end of summer vacation, came the end of my sister living at home for she had chosen a college a few hundred miles away. It was far enough away to necessitate all of us to get up far earlier then we were used to. With that in mind, Laura did her packing the night before, stuffing her car with all it could carry and putting the rest of what she wanted to bring in Dad's car. There was a lot, which I discovered in the dim light of morning when I had to squeeze into the back seat of Dad's car. With everyone on board, Laura led us to her new collegiate life. We made good time getting to the college, but still spent the rest of the day, and part of the next, helping Laura move into her dorm room. After a lunch together on the second day, and after some painful goodbyes, Mom, Dad, and I returned home.

Home seemed to be rather lonely, but I didn't notice it much as I had a new objective to occupy my thoughts. Anxiously, I waited for, and seized, the first chance to be home alone, to snoop through Laura's room to see if she had left anything that would interest me. The first place I looked was my sister's closet. Upon opening the double bi-fold doors I was greeted by clothing she decided to leave behind since she didn't know how much room there was in her dorm. A strange curiosity took hold of me causing me to pause my snooping to take inventory. Sadly, her (and my) favorite dress wasn't there, not that I really thought it would be. After all, being away at college, she could finally wear it outside of home, something our mom wouldn't let her do while in high school. Also absent were her prom dress and its petticoat. Had she taken that with her? I couldn't think of a reason that she would as it was way too fancy for anything she would encounter at college. Was it in storage somewhere in the house waiting for me to discover? These were questions I couldn't answer. But a bigger question was: why was I even thinking along those lines? It was something I felt that I shouldn't be thinking about and I refocused my attention to the original search but quickly slipped back into inventory mode.

What my search did reveal, was that most of the clothes she had dressed me in were there and hung on the left half of the hanger bar with plenty of space to spare. Even the first petticoat I wore was there, which sent a familiar feeling through me. Perhaps it was a residual effect of having seen me in the mirror, wearing the much larger petticoat before it was covered by Laura's prom dress. It was again, something I felt that I shouldn't be thinking about and I forced myself to move on. The rest of her clothes were hung on the right half and were somewhat spread out. As I looked over her things, there came within me a desire to do more than just glance over them. I wanted to physically sort through Laura's clothes. However, it wasn't the reason I was in my sister's bedroom and I again had to force myself to continue the search.

I directed my attentions upward to the shelf above the hanging bar. The left half seemed to be for storage of totally uninteresting stuff. The right half didn't have anything of interest outside of a couple of old purses and a few hats. Continuing on to the right side wall, I noticed a rack of hooks with a few old belts suspended from them. Following the belts downward brought me to the right half of the closet floor where there were a dozen pairs of older shoes, mostly sandals and flats that had seen better times. There wasn't anything to spark my interest as I moved my gaze across the floor until coming to the left side of the group of shoes. There I spotted two pairs of high heeled pumps: a white pair and a black pair. They were slightly separated from the rest of the shoes which caused my attention to focus on them. I noticed that they were a bit scuffed up but quickly thought that it was nothing that a healthy application of shoe polish couldn't fix, for the most part anyway. Suddenly, I became aware that my thoughts had yet again drifted to things that I shouldn't be thinking. I quickly found that to be even more disturbing than before and forced my gaze on. Most of the left half of the closet floor was covered in stuff of no interest, so I closed the closet doors and moved on.

I next directed my snooping to a chest at the foot of Laura's bed. Not finding anything of interest in it, I moved on to her desk which yielded the same results. A row of four drawer cabinets were explored in turn and yielded not much more than clothing my sister had outgrown. I did find in the bottom drawer of the next to last cabinet, a couple of pullover sweaters and a few cute tops that were her current size and still somewhat in fashion. That left but one cabinet to go through but I already knew what would be in it as I had watched my sister pull from its drawers pieces of girl's underwear to dress me in. Laura's underwear didn't interest me so I looked around the room to see if there was anything I had missed. Not finding anything, I made to leave, but I didn't make it to the door before curiosity got the better of me.

I stopped and turned to stare at that last cabinet. While I knew that there was nothing to interest me, not knowing what was really in the drawers would haunt me until I actually looked inside each drawer. Surrendering to my curiosity, I approached the last cabinet. Pulling open the top drawer reveled, nothing. It was empty. And so were the next drawer, and the next. I expected the same for the bottom drawer as I pulled it open, but was instead greeted by old sleepwear and some white lingerie which, for some reason, seemed to warrant further attention. A closer look showed that all of the pieces had a slight yellowish tinge, a sign of all being older then what she had dressed me in when I was her Ken doll. The lingerie consisted of a folded half slip, a folded full slip, a camisole, and a couple of matched bra and panty sets, one of which stood out by having lace trim and tiny bows along with ruffles on the backside of the panties. It was very girlish and caused me to stare longer than I should have. That's when I spotted the corner of a mysterious package peeking out from under the bras. With curiosity still in control of me, I took hold of the corner and pulled whatever it was out into view. It turned out to be a package of small balloons.

At first I was confused, after all, why would my sister hide balloons in her old lingerie? The balloons were under her bras, could it be that they were to be used in the bra cups after being partially inflated? A possibility, but then I thought, partly filled with water might be more like a real breast, but then again, Laura didn't need to stuff her bra. And then it hit me. The balloons were for ME to use as was everything in that drawer. Something akin to terror ripped through me sending me into a state of panic. I slammed the drawer shut and ran out of my sister's bedroom and back into my own, slamming my door shut behind me. Hold up in my room, lying on my bed with nothing that could divert my attention, my mind wrestled with what I had been confronted with. It was as if my sister had anticipated my snooping through her things and had set a psychological trap for me. The more I thought about it the more it all added up, from her closet, to the bottom drawer in the next to last cabinet, and ending with the bottom drawer in her lingerie and sleepwear cabinet with the balloons as the trigger. I had sprung the trap and quickly found that I couldn't stop thinking about each part of the trap again and again, trying to convince myself that it was all just a coincidence and not a plot by my sister. But further analyses of her closet confirmed the plot.

After much thought, I came to the inescapable conclusion that the items in the closet had not just been left behind. Laura had not only purposely left the clothes she had previously dressed me in, but had hung them together on the left half of the hanging bar to catch my attention and maybe entice me to recall my being dressed in them. The purses and hats up on the shelf, and the belts on the side wall, had been arranged for easy viewing. It was a similar situation on the closet floor with the two pairs of pumps being deliberately placed slightly apart from the rest of the shoes so as to draw attention to them. The contents of the two dresser bottom drawers had been placed there not only to indicate I may wear them, but to guard against mom discovering what was going on if she were to go through the dresser drawers. In all but one, she would just see things Laura had outgrown. In the nearly empty one, she would find older sleepwear and underwear left behind in the drawer of least usage and would think nothing more about it. The only thing I need to do to secure the secret would be to remove the package of balloons to some box of stuff in my closet. Ah, but what secret did I need to hide from mom? Was it my being Laura's Ken doll that she would dress in Barbie's clothes? No, couldn't be as Laura was away at college putting an end to our dress up sessions. A more likely thought occurred to me: Laura was inviting me to engaging in dress up sessions on my own and to whatever level I wanted, well, short of makeup that is. And, with the way the clothes were separated and hung on the closet bar, it was if she was saying that I was free to wear anything she had left behind. That set me to recalling our dress up sessions, but I didn't want to, as that would mean giving in to my sister's cunning trap. I fought back by forcing my mind to other things, anything, even school work. But my mind kept drifting back to Laura dressing me in Barbie's clothes, forcing me to again redirect my thoughts. It was a constant battle.

Eventually I tired of the mental battle, and surrendered. I couldn't help but recall each outfit Laura had dressed me in along with the fit, feel, and emotions unique to each one. And then there was the look of each outfit and how each piece fit in with or complemented the others parts. It was after I came to admire how my sister could put together an attention grabbing outfit, that a new thought crept into my mind, well, more of a question actually. Could I do just as good a job of putting together a new outfit as my sister had? There was definitely everything needed to put together a dozen or more girl's outfits, and I imagined that at least a few of them would measure up to anything Laura had dressed me in, short of her favorite dress or her prom dress. I wrestled with it for some time before coming to the conclusion that I had to give it a try. A look at the clock showed that I had enough time to safely assemble and try on one new outfit.

I sprang up off my bed and headed for my bedroom door, pickup my pajamas off the end of the bed in passing. With the strange feeling of not wanting to give myself a chance to back out, I ripped open the door and almost leapt through, headed for the bathroom. There, I dropped my pajamas on top of the hamper lid and stripped off all of my clothes, putting all in the hamper except for my jeans, leaving them on the bathroom floor. I stepped over my jeans and headed out into the hallway naked as a jay bird. Without pausing, I headed for Laura's bedroom and made straight for her lingerie dresser. The bottom drawer was again pulled open. The sight of the bras caused me to freeze and stare. After what seemed like an eternity, my right hand suddenly shot out and grabbed the pair of plain panties, and just as quickly, my left hand slammed close the drawer. I wasn't ready for a bra, even though I had had to wear one when I got to wear Laura's favorite dress (in front of her friend Crystal no less). Besides, I didn't think there was enough time to mess with the balloons and stuffing the cups with socks or something didn't come to mind at the time. I stepped into the panties as I headed for Laura's closet, pulling them up to my waist as I came to the doors. Pausing for a moment, I took a deep breath and then reach for and grabbed the door knobs. I exhaled as I quickly pulled the bi fold doors open.

Of course the sight that greeted me was the same as earlier, but somehow it seemed different. I guess it was because I had the goal of exploring Laura's clothing that I had yet to experience wearing. A more detailed search showed that there was more to choose from than my earlier scan had indicated. I was beginning to fear that it would take more time to make a selection than there was time for, when my eyes locked on to a long sleeved shirt. It was blood red but covered with a swirling black net like mist. The red seemed to jump out of the blackness and grabbed my attention. My hand automatically shot out and seized the hanger through the shirt. I pulled it from the closet and held it up before me at arm's length. My free hand rose up to caress the front of the shirt. The fabric was stiff and crisp, like the shirt had been starched and ironed. There was no need to second guess, I just knew it was the key piece to a new outfit.

The shirt captured my full attention as I removed it from the hanger and almost absentmindedly hooked the hanger on the closet door knob. I slipped my arms into the sleeves and shrugged it up onto my shoulders. I made to button the shirt but was stopped momentarily by the buttons being on the "wrong" side. It was a minor annoyance and with a bit of fumbling, slipped each button through its corresponding buttonhole. As I came to the last couple of buttons, I discovered that the shirt had what I later came to know as princess seams which caused it to hug my body down to my waist before flaring out over my hips. It was a new look that I just had to check it out and quickly headed for the mirror. The first thing that struck me was how the cut of the shirt gave my boyish body the appearance of a more girl like figure. I turned and posed a bit before returning to the closet.

It was time to select something to pair up with the shirt. After a short deliberation with myself, I settled on a black, straight skirt. I reached up and unclipped it from its hanger; bring just the skirt from the closet. The back zipper and wide hook and bar on the waist band were undone as I lower it down in front of me. Without hesitation, I stepped in and pulled the skirt up. I was about to bring the skirt up over the bottom of the shirt but didn't. I really liked the way the whole shirt looked and decided to wear it out over the skirt. The skirt was worked up under the shirt, hooked, and zipped up. I bent down to fetch the pair of black pumps and placed them in front of me. I had some difficulty working my feet into the shoes and had thoughts of fetching my shoe horn when my foot grudgingly slipped into the shoe. It was the same with the other foot. With my outfit complete, I made for Laura's full length mirror.

The image that greeted me looked alright but it wasn't quite what I wanted. It needed something to bring it to the level of the outfits Laura had dressed me in. As I stared at the mirror, I let my mind drift back to the dress up sessions with Laura, recalling outfits that made the biggest impression on me when I spotted a theme common to each one. Laura had made a great change in the look of an outfit with a small wardrobe addition, like a … belt. I raced back to the closet and quickly scanned over the belts. I spotted and seized a narrow red vinyl belt. The belt was old and the surface layer had cracked greatly over its entire length allowing the black core to show through. It was a good match to the color scheme of the shirt and was quickly fastened around my waist. It was back to the mirror. This time the image reached out and grabbed me. I had done it. I had not only equaled Laura's efforts, I had learned how to dress as a girl would. Proud of myself, I strutted away from the mirror and began acting like a girl but quickly ran out of things to do in the bedroom. Without any hesitation, I headed out of Laura's bedroom into the hall. I didn't stop at the end of the hall either. Instead, I proudly sashayed into the living room. I imagined that there were people who were new to me. I play acted by greeting each in turn as a proper little girl would. Well, as how I thought a proper girl would anyway, as I didn't have much experience to draw on not having actually met any little girls that wanted to be proper.

But my play acting didn't last long for it wasn't adding anything to my dress up session. My thought then focused on my outfit, but it too wasn't adding anything new other than my having selected it and dressed in it on my own. I can't say that I was bored; it just wasn't as stimulating as past dress up sessions. I decided it was time to quit, although I had some kind of desire to take one last look in the mirror. I headed back to my sister's bedroom, coming to stand in front of her mirror. With my interest in the outfit waning, I looked at all of image that reflected back. The first thing that struck me was that I was just a boy in girl's clothes and for the first time, that bothered me. With an odd feeling of something akin to disappointment, I returned to the closet and started to undress. The shoes and belt were taken off and returned to their places in the closet. The shirt was removed and its hanger was retrieved from where I had put it on the closet door knob. The shirt was slipped on the hanger, but instead of returning it to its place on the closet hanger bar; I hung it with the clothes I had previously been dressed in. The skirt got a similar treatment. The panties were stripped off and returned to their spot in the bottom drawer of Laura's lingerie dresser. I made sure that the package of balloons was tucked under the bras as they had been, before closing the drawer. With everything put away, I headed for the bathroom as naked as I had come.

Coming to the shower, I opened the door, turned on the water, and when it came up to temp, stepped in. My shower was a quick one and I was soon dried off and dressed for bed. I picked up my jeans and came out of the bathroom where I was greeted by voices coming from the living room. It was my parents. Terror ripped through me as I realized that I had come way to close to being caught wearing my sisters clothes. I was so shook up, I was visibly shaking. Fearing that I wouldn't be able to gain control of my emotional state, it was decided that it would be best not to greet my parents in the living room, but to head for bed. I dropped my jeans in their usual place, quickly got into bed and took my usual sleeping position. But it didn't take long to realize that sleep wouldn't be coming anytime soon. I was too wrapped up in just how close I had come to being caught dressed and acting like a girl, and trying to figure out why I had done it in the first place. Originally, back before when Laura had become involved, I had only wanted to find out what it was like to wear a dress. This time started out with my wanting to see if I could put together an outfit as well as my sister could, or any girl for that matter. I did, but that didn't seem to satisfy me. I even acted like a girl, and not just in Laura's room but in the living room where the danger of being discovered was much higher. But that didn't satisfy me either. What more did I want?

I continued to ponder what I had done and kept coming up with questions I could not answer. It was frustrating and worried me to no end. In desperation I forced my thoughts to focus on when I called an end to my play. But that only created new unanswerable questions, like, why did I feel that it was necessary to take a last look in the mirror? Why was I bothered to see a boy in girl's clothes, or was I really bothered by seeing a boy? (Now there was a question I really did not want to address.) And then there was where I had hung the shirt and skirt, something Laura would notice when she would come home for the holidays. Why did I do that? Did I WANT my sister to know of the outfit I created? Was I hoping she would respond by critiquing my effort? But she wouldn't see the whole outfit, for the belt and shoes were returned to their place and Laura wouldn't know that I had used them. I could of course point out the items I had used to put together my outfit, but that wouldn't really give her the real picture of how well the outfit looked, or how well I looked wearing it. To get the whole picture, Laura would have to see the outfit being worn. Perhaps there was even more to it, could it be that I wanted her to ASK me to model the outfit for her? And so the Q&A continued. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that night.

The days that followed that troubling night failed to produce any kind of relief. I became more bothered by my actions and developed an aversion to Laura discovering that I had engaged in a dress up session on my own. It culminated with my taking the next opportunity of being alone to put the shirt and skirt back where Laura had hung them, as well as make certain that all was as she had left it. A self imposed ban on any further dress up play was enacted, although my desire to dress did not diminish with the ban. Over time, the desire seemed to take on a life of its own and with not finding relief through dress up, I redirected my thoughts to observing girls. I compared how they did things differently than how boys did, like running, throwing, picking objects up off the ground, inspecting parts of their body or clothing and so on. I even took note of how they talked and gestured to other girls and how that differed in how they talked and gestured to boys. It all worked to satisfy my desires, but only for a while. It didn't take long to realize that what I could learn from girls was limited and would fall short of what my desires wanted. My thoughts retreated back to that wondrous Halloween night, back to Crystal's bedroom, back to when she and my sister taught me how to be not so much a girl, but a very convincing adult vamp. That's when it hit me, girls weren't sophisticated enough to satisfy my desires. My observations switched to women and I was totally captivated by them. It would be an emotional feeling, hiding in the background, which would last with varying levels throughout my life.

Act 2, scene 1

It was early in my senior year at high school that my desires and future were shaped. I was dating a girl who somehow talked me into taking her to see some play at school. The play was of no interest to me, but I saw it as a led into doing something with her that did. Specifically, I was hoping that she would be appreciative of my yielding to her wishes by suggesting that we check out the local make out point. As it turned out, that didn't have a chance of happening courtesy of the play itself. While there wasn't much in the play to capture my interest, I did notice that there was something odd about the acting by the girls in the play. Oh they delivered their lines well enough and with proper emotions. No, it had more to do with body language. It just seemed off. It was undoubtedly something I was aware of due to my having paid close attention to how girls and women acted and moved over the previous years.

At the end of the play, while we were waiting for the crowd to make its way out, my date asked me if I liked the performance. She seemed to be quite enthused about it. I was still pondering the acting by the girls, and said so. My date started to giggle and questioned if I was serious. Of course I was serious and began pointing out things the girls did that weren’t quite right. She laughed and was amazed that I didn't know what was going on. My only reply was to stare at her with a baffled look. She then stopped laughing, leaned in toward me, looked at me straight in the eyes, and proclaimed that perhaps the reason the girls performances weren't quite right, was because they weren't girls! It was an all boy cast, which was confirmed by a handbill my date had picked up when we entered the theater and was then holding up in front of my face. In shock I looked at the stage only to be greeted by the curtain. I was quickly overwhelmed by the uncontrollable urge to run backstage and visually verify for myself what was claimed. I quickly surveyed the theater and spotted a side exit down towards the stage that some adults were using. Before the door could close, I could see that they were turning toward the back of the building. Guessing that they were the parents of the actors going to see their sons, it stood to reason that they could lead me to a way to get back stage. Not wanting to lose a moment, I took my date by the hand and headed for the aisle nearest the side exit.

We had been seated below the middle rows of seats and the crowd in the aisle at that point was thin enough that I could make my way against the flow and reach the side exit. My date became confused as I turned the "wrong" way and started to protest as we reached the side door. I was too intent on my objective to pay her any attention and burst through the side door. Luck was with me, for as we exited, I focused my attention towards the back of the building and spotted a door closing on its own. With my date in tow, I quickly made for the new target. The door had closed before I could reach it, but it wasn't locked, so I pulled it open and dragged my date inside. The scene that greeted us was a confusion of moving bodies, some in costume, some not. There was a mix of teens and adults, and most were trying to work their way through the crowed and confined quarters. As we slowly moved through the crowd, I scanned about for the female characters. I spotted one between a rack of clothing and an interior wall, removing her costume. There were a couple of male actors just beyond her who were also removing their costumes. As I made my way towards her, she peeled off her dress and in the process revealed a flat chest. Her "breasts" had come off with the dress! She then pulled off a girl's wig reveling a typical teenage boy's haircut. I wanted further conformation and sought out the other female characters. The story was similar; it really was an all boy cast.

The verification of an all boy cast left me stunned, while my date was only miffed at my ignoring her and wanted to go home. To keep her quiet, I gave in to her wishes but headed for the exit in a roundabout way. That's when I spotted a man and a couple of teen boys enthusiastically reviewing a poster held out nearly horizontally by the man. I figured the man was a teacher supervising the acting group and the poster was to advertise a new play. I was about to continue on when curiosity got the better of me, so with my date in hand, I made a detour to try and sneak a peek. It was indeed about a new play, but it was also a recruitment poster. They were in need of actors, stage hands, and others. Suddenly, I wanted in and the reason was obvious. It was the reason I had been searching for as I lay in bed questioning my solo dress up play in the clothes Laura had left behind. I wanted to not only dress up, but act in the public eye in a manner that would cause people to think of me as a girl. I wanted to experience once again the excitement and emotions of that Halloween night costume contest, but on an even grander scale.

The teacher holding the poster noticed my interest and as the group broke up, came towards me and struck up a conversation before my date could drag me off. He inquired if I was interested in joining the club in some capacity. I said yeah, as an actor, except that I didn't have much in the way of experience (actually none). He smiled and said that was okay and I should tryout anyway. He went on to say that the auditions were a couple of weeks away and rattled off a list of workshops and resources I could make use of to prepare for it. He then cautioned me that it was an all boys club and that the audition would require a reading as a male character and as a female character. I told him that was okay with me and that I looked forward to the challenge. Of course, I didn't tell him I knew how to act as a girl and a woman. I would spring that at the audition, hopefully to my advantage. We wished each other a good night and I finally yielded to my date's wishes and took her home. It would be the last time I would get a date with her and it didn't seem to bother me.

In the weeks leading up to the audition, I made full use of the workshops I had been told about. I learned a lot about acting as a male and intensified my watching the girls in case I was cast as one. In addition, anytime I was left home alone, I would put what I had observed of the girls to use. I even ended my ban on dress up sessions, allowing me to put together costumes from the clothes Laura had left behind to intensify my private practice sessions. Of course, I made certain that all was put back in its place well before my parents came home and to insure that I had, I would set my alarm clock to go off in case I got too wrapped up in my work (and fun) to notice the time. I had no desire to repeat the close call of my first solo dress up session. My strategy worked well for me, and by the time the auditions came, I felt that I had a very good chance of being selected for a part in the play and hoped for a female role.

The auditions were held after school in the performing arts building. There was more of a turnout than I had hoped for, but I still felt confident of my chances. There was a wait time to give all who wanted to tryout a chance to arrive and I used that time to socialize. When it looked like no one else was coming, everyone was given a copy of the script. We were then informed on what the play was about and on those who wrote it. It turned out that the play was written by a couple of students in an English major as a class project. The topic was about teenagers coming of age and the unforeseen problems they had to face, and how their problems compared to those of teens in decades past. It struck me as kind of cerebral for high school students, but that really didn't matter as I just wanted to be in an all boy cast play.

We were given a little time to scan over the script before being sent one at a time to the front of the stage where a small audience awaited us. Those judging would call out the page number and the male part to be read followed by a new page number and a female part. Things move along fairly quickly but it was apparent that it was still going to take some time to get through everyone. I used my wait time to scan over each scene to become aware of the location, the characters, and what they were doing. It was so that when my turn came, I didn't just read my lines, but moved in an appropriate manner for the scene. With my reading of the female part, I added a little female body language even though I wasn't in costume. At the end of my audition, I was thanked and told that when the final decisions were made, they would be posted on the bulletin board in the drama class room. I left the auditions in a really jazzed up mood.

Impatience quickly got the better of me and I would ended each day at school in the drama class room scanning the bulletin board, but it was a few days before the cast list was finally posted. Word of the posting had traveled fast, for when I entered the room, I was confronted by a sizable group of students crowded in front of the board trying to spot their name on the list. As each person finished surveying the list, they would rotate out away from the board with a look of joy or dejection. Their vacancy was quickly filled by yet another hopeful actor in the making. A few who knew me from the audition would shoot me a smirk as they made their way back through the crowd. The reason for that became evident when my turn came to scan the list. My name was on the list and I had been cast in the part of an adult woman. My emotions quickly started to alternate between being thrilled and terrified.

I was of course thrilled, but not so much for being in the play, but for actually being cast in the role a woman as I had desired. But the thrill was a short lived as I quickly became terrified at the thought of being dressed in women's clothing in front of hundreds of people including my friends and worst yet, my parents! That caused my thoughts to focus on what I might be wearing. My mind filled with images from past memories of adult women and the way they were dressed. I thrilled at the possibility of experiencing what they did as they strutted around in their finery. But I was quickly jolted back to reality with the thought of people watching me strut around knowing that I was a boy in a dress. They might start laughing at me and that was something I couldn't handle. It didn't take much thinking to realize that I had to prevent people from seeing me as a boy in the first place. It was just like on that wondrous Halloween night several years prior when I had to convincingly look like a teenage girl acting as a woman. But it wasn't something I had done on my own. Just how was I to accomplish what Crystal had done? Perhaps the club had a makeup artist or perhaps one of the actor's mothers would do the makeup; after all, the "girls" in the play I had watched were convincing enough in appearance. But that thought went out the window at a subsequent orientation meeting after school, allowing terror to force its way back to the forefront.

In the meeting, those involved in putting on the play, briefed everyone on the play and everyone's part in the play. Issues of funding, set building, wardrobe, stage hands, and production personal were brought up and addressed in turn. One thing grabbed my full attention: the services of a makeup artist had NOT been secured and didn't look like it would be. There was the suggestion that each actor do his own makeup as a learning experience. That's when my joy gave way to terror once again as I had zero experience in applying makeup and any attempt I made would most likely end up as something laughable. I also didn't have a girlfriend who might be willing to do my makeup and the thought of enlisting my mother was out of the question. In panic, I suddenly (and loudly) announced that I knew of someone at the college on the other side of the city who could do the job and might even take it on as a project for one of her classes. The head of the production staff responded by saying that I could give them the contact information at the end of the meeting and they would take it under consideration. The remaining issues were addressed and were either checked off or marked for further attention. An up to date copy of the script was distributed to the actors, the head of staging, and anyone else who had a need to know what was going on, and when, in order to do the job they had to do. The discussion was then opened to questions and when that ran out, the meeting was declared over. I gave the head of production what little info I knew about Crystal before joining everyone else in heading off for home to study our parts in the play.

In the days that followed, I spent all my free time, as well as lunch breaks at school, memorizing my lines and trying various ways of acting them out as a real woman might. All went well until the day before rehearsals were scheduled to start. I really wanted to be ready for that first rehearsal and had rushed home. In my eagerness to get to work, I ran to my room and flung my room door closed in passing. I pulled up short of my desk, slipping off my backpack and dropped it to the floor, leaning it against my desks side drawers. The script was pulled out and placed on the desktop. I would get to the script later, but first I wanted to develop an appropriate walk and attitude for my character. My goal was something between walking like a girl and being a vamp, both of which I had perfected in dress up sessions with my sister and her friend, Crystal. It took awhile, but after a lot of experimentation, I hit upon a gate that felt, well, natural. A sense of pride swelled my head causing me to celebrate my success by vamping up my womanly walk. I was thoroughly engrossed in my fun to the point that I didn't notice that my bedroom door had come open. I must not have flung it with enough force for the latch bolt to have engaged the latch plate in my haste to get started. Whatever the reason, I was strutting across my room with my back to the door when I heard a very startled "Oh my!" It was my mother.

Mom was bringing to me some folded up clothing, which was now on the floor in a semi folded state. The look of shock and surprise on her face defies adequate description. Panic instantly overtook me. All I could do was stammer and quickly look around my room for something that would help me pull it together and come up with some sort of explanation. My darting eyes spotted and locked on to my copy of the script on my desk which I instantly lunged for. My hands stretched out to grab it, and as I pulled it to me, I turned towards my mom and practically thrust the script up into my mom's face. I hurriedly explained that I was rehearsing for a play and pointed out my part. Mom let out a relieved sigh, only to be quickly replaced by a look of disapproval. But it was not for my being in the play, or for my character being an adult woman, but for my apparent perception of how an adult woman acts. I wasn't about to tell her why I was acting the way I had been or how I had come to be so good at it. Instead, I let her lecture me on how women really present themselves in public. That was bad enough, but she ended by saying that she would TEACH me how to do it right. Hopefully the reader will understand my choosing not to relive that traumatic experience by relating it.

The next day, with my mother's lesson still running through my head, I attended the first rehearsal. Things went as one would expect of a mix of actors ranging from seasoned down to newbies. It was going to take a lot of work by everyone if we were going to make a creditable presentation on opening night. And as the rehearsals progressed, we did indeed improve, although I came to regret being in an all boy production with a large number of first timers. The almost infantile razing I got from the new members, both on and off stage, because of the part I was cast in, lasted for many a rehearsal before dying off. Of course I expected it would pick up again once dress rehearsals began, and the approach of said rehearsals brought up a new worry: costumes. Being a relatively small group and unfunded by the school, we all had to wear more than one hat. At times the workload was hectic, headed for overwhelming. But no one had it worse than those trying to procure, borrow, make, or modify the costumes, and their problems were about to hit home.

I remember the day well. In fact, to this day I cannot get that experience out of my memory, no matter how hard I try. I had arrived home to find that the front door was locked, indicating that mom was out. I had to go around back to retrieve a hidden key and let myself in through the back door. Once inside the house, I headed straight for my room, anxious to continue rehearsing for the play that was to open the following week. What greeted me upon entering my room stopped me dead in my tracks. On my bed was a grayish green dress that had a full skirt with very wide pleats. It had a white, Peter Pan collar and white turned up cuffs on the three quarter length sleeves. Closure was by large color matched buttons down the front to just past the waist. It was a simple but elegant day wear dress, and it had been arranged with the lower half draped off the front edge of the bed with the skirt spread out as if to display its pure feminine styling. A pair of white two inch heeled pumps was next to the dress. I had yet to recover my senses when my eyes noticed a small piece of paper, folded in half, with my first name written across it, lying near the center of the upper half of the dress. Dread ripped through my body, willing me to retreat from my room. But retreat was not an option and I knew I had to investigate the note. I approached my bed and with a slightly shaking hand, seized the note and opened it up. It was from mom.

From what was in the note, I concluded that mom had been contacted by those handling the actor's wardrobe and had been asked if she had something suitable for my costume that fit the time line and the scene in the play. The note ended with an order of sorts, for me to be WEARING the dress and shoes when she returned home so that she could see where it needed to be altered to fit me like it would on a proper lady. I was also instructed to practice walking in the shoes until she arrived. The vision in my mind of me wearing my mother's dress in front of her was more than a bit traumatizing. Then again, the dress was stunning in its simplicity and had a definite grown up feel that my desires wanted. The idea that I didn't just have an opportunity to wear it, but was expected to, sent a new kind of thrill through me. Resistance quickly gave way to the chance to experience wearing something a sophisticated adult woman would choose to wear, even though I would soon be doing so in front of my own mother. I stripped to just my undershorts in record time, and was about to take the dress from my bed, when a thought occurred that I should swap my shorts for the panties Laura had left for me so as to be able to fully enjoy every sensation the dress had to offer. Mom's note, now lying on my bed next to the dress, put an end to that idea. After all, once mom had finished marking and pinning the dress to fit me, she would undoubtedly undress me, revealing the panties. There was no way I could explain that away.

With a disappointed sigh, I bent down and reached out to unbuttoned the dress. As I straightened back up, I crossed my arms and took hold of the dress by the shoulders. I uncrossed my arms, turning the dress around in the process. I lowered the dress all the way down to the floor in front of me and stepped into it. As I pulled the dress up around my body, I slipped my arms into the sleeves and worked it up onto my shoulders. After straightening the dress out and getting it to fit on my shoulders right, I started to fasten the buttons. The top button slipped through its buttonhole without much pulling on the fabric. The next button was more difficult and that increased with each successive button until upon reaching my waist, it became impossible to even get the button near its buttonhole. I quickly gave up trying and fastened the last two buttons on the skirt. It was then time to explore the dress. But any new sensations or experiences were overshadowed by the dress being open at my waist. My exposed abdomen destroyed any illusions I would have of my being a sophisticated adult woman. It had to look pretty bad and for some reason, I had a compulsion to fix it, but how? Unless I suddenly lost weight, there was no way I was going to fasten the buttons at the waist. As I pondered the problem in my mind, my solo dress up session crept into my thoughts and how I accessorized my outfit by cinching a belt around my waist. Maybe I could use a belt to squeeze my waist down to where I could draw the edges of the opening together enough to cover my tummy. A quick visit to my closet yielded a two inch wide black belt. It was quickly wrapped around my waist. The end was threaded through the buckle and was snugged down as tightly as I could without causing too much pain or problems with breathing. The dress around my waist was pulled, wiggled, and massaged until the open front had nearly closed. It wasn't perfect by any means, but I knew it would have to do.

Once the deed of closing up the dress was done, I could refocus my mind and explore the dress. The first thing to hit me was the looseness of the front at my chest that had nothing to do with my not being able to completely button up the dress. The reason, of course, was because it was an adult woman's dress and it was shaped for something I didn't have but could simulate with a bra and something to stuff the cups with. It was not a place I wanted to revisit especially in front of my mother. Hope ran through me that my mom would alter the chest area to fit my flat chest. Thoughts to the contrary started to creep into my mind and in an effort to redirect my thoughts to things more pleasant, I slipped my feet into the shoes (which fit surprisingly well, unlike my sister's shoes) and started to act out my part in the play, particularly the scenes where I had to physically act. I needed to see how the dress would move as I did and make any adjustments so as to not cause problems with props and vice versa. It quickly turned from work to fun and I was about to escalate my pleasures by leaving my room for other parts of the house that would stand in for scenes in the play, when my mom suddenly filled the doorway of my bedroom. I pulled up short and all I was able to do was just stared at her in shock.

I had been so wrapped up in my play that I hadn't heard my mom arrive home. I may have been speechless but my mom sure wasn't. Her first words directed at me will be forever etched into my mind, for with a look of surprise and fascination, she said "Ooooo, you wear it belted!" and as if that wasn't enough cause for massive embarrassment, she approached me with her hands extended outward while tightly clutching something in each hand. She wrapped her arms partially around my waist, and with a couple of extended fingers, caressed the belt as she drew her hands back around to the front. I don't know why she did that. Maybe she was trying to get a sense of what I was experiencing with the belt. Whatever the reason, I remained speechless and became paralyzed with monumental embarrassment. As she completed her exploration of my waist, she drew slightly back. A gentle smile spread across her face as she brought her hands up together up under her chin. As she looked me over from head to toe and back, I noticed something white and folded up in one hand with some kind of narrow width loops hanging down. A chill ran down my back as I realized that she was holding one of her bras. My hope of having a flat chest vanished into thin air.

My fears were verified as I watched her drop the bra and a couple of tools onto my bed. Mom undid my belt and tossed it onto my bed. With the release of the belt, the dress retreated back to where it was comfortable, once again reveling my tummy and the top of my shorts. Mom stared down at the open waist and said not to worry; it would no trouble at all to take care of that. It seems that she had taken in the waist to fit her in earlier times and it could easily be let out as needed. She unbuttoned the dress and peeled it back off my shoulders and down my arms, dropping the dress to the floor. She retrieved the bra and held it up by the straps in front of me, waiting for me to slip my hands and arms into the straps. Once again, I hope the reader will kindly forgive me for not relating the horror of standing before my mother wearing one of her bras, along with the adjusting of the straps and the one sided discussion on how to best fill the cups for a natural look even though they were stiff enough to hold their shape under clothing. Let us move on.

Along with the bra, mom had also brought chalk, a box of pins, and something I would later learn was a seam ripper. It was the last item she first put to work. Mom sat down on the floor and picked the dress out from under me as I stepped back out of it. She turned it inside out and maneuvered it to where she had taken in part of both side seams that ran from the waist to the armholes. It didn't take her long to cut the threads of the alterations, allowing the waist and bodice to expand back to their original size. She gave the dress a shake and then stretched and rubbed the areas that had been taken in. All the while, I could only stand there, wearing her bra, wishing she would hurry up and cover me by putting the dress back on me. Boy, there's a strange thought, actually wanting to wear my mother's dress in front of her. It's a wonder I didn't need some sort of psychotherapy after the fitting.

After what seemed to me to be an eternity, she reached a point where she could do no more. Mom stood up and reversed the dress back to normal. She gave it a good shake before presenting the back of the dress to me and lowering it down to where I could step over the collar and into the dress. She then pulled the dress up, pausing to let me to slip my arms into the sleeves. She then pulled it up onto my shoulders and adjusted the way the dress hung on my body before buttoning it up. This time the dress fit much better. There was still some tightness in the bodice, which I seemed to like for some reason that escaped me at the time. The waist was closed up and undoubtedly looked a whole lot better. I tried to gain an image of how I looked by looking down at the dress, but it didn't work. I needed a full length mirror, something boys just don't have in their rooms.

Mom looked me over as well, and then started turning me this way and that and all the way around. She expressed surprise at just how well her dress fit me. Suddenly, she had a look of inspiration, said she would be right back, and dashed out of my room, leaving me to my thoughts. The first thing to come to mind was my wanting a mirror, quickly followed by an irresistible urge to dash off to my sister's room and her full length mirror to see just how well the dress fit me. My mind quickly calculated how long it would take and compared that with how much time I guessed I had. It was close, but I just had to see. I started to run to towards the door of my room when the sound of the dress rubbing against my legs reached my ears, causing me to stop dead in my tracks. It was mesmerizing and I knew that there was no way I could just pop into my sister's room, grab a quick look, and run back to my room. No, the dress would will me to stand in front of the mirror and pose, twist, and touch. It would draw me in to fully experience how it looked, felt, and flowed. I would surely be caught and there would be no way of explaining the look of wonder and pleasure on my face. With sadness taking over me, I quickly turned away from the door. I would have to be content with a limited exploration of the dress in my room within the short amount of time I had left. But even that was not to be as mom reappeared in the doorway of my room far sooner than I had estimated. A sudden chill ran up my spine as I realized that for the second time in my life, I had come way to close to being caught acting like a girl.

My mom smiled at me with a hint of mischief as she held out to me a two inch wide, white belt and instructed me to put it on. The dress didn't have any belt loops, so I just wrapped it around my waist and snugged it just enough to let me know it was there. Mom looked me over with a critical eye for some time, causing me no small amount of discomfort as I had no choice but stand before her wearing her dress and bra. After what seemed like an eternity, her expression changed to a look of envy as she exclaimed that the belt was the perfect touch, tying the white collar, cuffs, and shoes together and that she never would have thought of adding it. Her look changed to one of mischief as she then asked "Just where, young man, did you learn how to accessorize a dress so well?" all I could do was turn away so as to hide my red face and make noises of protest that didn't really make any word found in the English language. Mom had a good chuckle at my expense before she got back to fitting the dress to me.

Mom's dress fit me well enough as it was, but she still wanted to make some adjustments. She made some marks with the chalk on the bodice, mostly on the front and sides, before she started to pinch and pin around the side seams and breast area. I rose up in protest saying that the fit was good enough for the play. She wouldn't hear of it, saying, and I quote: "If my son is going to wear a dress in a public presentation, then it's going to fit and look perfect!" Therapy was definitely called for. When she had at long last made the last mark with chalk and inserted the last pin, she undressed me, unhooked and removed the bra, gathered up her sewing stuff and left me to my own devices.

Mom didn't have any trouble in having the dress ready for the first dress rehearsal, something I found out as I was about to leave for school on that morning. As I joined her at the front door, she handed me a shoe box, which I took with my left hand, and a hanger with the dress on it covered by a dry cleaning bag, taken by my right hand. The bag wasn't totally opaque and the object inside was still recognizable as a dress. Mom gave me a big smile and then mentioned that the belt and bra were hung inside the dress and that she had found some suitable material to fill the bras cups, which she had shaped and sewn into the cups. It would be one less thing to worry about, as she put it. Right, like having to put on a bra with other guys around me wasn't something to worry about. Any protest I could make would be futile as she was out the front door and telling me to hurry along and not to forget locking the door behind me. I did as I was told and moved to the edge of the front porch where I stopped. A quick look up and down the street was taken before making a dash to the car. Holding the dress in front of me and close to my body, I moved my left arm across the front of my body just above my waist pinning the dress to me and let go of the hanger with my right hand, allowing the dress to fold down over my left arm. With my now free right hand, I quickly yanked open the car door and sort of turned and backed into the car. I swung my legs to the front while guiding the dress to follow my legs with my left arm while pulling the door closed with my right hand at the same time. Finally in my seat, I lifted up the folded over dress and the shoe box to allow me to fasten the seat belt. With that, we got underway.

Mom was able to pull up in front of school at the main entrance which was the best place as the multipurpose building was located at the front of the school but to access the backstage area one had to come in through the main entrance. That would make for a trip long enough to cause me no small amount of anxiety, and understandably so, given that I would be in full view of a sizeable portion of the student body carrying what was clearly a dress. On one hand, I didn't want to get out of the car until the crowd had thinned, but at the same time I didn't want to show my mom just how I dreaded having to walk through school carrying that dress until I could drop it and the shoes off backstage. It was yet another traumatic experience filled with snickers from the girls that I will refrain from relating.

After the teacher in my last class let us go for the day, I made straight for the backstage area of the multipurpose building, hoping to beat everyone so I could change into my costume in private. While there were a few guys already there, the place where I had dropped off my costume was deserted. I made a slight detour to pick up a wig from a tall, double door cabinet. It was during one of the early rehearsals that I had surveyed what was available and had spotted a wig that just seemed to scream out at me. It was an updated 1950's Italian cut, but not as shaggy, lending an elegant adult look that just grabbed me. It would fit the era my dress was from well. I pulled off a clear plastic bag that protected the wig and took the wig off its stand. The bag was replaced over the stand before I continued on.

I began to strip to my shorts as I came to the rack where my costume was hung. The bag covering the dress was quickly pulled up and pushed back over the hanging bar. I quickly spotted the bra strap looped over the hanger at the hook along with the belts buckle. The hanger was lifted just enough to allow me to slip the bra strap up off the hook of the hanger and pull it up out of the dress. The sight of the bra dangling from my hand caused me to freeze. I knew I had to wear it; I just couldn't seem to bring myself to actually do it. The ruckus voices from a group of guys entering the backstage area thawed me out enough to suddenly wrap the bra around me and hook it in front of me. It was quickly twisted around into place. I struggled somewhat to slip my hands and arms into the straps and set them on my shoulders. No time was wasted in unbuttoning the dress, yanking it off the hanger, and lowering it down in front of me. Pulling the dress up into place and fastening the buttons went a whole lot easier than the first time, and the fit was amazing. There was no resisting the urge to explore how the dress fit to my upper body, and as I explored, my mind set changed. I no longer saw myself as wearing my mother's dress, for it no longer fit her. It was altered to fit me, so in my mind, it was now MY dress and I wanted to experience all it had to offer, but before I could, there came a couple of voices approaching from just out of sight and very near.

I instantly stopped my play and grabbed the wig. I was just starting to pull the wig on over my head when two guys entered my area. They had come to change into their costumes which were nearby. But that got delayed as they started to razz me. I just shook my head and told them to grow up. I then quickly put on the belt, grabbed my shoes, and head off in search of a mirror in a more private location to finish setting my wig and slip on my shoes. A suitable mirror was quickly located and final adjustments were made to the wig before I slipped on the shoes. It was the first chance I had of seeing what I looked like wearing the dress and it was amazing. The mirror showed that with my costume and wig, I looked more like an adult than a teenager, and even without makeup, more like a girl than a boy. There was one more thing, my mom had been right, the belt was the perfect touch and I swelled with pride. I was so taken by my cleverness that I ended up taking way more time than it normally would to make a "final check" of my costume. Makeup was next and was no longer a worry as it had been announced in a meeting before the first dress rehearsal, that a volunteer to manage makeup had stepped forward and would be on hand for the dress rehearsals and the performances. I headed for the makeup work station to see if the volunteer had arrived yet. She had, and it was my sister's friend, Crystal.

I don't know which one of us was more surprised. I suspect that the expression on both of our faces was a mirror image of the other. Crystal's look of surprise quickly morphed into one of pleasure as evidenced by a slight leer that slowly spread across her face. I have no doubt that seeing me in a dress triggered flashbacks in her mind of our first encounter. What came to my mind was something more akin to terror. My mind filled with all of words she could greet me with that would make reference to her having transformed me into a girl, beginning with addressing me as Michelle. Being surrounded by several people within easy ear shot, it was something I definitely did not want. But Crystal greeted me as Mike, and I started to relax. After some small talk and inquiring about my sister, she got down to the task of making me look more fitting to my character. It was some time before I could get a proper look in the mirror. The image that gazed back at me said that the end result was perfect, and no one was going to see me as a boy. Crystal leaned in and placed her head between me and the mirror and stared into my eyes. No words were necessary as I knew what the expression on her face was saying. I nodded my head in agreement and with a smug look, I headed off to the stage area, anxious to perform.

As I worked my way through back stage, I was surprised by a lack of razzing. Instead there were only gasps and surprised speech, and with there being more than a couple of adult women characters in the play, no one could guess who I was. The thought that filled my mind was, "is Crystal good or what?" All of it helped me immerse myself in my character and incorporate my past observations of how women moved and acted. I sashayed on with the sound of the occasional wolf whistle to accompany me. It was a new feeling and definitely along the lines of what I had been questioning myself on. I had a new understanding for what I craved. I arrived at a form up area just off stage and got comfortable. When everyone was present, the director gave a pep talk and then called for those in the first scene to be on stage. For the most part, all went well. There were some expected problems with the way the actors in costume moved within the confines of the scenery. It was nothing that couldn't be smoothed out in the next couple of dress rehearsals.

With each dress rehearsal we got better and better as actors. Crystal worked her magic on everyone, especially on those who were cast as girls and women. The visual transformations she achieved gave each actor the confidence that they could act in a female part and no one was going to laugh at them. I received additional support on my coming off as a woman from Crystal each time she removed my makeup at the end of the day's rehearsal. Of course assessing my ability to portray a woman wasn't all we talked about and with each meeting our conversation would get more personal. I enjoyed my new friendship with Crystal, but with her unabashed approached to everything, it wasn't long before she started to tease me by injecting some, well, intimate comments into our talks. While I found it embarrassing, I wasn't put off by it and didn't take any action to discourage such talk. In a way, it all helped me to achieve the feeling that I was ready for my acting debut, and by the last dress rehearsal, it was clear that everyone would be ready come opening night.

Opening night proved to be a mixed bag of opposite feelings for all. Confidence gained in dress rehearsal was countered by thoughts of if we were really ready for a live audience. Lines well memorized were countered by if they could be remembered under pressure. The same could be said of timing and delivery. And for me, the thrill of another chance to fool people into thinking I'm a girl was countered by how my parents (especially my Dad) would react to seeing their son in a dress and made up as a woman. Professionals would just shrug it all off and get down to delivering their best performance no matter what. But we weren’t professionals, and a lot of us weren’t even amateurs. Then came the sound of the audience filling the auditorium and that caused many an actor to develop a case of stage fright. With a lack of experience to guide some of us, we started turning to each other for emotional support. The director did his part to keep our spirits on the positive side, right up to where he sent the actors in the first scene out on stage. When they were all in position, he cued the curtain to be raised. It was show time.

Our performance got off to a good start with only a couple of minor lapses that weren't too noticeable and easily covered by the more seasoned actors. The audience either didn't notice any glitches, or they chose to not call attention to them. The end result was a much needed boost in confidence among those of us waiting in the wings and I was more than ready when my scene came. I remember the moment well. The curtain had been dropped for a scenery change, and as I waited to take my place on stage my mind filled with the thrill of passing as a girl while my stomach churned with uneasiness the comes with doubt. The last piece of the scenery was put in place, and those of us in the scene hurried to take our place. All was ready and the cue was given. The curtain rose.

My first scene had me start in a partial 60's kitchen set at stage left with me near the front of the stage facing stage left. My character's husband was sitting in an arm chair at center stage and back at the rear of the set facing the front. Our son entered through a door at stage right and called out that he had something to discuss with both of his parents. As he made his way towards his dad, I turned around and headed toward center stage in front of some props and furniture. Of course I had assumed a natural female stride, but only those on the extreme edge of the theater, that had any kind of a view of my backside, would be aware of. The rest of the audience got the whole picture, when just past center stage, I had to turn away from the audience and walk a short distance to an arm chair placed to stage right and perpendicular to my husbands. As I made to sit down, I could tell that the audience was somewhat startled as if I had done something they had totally not expected. As I sat, I ran my hands down my backside and upper legs, smoothing out and arranging the skirt of my dress in the chair. It was quite apparent that some whispers were being exchanged throughout the audience. The thought that I was the subject of those whispers sent a strange, but pleasant, sensation through me. But it wasn't the time or place to think about some new pleasantry, so I blocked it out and concentrated on my performance, adding typical female hand gestures and body movements as I delivered my lines. When the scene ended, the curtain was lowered, and we actors joined those removing the scenery and props to clear the way for the next set.

The play and my additional scenes ran their course without any really noticeable mishaps. At the end, we all were called out on stage and were received by a very appreciative audience who showed it with their applauses and additional curtain calls. It was sometime before they let us leave the stage. Backstage, many an actor celebrated by whopping it up and congratulating each other with handshakes, pats on the back and the occasional hug. As for me, I sought out Crystal to get my makeup removed. I ran into her as she too made her way backstage. She had been in the audience watching the play. As we worked our way to her work station, she gave me her appraisal of my performance. She gave me high marks in everything, but I had the feeling that she was overdoing it as she did everything. Taking a more modest stance, I tried to play down my performance. In an effort to convince me that her assessment was not exaggerated, she repeated what she had overheard from some members of the audience. I had indeed been the subject of the whispers, at least among those that Crystal had overheard. Many thought that we had been short on actors and that a teen girl, or even an adult woman, had been recruited to play my character. None wanted to believe that my character was played by a teenage boy. The first thought that entered my mind, was that I had done it. I had achieved the goal that caused me to be in the play in the first place. While I hadn't actually fooled the audience, (they knew it was an all boy cast and therefore I couldn't be a girl) they just refused to accept reality. It was the ultimate performance, carried off with perfection, at least in my mind anyways.

As I sat down at Crystal's work station, my head swelled with pride. Perhaps that explained why my wig suddenly felt tight and really uncomfortable causing me to yank it off. Crystal got to work undoing her creation while my mind contemplated the emotions and feelings that still swept through my entire body. I wanted more of the same, but first, I had the desire to celebrate in some way and let my desires be known to Crystal. She hit me with a rather unexpected, and very private, way of celebrating. She invited me to spend the night with her. I was struck speechless. As the shock wore off, I began to suspect that she was just teasing me given the nature of our previous conversations, plus, there was a five year difference in our ages. There was another age factor and that was my being one month away from being eighteen and I let her know it. Crystal just brushed that aside, saying that we just had to be discreet, and that I couldn't go bragging to the guys. Besides, when did being underage ever stop teens from exploring sex. With that she gained the upper hand, but I had one last barrier to throw up between us.

I regretted that I couldn't accommodate her as I was living at home and was expected to be in by a prearranged time, which was fast approaching. Crystal countered by saying that most of the cast members were going to get together for a cast party to celebrate a successful opening night and that the party could easily last well past midnight giving me the excuse of spending the night at the party house. We could attend the party together, leave when we wished, and I could spend the night at Crystal's without my parents being the wiser. It was a brilliant counter and I was ready to give in. But then again, given her unabashed approach to pretty much everything; I was hesitant to losing my virginity to her. I kind of wanted my first time to be an act of love with a girl that was experiencing her first time so we could explore the world of sex together and develop a special bond. I didn't come out and tell Crystal about my wants, I just stammered and looked away as I tried to find something to say. Crystal picked up on that and reassured me that she would be gentle and it would be a night I would want to remember. I still didn't commit, so she prodded me a little more by inquiring if I've had a sex education class yet. I responded that I had. She smiled at me, and with a little seduction, said "So much for theory, it's time for some practical application."

Crystal almost had me, and she knew it. She went on to say that she would teach me more than sex but didn't elaborate. Curiosity (and hormones) got the better of me and I consented to her proposal. Of course I still need to seek out my parents and see if they would let me attend the cast party and maybe sleep over if it ran late. But first I had to change out of my dress as I really didn't want my dad to see me, as me, in Mom's dress. Crystal had finished restoring me back to who I really was and I headed off to where I had changed clothes. On the way, I passed several adult couples who were undoubtedly looking for their sons. Upon seeing me in costume, but without makeup and with wig in hand, they all stopped and stared with a look of disbelief. Their comments were more like expressions of astonishment instead of assessment of my acting ability, although, there was one comment that I will remember, and highly value, forever. It came from a stately and well off woman in her mid thirties, dressed in a black, three piece skirt suit that fit her like a glove. She said, and I quote: "You really are a teenage boy! Oh that just isn't right. I say that because you, young man, are better at being a woman than I am!" The only reply I could make was to slightly lower my head, say thank you, and continue on with a broad smile across my face.

I had hoped to be able to change in private but that wasn't going to happen. It seemed that my choice to get my makeup removed first gave everyone else the chance to get to the changing area ahead of me. I worked my way to where my street clothes were, dreading what was to come. With my back to all, I unfastened the belt and threaded the buckle on the hanger. I then started work on undoing the buttons down the front of the dress. Peeling off my dress revealed that I was wearing a bra and I braced for the childish razzing that would come my way. But it didn't happen. Confusion filled my mind. Perhaps with only a view of my back, no one could tell I was wearing a stuffed bra and not something else. Whatever the reason, I quickly took advantage of the situation to try and remove the bra before anyone could catch on, but I had to pause and think about how. Reversing the procedure I had used in putting it on would leave no doubt that I was wearing a bra. Instead, I decided to unhook it first, slip the straps off my shoulders, and with my arms pointing downward in front of me, let the bra slide down my arms into my hands, keeping the bra hidden from view. The bra and then the dress were put on the hanger before I got dressed in my street clothes.

I was just stepping into my jeans when I was greeted by my parents. Mom had a look of pride as if she were silently taking credit for having educated me on how a woman acts, resulting in my convincing performance. Dad's look was one more of worry than anything else. I got the impression that being an actor was not high on the list of careers he wanted for me, and being in an all male troupe wasn't even to be considered. Mom lavish praise upon me and even repeated some of the things she overheard in the audience. Dad acknowledged my solid performance and my dedication to the role I was cast in. With a concerned look, he asked if I was considering a career as an actor. I said that I really enjoyed my first time acting and wanted to do some more. As far as a career, I only hinted at that possibility. I figured that was all he could handle at that time. There was no way I was going to say what I really got out of the night's performance. The result was a slightly awkward pause in our conversation.

I seized the resulting lull in the conversation to bring up my wanting to attend the cast party and the possibility of it lasting well into the night forcing me to catch some sleep at the party house. My parents mulled it over a bit before they gave me their blessing along with a caution against drinking anything alcoholic with my being way under the age of legality. I gave them an enthusiastic thank you and I took off running back to Crystal with my mind filled with thoughts of where I was really going to be sleeping, well, eventually sleeping. I found her at her work station removing the makeup from the last of the actors. When she had at long last finished up, she packed up her kit and together we left the theater along with a couple of the other cast members. As we headed for the parking lot, one of the fellow cast members gave us directions to where the party was going to be held. Crystal pointed out where she was parked and would wait for me get my car so I could follow her to the party. It wasn't long before we were off.

Act 2, scene 2

The scene at the party site was like some kind of invasion with cars coming from all directions, each vying for what street parking was available. We were half a block away when Crystal spotted the commotion in front of the party house and quickly veer over to the curb with me right behind her. I got out of my car and walked up to Crystal's car. She got out just as I came to her car door. She looked at me with a smile that had a lot behind it, closed the car door, and slipped her arm in mine. As we headed around her car and up onto the sidewalk, she leaned into me and brought her other hand up to tightly grip my arm as well. I looked at her and she flirted back, teasing me a bit before relaxing her hold on me. But that wasn't an end to her aggression, merely a change of tactics. Her movements became more and more provocative and her language was laced with sexual undertones. Crystal's behavior was over the top and I wondered if we would make it to the party or if we would turn around and head for her place.

We indeed made it to the party house. The front door was open and we could see that the main gathering was in the backyard. We made our way through the living room and out the patio doors. The first thing I noticed was the lack of parental supervision. Still, the celebration seemed to be restrained enough to not bother the neighbors. That atmosphere lasted for about an hour, that's when someone produced a case of beer. Crystal, who had far more experience in situations like this than I, warned me that we should make ready to leave. I was enjoying myself and since I wasn't going to be drinking I couldn't see the harm. She pointed out what was sure to happen by saying "Minors plus alcohol equals boisterous teens, resulting in complaining neighbors who call the police, who call your parents. Is that what you want to experience tonight?" I had to admit that it wasn't an alternative I wanted to consider and agreed it was time to leave. A couple of the guys who had overheard Crystal joined us in exiting the party. As we walked to the sidewalk as a group, one of the guys put forth the idea of getting our own party going at his place. Crystal quickly spoke up, saying that we were calling it a night and started to usher me toward our cars.

With Crystal's urging me on, the walk from the party to our cars went a whole lot faster than the walk from our cars to the party, for a reason that I'm sure I need not elaborate on. We quickly got under way with Crystal leading. Traffic was light, and we were soon on the other side of town. I followed her to an apartment complex where I parked on the street out in front while Crystal parked in her assigned spot in the parking garage in back. We meet up at the door of her apartment. She unlocked and pushed open the door, ushering me in with a sweeping gesture of her hand. I entered her apartment with her following, closing and locking the door behind us. That came off as a bit intimidating and I started to become scared. Crystal picked up on that and started to really come on to me. I quickly got the impression that my chickening out was not going to be an option and that my virginity was Crystal's for the taking.

When it comes to sex, it is said that one doesn't forget their first time and I'm certainly no exception. It was the most wondrous experience from the moment I entered Crystal's apartment to when I left the next morning. And we didn't just strip off our clothes, jump into bed, and go at it. Far from it, for Crystal started my education by advising me that the best path to sex with a woman I had been dating was a slow one. I could set the mood, even present my desire for sex, but I should never pressure a woman into something she is hesitant to do. I could use suggestive language and enticements, but should be ready to drop it if the woman is put off by it. Above all, I should never use aggressive sexual contact of any kind. That should be the privilege of women, as any aggressive action by the man could be interpreted as date rape. The fallout from that carries heavy consequences for the man and emotional trauma for the woman. The bottom line: always let the woman decide when the time is right for sex. With Crystal's lesson firmly in mind, we proceeded with some lab work on the couch in her front room. Our passions built until Crystal broke it off and got up from the couch. As she started to walk away from me, she looked back, biting her lower lip, and give me a coy look that dared me to follow her. She then reached her hand back towards me. I shot up off the couch and quickly reached for her offered hand. With some giggling and a look of pure joy, she led me to her bedroom.

Once in the bedroom, she began the lessons again. She educated me on the different ways a couple gets into bed, from the slow approach of coming to standing on opposite sides of the bed and slowly stripping for the enjoyment of the other, to the extreme of the couple immediately embracing, intensely rubbing each other with their hands along with heavy, intense kissing, working each other in to an almost violent passion culminating in stripping off their own and/or each other's clothes until they were naked and ready to fall onto the bed in a sexual frenzy. And everything in between, all of which she would help me explore if I desired. It was a clear message that learning sex from Crystal could take more than one night, if I wished and could arrange to spend the needed nights.

Since it was my first time, Crystal selected a slow build up to sex. She began by reaching out to slip her hands around my waist and drawing me to her. She slowly leaned in to kiss me softly. As I started to kiss her back, she gently pulled back, breaking the kiss. I wanted more and tried to lean into her, but Crystal rebuffed me by releasing her hold around my waist and bringing her right hand up to my chest, applying just enough pressure to hold me back. When I stopped my advance, Crystal slid her hand across my chest to my left arm and caressed my arm all the way down to my hand. She took my hand and led me to the end of her bed. She gave me a slight push as if to indicate that I was to move to the right side of the bed. As I started to comply, she let go of my hand and backed away and around to the left side of her bed. I looked across the bed at Crystal who looked coyly downward to the bed. I followed her gaze down to the empty bed. That's when the reality of what we were about to do hit me. That combined with the thought of just how aggressive my partner could be, scared me. Nervousness started to take over and I could sense that my body was on the verge of shaking. I had to look away from the bed and jerked my head up. My eyes met Crystal's and she looked shyly back at me biting her lower lip. Her demure, almost innocent look, worked to calm me.

When she sensed that I was ready to continue, she stopped biting her lip, looked straight at me, and broadly smiled at me with a hint of shyness. Crystal slowly raised her leg and reached down to slip off her shoe. Unconsciously, I began to mimic her. She repeated her moves with her other shoe. I did the same. She straightened up and when I had done the same, she brought one hand up to hold the top of her jeans and with the other hand, seized the zipper and pulled it down. Crystal then unbuttoned her jeans, slid her hands to each side and worked her jeans down past her hips. Once free of her hips, she let go and her jeans slid down her legs to the floor. As she stepped out them I began to copy what she did, and as I stepped out of my jeans, Crystal crossed her arms in front of her and seized the bottom of her pullover shirt. She briefly paused for me to do the same and then together, we started to pull our shirts up. Both of us worked our shirts up over our heads and then brought our arms down in front of us. Crystal slowly pulled one arm out of its sleeve, took hold of the shirt and pulled it down off the other arm. I quickly mimicked her actions. She held her shirt straight out to the side and paused for a moment before releasing her hold, letting the shirt fall to the floor. I, of course, did the same while locking my eyes with hers. That seemed to please her and a smile slowly spread across her face. I couldn't help but smile back and as I did so, she reached behind her back with both hands and unhooked her bra. She brought both hands back in front, crossing them as she brought her hands up onto her shoulders. She slid the bra's straps off her shoulders and stopped. She just looked at me, innocently. Suddenly, her look became a bit naughty and she dropped her hands down with her bra following, falling down and off her arms to the floor. My eyes instinctively followed her bra until it fell out of sight. I started to bring my gaze back up to reestablish looking into Crystal's eyes, but stopped when her breasts came into view.

Crystal let me stare at her breasts for a while before she broke the spell on me by slipping both of her hands into the front of her panties. She slid both of her hands to the sides of her hips and paused. Then, without any warning, she bent forward at the waist, sliding her panties down her legs as she did so. She stepped out of her panties and brought them up in front of her as she straightened up. Crystal waved them back and forth as if to catch my attention, then moved them off to the side and paused. With my eyes fixed on her panties, she let go. I followed them as they fell until the bed got in the way. I brought my gaze back across to Crystal and slightly up. What filled my view was something I had only seen in men's magazines. All of a sudden I realized that Crystal was totally naked. It was another dose of reality and my nervousness started to return. But I wasn't about to let it get the better of me what with my being so close to getting into bed with a girl for the first time. As a counter measure, I took a deep breath and as I let it out, I bent forward and pushed my shorts down towards the floor, slipping my fingers into the top of my socks. I peeled my socks down past my heels and then slipped my feet out of my socks and shorts. Free of the last articles of clothing, I straightened back up... and for the first time in my life; I stood naked in front of a girl.

It is difficult to find words that can relate how I felt. There was the feeling of something wondrous, begging to be explored, countered by embarrassment and a slight sense of shame that comes with the loss of one's innocents. There was a desire to see what differentiates the sexes, countered by a compulsion to cover up and look away. There was a drive to explore those differences by touch, countered by the fear of touching something so private that it had to be hidden from view. It was something one has to experience for one's self to fully understand. While I wrestled with my emotions, Crystal just smiled at me, giving me time to adjust to a boy and girl relationship that was so radically different from any relationship I had experienced before. As I tried to calm my mind, my gaze shifted from Crystal to the bed. The thought of what we would soon be doing on that bed again scared me. Thoughts of backing out rushed to the forefront, only to be crushed by the realization that this was something I had wanted to happen for some time. And here I was, in a setting so perfect that I would be hard pressed to find better, and with a partner that any young man would desire. I looked back up at Crystal and grinned.

Crystal picked up on my readiness and her smile changed to something more seductive. She bent forward and placed her hands on the bed. With the use of subtle head and eye movement along with running her tongue across and around her lips, she visually extended an invitation for me to join her and I did by bending forward and placing my hands on the bed. Both of us slowly leaned towards the other. We tilted our heads and closed our eyes just before our lips came together. Our kiss intensified as we continued to advance by bringing our knees onto the bed. Crystal began to rise up as she closed the gap between our bodies. I followed her up and moved forward to meet her. Suddenly, I became aware of her bare breasts pressing into my chest. Crystal slipped her arms around my waist and forcefully pulled our bodies together in a full upper body embrace. The sensations and my emotions were off the scale. The effect on Crystal was as if she were on fire with passion. Her hands were suddenly in constant motion all over the back of my body from my butt to the back of my head, all the while holding our bodies tightly together. I started to copy what she was doing. As my passions began to emerge, Crystal broke off our kiss and placed her head beside mine with her chin resting on my shoulder and drawing her hands up my back onto my shoulders while I continued to rub my hands up and down her back. She raised her chin upward, letting forth a heavy sigh. Crystal then pulled back from me, just enough to look me in the eyes. She had a big grin on her face with a look in her eyes that said she would soon have me. Yet again, the thought of what we would soon be doing scared me. Part of me wanted to pull away from her, but the rest of me wanted to hurry along to what would be the most incredible moment of my young life. Crystal seemed to sense the struggle within me and made the decision for me by leaning toward the head of the bed, pulling me with her. She continued to lean until we past the tipping point causing us to fall onto the bed landing on our sides. Lying together on the bed, naked, with our arms wrapped around each other intensified the conflicting emotions within me, causing me to pause and reflect on the moment.

There is a lot to be said of losing one's virginity to someone one is in love with. The counter to that is the opportunity to first learn and perfect all the techniques that define a total sexual experience, so that when one did come across that special someone, one would have the skills to rock their world in bed. Education won out over romance and crystal could see it in my eyes. She renewed the lessons starting with foreplay, but her teaching method changed as we progressed. Verbal instructions at the start were quickly replaced by physical directions, mostly by her hands and occasionally with other body parts, along with visual signals. The lack of verbal directions meant that I had to figure out what each movement meant along with what I needed to do in response with Crystal stepping in only when I couldn't figure it out, had missed something, or could be doing it better. Now, as to exactly what she was teaching me, that I'm not going to elaborate on as the thrill and wonder of discovery is very special and private to both Crystal and me. And as for how and what crystal taught me of the big ticket items that followed, that really is going to remain private. Sorry, but this show is not x rated and the censors have ordered the curtain to descended on this scene.

Morning arrived filling the bedroom with sunshine. I awoke to a recollection of the most incredible dream I'd ever had. I started to stretch and roll onto my back when I made contact with another person in my bed. Instantly I was jolted fully awake and pulled back from the other person with a jerk. I rapidly sat up, drawing the covers around me. My eyes quickly darted around the room and it became evident that I wasn't in my bed, I couldn't be, because I wasn't in my bedroom. The person next to me was facing away from me, but I could still see that it was a young woman, and she was naked! I was naked! It had not been a dream. My swift, harsh movements had aroused the young woman. She rolled over onto her back and looked up into my eyes. It was my sister's friend, Crystal. She lifted up the upper half of her body propped up by her arms with the forearms on the bed. She looked over at me with mischief written across her face and asked me if I had forgotten that I had spent the night with her. All I could do was stutter as I desperately tried to think of something that would save me. Crystal went on to admonish me by saying, "Tsk, tsk, keep that up and you're not going to score any points towards future dates, no matter how good in bed you are." That was it. There was no way I could recover. All that was left for me was to hang my head down, say I was sorry, and try to blame it all on being my first time. Crystal pulled her arms up and fell back onto the bed. She had a good laugh before she reached up to me with her nearest hand. She caressed my cheek and smiled at me while trying to stifle a laugh. That caused me to sigh and smile back at her. Crystal withdrew her hand and sent me off to the shower to wash off "her sent" (as she put it), so that my parents wouldn't catch wind of what I had done on my sleepover. I slipped out of bed and with my back to Crystal, gathered up my clothes off the floor, and headed for the bathroom, with Crystal making all sort of comments about my "cute tight butt".

My shower was a quick one; even though I spent extra time cleaning certain areas as had been suggested. Still, I had time to reflect on the nights activates. All of it was wondrous, from the simple act of touching a body so different from my own to the coupling of our bodies in a sexual climax. But it wasn't just the physical act of sex, for being in a bed together, with the whole night ahead of us, brought intimacy into the equation. It was something one cannot get in the back seat of a car, or sneaking off to some secluded room at a party, or out in the bushes in the middle of nowhere, all the while accompanied by the fear of being discovered. I had made the right choice of education over love, and I have yet to be given cause to regret it.

I finished up in the shower, dried off, got dressed, and came out of the bathroom to find that Crystal wasn't in the bedroom. It looked like she had dressed and headed for parts unknown. I found her in the kitchen ready to serve up a small breakfast. As she placed our breakfast on a kitchen table barely big enough for the two of us, she started to talk about the night's activities. I found it a bit embarrassing and was hesitant to talk about it, but Crystal persisted and eventually drew my feelings and experiences out into the open. She then added her own feelings into the mix. Of course her feelings and experiences were different from mine. Comparing what we each got from our encounter added yet another emotional layer to the night. One thing that I did learn about Crystal's experience that I did not expect, was that educating a young man in the bedroom was a new experience for her and she thoroughly enjoyed it. She hinted that there was more for me to learn, and asked if I would be up for it if the opportunity again presented itself. I had to admit that I was.

After breakfast, we moved to the front room of her apartment where the lessons began again, although sex wasn't the topic. Instead Crystal gave me pointers on how to dress for, and act on, a first date so as to "best impress" as she put it. Conversation topics were suggested with most being on my date and to a lesser degree, on me. There was also the need for each of us to give the other an insight into who we were, but not to the point of bragging. She stressed the importance on subsequent dates to discover the needs of my date and placing the satisfaction of those needs ahead of my own. As far as my wants go, I was never to force or pressure a girl into doing anything she did not want to do. I could talk to her about it, try to dispel any fears or aversions, but if she still said no, then that was it, period. In addition, I wasn't to dump her just because she wouldn't put out to the degree I wanted. There were a few more things along the same lines that Crystal touched on before wrapping it up by lecturing me on the practice of safe sex, and advised that girls my age were unlikely to have access to birth control, so the responsibility of prevention was mine. She went on to say that the only reason she didn't have me use a condom was that since she was in college she was able to get birth control pills from the campus medical office. Besides, since it was my first time, she wanted me to get the total feel of intercourse, part of which would be blocked by a condom. While this learning session seemed more like preaching than teaching, it was still invaluable. With the lesson over, it was time for me to return home.

The trip home was uneventful, but still filled with worry. Could my parents somehow tell I had spent the night engaged in sex? And what would tip them off, an odor, a look in my eyes, or maybe something in my behavior? I really didn't want to see them for the rest of the day, but there was no way I could avoid them for long and they would undoubtedly ask me about the cast party. And what could I say? After all, I hadn't spent that much time at the party. The pressure was on for me to come up with something, but I had run out of time. I was home.

I parked on the street in front of the house. Against advice to the contrary given by my conscious, I got out of my car and came around the front of it to the walkway leading to the front door. The trek up the walkway was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, made more so by my over active mind and not being able to see or know what waited for me on the other side of the door. I took hold of the door knob and tested turning it. It was unlocked and easily yielded to my hand with virtually no sound. As I pushed the door open, a thought came to mind that maybe my parents were occupied elsewhere in the house or in the yard and I could sneak in, announce I was home, and make a dash for my room. But it was not to be, for my parents were in the living room, reading the morning newspaper, and facing the front door, looking as if they had been waiting for me. There was no escape.

A quick tactical survey of the situation showed that I had a slight advantage. My parents were deep enough in the living room that they might not be able to pick up anything odd from me that would require further investigation. As long as I didn't close the gap, I should be safe and with the hallway that led to my room at my immediate right, there was no reason for me to enter the living room proper. My parents welcomed me home, but didn't ask me to join them in the living room. They did have some questions for me to answer, but they weren't too invasive and were more about if I had a good time. It was nothing I couldn't handle and I was soon headed for my bedroom where I spent the day up to dinner except for a brief covert mission to the kitchen at lunch time. The kitchen was empty and I quickly fix a sandwich to be eaten back in my room. There were no further inquires about the party for the rest of the day.

It was the next morning that my night with Crystal was in danger of being exposed. I had awakened from a decent night's sleep, gotten dressed, and headed for the kitchen to see what was for breakfast. I entered the kitchen to find my parents seated at the kitchen table with the morning local newspaper. As I approached the table, Mom folded the paper in quarters and turned it to me. She held the paper up for me to see with one hand and with the other hand, pointed to an article about the cast party being raided late Friday night by the police. It seemed that the party had progressed just as Crystal had predicted. But the big question was; where was I? For the second time in my life I was in a complete state of befuddlement and there was no way I could think straight enough to create a plausible story. In desperation, I once again turned to the truth, well, up to a point anyway. I explained that a couple of us saw what was developing and decided to move our celebration to another place. It lasted well beyond midnight, so I spent the night there. My parents not only bought it, but they praised my maturity! Wow, the truth really will set one free … as long as one doesn't divulge too much of it. I had dodged a bullet, but common sense said that it wouldn't be the last one if I continued to engage in sex while still living at home. It was a thought that occupied my mind for the rest of the weekend.

Act 2, scene 3

Monday morning found me back at school. Just beyond the main entrance I spotted a newspaper vending machine with the school paper in it. The play had made the front page, so naturally I had to buy a copy. I took the opportunity to read it while waiting for my first class to start. The article was a review of the creation of the play by some of the English major students as a class project and the performance given by the unique all boys acting club. Of course, being in a liberal school paper, no one was made to standout from anyone else. However, given the disproportionate number of references to my character and performance, I got the impression that I had done ever so slightly better than everyone else, if not having outright stolen the show. Still, the article was worth keeping and became the start of my acting scrapbook.

The student paper article was also well received by the English major students and two new class project plays were started. Both plays were finished with enough time remaining in the school year for the school's acting club to put on one before finals and graduation would shut down all extracurricular activity. The other play was offered to the all boys acting club and accepted. The casting call went out and I again auditioned for a part. I made the cut and was cast in the role of one of the supporting male teen characters. It was a little disappointing being cast in a male role, but then again, I had far more lines and was in more scenes than I had been in my acting début. There was also the extra challenge of interacting with girls that weren’t girls. I was feeling pretty enthusiastic about the play and my part as I read over a copy of the script, until I came to a scene where I had to kiss the "girl". I had no idea if I could do it, and I hoped that I wouldn't have to find out until dress rehearsal at the least.

The task of putting on a play, with limited staff and resources, (and again, no funding from the school) went as before with everyone having to wear more than one hat. The first rehearsal revealed a similar mix of newbie's and veterans, along with the same problems and learning curve. The only surprise was Crystal reprising her role as head of makeup, much to my delight. She had come to the first rehearsal to get a feel for the play and work out what she would need in the way of supplies. We quickly hooked up after rehearsal and went over my part in the play. She was as disappointed in my not being cast in a female role as I was, and offered to change that in a private dress rehearsal at her place. I instantly saw her offer as a lead to having sex with her again and hinted that I might be up for it, but first I had to learn my part, and come to grips with having to kiss a girl that wasn't a girl. She laughed a bit before pointing out that if I positioned myself so that the audience couldn't see what was happening, then I wouldn't actually have to kiss the "girl" at all. It was an all too simple solution that hadn't even come close to entering my mind. It was rather embarrassing and I tried to rationalize it by pointing out that I wasn't a seasoned actor and didn't know you could do something like that. I thanked Crystal by asking her out to dinner. She quickly accepted.

After a quick call home to let my mom know I would be eating dinner out, I took Crystal to a mom and pop run café popular with the high school crowd. She of course, had made many a visit to the same place when she was in high school and was happy at the chance to revisit an old favorite. We took a booth on the edge of the main crowd and after placing our order, I asked Crystal about college life and how her studies were going. She touched on how her skills were expanding into new areas, like the cinema and the possibility of getting into a hotly contested special effects class. She proudly pointed out that she was a lead candidate for selection due to her highly successful class project, the one where she was the head of makeup for the first play I was in. Her report not only gave an account of her duties but the trials and tribulations of having to deal with an all teenage boy cast, in a mixed gender and age play. It seems that her transformation of young men into young women was well received by her teachers as well as class mates. But it was her account of turning me into an adult woman that gained her celebrity status. She had made a detailed description of what she started with (me), the end result, and even included comments made by the audience during the play, and comments made by parents of the actors to me back stage, after the play. I had mixed feelings about being prominently featured in her report, but sort of rationalized it as owing it to her for what she did for me that night and the following morning. That quickly changed when Crystal added that she had been requested to repeat her work, on me, in costume, in front of her classmates and teachers. The thought of everyone staring at me, watching what I felt was a personal experience, was more than I could handle and I declined. Crystal wasn't going to take no for an answer and tried to sweet talk me into it. When that failed to sway me, she indicated that she would be very appreciative afterwards in a manner that left no doubt as to what she meant. It was apparent that I was getting another lesson about women and how some women are not above using sex to get what they want from a man. It is a very effective weapon in a woman's arsenal as I found out first hand when lust forced me to surrender and agree to do as she wished. We set a date in the following week after school on a day when there wasn't a rehearsal for the play.

In the days before the demonstration, I gave thought to just what I had gotten into. Having to be in the same costume I wore in the play meant I would have to ask my mom if I could borrow her dress. I also assumed that Mom had taken the dress back in to fit her and that it would have to be let out and fitted to me once again. I cringed at the thought of having to relive that traumatizing experience for a second time, but I had no choice. I finally worked up the nerve to ask about the dress and was rewarded with good fortune for she had yet to work on it, so it would still fit me. A sense of relief swept over me, but it was short lived as she then made the comment that she had yet to work on the dress because she was reluctant to wear it ever again. The reason she gave, was she thought it looked better on me than on her! I still don't know to this day if she was kidding, or was serious, or maybe something in between. What I did know was that it was going to take professional help to excise some disturbing images from my mind. One image in particular, in which the two of us are standing next to each other wearing matching dresses, but with me without makeup or wig. I've heard of matching Mother and Daughter dresses, but Mother and Son? Boy, that thought alone should be good for a year of therapy.

Mom had paused as if she were thinking, and then asked me when I need the dress. I gave her the date Crystal and I had agreed on. She quickly hinted that it would be alright, but I got the feeling that Mom was toying with me, waiting for me to relax before hitting me with some ultimate embarrassment. And I was right, for after a pause, she added a provision. I could borrow her dress, but only if she could attend the demonstration. Great, that's all I needed. Being turned into an adult woman in front of an audience was traumatic enough, having my mother being part of that audience … well, let's just say that with all the new trauma I had been subjected to, the idea of having a psychotherapist on retainer seemed like a prudent and economically wise move.

The following week passed in normal fashion up until the day of the demonstration. My time at school seem to drag by forever, but finally came to an end. On my way to the parking lot, I made a detour to the backstage area in the multipurpose room to pick up the wig I wore in the play. I took it along with its plastic bag cover off the stand and made tracks to my car. The time it took to drive way across town to the college where Crystal was, flew by far faster than I would have liked. Crystal had filled me in on where to park and how to find the classroom where the demonstration was to take place. I had relayed the directions to my mom so she could meet me there instead of my having to return home first to pick her up, something I didn't want to do given the prospect of my hooking up with Crystal afterwards. As I came in sight of the room, I spotted Crystal by one of the doors. She was engaged in conversation with my mother, who was holding the dress draped over her arm. If ever there was a sight to spread terror through me, then that was it. Given the situation, they were undoubtedly talking about the play, or worse, my relationship with Crystal. That was scary enough, but given Crystal's unabashed approach to just about everything, there was a strong possibility that Mom could gain a clue as to where I spent the night of the first plays cast party. The thought of the resulting conversation with both of my parents that would wait for me later that night sent the proverbial chill down my spine.

When I was able to get close enough to overhear the conversation between my mother and Crystal, I was able to ascertain that the subject under discussion had nothing to do with me. I was then able to greet both Mom and Crystal in a relaxed manner. As Mom handed me the dress she took the opportunity to embarrass me by saying, "Here's your dress, belt, and shoes dear. Oh, and I've sewn your bras cups (with padding), into the bodice so you won't be troubled about hooking the straps behind your back." Crystal broke out laughing while I turned bright red. With no small amount of anger I let Mom know that I did not like the way she phrased any of that. Mom started to laugh before telling me to relax and that she couldn't resist the opportunity to get back at me for some of the embarrassing moments in public I had pulled on her. She also pointed out that there was no one within hearing distance. I of course pointed to Crystal, who was still laughing. Mom waved me off and said that she had warned Crystal as to what she was going to do, so no harm done. Yeah right, it was clear that Mom had no idea of the relationship between me and crystal, or what we would be doing after the demonstration. Of course, that was assuming Crystal could stop laughing long enough to DO the demonstration.

Crystal managed to half way pull herself together and ushered us through the door. She then directed my mom to the viewing area, which was quickly filling with students, and then turned to me. She took the wig from me, saying that she would put it in place after the completion of my makeup and for the purpose of the demonstration I would also change into my costume after makeup. She felt that the transformation would have more of an impact on the audience if I stayed a boy as long as possible. She then led me to a table and two chairs in the center of the lecture area, with me following right behind. It was the first chance I had since entering the class room to get a look at where Crystal would work her magic. Standing above all was her kit on the table waiting to be opened up. But that's not what caught my attention. Arranged around the work station were three video cameras with cables running off to the far side of the room where sat a young man with three monitors in front of him. Looking out at the audience, who were taking their seats that were arranged in tiers like at a stadium; I could see four large video screens suspended from the ceiling. Great, my transformation into an adult woman would be up close and scrutinized by scores of people (and worse, by my mom). It was something new to get worried about.

When we reached the table, Crystal directed me to the chair she wanted me to sit in. The second chair was next to my chair and I quickly worked out that it was for me to drape the dress over the back of, and I did. I then placed the shoes and the belt on the chairs seat. I started to sit down, but before I could, Crystal had me pull off my shirt. I tossed it onto the chair next to me between the shoes and the backrest and took my seat while Crystal broke down her kit and made ready to work on me. I took the moment to try and compose myself and push the audience from my mind. All I wanted to do was just listen to what Crystal was saying about what she was doing with the hope learning how to apply makeup myself. It was a good plan and allowed me to ignore thoughts of what the audience might be thinking of me. Not even questions by students or the teachers as Crystal worked would cause me any discomfort. In fact, it was just the opposite as many of the questions helped me understand the sequence of steps in the makeup process. It was a lesson that would be of value in the future.

My transformation took much longer than when I was made up for the play, what with pauses to give the audience a better look or to point out how certain effects would be achieved before actually doing it, and so on. When Crystal was done and happy with the results of her labor, she picked up the wig and came around behind me so as to not block the cameras, and fit it onto my head. From the sounds and whispers coming from the audience, I gathered that the end result was as perfect as when Crystal made me up for the play. At any rate, it was time for me to change into my costume. With my costume on the chair next to me, it stood to reason that I was to change right there in front of everybody, something that was confirmed by a discreet whisper by Crystal as she made a final adjustment of the wig.

I bent down to remove my shoes and socks and straightened backup. I unsnapped and unzipped my pants and pushed them down as I rose up off the chair. I stepped out of my pants and draped them over my shirt on the adjacent chair. The dress was lifted up and held to facilitate undoing the front buttons. I stepped in and pulled it up, slipping my arms into the short sleeves. Crystal just had to get in on the act, just as she had done on that fateful Halloween night, and came up to me. She started to fasten the buttons from the bottom up as I adjusted the dress on my shoulders. As she finished with the last button, I picked up the belt and wrapped and hooked it around my waist before sitting back down on my chair to slip the shoes onto my feet. Finally, I rose up to make some adjustments to how the dress hung on me before I signaled with a nod of my head that I was ready. Crystal then presented the finished product to the audience to thunderous applause. She gestured with her hand for me to approach the audience. It was suddenly something I wanted to do and slipped into character. I sashayed up to the first row of seats at the left side of the room, turned and walked across to the other side. I started to backtrack with the intention of veering off to return to crystal, but those in the upper rows beckoned me to come up the side aisle so they could have a closer look. I found myself more than happy to accommodate them and redirected my path to, and up, the right side aisle. Many of those in the center of the room got up and leaned toward the aisle to get a better look. I paused near the top to strike a toned down vamp-like pose before turning around and descending back down. I crossed over in front of the audience to the left side aisle and started up. I had only made a couple of steps when I noticed my mom sitting just off the left side of the aisle. She was staring up at me with the most astonished look on her face that I have ever seen, with one hand covering her open mouth. That's when it dawned on me that even though she had watched me in the play, this was the first time she had seen me made up as a woman up close. Thoughts of what she could blurt out shook me. But fortunately she seemed to be in a speechless state and I continued on, repeating my performance on the first aisle.

My return to where crystal was signaled the end to the demonstration. Any member of the audience was free to come down for another look and ask Crystal any question they might have, and many took the opportunity. They came right up into my face and scrutinized Crystal's work to the nth degree. Some even directed inquires to me, asking about or commenting on not only on my appearance, but my actions as well. None wanted to believe that I was just a high school student and a beginning actor. I of course ate it all up, the attention, the disbelief, the accolades, and more. As the crowd thinned to just a handful, the attention dyed off accordingly, much to my disappointment. Still, a sense of satisfaction came over me, and I paused to dwell on this unexpected feeling. Could this be that something I craved back when I was twelve on the night I was almost caught dressed in my sister's clothes and acting like a girl but couldn't define? The more I thought about it, the more obvious it became, it was a major part of what I was searching for, and I wanted more. But that would have to wait for another day for it was time to change out of my costume and get my makeup removed.

With Crystal talking with her teacher, I headed for the makeup table and took off the belt, laying it on the table. Mom joined me and after briefly staring at Crystal's work, gave me her thoughts, not on how I looked, but on my performance in the audience. I really felt awkward and uneasy talking about my essentially impersonating a woman with my mom and tried to shrug it off, hoping she would change the subject. But she continued to prod me as I unzipped and peeled down the dress. As I stepped out of the dress, Mom reached out and took it from me. She draped it over her arm and picked up the belt as I slipped off the shoes and handed them to her. I grabbed my pants off the chair and stepped into them, quickly pulling them up and fastening them. Taking a seat on the chair I reached for my shoes and socks and started to put them on. I had nearly finished when Crystal and her teacher joined us. As her teacher thanked me for my part in the demonstration, Crystal pulled off my wig and tossed it on the table next to her kit. She then got to work removing my makeup while my mom praised her work. Soon it was all over. I put my shirt on, leaving the tails out over my pants. I grabbed the wig and looked around for the plastic bag as Crystal packed up and reassembled her kit. We all headed out of the room with Crystal's teacher locking up and then heading off for the faculty parking.

The rest of us headed for the student parking lot with the women engaged in small talk. Mom started to talk about dinner at home and it sounded like she was about to invite Crystal when Crystal broke in saying she was going to treat me as a thank you for submitting to the demonstration. It was obvious that Mom thought Crystal was going to treat me to dinner instead of what she was really going to treat me to back at her place. I didn't see any reason to correct her (and definitely would NOT have if I had). Mom just said for me to not be too late getting home as it was a school night. I promised her that I wouldn't be as we all split to head for our cars.

I quickly got to my car and even more quickly got it fired up. I made for the exit where I paused to allow Crystal to come up behind me. She then followed me to a sports bar, popular with the high school and college crowd, where I acted as if we were on a date. It was good practice, at least while it lasted. Crystal seemed to be in a hurry and I had to eat faster than I would have liked just to keep up with her. Soon dinner was done and we quickly exited to the parking lot and back to our cars. Once we got underway, I followed Crystal to her apartment. I parked where I had on my first visit and took a normal walk to Crystal's apartment. As the apartment came into view, I spotted Crystal already at the door, acting a little impatient. She spotted me and jerked her head as if she was saying for me to hurry up. I quickened my pace and was soon at her door which she had already unlocked and had pushed open. She reached back towards me, put her hand on my back at my waist, and encouraged me to move past her and into the doorway where she changed to outright pushing me, with both hands, into her apartment. As soon as Crystal cleared the door, she quickly closed and locked it. She didn't waste any time with small talk, instead she took me by the hand and practically dragged me along as she back stepped towards her bedroom sporting a big smile while biting her lower lip. Lust filled her eyes.

As soon as the bedroom door was closed, she attacked. Quickly, her arms were around me holding me tight to her as she kissed me hard with passion. I had no experience in this type of love making, so responded by copying her moves. It wasn't long before I started to experiment by changing the sequence of moves. Crystal was pleased by my progress and showed it by an increase in her passion. Our bodies were soon entwined with our hands still exploring each other's body. Crystal then introduced something new in the form of undressing while maintaining the growing passion between us. I tried to follow suit but found it rather difficult what with our bodies being pressed hard together and our hands alternating between exploring the others body, and stripping off our clothes. It became quickly apparent that Crystal was well practiced as she had stripped naked long before I could of. I guess she either took pity on me or could no longer contain her lust, for she broke off our embrace and assisted me in removing the last articles of my clothing, all the while sporting a big smile and subtly maneuvering me to stand with her bed right behind me. When she had me stripped naked and positioned where she wanted me, she put both hands to my chest and pushed me back into a sitting position on her bed. I looked up at Crystal who leered back at me just before she lunged at me like a linebacker blitzing the quarterback. I was slammed onto my back on the bed with Crystal on top of me and resuming her passionate embrace. And with that image in mind, we cue the curtain to descend.

It was some time before Crystal was satisfied and her passion waned. We engaged in some brief after play before I decided it was time for me to get up off the bed and hit the shower to once again wash off "Crystal's scent" so my mom wouldn't know just what Crystal had treated me to. I came out of the shower, dried off, and moved back into the bedroom, naked, to locate my clothing and get dressed. Crystal had already gotten dressed and was sitting on the edge of the bed. She took the opportunity to look me over as I scanned around the room for my shorts. I located them and started to move towards them when crystal shot up off the bed and positioned herself between me and my shorts. All of my attempts to get around her were thwarted and I soon stopped trying, taking a pause to work out what she was up to. Crystal stood there and stared at me with her hands behind her back and leaning slightly towards me with her neck stretched out, her lips slightly parted, and a dreamy look in her eyes. That's when I finally caught on to her game. I was going to have to "buy back" my clothing with some kisses. I reached out, took hold of her shoulders, and leaned in. Our lips met for a quick kiss, but Crystal wanted more.

I ended up kissing her again and again, and with each kiss, I turned her so as to work my way to my shorts. It wasn't long before I was in position to bend down and seize them. I stepped into my shorts and drew them into place as I straightened up. A quick look around revealed where my shirt had gotten off to. Crystal again got between me and my objective, and again I had to kiss my way around her. And so it went with each item of clothing, until only my shoes were left for me to "buy". By that time, I had come to enjoy the game and with a leer spread across my face, came at her one last time, but it was not to be. Crystal surprised me by unzipping her pants and pushing them, along with her panties, down off her hips. With a naughty look on her face, she reached up and placed her forearms on top of my shoulders, locked her fingers behind my neck, and applied gentle, but definite, downward pressure.

I knew what Crystal wanted, having been educated in oral sex during our first night together. The problem was, at that point in time, I wasn't comfortable with performing oral sex. It struck me as something rather repulsive and wasn't something I wanted to repeat. But then again, Crystal clearly got a great deal of pleasure from it, and if she was typical of young women, then it would be something women I slept with in the future would want from me. There was only one way to overcome my aversion, so I surrendered to the ever increasing downward pressure on my shoulders and went down on Crystal. All I will say of what took place is that Crystal assumed the role of director and perfected my technique, not so much with words, but mostly by sounds of pleasure when I doing it right and physical directions from her hands and pelvic region when I wasn't. Yet another valuable lesson not only in physical sex, but in understanding the meaning of sounds and movements a woman makes during sex.

Having paid the price to purchase my shoes in full, I sat on the floor to put them on. Crystal pulled up her panties and pants then caressed the back of my head as I finished with my shoes. I got up with the intension of making for the bathroom to, um, clean my face, but Crystal seemed to want something. I quickly worked out that she wanted to be kissed, so I obliged her with a hard, deep one, letting her get a good taste of herself in the process. It must have been what she wanted as her tongue darted into every corner of my mouth and ran around my lips as we parted. She stared into my eyes as she smacked her lips and gave me a sly, satisfied look. I thought the better of making some crude comment and just grinned back at her. As I turned away to head for the bathroom, Crystal slapped me hard on my butt, causing me to jump forward a foot or two. I turned and made ready to protest, but was met with a smug look. She quickly stuck her nose up in the air and turned away, headed for the bedroom door. I watched her open the door and disappear into the hallway before I turned to continue my trip to the bathroom. The image she left me with struck me as funny, and I laughed to myself as I entered the bathroom.

I wasn't long in the bathroom and emerged from it to an empty bedroom. I paused to look at the bed with the covers all rumpled up, and recalled why they were in such a state. I quickly came to compare my first night with Crystal and this new session. This time was different, in every aspect. Most notable was Crystal having been far more aggressive and when combined with her unabashed approach to pretty much everything, I was again reminded that restrained was not in her vocabulary. I have as of yet, to sleep with a woman as enthused with all aspects of sex as her. But there was another, somewhat disturbing, difference; this time had been devoid of any sense of intimacy, or any kind of bonding. It was just sex for the fun of it. Perhaps this session was another lesson, one in which I was to learn that there are many different approaches to sex and the type to engage in will depend on the women that I will encounter in my dating life. Or maybe she was helping me figure out just what I wanted from sex. If it was the latter, then she had succeeded for what we had engaged in was great, it was fun, it was thrilling, it was … emotionally cold. The experience left me with no doubt in my mind; I wanted the intimacy and the merging of emotions more than the physical sex. But that only comes in a committed relationship that engulfs the two lovers when they are snuggled up together with their naked bodies making maximum contact as they drift off to sleep, and that means having to spend the night together. I made up my mind right then and there: I wouldn't engage in sex with any woman unless we would actually sleep together. That would include Crystal, unless she really needed to educate me in something, although when we would have the time for it was anybody's guess.

With another lesson secure in my mind, I made a last check of myself in the bedroom mirror and headed out to find Crystal. She was waiting for me in the living room and her stance told me that it was time for me to go home. I made for the door, pausing just long enough to give Crystal a goodbye kiss. I let myself out and headed off for home. The trip passed in due time and I was soon parked in front of the house. Everything progressed as before except when I entered the house, no one was waiting for me. I hollered out my being home and my mom answered from the kitchen. Great, she didn't suspect a thing and I headed for my room with a sense of relief. I spent the rest of the evening going over the plays script in preparation for the next rehearsal.

Act 2, scene 4

Ah, the rehearsals. All was going well, until just before the dress rehearsals were scheduled to start. That's when a continuity problem between two related, but non sequential, scenes was discovered. Both scenes would have to be partly rewritten to make them work together. We would have to work on other parts of the play until we got the revised script. I was in both scenes, which meant I would have to re-memorize my lines and adjust my physical acting for both scenes. It was another helping to an already full plate that I carried into dress rehearsals. Of course the start of dress rehearsals meant the return of Crystal, but the chances of getting with her socially vanished when the revisions to the script were completed and passed out. As soon as the script was in my hands, I dived into the two scenes. It quickly became clear that what little free time I had would be taken up by my having to relearn my part as the changes were more extensive then what was need. It seemed that the authors had decided to improve both scenes by a slight redirection of the plot. If crystal and I were to get together, it would have to be sometime after the opening night performance.

The task before me of relearning a good chunk of my part was great, but I really put myself to it and was ready for opening night. My parents were again in the audience as were the parents of all of the actors. The play started on the advertised and progressed well with just minor mishaps, most of which went unnoticed by the audience and those that were noticed didn't spoil the performance. At the end, we were received well by the audience who insisted on us making more than one curtain call. When the audience played out, we retreated backstage to the usual chaos. I made my way to makeup, but found that Crystal was already working on someone. I took it as an opportunity to learn how to remove what little makeup I had for myself. The mirror behind Crystal was long enough to accommodate three chairs. I took the one on the end away from where Crystal was working. I started by watching what she was doing and what she was using. Crystal caught on to what I was up to and paused in her work to hand me a small cloth. She re-positioned the bottles of makeup remover between us. I seized one of the bottles and moistened the cloth. Copying what Crystal was doing, I wiped the cloth across my face. With some guidance from Crystal, I soon finished the removal of my makeup. She gave me a final inspection (and touch up) before I headed off to change out of my costume.

My parents spotted me as I came into the changing area and moved to intercept me. Dad surprised me with a hardy congratulation on a first rate job. He even offered up his very favorable opinion of how I compared with the other actors in a male role. It was a complete opposite reaction to his stolid assessment at my first performance. Mom was just as lavish with praise as she had been before. She also made the observation that those who were cast in the role of girls and women certainly looked the part thanks to Crystal's magic, but she felt that they just didn't totally come off as female as I previously had and was puzzled as to why. I didn't tell her that it stood to reason, since they didn't have my training or experience, instead I just shrugged my shoulders and shook my head as if I didn't know why. Dad was clearly unhappy with the conversation and started to force a change.

My dad wanting to change the conversation gave me the opportunity to setup sleeping with Crystal again. I used the same ploy of attending a cast party and possibly spending the night at a member's home. My parents were quick to give me permission since they felt I had shown so much maturity with the first cast party. My parents wished me a fun night and headed off for home. After changing out of my costume and back into my street clothes, I sought out Crystal to give her the news that fortune was again with us. She was of course at her work station, but she was too busy for me to engage in a private conversation, so I moved off to socialize with fellow actors. I brought up the topic of a cast party and discovered that there really was one. Great, it would be just like the first time; all I needed to do was let Crystal in on the plan.

I was some time before Crystal was free enough for a private talk. I burst in on her and dived right into the plan. Crystal suddenly became very upset, and verbally broke in. She said much, but one complaint stood above the rest; how could I just assume that she wanted to attend the party, let alone sleep with me? She glared at me, appearing to be quite offended but didn't say anything to that effect. I stood before her in a shocked and puzzled state trying to figure out what I had done. Crystal let me suffer for awhile before she gave me an ever so slight smile. It took a little longer before I caught on. I was being served up another lesson; this one was about interacting with a woman that I had some level of a relationship with. I eventually worked out that I had assumed too much, and not just about the cast party, but about engaging in sex afterwards as well. Given her unabashed approach to sex, I had come to think that she would have sex with me whenever the opportunity presented its self. It was a big error on my part, one that if repeated in the future, could cost me a relationship with someone I was developing an attachment to. But there was more to the lesson and I guessed that it had to do with setting the mood where she would want to extend the evening into the night. If I was right, then I was going to have to take a totally different approach then our first night, starting with giving her more up front than a cast party that we wouldn't be spending much time at anyways. So I retreated a few steps to compose myself, and then, in what I hoped was a gallant manner, I approached her anew and asked her out to dinner. A pleased look swept across Crystal's face as she said yes. The way she had answered me told me that I had guessed right and if I wanted more than dinner with her, then I would have to charm her and become a man she would want to spend an intimate night with.

Crystal cleaned up her work station and accompanied me to the parking lot. It wasn't long before we were underway with Crystal following me to a nice restaurant (read affordable and not requiring reservations). Open parking spots were on the sparse side and we ended up at opposite ends of the lot. We met up at the entrance where I escorted her into the restaurant. It wasn't too long before we were seated and looking over the menu. Crystal let me know what appealed to her and I ordered for both of us. As we waited for our meal, I recalled what she had taught me on the morning after our first night together. I started up a conversation based on the play, but soon turned it to getting to know her and her future plans while divulging a few things about me now and then. Crystal let me know how I was doing by flirting a bit with her hand in her hair and then by putting her elbow on the table, bringing her curled fingers up to rest her chin on, and shooting me a look of pure seduction. I cannot begin to relate the thrill that shot through me. I had to quickly grab hold of my emotions so as not to break the mood I had worked hard to create. I tried as best I could to look back at her in a sophisticated manner before reaching out towards her and placing my lower arm on the table with my hand palm up. Crystal reached out with her free hand and placed it in mine. The charge to my emotions would blow away any scale they could be measured on. The rest of our dinner followed along the same lines. I was totally smitten with Crystal even though I knew it was a bad idea. Even if she would have me as her boyfriend, a high school boy with a young woman who's about to launch a career rarely, if ever, works.

At the end of our meal, I settled up the bill and we left the restaurant. Once outside we were going to have to part to make for our cars. Crystal turned to me and with an air of mischief, asked me if I would like to come back to her place for awhile. A big smile formed on my face, but I became tongue tied and all I could do was nod my head yes. With a sly smile, she turned away and, with a walk that took me back to when she and my sister taught me how to act as a vamp, slowly disappeared into the far reached of the parking lot. I practically sprinted back to my car.

The process of following Crystal to her apartment, parking, and meeting up at her door went as it had before with no new surprises, but the way she invited me in to her apartment was very different. Her movements were slow and seductive, setting a different mood for the events to follow. Once inside she offered me a seat on the couch and then asked if I would like a drink. Being under the drinking age by more than a couple of years, I didn't know what to expect, but said yes anyways. Crystal headed off for the kitchen and it was sometime before she reappeared carrying two tall tulip glasses in one hand and an ice bucket with what looked like a Champagne bottle in it in the other hand. She put it all on the coffee table and pulled the bottle from the bucket as she sat down next to me. The bottles label came into view and I could see that it was a non alcoholic sparkling apple cider, much to my relief. She popped the cap off the bottle and poured it into the two glasses. Crystal picked up both glasses and presented me with one. We raised our glasses to each other and took a sip. We engaged in some small talk as we emptied our glasses. With a refill, our talk continued but quickly died off as the glasses were again emptied. With the last drops from our glasses, talk was replaced by gazing into each other's eyes, gradually adding subtle caressing. Soon, I was ready for much more, but Crystal wasn't giving me any sign that she desired anything more. I decided to take the initiative and make a move, hoping to stimulate her into wanting sex. I slowly leaned in, getting closer and closer. Crystal held her ground as I got within inches of her face. She tilted her head, closed her eyes, and offered up her lips. So that was it, she wanted to be seduced.

We engaged in a make out session that started to intensify as time passed. Soon, I decided it was time to once again take the initiative and snuggled up against Crystal. Just as I started to put my arms around her, she pulled away from me and looked into my eyes while biting her lower lip. I continued to press the initiative with a simple nod of my head towards her bedroom. Crystal consented with a grin and started to rise up off the couch. She took my hand in hers and rose up with me following. With a shy smile, she took the lead and gently pulled me to her bedroom. As we entered, a thought came to mind, if the mood in the bedroom was to be the same as on the couch, then I was to be the aggressor and would be expected to thrill her in bed. I quickly formed a rough script and got to work. And judging by the sounds she came to make, combined with the intensity of her embracing me, I judged my performance was successful. It was to be confirmed with the morning's review, which was added to my mental scrapbook.

The night had been very different from our first night together, for I was Crystal's lover and not her student. As her lover, I had taken the various sex practices Crystal had taught me, and created a play that was stimulating for both of us. Crystal had made her approval known, not with a critique or offers of any suggestions, but by simply snuggling up with her back to me, pulling my arm over her, and while holding it tight to her body, drifting off to sleep. It was a huge confidence builder for future nights with women I would come to date.

The night's difference extended to the morning after. For starters, I awoke and knew where I was. Instead of panicky movements, I used gentle strokes of my fingers to arouse Crystal from her slumber. We engaged in some small talk before I switched to teasing her. She faked being annoyed at my antics and kicked me out of bed. I was off to the shower. It was a quick one, even with making sure I thoroughly cleaned Crystal's "scent" from certain areas as before. I was soon dried off and was back in the bedroom.

Upon entering the bedroom, I noticed laid out on the bed, a cream colored peasant blouse with a dark brown scroll like print and a plain brown skirt. I assumed that Crystal would be dressing in them after breakfast. I redirected my attention to finding my clothes, but the only piece I spotted was my shorts, which I slipped on. Another look around, showed that the clothes Crystal had worn when we had stripped for sex were in a compact pile at the foot of the bed. It was a mystery until it finally dawned on me that Crystal had dressed in MY clothes as a way of forcing me to dress in the outfit on the bed. It was clear that I would again have to buy back my clothes by submitting to some pleasure of hers, most likely being made up as a woman once again.

Actually, I rather liked the idea of donning the persona of a woman once again and quickly got dressed in the outfit on the bed. Of course, I just had to see what I looked like, and being in women's clothes seemed to trigger something in my mind that caused me to walk over to a full length mirror in a womanly fashion. The image that came back at me was an interesting look, but not one I would have selected on my own. The style, colors, and patterns reminded me of movies I had watched that had scenes of southern Europe. The blouse was baggy, hiding all that was (or in my case, wasn't) under it. The neckline was rounded with a ruffled collar and plunged down to where the top of the breasts would be, mirrored in the back, and was so wide that the blouse barely hung on my shoulders. The sleeves were short and puffed. The skirt was very full with a slight flair and hung from my waist in great folds down to mid calf. It was disappointing, but I guessed that Crystal had something in mind and decided it was time to find out what it was. I turned away from the mirror and headed out of the bedroom to seek her out.

Upon entering the living room, I found Crystal sitting on the couch, apparently waiting for me. She was wearing my clothes as I had speculated. She greeted me with a fake startled look, bringing both hands up to her cheeks beside a wide open mouth. She expressed "surprise" at my being a crossdresser, and proceeded to raze me but good. I quickly pointed out that the same could be said of her, considering what she was wearing. That caused her to break out laughing. I ignored it all and tried to pry out of her just what she was up to. Crystal refused to answer (assuming she could while trying to hold back the laughter) and instead got up off the couch. She came at me, indicating with her hand to turn around. After I did so, she pushed me back into the bedroom and on into the bathroom.

Leaning against the vanity with my back to the mirror, I relaxed and silently submitted to whatever crystal wanted to do to me. She opened up a drawer in the vanity and took out a bottle of liquid foundation. It was much darker than any foundation she had used on me before and didn't match my skin color at all. She used a ball of cotton to dab it not just all over my face, but down onto my neck, shoulders, and upper chest. But she didn't stop there as she continued on down my arms onto the back of my hands. Finally, she smoothed it out with a sizable round brush. A slightly lighter hued power of the same color base was applied using a smaller round brush to the prominent features of my face. The rest of her work followed lines I had already experienced at her hands and I assumed it was in keeping with the look Crystal wanted. She reached towards the end of the counter top with one hand and came back with a wig that was similar to the one I wore in the first play. She fit it on to my head and fussed with the styling a bit. I knew when she had finished when she stared at my face from all angles ending with a sudden positive nod of her head. I had been anxious to sneak a peek all during the process and quickly turned around to face the mirror. The finished product ranked up there with her Halloween masterpiece, for I had not only changed gender, but ethnic group as well. I had the olive complexion of a Mediterranean woman, and with the outfit and wig I was wearing, I'd say Sicilian. As I stared at the image in the mirror, I started to look down at the blouse which triggered an overwhelming urge to see the entire work, from head to toe. Crystal grinned at me as I hurried past her and into the bedroom, headed for the full length mirror.

Crystal leisurely came in behind me as I turned back and forth in front of the mirror. She again razed me about being a crossdresser. This time I ignored her as I was too caught up in the transformation, and the more I marveled at who I had become, the more my mind realigned with the person I appeared to be. Later on, I was to learn that I was practicing a form of method acting, although at the time, I just thought I was enjoying the chance to act as a woman again. Crystal continued to tease me to the point where I had to prove to her that I wasn't a crossdressed teen boy, but was an adult Sicilian woman with all of the power and strong will they are known for. I started by turning away from the mirror and strutting past Crystal with my nose slightly up in the air. I headed out of the bedroom with Crystal following behind in silence, perhaps as a result of being intrigued at my change in behavior.

My trek ended in the kitchen where I pulled out a chair at the small kitchen table and indicated for Crystal to have a seat as I moved on to the refrigerator. I pulled open the door and a look inside produced enough ingredients to make an omelet with an Italian theme. The spice rack yielded up some dried oregano. The omelet was prepared and served along with some toast and coffee (something I was just starting to partake in at home). All the while, I treated Crystal as she had treated me on our first morning after, which seemed natural seeing as how we both were wearing the other's clothes. It wasn't until I finally joined Crystal at the table that I realized I had enjoyed myself in the total immersion of the role swap. I wanted more of the same but with a different look, and Crystal could make it happen. It was something I knew she wanted to do because she had tried to entice me into doing just that at the end of that wondrous Halloween night back when I was twelve.

I started praising her latest masterpiece, comparing it with what she was doing for the play, and started to say that I would be up to exploring other looks she wanted to try when she interrupted, saying that she thoroughly enjoyed the makeup challenges that the all boys acting club presented, but she wanted an even more diverse environment that she could only find in the major entertainment centers of the world. It was a wake up call for me, and a hint of what was coming. It also brought breakfast to an end, and Crystal soon led me back to the bedroom for makeup removal and a swap of clothes.

Crystal ushered me to the bathroom where she pulled off the wig and got to work on removing the makeup from my face while I worked on removing it from everywhere else. Once the removal was completed, she led me back to the bedroom where she positioned us next to her bed and without any fanfare, started to undress. It was a clear message that there would be no games to play, no payment in sexual contact, and no flirting typical of young lovers. We just removed the clothes we were wearing and laid them on the bed next to us. Once we had both stripped to our underwear, Crystal surprised me by advancing towards me, stopping just short of making contact. She leaned in and kissed me, holding the kiss as she started to side step around me. I caught on to what she was doing and turned with her until we had traded places. I broke the kiss and stepped back until I was next to my clothes on the bed. We dressed in silence which reinforced a growing feeling within me that my intimate social time with Crystal had come to an end for then, and for the future. It was time for me go home.

As Crystal walked me to the front door, she laid bare her feelings on all we had done together and what she had come away with. I felt the need to do the same and expressed my gratitude for what she had done for me. And it wasn't just about the sex education and dating advice, but the transformations and dress up play as well. The end result was my forming a very special and deeply personal bond with Crystal even though I knew that I would probably never see her again once the play we were both connected with ran out. All too soon, I was out the door and headed for my car.

The walk to where my car was parked was very different from the first time I had spent the night with Crystal. There were a lot more people out and about, engaged in various activities. The shadows cast by people and objects were much shorter than before. A glance up at the sun told me by its position that I would be arriving home a couple of hours later than after the first cast party and sleepover, but I didn't think anything of it given the way things went with my parents before. But that instantly changed the moment I set foot inside the door, for my parents summonsed me into the living room to stand before them. That told me that I was in serious trouble.

Mom started the inquisition by asking me about the cast party. From the tone in her voice and the look on my parent's faces, I sensed that my parents knew I had not attended the party. Not knowing just what they did know meant that I would have to reveal where I had been, but only in increments until they revealed what they knew. So I started by saying that I hadn't gone straight to the party as some of us wanted to eat something more substantial than party fair, so opted to go to a restaurant first instead. It was quickly apparent that Mom had not expected that answer and was thrown off her game. Dad picked up the ball and asked, if I was in an all boys acting club and was going to this restaurant with fellow actors, who was the WOMAN I met up with outside the restaurant? There it was, the privileged information I didn't have. I had been spotted by someone, be it family friend, neighbor, or relative, who reported to my parents that I was with a girl who was clearly beyond high school age.

The key element was being spotted at the start of our dinner date and not during or at the end. There was a good chance that my parents didn't know it was just Crystal and me, and no one else from the club, or what took place between us during dinner, or where we went after. With that in mind and with some careful wording, I asked my dad if he was referring to Laura's friend, Crystal, who was in charge of makeup for the play. Dad's surprised look told me that he may not have known she was involved in the play. Mom's reaction was quite different. She had become aware of Crystal's volunteering to do the makeup for the current and previous plays as a result of my recommendation when she had met her outside of where the makeup demonstration took place. She then asked me how I came to know of Crystal's makeup expertise. I explained that I had first met Crystal back when I was twelve, when Laura took me to her for some Halloween makeup, although I left out what I was made up as. I continued with how the services of a makeup artist had not been secured for the first play and how that triggered my recalling her professional work on me for Halloween which resulted in my recommending her for head of makeup for the first play and so forth. I ended by saying that even though she was a student volunteer, some of us felt she did a professional job and should be compensated in some way, so we invited her to the restaurant on us before going to the cast party. Of course I didn't tell them that "we" and "us" was I or that the "cast party" I would later attend would be at Crystal's place or that she and I were the only ones there. I don't think my parents were completely satisfied with my story, but fortunately they didn't ask any more questions. I guessed they figured that I wouldn't be doing anything with my sister's friend, or I would be too young for her to mess with. It was yet another close call and I didn't want any more. To that end, I decided that I would no longer have sex with any girl until I had a place of my own and preferably in another city.

With my ban on sex, I was forced to concentrate all of my thoughts and efforts on my acting, a task that was aided by a favorable review of opening night in the school paper. I again seemed to be favored in the review and the article was added to my scrapbook. It also served to inspire me to give my best effort throughout the remaining performances, and interact with Crystal on a more professional level while remaining friends. With the end of the last performance of the play, the acting club shut down for finals and graduation. It looked like graduation would bring the curtain down on my acting as I would no longer be eligible to be a member of either the school acting club or the all boys club. It was something that Crystal and I talked about at the end of the last performance of the play as she removed my makeup for the last time. She had suggested I look into acting school, but that would be in direct conflict with my parent's wishes, and I was not prepared to go there. It was something I would have to think about, but with finals and graduation to contend with, there simply wasn't time.

Act 3, scene 1

It was in the first few days of summer vacation that I started to miss acting. The desire to perform on stage before an audience, to entice that audience into believing I was someone other than who I really was, built up within me until it overpowered my reluctance to confront my parents. I had to at least try and convince them to allow me to enroll in an acting school instead of a college. It was on one night after dinner with nothing of interest on television that I laid out my plans. Dad wasn't happy about it as I had expected, but instead of yelling at me, we had a lengthy discussion. Toward the end of our talk, I finally convinced my dad that I would be useless in college and my first year grades probably wouldn't make the cut for the next year. It would be money down the drain. On the other hand, acting school would be about the same cost as a mid range college, and since it was something I really liked, I would probably do well. Given my dismal track record all through school and successful record with the acting club, Dad had to agree. But he stopped short of giving me his blessing, for he had one last question, could I be a good enough actor to beat out all of the thousands of aspiring actors to make a career of it, or at the least, a living? I had to admit that I didn't know, but I countered by pointing out that with acting school, I at least had a chance at a career, but as a college dropout, I had no chance. Dad didn't have an immediate counter and had to pause to think. I took the opportunity to added one last argument; if I stunk at acting then I could enroll in a trade school where I had a better chance at finding something I liked and could make a living from. Dad said nothing; he just nodded his head in agreement. And on that note, our discussion came to an end.

With my dad somewhat on board, I began my search for affordable acting schools, but didn't come up with much. I sent off for info packs and application forms, hoping to find at least one that would meet my needs. Everything arrived within a week, but I didn't find much of interest. Needing a new source, I contacted other members of the acting club, who had also graduated, for some different leads and found out I wasn't the only one seeking an alternative to college. A meeting was setup at the off campus café with each of us bringing what we had collected on our own. Individually we had only scratched the surface of possibilities, but collectively we had info on the vast majority of schools in the US and Europe. We spent a couple of hours talking about what each of us had found. From what was presented by the others, I was able to find a few schools that were ideal for me, that being, affordable and far enough away from home I could have an intimate social life. Applications were exchanged or copied in a nearby stationary store and filled in. my applications went out in the next day's mail.

It was toward the end of summer that letters of acceptance or rejection started to arrive. None of the schools where I had been accepted at had a campus that came anywhere near the size (or diversity) of a typical university, so it was a sure bet that there were no facilities for housing. I selected one with a service that helped new students secure an apartment near the school at an affordable price and contacted the service by phone to see what they had. Most of what was available was on the outskirts of town, with only four units within walking distance of the school. I was advised that if I wanted one close to school, I needed to come out there now and secure it as they were going fast. I instantly agreed and gave the housing service what I wanted in an apartment (which wasn't much) and said that I would be up there on the coming Saturday. With the end of summer vacation just a couple of weeks away, I decided that I wouldn't return home after getting an apartment but go ahead and move in. The free time before classes started would give me a chance to get a lay of the town and maybe make some new friends. Recalling the hassles of helping my sister move from home to her dorm, I packed light and easily fit all in my car. With my parents following in their car, we were off.

The housing service member I had talked to on the phone selected the best match from what was available. He was able to put a hold on the apartment until I could arrive and look it over. I wasn't the picky type, and so didn't have any problem with praising and accepting his choice. In keeping with my main requirement of being as low cost as possible, the apartment was a single, which meant that it had a living room that doubled as a bedroom. The far wall of the living room had two open doorways each positioned near their respective end walls. The right one led to a kitchen, and the left one was an "L" shaped hall leading to a bathroom. The hall was lined on the left and far sides with closets and dresser drawers. Some basic furniture in the living room and kitchen completed the unimpressive but serviceable look. I would have an assigned parking spot in one of the carports which was great as I planned on walking to school and my car would be somewhat protected. The landlord had a talk with my parents and decided it was safe enough to lease the apartment to me. Moving in didn't take long and soon my parents and I were ready to hit the town for dinner.

My parents chose a family style restaurant that appealed to them. It was typical of its kind with guests who were either families with young children or mature adults over fifty. The food had the look and feel of home cooking and I made a note to eat there if I came down with a case of homesickness. Dinner didn't take long and we were soon headed back to my apartment. With the lack of sleeping facilities offered by my apartment, my parents elected to spend the night at a motel and would meet with me in the morning for breakfast. That night, I had a hard time getting to sleep. Being alone in what was to be my home, far away from family, was kind of scary and a bit depressing. Thoughts of attending a college in my home town, where I could still have an apartment (for my social life), and pay home a visit in the evenings as needed, fought with the situation at hand in my mind until I became exhausted and sleep was finally able to take over.

Morning came with my being rousted out of bed by my alarm clock. I got dressed and was half way through my morning routine, when the doorbell sounded. A look at the clock suggested that it would most likely be my parents. I stopped what I was doing to let them in before finishing up getting ready to go out to breakfast. As we exited my apartment, I almost ran into a young woman who appeared to be my age and a lot faster than the girls I knew in high school. She welcomed me to the complex with some obvious flirts, right in front of my parents! She was being extremely bold and my mind wrestled with it trying to figure out why. The odds-on reason was, since she caught me (a teenage male) being taken to breakfast by my parents, I might not be very experienced with girls, presenting her with the opportunity of educating me in bed. If that was it, then she was in for a surprise. The young woman's boldness was easily picked up on by my parents. Mom was visibly upset and the look on her face said that she strongly disapproved of the young woman. Dad, on the other hand, seemed rather proud, and I swear I could hear him telling me to go for it, even though he didn't say a word. She introduced herself as Irene and mentioned her apartment number before starting to move on. I stammered back with my name, and as she worked her way past me, she shot me a look that was a clear invitation to come see her. I instantly thought "why not" as she seemed to fit in with my resolution of waiting until I had my own place before engaging in sex again, which I suddenly had a desire for. As the thought of sleeping with her took over my mind, the worry of being away from home and on my own seemed to vanish.

Breakfast was back at the family restaurant and the rest of the morning was spent checking in at the school, touring the facilities, and shopping for supplies needed for my new apartment lifestyle. My parents had a long drive back home, so took leave just before noon, leaving me to find my own lunch. They dropped me off at a fast food joint not far from my apartment, wished me well, and headed for home. After choking down a less than noteworthy burger, I had the desire to head back to my apartment. But there was one item essential to my new lifestyle that I needed to pickup first and that was a box of condoms. A quick look around reviled a drugstore that would be a minor detour from my intended path. The trip didn't take long and I was soon headed for my new home with a box of condoms stuffed into a tightly clutched plastic bag.

As I walked, I tried to take note of my surroundings, but my disappointed stomach redirected my thoughts to dinner and a strong desire to not repeat my experience of lunch. Not knowing the town, I had no idea where a good place to eat was outside of the family restaurant, which I didn't want to make a habit of. As I entered the apartment building and came into the center courtyard, a thought came to me, why not enlist Irene to show me around town. It would be the perfect way for me to get to know her and vice versa, and if all went well I had a pretty good idea as to where the tour would end. The pleasure of spending the night with Irene revisited my mind, and all I had to do was stop by her apartment and spin a story of being new in town, and alone, and so on, and so on. It was a good plan with a high probability of working, but Irene had a plan of her own.

Irene was at the pool in a deck chair wearing a very skimpy bikini. She had placed herself so that I would have to pass her to get to my apartment. It was obvious that she had been waiting for me and she undoubtedly spotted me coming long before I spotted her. She adjusted her position on the deck chair to better catch my eye before she waved her hand and called out to me. That threw me off my game, and all I could do was stammer something back that didn't make a whole lot of sense. She looked me over with her eyes coming to rest briefly on the box shaped bulge in the tightly grabbed plastic bag. A sly smile spread across her face before she said something about having enough sun and got up, intentionally taking a pose that seemed to invite me to look her over and I did, much to my embarrassment when I realized what a sexist thing I had done. My action and reaction must have fit in with her plan as she gave me a sexy look and asked me if I would walk her back to her apartment. My brain finally kicked in to gear just as she started to move away from me, but maintained eye contact. I just gave her a big smile back, and came up beside her. We walked to her apartment engaged in small talk, mostly about her time in the apartment complex. It turned out that she had been living there for more than a year. I used that as a lead into my wanting to get a lay of the town and finding a good place for dinner. Irene jumped on that and said that she would love to show me the town and promised that the tour would end at the perfect place to eat. I accepted her offer just as we came to my apartment where I stopped just long enough to pop inside and stash the bag onto a storage compartment in the wall mounted backrest of the living room couch. After closing and locking the door, we continued on to her apartment. She invited me in while she changed clothes.

Irene's apartment was a one bedroom, one bath, corner apartment on the same floor as mine. It was decorated in an eclectic free spirit style with one wall covered from floor to ceiling with paintings in several different styles and covering a wide variety of subjects. While waiting for her to change, I took the opportunity to look not just at the paintings, but all around for clues as to what she was about, things that I could use as conversation starters. Irene soon emerged from her bedroom dressed as eclectic as her apartment's decor. It was a look that defies being categorized, although artsy seems to have the biggest claim. Whatever it was, it didn't excite me romantically or even sexually. It was quite a contrast to the way she had acted toward me up to that point, but figuring it out would have to wait as she didn't waste any time leading me out of her apartment. Our trip took us back towards my apartment and on down to the center courtyard. She led me out the back of the complex to the carports where her car was parked, which she insisted on taking. Her assigned spot was on the side that faced the rear of the apartment complex as compared to my spot which was on the other side of the carport. We got into her car and were quickly underway.

The town had many places of interest for young adults and I enjoyed being able to give them a detailed examination without having to watch for traffic. Irene would occasionally park in front of some shop and together we would explore what it had to offer. Most of these places had some kind of an art theme and Irene seemed to know everyone we met in those shops. And so it went up until sunset when we both started having pangs of hunger. I was about to suggest we stop for dinner when Irene turned into the parking lot of an outdoor sidewalk café and took the first empty space. We walked to the front of the café and took a table off to the side. It was a warm night, and I found sitting in the open air as the night sky took over, rather pleasant. A waitress came out and warmly greeted Irene. Irene in turn introduced me to the waitress and vice versa. It turned out that Irene worked there as a waitress, which had the benefit of us receiving the best in food and service. After we placed our order, I got the conversation going by commenting on things of interest I had seen in her apartment. I wasn't finding anything that would sustain a conversation until I mentioned the paintings. Irene prodded me into pointing out which I liked and which I didn't. She had an anxious but nervous look on her face. A small voice in the back of my mind warned of caution. It wasn't until I finished my carefully worded evaluation of the paintings that Irene reviled that she was the artist. She had painted about half of them while studying art in Europe as an exchange student. The rest were done since her return. That quickly explained her attire and the art theme of the tour of the town. It also meant that we had some common ground as I too was studying one of the fine arts.

After Irene recounted her trials and more pleasant experiences in the art schools of Europe, I came back with my attending the local acting school. Irene seemed to like that and pursued me into relating my acting experiences. When I told her that my first acting role was in my senior year at high school and I was cast as an adult woman, she refused to believe it, after all, why would a teenage boy need to be cast as a woman? Surely there was a teen girl who would fit the part, and if not, why not bring in an adult woman? I had to explain that I was in an all boys acting club and that all roles were played by teen boys. She thought that I was pulling her leg and then teasingly speculated on the sight of boys dressed in girl's clothes. I took a more serious attitude and countered by saying that all of us who had female roles had been made up as teenage girls or women and passed as such judging by the many surprised looks and compliments we received backstage. Before Irene could respond I added that all of us received positive reviews in the school paper as well. She shot me a doubtful look and questioned me if I had the review with me so as to prove what I claimed. I responded that the article was in my scrapbook back in my apartment, where I suggested she could see for herself that what I said was all true. She quickly took me up on that with a very pleased look on her face that seemed to say that my apartment was her objective all along. Thoughts of what might be waiting for me once we got back to my apartment motivated me to settle up the bill and make ready to leave the café.

The trip back to my apartment was uneventful and seemed to take forever, but eventually I was ushering the first young woman into my new apartment. Of course, having just moved in, it wasn't a very impressive atmosphere that greeted Irene. She made the comment of my decor needing a woman's touch to which I quickly agreed. I invited Irene to have a seat on the couch while I retrieved my acting scrapbook from the hall closet. With the book in hand, I quickly joined Irene on the couch and opened it up. She read what little was in it and expressed amazement. It made for some lively conversation with Irene coming around to claiming that perhaps I was really a woman currently acting as a man for some class project. It was an obvious lead into what she really wanted from me, but I decided to first act like I was put off by her remarks before offering to show her just how much of a man I was. She smugly challenged me to try it, so I leaned in to kiss her. Instead of backing away, she threw her arms around my neck and pulled us together, planting her lips firmly on mine. We engaged in some intense make out until we were both ready to take our passion to bed.

Being a single's apartment, my couch was also my bed. The rather deep backrest was separate and attached to the wall. The sectionalized upholstered front of the backrest was top hinged with storage compartments behind. The sitting part of the couch was a mattress and box spring on casters and pulled out to serve as a bed for one, or for two who were intimately involved. We got up together and I pushed the coffee table a couple of feet away. I turned around and bent down to pull the bed out. The heavy, fitted cover/bedspread was hastily pulled off and left in a pile at the foot of the bed. I turned to Irene with the thought of us slowing stripping off our clothes in front of each other as Crystal had done with me, but Irene had a different idea. She came at me with her arms extended out in front of her. She wrapped her arms around my waist and drew her body to mine. She kissed me deeply, but as I kissed her back, she withdrew, drawing her hands along my waist. As her hands came to the sides of my waist, she started to come towards me again in order to continue caressing my body as her hands continued their journey along my waist. When Irene's hands came together in front of me, she changed from caressing to seizing the top of my jeans. She quickly unbuttoned and unzipped them. She then slipped her hands inside the waist band and slid them back around to my butt. Irene pushed my jeans downward, caressing my butt as she did so. She followed my jeans down and was soon on her knees in front of me. With my jeans down around my ankles, Irene looked up into my eyes as I stared down at her. She reached up, grabbed the waistband of my shorts, and pulled them down to my jeans. With a big grin and a naughty look, she got to work pleasuring me in ways I could never have imagined both in feel and things she did. Not even Crystal's technique could come anywhere near matching Irene's.

When she had brought me to the level of arousal she wanted, she stood up with her hands behind her backside and looked at me with a smug attitude that seemed to say "let's see what you can do". I didn't want to do it, but I knew I had to reciprocate if I wanted to get her into bed. I approached her the same way she did me with one slight difference. I didn't just slip my hands inside her jeans waistband, but purposely slipped them inside the waistband of her panties. Also, instead of slowly sliding her pants and panties down, I sent them downward in a couple of jerks, bending over at the waist with arms fully extended to thrust them all the way to the floor. It was as if to say that I was in charge and was going to pleasure her on my terms. I straightened back up to look deeply into Irene's eyes before finally going down on her. With the pleasures she gave me firmly locked in my mind, I knew I would have to become inventive and started to experiment. As she reacted, I quickly interpreted her reactions as I had learned to from my experiences with Crystal and was able to intensify what she found to her liking. She quickly climaxed and as her pleasures diminished, expressed her opinion of my efforts with just her hands, eyes, and facial expressions. As I rose up off my knees, I caressed her body with my hands, slipping them under her top and working them up her body bringing her top along. As I worked my hands around to in back of her shoulders, Irene raised her arms up over her head, allowing me to slide my hands up her arms and remove her top. I was in for a pleasant surprise, for as we both lowered our hands, I could see that Irene's bulky top had very effectively hid her being bra-less. A huge grin spread across my face, much to Irene's satisfaction. She grinned back at me and then removed my shirt sending a thrill through me. With both of us in a high state of arousal, the bed sheet and blanket were jerked back. We hopped onto the bed and embraced with our lips locked together. And as I dim the lights, the curtain descends on our little scene.

Sex with Irene was really good, and even though she was well versed and practiced in the art, I was able to make a good enough impression on her that she wanted to continue seeing me on a frequent basis. Of course, if I was going to be dating Irene a couple of nights a week, I was going to need a job to pay for it. It was a couple of days later that fortune smiled on me and I got a job as a period dressed actor and guide at a historical site that paid well but still left me to wonder if it would be enough. Fortunately, our dates ranged from a full blown dinner and theater to just dinner and a night at one of our apartments. I was able to spread out the big dates so as to have enough money to cover all. It was always a blast and we continued to date until my school work cut into my free time to the point of forcing me to cut back on the frequency of our dates. Eventually, Irene grew tired of taking a backseat to my education and moved on to someone who could devote more time to her. Of course I didn't like being dumped and was in a funk for a couple of days until it dawned on me that Irene was shallow and was just looking for someone to provide her with a better time than she could on her own. The sex was just a way of keeping the good times rolling. I wasn't so much missing her, but was missing the sex. Irene was definitely not the one for me to have a long meaningful relationship with.

After getting over Irene, I started to date the young women in my classes at school, but none of the relationships that developed, felt real. It took more than a couple of breakups for me to realize that budding actresses were only looking for someone who could jump start their career and anything less was not in their choice of leading men. Combined with my failure with Irene, I was beginning to wonder if I wanted a meaningful relationship with a woman at all or if I would be happy with just sex. If I wanted the later, then finding a woman that would hop into bed would be rather easy at school and at most of the surrounding restaurants. All a guy had to do was strike up a conversation, find out their wants and dreams, and imply that he had resources that would fit at which point the woman would practically drag the guy off to some place private and let him take her. It would last until the woman realized that the guy was a phony. But that wasn't how I was educated in arousing a woman's desire for sex, so I soon gave up on dating and devoted all of my time to my study.

In spite of my social life problems, my time at the performing arts college was well spent. Over the course of more than a couple of semesters, I took a fairly diversified program of acting classes. With each class, I broadened my acting horizon and got a better picture of where my interests in acting lay. The teachers didn't use a grade system per say, but gave out reviews of how well we applied what we learned in actual acting performances. These reviews would end up in my scrapbook and would come to serve as inspiration to get through rough times. We also received points that accumulated as we worked our way to the end of our school life at which time they would be cashed, in the final of all finals. It was all valuable to a potential career as an actor, but, for me anyway, the curriculum fell short in one aspect; none of the classes included acting in an all male cast or at the very least, a man acting as a woman. It was something I had come to miss more and more as I worked my way through the school.

Not getting what I wanted at school meant I would have to find it with employment as an actor in some cutting edge stage group. To make myself more attractive to one of these groups, I also took a number of non acting classes to show that I could do more than just act, kinda like what I had to do in the high school acting club. Two of those classes were on makeup. The first one I took was on how to apply makeup to one's self to fit the role one was cast in, but it didn't address having to change one's gender to fit the role. That came, sort of, with the second class taken in my final semester. It was for those who wanted a career as a theatrical cosmetologist and was in two parts. The first part was the one I was interested in as it was on makeup and revealed the techniques needed to get an actor, male or female, ready to go on stage or go before a camera. I figured I could take what I learned about applying makeup to an actress, add in what I learned in Crystals demonstration, and apply it to myself, enabling me to slip into the character of a woman not only for a performance, but whenever the mood struck me. The class even required the purchase of a professional kit, which I thought would fit in with my goal, but an examination showed that it contained mostly theatrical makeup and related supplies. There was very little that a woman could use for her everyday makeup. I would need to do some shopping, but the thought of me being a man and buying women's makeup in public was something of a no go. As to the classes second part, it was on hair styling and was of no interest to me at the time. It was at that point when I dropped the class.

Act 3, scene 2

Eventually my time at the acting school approached an end, but before I and my fellow actors could graduate, our acting abilities were to be reviewed by our teachers through our partaking in what I guess could be called a final school performance. It was to be before a live audience that not only included friends and relatives, but the student body, the general public, critics, and most importantly, talent scouts. We were each to act in two scenes, with the first to be chosen from a catalog of unrelated scenes depicting various types of acting scenarios. The student with the highest accumulated point total got to choose which scene and part he or she wanted first. The second highest chose second and so on. By design, there were twice as many parts as there were actors so that each student would be able to find at least one role that best showcased his or her talents as his or her main scene. The second scene and part was to be selected from what remained either by volunteering or by the luck of the draw among those students who only had one part. We had been given a week to read over a description of the scenes and the parts within them and make our choice along with several alternatives in case the part we wanted was taken by someone ahead of us. At the end of the week, we were to meet in the school theater to make our selections.

There were a lot of graduating students, but my point total was high enough for me to snag a leading man role in a challenging scene. There were several characters, each with a very different personality and emotional state, and my character had to interface with all of them, switching back and forth, constantly adapting to each ones idiosyncrasies. It would be an excellent test of my abilities and talent … but it was not the part I really wanted. The part I wanted above all others was in a scene that appeared to feature two young women. In the scene, the two characters are engaged in an argument about the younger character's opposition to the older character's life choice, but just what that choice was, isn't mentioned. Each member of the audience is enticed to form their own idea as to what the argument is about and would have to wait until the end to see how close they came. As the scene approaches the end, the argument peaks and in frustration, the younger character snatches a wig off the older character's head revealing that she is really a crossdressed young man. The argument then becomes clearer as it's revealed that the crossdresser is really the younger character's older brother, who wants to become a woman through HRT and SRS. It would be a tricky scene to act out and would require a coordinated effort by the two actors so as to be convincing in their roles and maintain the surprise as the scene progressed and as their characters changed, something only achieved with hard work and a lot of time spent together. The crossdresser's part seemed tailor made for me, but making a crossdresser role my prime choice would surly cost me the challenging career making scene, and might even have social consequences. I had to choose the other role as my main choice, hope that no one would claim the crossdresser part, and then volunteer for it. Luck was with me and the part went unclaimed. It was also one of the last parts to be put up for volunteers. There were no immediate takers, giving me the chance to raise my hand along with the comment: "If no one else will do it, then I will." I got the part, and without any snickers or crude remarks.

Once all of the parts in all of the scenes were filled either voluntarily, or by draw, the rules of how we were to carry out our scenes were laid out. Most importantly, there were no directors, so it was up to the actors in the scene to work with each other to flesh out their parts and set the flow of the scene. We would be judged not only on our acting and our interpretation of the script, but also on how well we interfaced our character with the others. It was a tall order as actors can be the most egotistical people one could run into. As to setting the scene, the majority of any props we felt were needed could be requisitioned from the prop department, but the costumes were to be supplied by the actors. We were also given the choice of doing our own makeup or working a deal with the cosmetology students. The meeting was then thrown open to questions, after which we were directed to a series of tables up on stage where scripts for each scene were laid out, waiting to be picked up by each of the actors in that scene.

Picking up a copy of the script was a good way to meet the other actors in our scenes to work out a rehearsal schedule, coordinate costumes, and so on. The scene around the tables was a bit chaotic, but I managed to spot a sign folded in an inverted vee for my second choice sitting on top of a script. As I pulled the script from under the sign, a young woman with pink hair styled in a short pageboy and dressed in an urban style, approached me. As she extended her right hand, she introduced herself as Siena. She was playing the younger sister to my older crossdressing brother and seemed to be quite taken by my "taking a career risk", as she put it, with such a difficult role made more difficult by the demands of the character. She went on to express a concern that because of the comment I made when I volunteered, I might not put as much effort into this role as I would in my first pick, which might reflect poorly on her performance. I assured her that I would give the part my all. She still looked a little concerned, so I leaned in and whispered that I had prior experience acting as an adult woman so I should be quite convincing in the role. That took her by surprise, which then slowly morphed into a leer. She insisted that we start work that very night at her apartment. I quickly agreed and she gave me her address and directions.

Having taken care of one part, I turned back to finding the script for my main choice. I finally found it, along with the other actors in the scene. After we introduced ourselves, we got down to working out how we would approach rehearsals. It was decided that we would take a couple of days to thoroughly read over our parts before meeting in a room at the school to rehearse. Issues that concerned the actual production of the scene were brought up and partially resolved. What remained would be addressed at the first rehearsal. With that, we broke up, with each headed off in a different direction with my goal being to find a quite place to get some dinner and read the script for my scene with Siena before meeting up with her.

I had recently learned of a good sandwich shop that would be free of adults with children and wasn't popular with teens. The shop wasn't far from the school and I was soon placing my order for a pastrami sandwich. I retired to a corner with adequate lighting to await my sandwich and read my script. A cute waitress, who appeared to have three or four years on me, brought me the sandwich when it was ready, noticed the script, and used that to strike up a conversation. She introduced herself as Dawn and after confirming that I was a student at the acting school she asked what the script was about. I had to make apologies about not being able to tell her as it would give away the surprise ending and she would have to attend the performance to find out. She was up for that, but only if we would get together afterwards to discuss the scene and the way it came off. I expressed my liking the idea but added that I didn't know if I would have the time available to do so. She gave me a look that said I would want to make time as she headed back to the kitchen. A big smile came across my face as I watched her walk away with an obviously forced hip action that reminded me of Crystal during my vamp training. She was close to Crystal's age and a thought came to mind of what she could teach me that Crystal hadn't during my sex education. A note was made to see her again just before the performance and make a date. With my social life getting a new gig, my attention was forced back to the script and the sandwich, and I soon finished both. The time of meeting up with Siena was approaching so I gathered up my stuff and started to head out. I managed to catch Dawn's eye before reaching the door and gave her a slight wave goodbye. She returned in kind along with an obvious flirt. A big smile spread across my face as I headed out of the shop.

The trip to Siena's quickly became stressful as her instructions were rather vague. I had to do some backtracking to find and stay on the right route. Eventually I found the right apartment building and parked on the street out front. Given the problems I had in following Siena's directions just to find the building, I thought it wise to consult a layout of the apartments at the entrance, and it was a good thing I did. Armed with better directions, I was soon knocking on Siena's door. It was quickly opened and I was greeted by Siena who enthusiastically invited me in, closing the door behind me. After some small talk we got to work on the script.

We discussed the scene and how each of us thought it should play out. We weren’t on the same page, so to speak, and it took some time to work out our differences. It was a valuable process as we both acquired a far better understanding of what the scene was about. We were both open to the other's ideas and were able to work out just how our characters had to interact to best keep the audience interested and guessing as to what was really happening. We both penciled in notes in the scripts margins that reflected on what we had agreed to. It took us well into the night and would have been a good place to stop, but neither of us wanted to. We just had to do a read through. As we started to read our lines, I slipped into character, started to speak in a higher voice, and almost unconsciously added some typical female gestures. Siena was surprised by my actions and had to admit that I could indeed act the part, although to be thoroughly convincing, to where she claimed it would help her interface with my character in the manner needed, I would have to be in costume. She put forth the idea that all rehearsals should be dress rehearsals. The thought of being able to spend a lot more time dressed and made up appealed to me and I quickly agreed. The night ended with us agreeing to meet the coming Saturday morning to discuss what our costumes would be.

I didn't need an alarm clock to be rousted out of bed on Saturday morning. I awoke long before I needed to with my mind filled with images of all of the outfits I had dressed in or had been dressed in. A few were of the right look, although most would have to be "aged" to be appropriate for the young woman my character was trying to be. Not having any female attire meant that I would have to borrow an outfit from the wardrobe room at school, although I learned early on that the selection of everyday wear was rather thin. A thought came to mind that I might try to borrow a dress from Siena. Of course, that was assuming she would have something that would fit in with one of the outfits I envisioned. With that thought in mind, I got out of bed and engaged my morning routine. Soon I was heading out the door filled with a desire similar to what I experienced when my sister dressed me in her favorite dress. I practically ran to my car, quickly got in, and speed off for Siena's with little traffic to slow me down.

Siena greeted me at her door with even more enthusiasm than I had, and quickly invited me in. She started off by describing the outfits she had come up with. They fit the scene well and I couldn't resist visualizing all in my mind with me wearing the ones meant for my character before coming back with what I had envisioned. Our ideas differed somewhat and it took a little time to merge the best of both of our ideas into a guideline for assembling our costumes. I was hoping that Siena was drawing on her own wardrobe and brought up the possibility of borrowing what I needed from her. But she claimed that none of her clothes fit in with what we had decided on for either of our characters. Sporting a slightly mischievous smile, she suggested that we go shopping at an outlet store that was promoting a clearance scale. I instantly came out against such an idea as buying a dress meant that I would have to try it on, and while as an actor, I could walk around backstage in a dress without anyone giving it a second thought, having to try one on in a store in view of an ignorant public was a different matter. Siena came back with just a simple question; what if I went shopping as a woman? She would loan me an outfit and wig and would also put her makeup at my disposal. I wasn't ready to give in, so she hit me with one last bit of logic: if I was as convincing in the role of a woman in a play as I claimed, then I should be just as convincing in public. She didn't know just how right she was, for I had been convincing as a girl in public back when I was twelve, although I decided not to revile that to her. Instead, I nodded in agreement whereupon she ushered me to the bathroom and showed me where she kept her makeup. She again gave me a sly look as she left me to my work saying that she would put together an outfit that fit in with her look and would leave it on her bed for me. I nodded my approval and turned my attention to Siena's makeup.

It was the first chance I had to put what I had learned in class and from observing crystal to use on me. Anticipation of what I could achieve filled my thoughts until I looked over Siena's makeup. It was limited in choice, telling me that Siena didn't wear much makeup even when going out. There was also the problem of not knowing what style or color of clothes I would be wearing. I figured it would be best to stick with just disguising my male features and add some eye distracting color after getting dressed. The process went well and after some trial and error, I had to admit that with a wig, I could pass as a young woman unless examined at close range. Still, I felt rather pleased with myself and strutted out of the bathroom, headed for the bedroom.

What awaited me on the bed were indeed items of clothing that fit with Siena's current look and style. But while she was wearing jeans, a loose drab peasant blouse with a high turned up collar, and sandals, she had pulled out for me, a straight, denim maxi skirt and a light, breezy floral printed blouse with a high ruffled collar, which was somewhat brighter than her blouse. There was also a pair of panties, a bra, and a pageboy wig that matched her hair style but not her color. The wig was bright blue while Siena's hair was bright pink. My first thought was, could Siena be saying pink for girls and blue for boys? Given the blouse and the look she had given me as she left the bathroom, I got the feeling that she was up to some plot designed to cause me embarrassment in public. Her designs seemed to extend to the skirt, given that she was wearing jeans. Or perhaps she was hoping that I would complain, and beg to exchange the skirt and blouse for something that wouldn't draw everyone's attention to me instead of her. It would be something she could tease me about to no end. I wasn't about to give her the satisfaction, so with a defiant air, I took off all of my clothes and laid them on the bed.

I started dressing by slipping the panties on. The fit seemed odd as there was a slight pressure in front that I hadn't noticed the last time I had dressed back in high school. That caused me to look down where upon I was greeted by a bulge that women, whom I had seen in their underwear, did not have. While it wasn't what one would call big, there was a possibility of it influencing the front of the skirt. I decided it would be best to check it out before continuing getting dressed. The skirt was quickly put on and checked. Being made of a stiff material and not cut to fit around the legs like pants, the front panel of the skirt was stiff and smooth enough to not give me away. Of course, my mind wouldn't accept reality and saw far more than what was there. At that time I had yet to learn of a gaff and its use, so I had no idea on how to eliminate the bulge. After some thought, I hit upon wearing the blouse out over the skirt, hoping it would be long and loose enough to hide what really wasn't there in the first place.

With the final appearance settled on, I returned my efforts to finish getting dressed. The bra was next, but when I picked it up, I froze. My childhood aversion to bras had surfaced. I tried to convince myself that I was just being silly as I had worn a bra on more than one occasion. Granted, it had been a number of years since I had last worn one, but that shouldn't matter. I made an effort to brush it all aside by focusing on the best way to put it on. Hooking it in front and twisting it around was the way I had last done it, and would be the easiest. But a new feeling came over me and I found myself reasoning that if I was to present myself as a young woman in public, then to slip into the right mind set, I should do things as most young women would. That meant slipping the straps up my arms onto my shoulders and hooking the bra behind my back. In spite of my fumbling a bit, success came fairly quickly. I felt strangely proud of myself, and with that, my aversion to wearing a bra faded to the point of disappearing and never came to mind again. My mind set was indeed becoming female, at least for the task ahead.

The bras cups were of the soft kind and didn't present a very feminine look with my lack of breasts. I would have to stuff them with something, but what? My first thought was to use my socks, but one whiff of them put an end to that idea. Looking around the bedroom, I spotted a box of tissues. I quickly pulled a large handful from the box and wadded them up. The ball of tissues was coaxed into one of the cups and massaged to even out the shape of the cup. The result was fairly natural looking and should definitely pass with the blouse on. The other cup received the same treatment with some minor adjustments to match the volume of the first cup. It didn't take long to change into the rest of the clothes and slip my feet into the sandals. A little more time was needed to put on the wig and adjust my makeup, as best I could, to match my outfit. The skirt had front pockets and I transferred my wallet and change to them before checking myself out in a mirror attached to the back of the bedroom closet door. The skirt and blouse tails did the job of hiding the slight bulge in my panties, and the high ruffled collar of the blouse did the same for the slight bulge in my throat that women didn't have either. With my overall look being quite passable, it was time to exit the bedroom and make for my next scene via the hallway.

The hallway gave me a little time to adjust how I walked in the skirt. It didn't have much of a walking vent and consequently limited my stride. With my legs having to stretch the hem of the skirt to it maximum elongated opening just to cover enough ground with each step, I was constantly being reminded that I was wearing a woman's skirt. I managed to make a go of it and entered the living room to parade before Siena, pausing now and then to strike a pose aided by typical female gestures of hands and body. She quickly conceded that I could indeed pass as a woman. And with that, we were headed out of her apartment and for her car.

I was hesitant to leave Siena's apartment, but it wasn't that I didn't want to be seen dressed as a woman, I just didn't want anyone who had seen me enter Siena's apartment as a male to make the connection between me and the blue haired woman leaving the apartment with Siena. In a play, my acting as a woman would be more or less accepted by the audience, especially if I was part of an all male cast. But in an outdoor public setting, people would see me as a crossdresser and might have (and possible express) a negative opinion about me. It wasn't something I wanted to have to deal with even though it might help me get in touch with the character I was to portray. It was simply more than I wanted to deal with at the start of a new adventure. Fortunately, the route we took enabled me to avoid coming in contact with the vast majority of people who were out and about. Those that we did run into gave us a surprised look, but judging by where they were looking, it was because of our matching hair styles with conflicting unnatural colors. None seemed to make the blue for boy's connection. Score one for me.

We reached Siena's car without my being made, and were soon off to the outlet mall. Siena had selected a store that would most likely have what we needed, but with the store having a sale, the parking lot in front of it was crowded, forcing her to park some distance from the store. That meant I would have to make a lengthy walk and be exposed to the public view long before I could somewhat lose myself amongst racks of clothing. It should have caused me some worry but didn't. In fact, it was surprisingly easy for me to get out of the car and into the open. Perhaps I was being spurred on by my earlier experience at the apartment building, or perhaps my mind was treating the situation as if acting in a play. There was one more tantalizing possibility, just maybe, my mind was transitioning to girl mode, meaning, I wasn't acting as a girl, I WAS a girl. The idea seemed to please me, so using all I had been taught by my sister and the acting methods learned in school, I fully immersed myself in the role.

With my mind latched on to the thought of my becoming a girl, there came the thought of what kind of a girl should I be? It stood to reason that since I was dressed like Siena, and had a matching hair style as well, I should act like Siena. As we walked through the park lot, I observed how Siena moved, gestured, and talked and started to mimic her. By the time we reached the store, I had a pretty good feel for what it took to be a "Siena". My efforts didn't go unnoticed by Siena and she seemed to embrace my transition by treating me like a best girlfriend or maybe even as her sister. Inside the store, our combined efforts resulted in everyone viewing us as free spirit young women with a wide range of looks on their faces. More odd looks were directed our way as we picked out clothing for our characters as none of it fit our look or personality. Still, all went well with no one catching on to our little secret which reinforced my being a girl. I was enjoying my new identity until the time came when I had to try on the clothes Siena and I had selected for my character.

Being an outlet store, I didn't expect the changing area to be what one would find in a full retail store and it wasn't. There were stalls, full length mirrors, and benches arranged around the walls with all facing the center. The stalls were made of shoulder high pipe frames from which were hung curtains that formed the sides and front, descending to knee level. The back of the stalls were the walls of the changing room. It was not exactly a secure environment for me to change clothes, but with my mind in girl mode, I didn't feel that the bulge in my panties or my bra being stuffed with tissue would be a problem if I kept my back to the front curtain. That would also hide the bulge in my throat until I could put the dress on as it had a cowl neckline that draped down in back instead of in front and would cover the front of my neck. The real danger was knocking my wig off in a room filled with women in various states of undress. The consequences that would come with that happening was something I didn't even want to think about.

Most of the stalls were taken and we had to split up and take stalls some distance apart. Even in girl mode, I was a little apprehensive about changing clothes in the presence of so many women and it took me longer than it should have. I came out of the stall and spotted Siena playfully posing in front of a mirror half way between where we changed clothes. Suddenly she stopped, and then surprised me, and anyone looking her way, by reaching up with one hand and giving her hair a yank. It came off in her hand. It was a wig. With one hand, Siena started to finger comb her natural brunet hair. It was styled in a very short boyish pixie cut with the front sweeping across her forehead. She looked herself over before turning to me and shooting me a grin across the distance between us that had treachery written all over it. She made a quick upward jerk of her head as if challenging me to do the same. There was no way I was going pull off my wig and reveal my black hair in a very definite boy's cut. Instead, I turned away from Siena to a mirror on the adjacent wall and checked myself out. In the mirror, I spotted Siena coming up behind me. Fearing she had mischief on her mind, I quickly turned around and gave her a look that said "Don't even try it." She started to look downward and pout. Suddenly she broke out in a big grin and started to giggle drawing the attention of many of those around us. She made some exaggerated movements of hands and body as she loudly voiced her opinion of how our outfits fit the characters in the scene. Afraid of what she would say about my role; I interrupted her with some wild gestures that mimicked her and quickly agreed. I then said that we really should hurry up and move on as we needed a few more items to complete our costumes (with an emphasis on costumes). Not wanting to give her a chance for some embarrassing rebuttal, I retreated back to my stall to change clothes. Siena busied herself by filling in some of the more inquisitive women on our shopping for our final performance at acting school. I tried to change as quickly as I could (while minding my wig) so that I might be able to cut her off before she could reveal my crossdresser role. Fortunately, she didn't get into particulars and soon headed back to change. As I finished up, I began hoping that no one there would be attending the performance for obvious reasons. But then again, there was the element of them finding out that there had been a man in the women's dressing room with none of them having been the wiser. Suddenly, I was filled with a naughty sort of satisfaction that manifested its self as a big grin on my face.

Having started to change before Siena, I was ready before her, so I took a seat on a bench nearest the dressing room entrance to wait. My wait was long enough to give me a chance to observe how women dressed and undressed. I picked up on a few subtleties and differences and took note. Siena, with her pink wig back on, joined me and together we made for the checkout counter. Siena, still in a mischievous mood, jumped ahead of me and piled her stuff on the counter first and turned to me with a triumphant air. With my having emulated her in the dressing room fresh in my mind, I just couldn't help but smile and giggle back at her like some young and free spirit girl out with her best girlfriend. Siena loved it and responded in kind. The clerk rang up and bagged Siena's things, then did the same for me. With bags in hand, we headed for the store entrance. Our actions at the cashier had drawn a lot of attention to us that followed us to the door. I loved it, but it come to an end as we exited the store and headed for Siena's car. The most thrilling adventure I had been on yet, was reaching its end and it unexpectedly seemed to bother me.

We soon reached the car and Siena opened the trunk. As we put the bags in the trunk, I couldn't help reflecting on my new adventure. I had loved every moment of my being a girl and shopping as one, and didn't want my fun to end to the point of suggesting that we check out all of the clothing stores in the mall. Siena was intrigued and quickly took me up on it. We set out on foot and entered each store in turn. We continued to act with wild abandon drawing stares from all who were in the stores. Of course, anytime we came on clothes that either fit our look or fit the look we had agreed on for our characters, we just had to try them on and model them for each other in plain view of everyone in the store. Fortune was again with me as I found shoes for my character on clearance and actually found a pair of black pumps that fit my feet. I had just enough money and purchased them. Soon after that, we came to a store with a fair selection of wigs also on a clearance sale. It was an unexpected opportunity to cross off another item on my list as one wig looked to fit my character's needs. The display included a mirror and Siena positioned herself to shield me from view so I could swap wigs. It was a long hair wig of a style that a crossdresser might select, but not so stereotype as to give away my character's true gender. Siena agreed with me that it would work, so I decided to buy it, but I didn't have enough cash. That wasn't a problem for in our tour of the mall, I had spotted an ATM that wasn't too far off. I quickly swapped wigs again and handed Siena the new wig. I tried to make a dash for it, but my skirt quickly reminded me that that wasn't possible. If I wanted to move fast, then I would have to employ some kind of quick shuttle step. Fearing that would draw far too much attention or worse, I opted for a brisk walk. On the way out of the store, I spotted a small purse with shoulder strap. My character didn't need a purse, but I did, besides, the price was right. I noted its location and headed out of the store. Upon reaching the ATM, I withdrew more cash than needed for the wig and purse as there was something that needed to be picked up on my way home. The trip back to the shop was again as fast as the skirt would allow. The wig was retrieved from Siena and I headed for the cashier, picking up the purse on the way. With a new bag in hand, we continued our exploration of the mall's shops.

Our fun lasted well beyond lunch time and we finally surrendered to our stomachs complaints. It was back to the car. Getting out of the crowed mall took some time, but we survived and were soon at an eatery that blasted the surrounding area with rock music. The place was very popular with young couples and groups. The food was okay, but for me the real payoff was a chance to watch and take note of how young women ate and interacted with their boyfriends or girlfriends. Unconsciously, I started to act as they did in my interactions with Siena. Soon lunch was done with and we headed for Siena's car with the intent of returning to her apartment.

The trip back to Siena's apartment went well with traffic being relatively light, and we were soon safely inside, ready to rehearse our scene. With our agreement that all rehearsals would be dress rehearsals, we both changed into our newly purchased costumes. Siena was dressed in black slacks that had a formal flair about them, paired with a stiff, long sleeve white shirt, and low heeled black pumps. I was wearing a dark electric blue sheath with a reverse cowl neckline, and a hem that was a good three inches above the top of my knee. Black pumps with four inch heels and the black shoulder purse completed my costume. We both took off our wigs, but while I put on the one I had bought, Siena merely straightened out her own hair. Both of us made adjustments to our makeup as best we could from what was available. Finally we were ready to pick up our scripts and get to work. As we read our lines, we started to act out the scene, giving it life. With my mind still in girl mode from the morning and lunch time actives, our acting aided my slipping deeper into the role of a young woman. This rubbed off on Siena, translating in her character trying to disavow my character being a young woman, something sure to mystify the audience. Of course the moment my wig would be pulled off, I would have to switch back into male mode with obvious female undertones and I did, without any trouble. It was as if the wig was the switch that controlled my mind being set to male or female.

We continued to work on the scene throughout the afternoon up until it was time for dinner. We took a well earned break and put in a call for a pizza delivery. When it came, I answered the door and took care of the bill. The delivery guy looked me over with a grin on his face that said he liked what he saw. I couldn't help but give him a flirt as I closed the door. His mouth dropped open in surprise and he tried to blurt out something just as the door closed in his face. It all pleased me and I turned away from the door with a look of pure satisfaction. Siena had caught the whole thing and claimed I was being mean to him. As I walked past her on my way to the kitchen table, I bit my lower lip, looked at her slightly over my shoulder, and cocked my head upward with a pleased look spread across my face. With a big smile, she called me a naughty girl, much to my delight.

After having eaten our dinner, we bounced ideas off each other concerning how our characters interacted in the interest of improving our performance. We came up with a couple of things and gave them a try. The results went undetermined as we grew tired and our acting started to suffer. We decided to call it a night. I went to the bedroom where my boy clothes were, but instead of changing into them, I gathered them up and started to stuff them in the bag my dress had been in. Before I put my pants in the bag, I transferred everything that was in the pockets to my new purse along with what I had put in the skirt's pockets. A last check around was made to make sure I hadn't missed anything. Satisfied that I had everything, I shouldered my purse, and headed out to the living room fully dressed much to Siena's surprise. I explained that with my character being a full time crossdresser, I needed to experience what it was like being dressed in public, alone, to get a better feel for my character. I don't know if she bought it, but it didn't matter as I had some shopping to do and it would be best if I did it as a woman. Not having any appropriate underwear with me, meant I would have to borrow what I was wearing. Siena was okay with it and with that, I was out the door and headed for my car.

My destination was for one of the major department stores. The town I was in didn't have the particular store I needed, forcing me to make a half hour drive to a city that did. I pulled into the first major mall to present its self and spotted the store I was looking for in the middle of the complex. I found a parking space not too far from the store entrance and with shouldered purse, made for the nearest door. As I stepped up off the pavement onto the courtyard in front of the store, I noticed a man approaching from the right. He seemed to be headed for the same door I was. He reached the door ahead of me, pulled it open, and surprised me by stepping back to hold the door open, for me! A hard to describe tingling sensation spread through my upper body. He made eye contact as I moved past him, reinforcing the sensation. Having no experience in such matters, I just thanked him and quickly moved on.

The department I wanted first was cosmetics, which I spotted at the other end of the store where it connected to the malls interior. I went from counter to counter until I found the one that had what I was looking for on display in the counter show case. A nearby saleswoman came to me and asked if she could help me. I responded by saying that I needed a foundation that better matched my skin color than what I had and heard that the store had a new hi-tech device that would take the hassle out of finding the right match. She directed me to a swivel stool as she slid open a door in the back of the counter and pulled out an electronic skin color analyzer. From under the counter came a bottle of makeup remover and a box of cotton balls. She used them to remove a small patch of makeup from my cheek, chin, and forehead. She then used the analyzer to take a reading of my bare skin at the three spots. She entered the numbers the analyzer gave her into a computer terminal, which in turn printed out a list of cosmetic manufactures that had a foundation in a color matching my skin tone and its name. She then pulled out a bottle of foundation that was on the list and applied it to the center of each cleaned area. I scrutinized the results with the aid of a hand mirror. It was no surprise that it was a much superior match than what Siena had for me to chose from, and looked perfect in the test patches, but I felt that it would look to pale over the entire face and opted for one shade darker. The saleswoman entered my preference in the computer and it printed out a new list. She cleaned the test areas again and applied a foundation that was on the new list. I again scrutinized the test areas and really liked what I saw. I told the saleswoman that it was perfect. She looked quite pleased, and as she handed me the list, inquired if I wished to purchase anything on it.

I had intended to just get the foundation at the department store and buy lipstick and an eye liner and shadow kit at a drug store where it would be much cheaper, but the saleswoman presented me with a special offer for having used the new analyzer. I would be able to buy everything I needed, plus a couple of things I could use at a price that would be lower than at the drug store. Even though I would end up spending more than I had intended, it was a bargain and I went for it. Hey, what girl can't resist a bargain? It would also eliminate having to make a stop on my way home. As the saleswoman rang up my purchases, I picked up the mirror with one hand and a cotton ball with the other. After removing the new makeup from the test areas, I used my finger to feather the surrounding makeup into the test areas. I finished just as the saleswoman presented me with the total. I put down the mirror and took the money out of my purse. It was handed to the saleswoman who passed me a bag containing the makeup in return. Having taken care of my cosmetic needs, and then some, I headed over to the adjacent women's underwear department. Having spent more on cosmetics than I had intended, I was left with only enough money to buy one bra and panty set. The items of Siena's I was wearing fit me much too tightly. I had noted the size when I put them on, and picked a basic plain white set two sizes larger. After paying for it, I had the saleswoman add it to the bag I was already carrying. With the last item on my list being taken care of, I decided to have a look around the mall.

Stepping into the center court where there were so many people moving about in every direction was thrilling, but with a little apprehension mixed in. I mustered up my courage and headed off towards one end of the mall, doing some window shopping and observing people on the way. It wasn't long though before I began to feel a little strange. But it was not because anyone was staring at me, it was just the opposite. No one paid me any real attention at all! I must have just looked like any young woman out shopping. It was great! It was also worlds apart from where all this started on that Halloween night back when I was twelve. Back then I came to want people to stare at me and be fooled and not know it. When I started acting, I came to want people to know, but refuse to believe. Now, acting as a crossdresser, I just wanted to blend in and enjoy some of the simple pleasures available to any other woman, and I was! My mind quickly filled with all of the scenarios I could now act out in public without the fear of being discovered. All I needed was more clothes, shoes, and accessories. But that would have to wait for some other time as I was out of cash, and until that changed, a tour of the malls two floors would have to suffice. With a new sense of self esteem, I continued my tour until shops started to lower their security barriers. It was sign that it was late and time for everyone to go home.

Being late at night was working to my advantage, for I still had to get into my apartment, dressed as a woman, but not be seen by anyone who knew that was my apartment, and the later the hour the less chance of running into someone. Of course, I could have changed clothes in my car but I didn't have anything that could be used to wipe off my makeup outside of the tissues in my bra. I knew from my classes that my makeup couldn't be completely removed with tissues alone. Anything left behind might standout, creating a far worse situation. It was quickly decided to risk being discovered and enter my apartment dressed as I was, but first I had to drive to my apartment without being pulled over by the police, or some other mishap. That made for a nerve racking experience, but I safely made it back to my covered parking space. I gathered up my bags of treasures, but before leaving the safety of my car, I took a good look around. With no one in sight, I got out of my car and quickly put distance between me and it in the direction of the rear entrance to the apartment complex. It came into sight as I rounded the corner of the parking garage. That's when I spotted Irene making for the same objective. She was alone and not looking to happy, which I seemed to take pleasure in. It also presented a problem as she would have to pass my apartment to get to hers. I would have to hold back and wait out of view to give Irene time to reach her apartment before I could head up to mine, increasing the chance of running into someone I knew. The wait was agonizingly long but nothing came of it, or during the trip to my apartment, and I was soon safely inside.

Being alone in my apartment with the front door closed and locked gave me the much needed chance to relax. The tension in my body dissipated, only to be replaced by exhaustion brought on by the day's activities. I couldn't believe just how tired I was and wondered why it hadn't hit me earlier. I guess I must have been running on an adrenaline high since leaving Siena's apartment, triggered by my being a lone woman in public view. Whatever the reason, I barely had enough to drag myself to the bathroom to get ready for bed. Makeup removal was first on my list, but as I looked in the mirror, a desire to not remove my makeup seized me. The reason was simple; it would bring my being a woman to an end for the time being. I really wanted the day's adventure to continue, but I had to work come morning and was employed as a MALE actor and guide. The makeup grudgingly came off with help from my theatrical kit. All else I needed to do, was done before I hit the sack. Sleep quickly took command and with the days activates still in my mind, gave me some of the best dreams I have ever had.

Siena and I had pretty much worked out our characters and the scene on that first dress rehearsal, so we only needed a couple more get-togethers to perfect everything, although we met for rehearsals far more than that. We alternated between my place and Siena's. When the rehearsal was at my place, I would take the opportunity to have some fun as a girl and be in costume and makeup long before Siena would show up. We would have lunch or dinner in house and it would be of some prepackaged thing I could heat up in the oven. When we met at Siena's, I would show up as myself, with my costume and all needed makeup in a large canvas bag with shoulder strap and would make use of her bathroom to change into character. It was similar to what I would have to do at the performance. Lunch and/or dinner was always out with both of us remaining in character and was usually followed by a trip to some store or place of interest to Siena before heading back to her apartment. We would often end up having some fun acting out scenarios that weren't related to our scene. With our fun carrying us well into the evening, I would leave Siena's in full costume and makeup with the intent of cruising some public area to see how well I could blend in. There was also the possibility of purchasing additions for my budding alternate persona's wardrobe, provided the money was there, which it usually wasn't. And while I had added the means of removing my makeup and changing back into who I really was to my canvas bag, I continued to return to my apartment as a woman. I guess it was the rush that comes from meeting someone who knew me, but wouldn't realize it was me, that made me take the chance of being discovered, although I always timed getting back to my apartment at an hour I knew would be mostly free of people. Our rehearsal time would quickly become an immensely satisfying arrangement for me.

Rehearsals for my other, and far more important scene, were way different. With the first rehearsal, it quickly became apparent that the part I had chosen would be extremely demanding of me in both time and effort. Of course it was designed to be just that, after all, this was THE final exam. After an attempt to go through the whole scene with everyone at once, it was the conclusion of all, that if we continued in the same manner, we wouldn't be ready in the time allotted. There were just too many different character personalities to interact with and meld together at the same time, a task made even more difficult by the lack of a director. After some heavy thinking that night, I made the decision to meet my fellow actors individually to work out our segment of the scene. Once all of the segments were perfected to everyone's satisfaction, we would all come together to weave all of the segments together with me acting as the director. I was the logical choice as everyone else was performing pretty much independently of the others with my character being the thread that kept everyone together. It would prove to be the right method and we perfected the scene as the rehearsal window closed and the performances began.

Act 3, scene 3

The performances were to be spread out over a one week period. A handbill listing all of the scenes with the actors in each, the day and time of performance, and a teaser about each scene was distributed not only to the actors, but all around town and surrounding communities a couple of weeks in advance. I mailed one to my parents but only after having refolded it to show the page with my main scene, which was made to further stand out by being circled with a red felt tip pen. The reason was twofold. My two scenes were scheduled five days apart. It was too long of a down time for my parents to come up for both and too short for making two long trips. Of course the other reason was I really didn't know how my dad would react to my having volunteered for a crossdresser role and didn't want to find out. As soon as the playbill arrived in the mail, my mom called me to confirm their coming for the performance I had circled and would stay over for my graduation two days after. She didn't mention the other performance at all, much to my relief. I also took a playbill to the shop where I met Dawn. She was on duty and I handed her the playbill (with both of my performances circled). I also made a date with her to meet up after my first performance. With all in place and ready, the only thing I had left to do, was wait.

The day of my scene with Siena finally came. We were both ready and eager to perform and warmly greeted each other when we meet up at the school's theater with our costumes and makeup in hand. With all of our rehearsals having been dress rehearsals, I was well practiced in getting into costume and applying my makeup. Just as I was finishing up by putting on my wig, we got our five minutes to curtain call. I adjusted my wig and turned to Siena. She gave my overall efforts a final scrutiny before nodding her approval with a big smile and I then did the same for her. With everything in place and with our confidence running high, we made our way to staging. The stage hands were removing the last of the props for the scene that preceded ours and were starting to place the props for our scene. As they finished, Siena and I moved into position. We looked around to make sure everything needed was in place and together waited for the curtain.

As the curtain started to rise, we started our characters argument with some material we added to the beginning of the script. Our intent was to draw the audience's attention before they could see us and hopefully become more involved as our characters came into full view. We timed it so that we would hit the scripts original starting point just as the rising curtain reveled all. Our plan worked to perfection as everyone's attention was riveted on us and hung on our every word as they tried to work out what our argument was about. I was totally immersed in my character in speech and movement, with subtle gestures that subconsciously gave the audience the impression that I was a young woman right up to the point when my wig was pulled off.

The removal of my wig by Siena's character revealed a male haircut that was in total opposition to my costume and makeup. There were very audible gasps throughout the audience. Their reaction served to trigger my slipping out of full girl mode and into an effeminate boy character. The argument continued, culminating in my character reveling he wish to become a transgender woman. The audience's reaction ran the gamut from approval to disgust, intensified by virtually no one seeing the payoff coming. When the scene ended, most of the audience gave Siena and I, a rousing ovation with a few members rising to their feet, among which I easily spotted Dawn. We were visibly overcome with surprise and had to pull ourselves together before taking our bows. As the audience settled down, Siena and I turned to each other and joined in a congratulatory hug before turning to those who would judge our abilities and how we addressed the script.

The members of the teaching staff doing the reviews started off by praising our creative addition to the opening and noted its controlling effect on the audience and themselves. They were very positive towards our handling of the rest of the script and liked the subtle changes we made to better blur what was being argued and thus making the ending even more of a surprise. We received high marks for the way we fleshed out our characters, from our choice in costumes to the personalities we inscribed into our characters and the way they interacted. I received additional comments of surprise on how well I first came off as a young woman, and then as a crossdressed young man. The audience echoed that with a fair amount of applause, dispersed throughout the theater. Siena joined in as well, and for my part, I ate it all up while trying to come off as humble. As satisfying as the reviews were, they fell far short of an in depth assessment of our total efforts. That would come some days after the performance with a very detailed and collectively written review. The wait would be agonizingly long.

Siena and I thanked the reviewers, bowed to the audience, and exited to backstage where we could change out of our costumes and makeup. Soon we were back in our street clothes, and together we left the theater for the school's center courtyard where we met Siena's parents. She made the introductions as her parents stared at me in disbelief. They made what was becoming the usual comment about my really being a young man. They expressed a curiosity towards how I was able to pull off the role so well. I used my usual reply of relating my first acting role back in high school and was trying my best to convince them that was where I learned my skills when I spotted Dawn out the corner of my eye. She seemed to be bursting with enthusiasm and joy as she frantically searched for me. I took leave of Siena and her parents and headed off towards Dawn, but she wasn't the only one looking for me.

A man, who had been looking in my direction while I was with Siena, followed me with his eyes as I moved through the crowd. Dawn's erratic movements eventually turned her in my direction and into her view. She locked her eyes on to me and came running at me, dodging around anyone that crossed between us. She slammed into me with a full body hug and with enough momentum to spin us nearly completely around. She pulled back and joyfully expressed her pleasure at my being in tune with crossdressers and transgender women, drawing the attention of everyone within earshot. I quickly (and loudly) pointed out that I was just an actor who was cast in the role of a crossdresser. Dawn shook her head "no" in an exaggerated motion and proclaimed that there was much more to it. My loud rebuttal was cut short by the man who had been watching me.

The man apologized for the intrusion and introduced himself as Nigel. His accent and mannerisms were that of an English gentleman and his bearing was that of a seasoned actor rather than a talent scout. It was an impression that he quickly confirmed by claiming to be a producer and actor for a unique acting troupe that toured the US and Great Britain. He had been impressed by the actor in my scene and wanted to seek him out. He had spotted and recognized Siena, but wasn't sure of me since I wasn't wearing makeup. Dawn's raucous greeting gave him the assurance that I was the one he wanted to speak with. He expressed admiration for my having taken on such a daring and challenging role and felt that I might fit in with the troupe, but he needed to see more of my work. He was aware of my coming second performance and its challenges and felt it would give him an additional idea of my suitability to join the troupe. We set up a time and place to meet after my next performance before he left me in the company of Dawn.

Dawn was very anxious for our date to begin and was clearly miffed at the delay caused by Nigel, so I indicated the direction we needed to head off in to get to my car, which was back at the parking garage of my apartment. With my apartment being close to the acting school, I had walked to the school's theater to avoid all of the traffic and parking headaches. I started to explain to Dawn where we were headed when she broke in and practically insisted that we take her car as we would come to it first. That didn't fit in with the date I had planned, but before I could give voice to the contrary, she grabbed my hand and slightly diverted me from my intended path. It wasn't long before we reached her car and got in. Before we got under way, I gave Dawn the name of the restaurant I had chosen for our date. It was one that didn't require reservations since I had no idea when we would show up what with the variables of the timing of the performances, the changing out of costume, and meeting people and possibly talent agents afterwards. Still, it was a nice place that I had hoped, when combined with some stimulating conversation, would impress Dawn enough that she would want to extend the evening back at her place. Dawn however, rejected it, saying that she had so much to talk to me about the scene and knew of the perfect place where we could go and have an in depth talk without the worry of being overheard. With all of my plans out the window, I leaned back in resignation. I would have to ad-lib the rest of the date and hope the outcome I tried to setup would somehow materialize.

As we got underway, Dawn started to praise my performance. With only two people in the scene it was easy for her to figure out which character I was even though both characters appeared to be young women and that put her on to the likely possibility that my character was a crossdresser or maybe even a shemale. But by the time the reveling moment came, that idea had faded into the background due to my acting. She was momentarily stunned before realizing that she had been right about the plot. She was so surprised at having nearly forgotten that my character was played by a man, that she just had to ask me how I came to be so good at acting like a woman. I didn't want to give her a complete rundown, so I just gave her the usual reason. She wasn't buying it and pressed me for more info with the statement that putting on a dress and makeup doesn't cause one to act like a woman. From the way Dawn was talking, I got the impression that my acting background was very important to her. Not wanting to blow my chances with her later that night, I admitted to my being made up as a girl for Halloween when I was younger and taught how to act as an adult vamp. She was absolutely delighted and again pressed me for more details. I obliged, right down to a description of my dress, wig, and duel makeup.

As I finished, my mind unconsciously slipped back into that wondrous night. I found myself relating the encounters with adults and teen boys, how they were fooled without knowing it, and the effect it had on me. It wasn't until I got to the costume contest that I suddenly realized that I was reveling more about how I had felt and the sensations I had experienced then I had wanted to or possibly should have. I cut myself off and took pause before giving a watered down version of the contest. Dawn picked up on my sudden mood change and tried to get me to talk about my emotional state during that first exploration, as she put it, and the part it played in my joining an all boys acting club. I tried to pass it off and claim there wasn't much to the experience that had any lasting influence on me. One look at her face told me that she knew I wasn't being totally honest, but she dropped it, seemingly in favor of talking about something that was related. But it would have to wait for we had arrived at her destination.

Dawn had driven us clear across town to where it bordered a small river. She parked in a public parking lot on the edge of a city park and river walk. After we got out of her car, she came around and took me by the hand. She led me off in the direction of a food cart vendor. I was not thrilled at a steamed hotdog for dinner and looked around for some small restaurant that would be more suitable for our date. Having not spotted any restaurant at all by the time we reached the vendor, I made ready to accept whatever he had and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the vendor was offering barbecued meats. There was a choice between pulled pork, shredded beef, and shredded chicken, to be stuffed into a pita bread pocket with a choice of barbecue sauces. Dawn ordered the chicken and a bottle of water, while I opted for the pulled pork and a root beer. With food in hand, she led me down to the river walk. The sun was setting on a very strikingly beautiful scene. Low level path lights were coming on to light our way ahead. There were few people around and even less the further we got from the parking lot. We had descended well below street level, which served to block out the city noise to the point where we could hear the faint sound of the moving water. It was all working up to a very romantic stroll. A thought came to mind that perhaps Dawn was working a plan to get ME into bed.

As we finished our sandwiches, the silence and the mood were broken by Dawn. She again started to talk about the performance, but this time it was on how the scene spoke to her. She related how it brought her back in time to a very similar event in her life and she felt like the scene had been written with her life story in mind. Dawn paused for a moment to take a deep breath and my mind seized that moment to fill my thoughts with the numerous ways Dawn could continue, some of which I found scary. As she exhaled, she confessed that she had made the same life choice my character had expressed, with similar confrontations with family. I was knocked speechless. Dawn continued on by saying that without family support, she could only afford the HRT and was trying to save up for the SRS. So at that time she was still partially male but living full time as a female.

I had totally missed on Dawn being a pre-op transgender. Granted, I hadn't spent much time with her, but still, I was of the opinion that with my being an actor, who has convincingly portrayed a female both on and off stage on more than just an occasion along with my observations of girls and women, it was something I should have picked up on. Why had I not? Her voice didn't give her away and she didn't have an Adam's apple. She must have had some surgery to address the latter and possibly the former. And could her living as a woman full time have perfected her every movement and emotion to the point where even I could not tell that she was not a genetic woman or was it a product of the HRT? As I tried to come up with an answer, new thoughts took over my mind, like, what was it like to actually live full time as a woman and not on occasion for a few hours as I had been doing? And just how far did she have to go, in doing as a woman would, to live as a woman? Was her mind totally convinced that she was a woman even though she still had a "little reminder", so to speak, that she had yet to achieve her goal in the one place that really separated the sexes? What kind of a social life did she partake in with, well, men? And then there was the biggest question of all: why did I want to know?

It was the last question that kept me from giving voice to any of the questions on my mind. It was as if I was afraid that I might reveal my own feelings when I was in female mindset and out in public. Or perhaps it was the uneasiness I suddenly felt by being on a date with someone who wasn't exactly a woman. I thought it would be best to let her express what she wanted and make little comments or simple questions in hopes of getting her to volunteer a more in depth look at the way she lived and why. My strategy worked up to a point, and while I did learn a lot about Dawn and what made her tick, the social aspect of her life would have to wait for another date. There was simply wasn't time to get into it as the parks closing hour had came upon us. We walked back to Dawn's car, got in, and made our way back across the city.

As we drove through the city, I was hoping Dawn would continue to talk about what it was like to live as a woman. But she reopened her earlier attempt to get me to talking about what I thought and felt when made over as a woman and then acting as one. I again shrugged it off as best I could by claiming that it was no big deal. But I guess I tried too hard and must have given the impression that the truth was just the opposite for Dawn briefly tried to get me to express my real feelings before hitting me with a challenge: would I be up to living and/or working, as a woman for some set period of time, as an experiment? I loudly voiced that I had no desire to be a woman and had only gone out in public dressed and made up as a woman in order to get a better understanding of what it meant to be a crossdresser for the part I was cast in. I couldn't tell if Dawn was satisfied or disappointed, she just dropped the subject and start a new one. Unfortunately the new subject had nothing to do with anything that we had talked about during the whole evening, and she didn't give me any chance to redirect the conversation. It looked like my curiosity was going to have to be satisfied for the moment. It was just as well, for we were soon parked in front of the apartment building I lived at. A quick assessment of my mind set showed that I wasn't comfortable enough about Dawn being a pre-op to invite her up to my apartment, but I did have a strong curiosity to seek answers to questions still on my mind, and made a date with her for the day after my second performance. We wished each other a good night and I got out of the car. Dawn drove off, leaving me to make the long walk to my apartment accompanied only by my thoughts.

The intervening days between my eye opening date with Dawn and my career make or break acting performance passed agonizingly slow. It was a constant struggle to divert my mind from thinking about Dawn and focus on the upcoming scene right up to the morning of the performance. On that day, I woke with the same mental state I had been in all week, but it was during breakfast that a new and much more serious problem took over my mind. With my parents coming to my performance and graduation, they would undoubtedly pay a visit to my apartment in the three or four days they would be in town. That could prove to be more than awkward given my collection of makeup in the bathroom and the beginnings of a female wardrobe in part of the hall closet. There was no way I could explain it all away by my being an actor, especially since they may not know of my other performance. I quickly gulped down breakfast and got to work gathering up all female items, putting all in my canvas bag and a large plastic trash bag, and taking them down to my car to be hidden away in the trunk. The rest of the morning was spent tidying up the apartment.

With my apartment being acceptably clean, and with the arrival of the lunch hour, I headed out for a bite at a fast food place and then headed for a prearranged get together with the rest of the actors in the scene for a run through to get everyone's mind in sync. Everyone showed up on time and we jumped right into our rehearsal. It went well and any rustiness on anyone's part quickly fell away. We boosted each other's confidence with mutual praise before we broke up. Each of us headed off to whatever business required his or her attention, filled with a sense of being ready and anxious to perform. That manifested itself by all of us arriving at the school theater well in advance of when we needed to, and all of us having changed into costume and makeup well ahead of our five minutes to curtain call. Together, we made for the cue just off stage. The scene preceding ours was in progress but soon came to an end. After the reviews and the dropping of the curtain, the stagehands moved in to swap out props. As they completed their work and left the stage, we hurried in to take our places, made certain that everyone was ready, and cued the curtain to rise. I took those last fleeting seconds to thoroughly focus my mind on the task before me. Dawn was no longer in my thoughts.

The curtain rose and I started to interface with the first character. The audience was fully focused on our every action and word, and with the initial interrelation with each new character, was drawn deeper into the scene. I was then able to transfer my constantly shifting emotional output to the audience enticing them into being in sympathy with whomever I was engaged in conversation and physical action with. All of us worked our roles to perfection with the payoff being the vast majority of the audience becoming part of the performance, audibly and physically expressing their emotional state in sympathy with what was being played out. As the scene came to a close, we presented ourselves to the audience with a sense of pride on having accomplishing the objective of the scene.

I judged my performance to be nothing short of stellar. The audience, at least in my mind, agreed with me by their loud applause, whistles, and calls of "bravo". There were two pockets of extremely enthusiastic audience members. In one pocket, I spotted my parents and my sister. Laura being in attendance was a complete surprise as I had not received word that she would be coming. Seeing Laura triggered a hope that Crystal might be with her, but it was not to be. With a little sadness, I moved my attention to the second pocket of rather vocal people. I quickly spotted Dawn in the middle of what I guessed was a group of her friends. It would be needless to say that Dawn then occupied my thoughts, pushing out Crystal. When the audience settled down, we turned to the reviewers for their comments. All of us received high praise for our presentation of the script, the bringing of our characters to life through our acting skills, for how the scene flowed from one character to the next, and how we drew the audience into the scene. I received additional comments on how my character managed to tie together so many wildly different characters. When it came out that I had acted as the director, even more praise came my way. The reviewers finished with another round of applause, joined by the audience. We made our bows and exited backstage as the curtain came down.

Backstage, we congratulated ourselves with handshakes, hugs, and slaps on the back before we each headed for where our street clothes were. When I got to my station, I quickly got to work removing my makeup and then changing into my street clothes. I exited the theater through the backstage door onto a small landing that was roughly three feet above ground level, and was surprised by Dawn and her entourage. As soon as they saw me, the girls swarmed around the stairs and started acting like groupies with their screaming, bouncing up and down, and taking pictures. The guys simply applauded. I came down the stairs and was mobbed by the girls, all of whom wanted my autograph. I figured Dawn had put everyone up to it, but it didn't matter, for I loved it, and immersed myself into the scene. With the signing of the last autograph, everyone started to depart except Dawn. She shot me an inquisitive look and I smiled back at her and silently mouthed "Thank you". She grinned back at me and then turned to catch up with the others. I knew I was going to have to thank her in some special and private way sometime during our following nights date. All I could do at that moment was watch Dawn and her friends disappear around a corner before turning away and making for the front of the theater.

The scene in front of the school theater bordered on chaos what with those trying to leave the theater being confronted by those trying to get in. Spread throughout were families who were congratulating their student actors, forming obstacles to be maneuvered around. My family knew that I was going to exit by the back of the theater and would come up the side. I easily spotted them waving to me from the edge of the crowd at the front corner of the building. As I came up to my family, Laura broke ranks and came at me, greeting me with a hug. It was probably the first time in my young life I was actually happy to see my sister. It's amazing what absence over time will do to sibling rivalry (well, that and her introducing me to crossdressing which resulted in my becoming an actor). My dad broke in with a hardy handshake and a strong look of pride on his face. I reasoned that he must have felt that my performance was good enough for me to make a career of it (or he was just happy I wasn't wearing a dress and made up as a woman). Mom, she was just happy to see me. My family gave me their favorable assessment of my acting ability and the chances of my making a living from it as we headed off.

The performance had been in the late afternoon but was short enough of the dinner hour that we had some time to kill. Mom seized the chance to visit my apartment and freshen up for dinner. Laura and I opted to walk, with our parents retrieving their car and driving over. Laura and I quickly found ourselves alone. I started things off by asking her about life at college and her upcoming graduation. She gave a much abbreviated account and then surprised me by asking me about my OTHER performance and why I had taken the part. It would seem that she had browsed through the entire handbill, spotted my name and read the cryptic teaser. Somehow she was able to find out more on what the scene was about then what was in the handbill, but wouldn't elaborate on how much she knew. Instead, she prodded me into giving my reasons for wanting to do the scene. I tried to pass it off by saying that it was the only part left that had some challenge to it. But Laura didn't buy it and revealed that she had been in contact with Crystal. It seems Crystal had filled Laura in on my having joined the all boys acting club, my first acting role as an adult woman, the demonstration she gave on how she transformed me, and, as if that wasn't enough, the dress up session when I was made-up as a Sicilian woman and my acting as such. I was struck dumbfounded and then was horrified by the thought that Crystal may have told Laura about the dating and sex education, not to mention the sex preceding the dress up session (boy, there was a place I did not want to go with my sister). All I could do was stutter as I tried to put words together to fend off that unexpected development. A triumphant grin spread across my sister's face as she again asked me about my high school performance and other final scene and if I had prepped for either of them with some dress up play. I denied having done any dress up outside of dress rehearsals and had not acquired anything pertaining to women's wear beyond what was needed for the acting school final scene. Laura didn't seem convinced, but changed the subject to if I had gotten anything emotionally from portraying a crossdresser. I simply answered no as we came to the front entrance of the apartment building. Our parents quickly came into view, coming from the opposite direction, thankfully bring Laura's inquisition to an end.

Laura and I met up with our parents and I could see that they were a bit frazzled. I guessed it was because of the traffic in and around the school. That was confirmed by my dad giving his account of what he went through to get to my apartment as I led my family through the courtyard, up the stairs to the second floor, and on to my apartment. We were no sooner inside, when my mom headed straight for the bathroom and soon emerged looking much more relaxed and happier. Laura then took her turn to use the bathroom, although she didn't seem to really need to. She soon rejoined us looking a bit disappointed. I had a strong feeling that she had done some snooping. Of course, with my having removed everything connected to my developing alternate persona, she wouldn't find anything that would confirm her suspicion of my engaging in some sort of dress up play. She remained quiet up to dinner time.

For dinner, my parents chose the same family restaurant we had dined at the day I move into my apartment. Conversation was centered on family updates. It was towards the end of dinner that I was able to bring up my meeting Nigel for lunch the following day and the possibility of being invited to join a traveling troupe. My dad became suspicious and started to ask all kinds of questions about the kind of troupe, its members, where they preformed, pay, and so on. I had to admit that there was much I didn't know and wouldn't know until my meeting with Nigel. That pretty much killed the conversation and brought dinner to an end. We left the restaurant with the evening still young enough to show my family the town's night life, ending with the river walk. Everyone seemed to enjoy it right up to when we called it a night. Before we split up for the night, we made arrangements for a get together over breakfast. I was dropped off in front of my apartment building and upon gaining entry to my apartment, went straight to bed. The next day was to be a full schedule, and knowing that new wonders awaited me, made it difficult for my mind to relax and let sleep take over. Eventually, sleep won out.

Act 3, scene 4

I awoke the next morning anxious to get the day rolling. Breakfast with my family at a restaurant was first on my list. It was nothing fancy and conversation was mostly on the few family matters that hadn't been touched on the day before. I did mention my having a date that evening so I wouldn't be able to continue the tour of the town after my meeting with Nigel. The family didn't mind being on their own for the rest of the day, but as a consequence, dragged out breakfast longer than I would have liked. Fortune was with me and I was able to get back to my apartment with enough time to prepare for my meeting with Nigel. I freshened up and was out the door headed for a meeting that could launch my career.

I met up with Nigel at a small outdoor café where he was to treat me to lunch. After we place our orders, Nigel gave a brief history of the troupe from its origins in London, to its expansion to the U.S., and subsequent move to New England. It was somewhat interesting, but the real interest for me was the members who made up the troupe. They were mostly male. I couldn't believe what I had just heard and had to ask Nigel to repeat what he had said. He did and I quickly boasted of my first all male acting experience in high school. Nigel was absolutely delighted and pressed me for details, which I readily gave, highlighting having to do more work than just acting. Nigel leaned in towards me with a big smile on his face. He quietly proclaimed that it was the same situation but on a greater level due to the traveling nature of the troupe. The thought of expanding on my high school acting experience thrilled me to no end and thrust me into a daydream like state. Our talk then progressed to my enrollment in acting school, focusing on the courses I had taken. I told all, with just a bit of emphasis on the theatrical makeup classes. Nigel sat back in his chair with a look of astonishment. He slightly shook his head before proclaiming, in a typically British fashion, a better person for membership in the troupe, he would be hard pressed to find.

I was filled with joy as I realized that Nigel was about to offer me a job with the troupe. But first he needed to fill me in on the inner workings of the group, how I would fit in with all of the non acting jobs that were essential to putting on a play, all of the work in designing and making sets and costumes, the moving of everything from town to town, and the type of roles I would most likely be cast in. Nigel made it quite clear, that with so few women members and with my experience, I could expect to be cast in a female role two thirds of the time. It was then my turn to lean in and smile. I was itching to sign on, but there were a couple of non theatrical issues for me to consider. The most important one was financial. There was no direct pay. Everyone is an equal partner in the production of the play. The theater owners would pay a booking fee and a percentage of the box office receipts. From that, the expense of producing the play would be deducted and a small amount would be banked to cover unforeseen future expenses. What was left would be divided evenly among all of the members, so I could forget any visions of a lavish New York City celebrity lifestyle. Fame was something else I could forget about as Broadway would most likely not appear on our venue, and traveling actors playing to small cities and towns would not be receiving national reviews or attention. The chance of being discovered and offered a big contract was virtually zero as the chance of a big name talent scout being in the audience would be less than rare. With a serious look, Nigel said that if I was interested in joining then he would represent me to the whole group and extended his right hand towards me. I didn't have to think about it for even a nanosecond. I reached out and shook his hand and quietly said yes, even though inwardly I was about to explode with excitement. I gave Nigel my phone number and he said I could expect a call from him in four days. Lunch was at an end and we parted company.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in my apartment reflecting on my good fortune over and over, although I did manage to make reservations at a really nice restaurant for that evenings date with Dawn, and place a bottle of a desert wine along with a couple of wine glasses in the refrigerator to chill. But it wasn't until an hour before said date that I was able to put it all aside and occupy my mind with a new wonder that had the potential to alter my life's perceptions. I prepped as I would for any important date, and was soon headed out to pick up Dawn. I made good time and arrived early. I thought of waiting in my car until the appointed hour, but decided not to, figuring that I could employ the extra time to look over Dawn's apartment and gain some conversation starters. But it was not to be as she greeted me at her door ready to go, and she was a knockout.

Dawn was wearing a little black cocktail dress. It was very tight fitting and really accentuated her HRT induced female body shape and smooth, long, sensuous legs. She had gained a couple of inches in height due to a pair of black, five inch heeled pumps. Jewelry was sparse and plain with a couple of small gold chain necklaces and a matching single strand bracelet. Her earrings were large hoops threaded through her pierced lobes. She stood with both of her hands and arms down at her sides with a small black clutch purse in her left hand. The overall look was hot and sexier than I had ever been. I also knew that for the rest of the evening, I was going to have a hard time reminding myself that she was still something of a male. I escorted Dawn to my car, showing her all of the amenities I would normally give to any young woman I dated. I even opened the car door for her. During our drive to the restaurant and during our dinner, Dawn engaged me in small talk typical of a date. I was hoping for a more personal and in depth look into her lifestyle and was something I tried to initiate during our dinner. But the restaurant wasn't the place for that kind of conversation and Dawn diverted to a different subject. With that, dinner morphed into any other dinner date I've had with the side effect of my forgetting Dawn's gender issues.

After dinner, with my mind fully accepting Dawn as female, I took her to a club where we could do some dancing. Things went the same as any date except, with dawn looking so hot, sexy, and ready for action, guys would occasionally cut in to dance with her. At first, I was upset; after all, she was my date. But as it continued to happen, I started to think of her more as my girl. I had become not just jealous, but possessive. As my emotions grew, a voice in the back of my mind suddenly reminded me that Dawn was a pre-op. The change in my attitude was instantaneous. I was no longer upset, but amused, as none of the guys had a clue as to the surprise that would await them if they were successful in luring Dawn into going home with them instead of me. Yet, each time a guy would get Dawn to dance with him, that feeling of Dawn being mine would work its way to the front. It was a really odd feeling that I could not explain, but I did know one thing, I had to get out of there before it really messed with my mind (or hers). I hinted to Dawn that it was getting late. She surprised me by agreeing and really surprised me by expressing a desire to see the reviews of my high school performances. I quickly invited her back to my apartment as if trying to beat out the competition. Dawn eagerly accepted.

During the trip back to my apartment, Dawn got me to express my opinion on how I've grown as an actor and if my first acting experience influenced my choosing a crossdressing role for one of my latest acting experiences at the school. It was really difficult to come up with something that would satisfy her without revealing my burning desire to perform as a woman and fool the audience. I guess I revealed too much as Dawn compared my acting as a woman with her presenting herself as a woman and the thrills and emotions she felt when she was first accepted as such. She wondered if I had any similar feelings. I instantly saw that as a lead into getting Dawn to talk about dating men and all I had to do was come clean about what I had felt during that first acting role and how a latent desire built within me culminating in my jumping at the crossdresser role. Dawn was pleased beyond words. She started to talk about her own building desires to be accepted socially, and on a more personal level by men. It was exactly what my curiosity wanted, but there would be a delay in its exploration for we had arrived at my carport space. We quickly got out of my car and I escorted Dawn to the back entrance of the complex and on up the stairs.

As we neared my apartment, Irene came around the corner ahead of us. She was alone but dressed for a night out. With my attention focused on Irene, I failed to notice that the heel of one of Dawn's shoes had become wedged in the joint between two concrete plates of the walkway and she had stopped to carefully free it. She was some distance behind me as I reached my apartment door. Irene was definitely in a hurry and came upon me before I could open the door and pop inside in time to avoid her. She surprised me by giving me a look that clearly said she was looking for sex, and was mine if I wanted. That was not what I had expected of her, given that I was with Dawn, but perhaps she hadn't connected me with the hot, sexy, woman approaching from behind me. That instantly changed when Dawn caught up with me and slipped both arms around my waist from behind, sending a thrill through me that undoubtedly showed on my face. I guessed that Dawn had read the same message I had in Irene's face and let Irene know that if anyone would be spending the night with me, it would be her. Irene stormed off without saying so much as a word. I thought better of saying anything myself and just opened the door. I slipped out of Dawn's grasp and into my apartment with Dawn following me in. As she passed me, I turned and close the door.

I indicated for Dawn to take a seat on the couch as I passed between the couch and coffee table to turn on a lamp on the end table at the head of the couch. I then headed for the hall closet to fetch my scrapbook. I returned to Dawn and handed it to her. As she eagerly took it from me with both hands, I asked if she would like a drink. She tilted her head slightly to one side as she looked up into my eyes and nodded her head as if to say yes. Her eyes had a hold on me, and I found myself slowly backing away in the direction of the kitchen with my eyes locked with Dawns. It wasn't until I backed into the kitchen doorjamb that Dawn's spell on me was broken. I was slightly embarrassed and tried to pass it off humorously by pointing at the doorjamb and patting it before quickly ducking into the kitchen. The bottle of desert wine and the wine glasses were retrieved from the refrigerator and I quickly returned to Dawn. I placed all on the coffee table then came around to join her on the couch.

I no sooner got comfortable on the couch, when Dawn closed the scrapbook and placed it on the coffee table. She gave me some casual praise, but I was left with the feeling that the scrapbook was just an excuse to get invited to my apartment. As I poured our drinks, Dawn started to expand on the social aspects of living as a pre-op. She quickly turned the conversation to dating men. It was what I had wanted all evening and I listened to her intently, not only for the insight into a lifestyle that straddled the male and female worlds, but for the chance to inquire if there were any sensations that a woman and a pre-op or shemale had in common and what was different. I don't know if Dawn sensed my desire to delve deeper into her lifestyle and gave me the opening I wanted, or if it happened by unconscious thought. It didn't matter, I wasn't about to let the opportunity slip by and took it. Dawn wasn't put off by such a personal inquiry, surprisingly, it was just the opposite. But instead of talking about it straight away, she decided that it would be far more informative if there were some physical demonstrations to accompany the verbal description. With that, she initiated a make out session.

It was at that moment that I realized what Dawn's plan was. She was luring me into sleeping with her. She probably figured that her chances would be better if we were at my apartment rather than at hers. After all, if we were at her place I could simply leave if I objected to having sex with her. Being at my place, if I rejected her advances I would still have to take her home and that would make for a rather awkward trip. I would also feel more secure at my place and have a sense of control over what I would and wouldn't do with her. It was a well thought out plan, but had one little side effect I don't think she counted on. What Dawn desired of me caused my knowing that she was genetically a man (and still equipped as one) to resurface and overrule what my eyes perceived. I started to lean back away from her, but curiosity was in full control and forced my mind to only consider what my eyes saw. For all intents and purposes, what I saw was a desirable woman who was coming on to me, and I began to question why the heck I was backing away. No reason came to mind and I stopped retreating. Dawn continued to advance and as our lips made contact, I leaned into her, intensifying our kiss. I offered no further resistance and started to explore Dawn's body with my hands as I would with any woman I was being intimate with. She in turn, responded as any woman would, which triggered more action from me, which kicked up her response and so on. It wasn't long before I forgot her "hidden gender", and the rate of growth in our passions really accelerated. We quickly reached a point where it was necessary for one of us to call a pause so that the couch could be converted to a bed before we could proceed.

I took the initiative by breaking our embrace and reaching out towards the coffee table to pushing it far enough out of the way. As I pulled back, I rose up of the couch and turned to Dawn. I bent down to take her hands in mine and gently pulled on her hands as if I were inviting her to come up to me. Dawn accepted the invitation and rose up off the couch with my assistance. She wrapped her arms tightly around me and kissed me hard. I embraced her and slow danced her to a position just far enough away so as to not interfere with what I needed to do. With Dawn safely out of harm's way, I broke off our embrace and turned back to the couch. I bent down to seize the hand holds and pulled the couch out from the wall. The cover/spread was quickly yanked down to, and off, the foot of the emerging bed. Pillows were retrieved from the backrests storage compartments and put in their place on the bed. All was ready and I turned to Dawn only to find that she had stripped naked and was presenting herself to me. Dawn's action was completely unexpected and it took a moment to overcome the surprise. I started to look her over as I would any woman I was about to engage in sex with, except I did so much quicker than normal. It was as if I was in a hurry to check out the area of greatest concern to me. What greeted my eyes was nowhere near what my brain was expecting, for what I saw would best be described as a small, smooth, featureless, area where some sort of genitalia should be. It was a mystery begging to be solved.

I must have been staring at what should have been Dawn's privates for some time with obvious bewilderment. Dawn must have enjoyed my state of confusion as she started to giggle. That snapped me out of staring at her with the realization how horribly rude I had been. I looked away and hung my head in shame, with my mind questioning me on how I could have done something like that. Dawn didn't seem to be offended as she giggled some more and then started to move and pose seductively. I was powerless to resist watching her and shifted my eyes in her direction, followed by my head. My sense of shame abated, for this time I was looking at all of her, and as I watched her, I found myself almost unconsciously stripping off my clothes. It was then Dawn's turn to look me over and she did so with a very pleased grin. As she completed her tour with her eyes, I reached down to pull back the sheet and blanket and held them up, inviting Dawn to slip in to my bed. She dropped her head a bit with a cute smile slowly spreading across her face. She slowly strutted towards me. She reached out to caress my check with her slender fingers as she turned to sit on the bed. She looked up at me with just her eyes as she lifted up her long silky legs and slipped them in under the bedding. Dawn scooted over to the far side of the bed and awaited me to join her. I came in more on her than the bed, draping the bedding over both of us. There was no hesitation on my part. I began kissing and fondling her as I would with any woman I was being intimate with, although it soon became apparent that it wasn't going to be quite the same.

With Dawn not being equipped below the waist the same as a woman, foreplay was limited in some respects and different in others. The mystery area was briefly explored in the normal course of caressing her body with my hands, and it turned out that she was wearing what seemed to be a heavy, flesh colored, nylon bikini bottom. Further exploration reveled that there wasn't a backside, just two thin straps that came from between the legs, angling up and out to the waist band at both sides. With my hand having not come in direct contact with anything I would have a strong aversion to touching, I began to caress Dawn's lower backside and breasts but avoided the area of her genitals. Dawn made no attempt to guide my hands to her lower front, giving me the impression that she didn't want to be touched down there. It also meant that I would have to find a different way of arousing Dawn's desires, whatever they might be. I started to use various caressing techniques in different combinations and must have hit the right one as she suddenly broke our embrace, turned away from me, and gave subdued voice to what she wanted me to do to her, and where she wanted it done in rather vulgar words. She repeated her desires in a rising voice until I did as she wanted.

It came as no surprise that sexual intercourse with a pre-op was different in method and feel than vaginal intercourse with a woman. The sounds and movements Dawn made were also a little different from what a generic woman would make, yet conveyed the same message. Employing what I had learned when Crystal educated me in pleasuring a woman, I was able to experiment and create a technique Dawn not only enjoyed, but expressed a desire for more, again in vulgar terms. I obliged her after an extended period of heavy petting. With both of us well satisfied, it was time to bring things to a close. After play was the same as with a generic woman, with the same result of Dawn snuggling up against me with my arm draped over her, holding her to me as we both made ready for sleep. The whole experience had been different, but was it something I might be seduced into doing again? It would probably be something we would talk about in the morning.

The next morning, I awoke before Dawn and quietly slipped out of bed. I gathered up my clothes and headed, naked, for the bathroom. My clothes were put in the hamper and I got on with my morning routine. After finishing getting cleaned up, I selected what I wanted to wear for the day from the hall closet and got dressed. I also pulled a robe out for Dawn and laid it over the coffee table as I made for the kitchen. Breakfast was the next scene in our romantic play and I got to work setting the stage. All went well until I started to fry up some bacon. I guess the sound and aroma of the frying bacon had aroused Dawn from her sleep for I caught some movement out the corner of my eye. It had to be her, so I turned my head to greet her. What greeted me was Dawn standing in the doorway with her right arm extended high up on the door jamb and her left hand on her waist. She was completely naked save for the bikini bottom. The front of my jeans suddenly felt a little cramped for room. Dawn deliberately looked down at the growing bulge in the front of my jeans and then looked back up at me with a triumphant grin, leaving no doubt that her actions had been intentional. Have accomplished her goal, she turned and sashayed back into the living room. I stared at her wide hips and cute tight ass until she turned to head for the bathroom. I was left with the thought that, from behind, Dawn was every bit a woman.

It was some time before Dawn rejoined me in the kitchen. She was dressed in her clothes from the night before and had attended to her makeup. She took a seat at the dinette and I served breakfast. Our conversation was on the night's activities and followed the same lines I would take with any woman I had slept with. Of course there was one question unique to Dawn that I was burning to ask, but she wasn't giving me the opportunity to do so. Finally, as we wrapped up breakfast, I blurted out the question I had been dying to ask all morning. Dawn brought her fingers of one hand up to cover her mouth as she giggled back at me before explaining that the modified bikini bottom was worn for two reasons. The main reason was because she identified with being female, and until she could afford the SRS, she didn't want any man she was intimate with to think of her as anything but a woman or do anything (other than anal intercourse) that would remind her that she was still equipped as a male. The other reason was to temper any aversions that a straight man might have when seeing her in the nude for the first time. That seemed to have worked on me and occupied my thoughts as we wrapped up breakfast. It was during our trip to Dawn's apartment that I brought up the subject of preparing for a date and if it differed from a woman's routine. Dawn said that it was pretty much the same except she had one extra bit of hygiene to do if she intended to have sex with her date. It was something which I hadn't thought of, but it made sense and will not be elaborated on.

I pulled up in front of Dawn apartment to drop her off. She invited me up to her apartment, but I had to decline giving the reason of having to meet with my boss at work. She leaned across and kissed me before she got out of my car. As she waved good bye, I drove off to the historical site where I worked in the late afternoon. It was a few hours ahead of my start time, but with the end of school I had a lot more time available for work and I wanted to ask my boss if I could gain some hours. I found him buried in paper work, but he paused long enough to hear me out. He regretted that there wasn't enough visitor traffic on weekdays to extend those hours and I was maxed on the weekend hours. But he said that he would add my name to the on call list for days when there were an unusually high number of visitors or if someone called in sick. It wasn't what I was hoping for, but I took it. I left my boss to his work and headed back into town. I had some time to kill before lunch and even more time to kill after lunch until my workday started. Getting with my family was out as they were off exploring some tourist sites in the next county. The night's activities were still strong in my mind and I ended up spending my free time contemplating why I had slept with Dawn, and perhaps more importantly, what it really said about me. Resolution went begging.

There wasn't much else to occupy my attention for the time leading up to graduation from the acting arts school, except for the written review of my last performance. None of the reviews were to be made public, so there was no reason to follow the liberal agenda of everyone being equal. Each judge was free to criticize or praise as they saw fit and they didn't pull any punches or hold back on the praise. These would become the most valuable assessments of my abilities and short comings, and were proudly added to my scrap book. As to the value of graduation itself, I was of the opinion that it was a boring and meaningless ceremony I could do without, but I attended for the benefit of my parents. The biggest benefit for me was after the ceremony when I had the chance to meet up with those I had acted with during the finals, and for the most part say good bye. All were headed off to try their luck in the major theatrical centers throughout the country. Siena was preparing for a trip to Hollywood to pursue joining up with a small movie company that produced short films dealing with social topics of the day. We engaged in a surprisingly emotional good bye, perhaps brought on by the bond we may have formed when I was made up and acting like her best girlfriend during the times we were out in public. That might have worked to make the thought of not seeing each other again harder to take for both of us. I don't think I will really know for sure.

The tortures of the graduation ceremony withered in the face of the tortures I faced while waiting for the event I really wanted: to hear from Nigel. Time passed so slowly, that I began to question if he would call at all. But Nigel was true to his word and the much anticipated call came just before noon of the day he said it would. He opened by congratulating me, for the entire troupe had unanimously approved my joining them. My joy couldn't be contained and I let forth a loud yell in celebration. Instantly my mind was filled with the image of Nigel holding the receiver away at arm's length. I apologized profusely, but Nigel just chuckled before continuing on to say that the troupe was finishing up a tour, which would be followed by a short break before the prep work for a new play and tour would begin. That would give me enough time to quit my job, find housing, make the move, and settle in before joining the troupe and being put to work in a variety of jobs. I enthusiastically replied that I couldn't wait and looked forward to meeting all of the members. After some small talk, the call that would shape my life for the rest of my days came to an end.

The celebratory feel was with me and I wanted to share it, but with whom? With Siena being a fellow actor and with us possibly having formed a special bond, she was the logical choice, but was she still in town? A call to her apartment was met with a not in service message. Family was a good second choice, but they had left for home the day after graduation and I didn't relish making a lengthy down and back trip to celebrate with them. My thoughts then turned to Irene, who was just down and around the corner from me. But she had dumped me, so I really couldn't think of a reason why I would want to get with her outside of sex. That left Dawn, but my thoughts about her were becoming more disturbing than pleasant with each passing day. Still, she had opened my eyes and mind to a totally different social world, and I owed her for that, even if she had seduced me into going way beyond a verbal discussion of said world. Besides, she knew I would be leaving town someday after graduation and I couldn't just disappear out of her life without bringing whatever relationship we had to a close. Crystal had taught me better than that. A simple dinner at a really nice restaurant was in order.

Dawn worked the lunch and dinner hours at the sandwich shop and the best time to call her would be during her lunch break. I made a guess as to when that would be and called the shop when the reckoned hour arrived. My guess was pretty good as Dawn had just finished her lunch, but still had some time to talk with me. I quickly gave her my good news. She burst in with congratulations. She sounded really upbeat, but I could sense some hidden feeling or emotion or something I just couldn't put my finger on. I thanked her, and then asked if she would join me in celebration over supper that evening. She accepted and we set a time.

My next call was to my boss. I gave him my news and then told him that I would have to quit my job. He was happy for me and then quickly shifted to being sad for he hated to lose me. He was impressed with my total immersion into a historical period person and with my interaction with visitors. We worked out a last day that was good for both of us. The last call was to make reservations for dinner and was quickly accomplished. With time on my hands, my thoughts turned back to Dawn. She wasn't what I wanted to think about, but I seemed to be powerless to stop my mind from going there. It made for an afternoon that was far from the excitedly happy daydream filled time it should have been. The hours dragged by.

The time to get ready for my farewell date with Dawn finally came and I welcomed the chance to occupy my mind with something other than just Dawn. Soon, I was ready and was headed out the door to my car. The traffic was light, but I still timed my arrival so as to be knocking on Dawn's door on the hour. She was ready and greeted me wearing a bright red, fit and flare, mini dress with a sweetheart neckline. The look was very feminine and risqué enough to say that she was in favor of our evening together, becoming a night together. I escorted her to my car and helped her getting in. On the way to the restaurant, Dawn asked me about the troupe and the acting roles I would be cast in. I talked about all of the different jobs I would be doing, but when I came to the acting, I had to pause to take a deep breath, and as I let it out, revealed that the majority of the time I would be cast as a woman. Dawn prodded me into expressing how I felt about that. Strangely, I held back nothing and told her it was better than I could have wished for. My emotions flowed unhindered and with that came a sense of peace (for lack of a better word). Dawn expressed envy at my having the chance to live in two different worlds if and when I wished. That was something I hadn't considered but suddenly found intriguing. I filed the thought into memory as we pulled into the parking lot at the restaurant.

Our conversation during dinner started off well giving me the joyous celebration atmosphere I had sought after all afternoon. We covered more than just my new job and potential career. At one point, Dawn got into our relationship and it soon became clear she had developed a far greater emotional bond with me then I had with her. That made it all the more difficult to tell Dawn that I would very soon be leaving town to join the troupe at their base, bring whatever we had going to an end. Dawn put up a happy front, but I could see that she was taking it hard. It wasn't long before her true feelings took hold and she started to ask me about where I would be living. I had suspicions about where she was going and moved to head her off in case I was right. I gave the name of the town the troupe was based in, but quickly pointed out that I would on the road most of the time. My answer seemed to be one of great disappointment for Dawn and served to put a damper on our date. It was obvious that things between us had come to an end. All that was left was to take Dawn home.

I pulled up in front of the apartment building and found a parking space close to the entrance. I escorted Dawn to her door pretty much in silence. She unlocked the door and invited me in. I wasn't sure if I should, given that our relationship was at an end, plus I didn't know what her intentions were. All I could do was stutter while trying to find something to say. She then flat out asked me to spend the night, but I had yet to reconcile in my mind our first night in bed and declined, giving some phony excuse I suddenly was able to come up with. And with that, we said what would turn out to be not only good night, but goodbye.

The days I had left in town passed quickly as they were filled with all the preparations I needed to do for the move to a new town and job. Nigel had mailed me all sorts of paper work to be either read or filled out. There was also a map of the town with the location of the troupe's workshop and stage outlined with a red square. Areas around the workshop with affordable housing were circled in purple and numbered. Clipped to the map was a list of the type of housing at each numbered location on the map, the cost to buy or rent, and a phone number to call. On top of all that, I still had my last days at work. My parents even got in on the act by suggesting I pay a visit to home to go over my stuff still at home and decide what to get rid of and what to take with me once I got a place to stay at in the new town. And finding a decent place to stay was another problem requiring fast action, along with the question of do I rent or buy? Am I going to be with the troupe for the long haul making buying the preferred option? If so, can I qualify for a loan? And so on. It was all overwhelming. In a moment of inner quiet brought on by a feeling of total helplessness, it came to mind that I should seek advice from my parents about how to best approach my living choices. So when it was time to move out of my apartment, I packed everything in my car (with all of my female stuff boxed and buried in the trunk) and backtracked to home before embarking on the trip to a new home and life.

I arrived home in the evening to a warm reception. My parents were filled with questions about the troupe which I answered over a late dinner. I held back nothing, not even my potentially being cast as a woman most of the time. Dad was far less happy about that than Mom and seemed to get a little distant. It was at the end of dinner that the subject of where I was going to be living came up. I laid out my options in a manner that hinted at my needing their advice. They agreed with me that I had to be sure that this job would become my career before doing anything permanent. Then they surprised me by saying that there were significant funds left in my college trust fund for a down payment on a place of my own. I couldn't thank them enough. It was the peace of mind that I needed and it came with the added result of my sleeping well that night in my old room. The next morning after breakfast, I got to work sorting out my precious stuff that I would never part with when I was younger. There were a couple of things I wanted to take with me, but most of it I found childish and no longer wanted. It's amazing just how much growing up one does after attending school away from home. What little I wanted was tossed into my car and after an emotional good buy with my parents; I hit the road that would lead to life as an adult.

Act 4, scene 1

The trip to the town the troupe headquartered in took all of three days and I pulled into a motel late enough that the only thing I could accomplish in my new home town was find dinner and hit the sack. The next morning, I arose late enough that finding breakfast didn't make much sense. The motel office had coffee and donuts available and would suffice until the approaching lunch hour. With my stomach appeased, I headed for the workshop to leave word for Nigel that I was in town. To my surprise, Nigel was at the workshop and greeted me warmly. He gave me the two quid tour, as he put it, and introduced me to the few troupe members who were on site. They were a friendly lot and I was warmly welcomed. All complimented me on my acting abilities as related by Nigel and were anxious to see me work. Nigel broke in and declared a lunch break for all at a British style pub. It was the perfect chance to make much needed friends with the bonus of making the merging into the troupe as a whole, a lot easier.

The pub was one of those little gems one rarely hears of. It had an authentic English country inn atmosphere both inside and out. The food was that of the common working class Englishman and could best be described as comforting. The portions were ample as was the friendliness and charm of the staff. Nigel picked a table along a side wall and as we sat, a buxom waitress placed a pitcher of ale and a mug for each of us on the table before we even had a chance to order. I couldn't help but look her over, but for some reason I seemed to be more interested in what she was wearing than her. She was wearing a white, full skirt mini dress with a really low cut neckline and short puffed sleeves, over which she wore a black, lace up front vest, the top of which came up under her breasts. Flashbacks of Laura's pirate costume on that fateful Halloween night filled my mind. I guess in my absentmindedness I must have been staring at our waitress as the guy next to me suddenly nudged me in the ribs and said for me to "forget about it, she's married". I could feel my face turning bright red, much to the delight of our waitress. It was time to redirect my thoughts to lunch. As I looked over a menu sign that was up on the wall behind the bar, Nigel recommended the bubble and squeak cakes. I had no idea what it was, but the name intrigued me so I ordered it. It turned out to be a potato, vegetable, and bacon hash with a fried egg on top. It was perfect for lunch, that is to say, hardy, satisfying, and quite filling. Our conversation centered mostly on who I was and where I came from with everyone throwing in any similarities or opposites in their own lives. Nigel brought up the subject of housing and the rest of the guys came forth with where they and the rest of the troupe called home.

We all finished eating at about the same time and that seemed to signal a break in the conversation. As I sat back and contemplated the meal, I became aware of a spell being woven by the food and atmosphere. Social barriers and formalities had all but dissolved away. Strangers were fast becoming friends. It was magical, and it wasn't just at our table. I noticed it permeated the entire room as I looked about. Each time eye contact was made, I was given a welcoming smile. Anyone entering the pub received the same and often more. My tour of the room came full circle back to my group. They were all looking at me with big smiles and in unison, raised their mugs up and towards me. There was no need for words. I had been assimilated. Any resistance would have been futile (and foolish). I was now one with the troupe and the town. A big smile materialized on my face as I raised my mug up towards the others, making contact with all. We emptied our mugs, settled up the bill, and headed out while exchanging brief words of parting with all the other patrons. Nigel said for me to come to the workshop in two days at 9:00am for a meeting on the next play. We then parted company with the guys headed back to the workshop while I began the hunt for a place to stay.

My question of renting or buying had been silently answered in the pub. I knew I wanted to be with the troupe for the rest of my days, and if not as an actor, then as a stage hand, makeup artist, set builder, or whatever was needed. The conversation at lunch showed that most of the troupe had a residence in old hotels that had been converted into condos and studio apartments. With all of the traveling the troupe did, it made sense that their home base would be small and could be looked after by adjacent neighbors. I spent the rest of the day looking at all of the condos that were available. My choice was made that night as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to take command. In the morning I returned to the sales office that offered the condo I wanted. It took what seemed like hours to do all of the paperwork, make credit and reference checks, apply for a loan with the seller, and call my parents to arrange the transfer of funds for the down payment. But finally it was a done deal and I was handed the keys, although technically I couldn't move in until my loan was approved and escrow cleared. The way around that was to pay a month's rent up front which would be applied to the first loan payment with the clearing of escrow. The paying of the rent brought the buying of my first home to a close and I bolted out of the office, ready to lug stuff from my car to my new home.

My condo had been converted from three hotel rooms. The entrance was to the middle room and would serve as my living room. To the right was an open kitchen with a dining area down in front of the windows. To the left was the bathroom and bedroom. The bathroom was arranged with the shower at the back of the room and partially closed off. The vanity and toilet were in the front area and was accessible from both the living room and the bedroom. The arrangement meant that the only bathroom could serve as the guest or master bathroom by a selective locking of doors. All three of the main rooms had windows covering the far wall, although the view out any of the windows wasn't the greatest, but then again, the greater the view the greater the price of the condo. Outside of built-in appliances, it didn't come with any furniture. That would appear as funds rolled in, which meant I would need a part time job while in town. But that would have to wait as the rest of the afternoon was spent making many a tiring trip to get everything from my car up to my condo and putting it all away. When at long last I was done, I was suddenly hit by pangs of hunger. It was not surprising given that in the excitement of moving in to my new home, I had forgotten about lunch. I headed out to find a sandwich shop.

A promising sandwich shop was found near a large mall after a roundabout search. I got a large sub that was pretty good and managed to pack the entire thing away, much to the surprise of the other patrons. As I finished off the last of the sub, I gave thought as to what I would do next. Fatigue was still with me, so it was decided to just head home by the most direct route. But I didn't get too far before spotting a military surplus store. An idea hit me that I might find a cot I could use to sleep on until I could afford a bed. I quickly jerked the car over to the curb in front of the store and parked. Little time was wasted getting from inside my car to inside the store. I looked around and spotted a stack of cots over to one side of the store and made a beeline for the display. The cots were on a clear out sale and I had enough money to get one. After buying it, I headed back to my car and soon resumed my trip home. Luck was with me and I found a parking spot near the elevator. The cot was lugged up to my condo and was soon setup in my bedroom, made up with the sheets and blanket I had gotten for my apartment bed. Needless to say the bedding was way oversize, but I made due. Tiredness and the lack of anything interesting to do made for a good reason to prepare for bed and hit the sack. Sleep came easy.

I awoke the following morning with more than enough time to eat a simple breakfast, get dressed, and get to the workshop on time. I entered through the front door and was greeted by the sound of voices coming from a hallway off to the side. I followed the voices and was lured to a room filled with the troupe members. As I came to the doorway, I saw Nigel who was halfway between leaning and sitting on a table at one end of the room facing the members who were sitting or finding a place to sit in chairs arranged in rows in front of him. Nigel noticed me and quickly motioned for me to join him. He then called for everyone's attention. After introductions, I was prodded into giving a history of my acting roles and education and was well received by different troupe members as I listed the courses I had taken. There were a few inquires for more information about my non acting theatrical skills. Once that ran out it was then time for me to actually join the troupe. I got a lot of handshakes as I moved through the group to an empty chair. Nigel again called for everyone's attention and then went over the play the troupe had voted on (prior to my joining) as the next one to produce. It was when Nigel announced the casting that I knew I was being showcased as a new member, probably to increase draw in towns the troupe had played before. I had been cast as the female lead in a roaring twenties themed play profiling a prominent vamp of that time. I couldn't believe my luck. Not only was I getting the chance to assume the persona of a vamp again, I was getting paid to do so. Sometimes life's a bitch, and sometimes, life's a lover.

The casting was cause enough for everyone to turn to each other and make comments or tease certain members. Being the new guy, I certainly got more than my share of both. Nigel occupied himself by moving to a white board on a rolling stand and turning it around to face everyone. On it was a grand schedule covering rehearsals, set building, costume making, and more. As everyone started to turn to look over the board, volunteers gave voice to what jobs they wanted in on. I seized the first opportunity to volunteer for makeup and then set design and construction. Nigel hastily wrote names next to each task and then passed out scripts. We took the better part of an hour reading over the script and conversing with the other actors in our scenes. As the talk died down, Nigel opened the meeting for ideas on fleshing out the characters, their costumes, the sets, and so on, all of which was added to the board. I soon got the impression that it was going to be a long meeting, and so it turned out to be. Our meeting lasted well into the afternoon with the only break being for a pizza delivery that would suffice for a working lunch.

As the meeting proper came to a close, no one left the workshop. Instead everyone formed up in small groups based on their non acting jobs. I got with the two women who had also volunteered for makeup. I was greeted with warm hugs from both Val and Zari. With Val, I was instantly reminded of Siena in both age and uninhibited personality. Her hair was short, shaggy, and an unnatural bright red, but unlike Siena, it wasn't a wig. Zari was quite the opposite. She was, as they used to say, a woman of color with a stately, but hard, beauty about her. She wasn't what one would think of as friendly but was far from being hostile. She seemed to give the impression that she could quickly become aloof. The two women were quite a contrast and triggered a flashback to my primary final scene at the acting school. My experiences in that scene would serve me well in connecting with both women.

It turned out that Val and Zari were usually the only ones who did the makeup and this was the first time they would have much needed help. While they appreciated my volunteering, I quickly got the impression that they were skeptical as to how much help I would be as they questioned me on prior experiences and on tools and supplies. I had to admit that I had no experience in working on others outside of the class room, but I did have a professional kit. They were impressed with my having the proper tools but were still a little leery of my being able to makeup an actor to fit his/her role. I gave argument by relating my having made myself up as a woman and moving about in public without being made on more than one occasion. Val's reaction bordered on violence for she lunged at me and squeezed the ever loving stuffing's out of me. Zari expressed her pleasure in a more business like way. After Val let go, we got on with a few remaining issues.

Once I was squared away with the makeup group, I checked in with the set design group and even though I had far less to offer them then I did with the makeup group, I was still warmly received. We got straight into a brainstorm as to what extent the backgrounds should be. A minimalist design was eventually decided on. There would be just enough background construction to set the mood and not overshadow the actors. We spent the rest of the meeting roughly sketching out our ideas for all the different scenes. As the meeting approached an end, Nigel called a halt and had each group present what they had decided on to the whole troupe for comments. Our concepts for the set designs received many critiques along with suggestions. We took note of all comments and would incorporate the ones that worked in the concept the rest of the troupe favored.

The meeting finally broke up and all headed for home, except me. If I was going to survive until I received my first pay check, I was going to need a part time evening job, but what kind of job? If there were any acting based jobs it would be a sure bet that they would be taken by the members of the troupe. And with my being only available for part time, there was a definite need for something that paid more than minimum wage. A thought occurred that perhaps I could find decent pay with a major department store in sales. The idea quickly grew on me and I soon headed for the nearest mall. Actually, it was the only major mall in town and there were only three nationwide department stores. I arrived at one end, parked, and quickly made for the store that anchored that end of the mall. The one job they had was for a seasonal helper position at minimum wage, nowhere near what I needed. Strike one. I headed for the store that branched off the malls center court, but was meet with strike two as no jobs were offered. Fearing a likely third strike at the last store at the far end of the mall, I almost called it quits. But a called strike out wasn't in my nature. If I was going down, then I was going down swinging. I entered the last store and sought out the head of personal. Her name was Phyllis and she informed me that there were three jobs available. The first two were in major appliances and high end home electronics, both of which required someone with a lot of knowledge about the products and finding solutions to customer problems, none of which I had. The third opening was primarily in women's wear but would extend into cosmetics on low traffic nights. With my schooling, I fit the position fairly well, but the store policy dictated that only a woman could be hired for that position. I just nodded my head as if I understood and headed for home.

Actually I left the store and raced home for a thought had unexpectedly come up out of the dark. It was a challenge Dawn had put forth, one I had strongly objected to back then, but now saw as a means to getting a much needed income. Back in my condo, I got to work transforming me into the character I played in the acting school final with Siena. Soon, all that was left for me to do was make a final check in the bathroom mirror and quietly exit my condo after making sure there was no one in the hallway. From then on, it would be the same as when I left Siena's apartment after a dress rehearsal. The hallway was verified as empty and I was off.

It wasn't long before I was back in the store. I got hold of Phyllis and inquired about the job in women's wear. She asked me my name to which I replied with Michelle, but intentionally withheld my last name. That didn't seem to matter as Phyllis started the interview. As the interview became more intense, she took me on a tour of the floor, pointing to various item of clothing and asking me all sorts of questions about them. I must have answered all well enough for she then had one of the saleswomen act as a customer with questions. There were some difficult ones which I tried my best to answer, although there was one I couldn't handle. Quickly I searched my mind to find a way to save myself and came up with the idea of asking one of the other saleswomen to see if they had the answer. That impressed Phyllis enough for her to lead me to one of the cosmetic counters where she again had the saleswoman act as a customer. It was there that I really shined and impressed both women. Phyllis didn't need to hear any more and offered the job to me on the spot. I readily accepted and together we headed back to her office to fill out some paperwork. As she led me into her office, she addressed me as Michelle and said for me to have a seat. As I sat down, I confessed that my name wasn't really Michelle. She looked at me kind of strange. I then told her in my real voice that my name was Mike and I had been in earlier. She sat bolt upright and stared at me in total shock. Before she could recover her senses and chew me out, I explained that I was an actor and was accustom to portraying a female character and could easily handle the job as a woman. It was clear that she was fighting to control her composer. We had a restrained discussion with both of us giving point and counterpoint that went on for some time.

Not making any headway, I changed tactics and asked if there were any crossdressers or transgendered on the stores staff. Phyllis shook her head no, to which I suggested that to be politically sensitive to changing times, perhaps the store should have one, and pointed out that I came with the knowledge and personality needed for the job. That caused Phyllis to pause for some time. Finally, she played her trump card: what if a female customer discovered that I wasn't a woman? Not everyone was tolerant of crossdressers. I simply responded by theorizing that it could work in the stores favor. If I was wearing the stores latest hot fashion, I could point out to any female customer who had breached my disguise, that if it looks good on me, she should imagine how well it would look on her! There was no reaction from Phyllis, so I casually added a joke about the clothes making the man. Phyllis surprised me by shaking her head and laughing. She then said okay, and would give me a try. From a rack of papers on top of a filing cabinet, came some forms for me to fill out.

With the completion of the paperwork, Phyllis welcomed me on board and led me to an employee's room where she could call a meeting with those I would be working with. They, of course, would have to know that I was a man in drag, although it was decided to confine that fact to just them. I expected some kind of snickering or even outright laughter, but there was none. They were too wrapped up in how well I came off as one of them. Next on the agenda was to outfit me in the store uniform. It came in a few colors and those of my coworkers, who didn't have to be back on the floor, took great delight in having me dress in each color and model it for them. I have to admit that I rather enjoyed it, and quickly slipped into a toned down vamp persona learned on that wondrous Halloween night so long ago. I received applause from all. In the end, it was decided by vote that brown was my color. I then had to choose between the pant suit and the skirt suit. To me there was only one choice, and that was the skirt suit. I was issued one in my size along with matching low heeled pumps. My coworkers arrived for work dressed in their uniforms, but my having to leave and arrive home as Michelle was a no go. No matter what precautions I took, I would eventually be discovered by my neighbors, and that was something I felt had to be avoided. Fortunately, no one had a problem with my changing into Michelle in the employee locker room, so my uniform and shoes were put in a locker assigned to me. Phyllis gave me some literature to read over, and said for me to report for work the next night. I left for home with my mind filled with visions of the adventures to come from my living and working part time as a woman. It was to occupy my mind and be expanded upon for the rest of the evening. As I headed off to bed, I even had the thought of contacting Dawn and telling her that I was partially taking up her challenge after all, but I didn't act on it.

The next morning I got up out of bed, anxious to go to work, first at the workshop with the troupe and then at the department store. My usual morning routine was quickly completed and I was out the door with script in hand. The scene that greeted me on the workshop stage was the troupe members pairing up to read through scenes they were in together. As soon as I came on stage, I was motioned by the leading man and supporting actress to join them. We worked on our first scene until the director arrived. That's when the real work began and continued up to lunch break. After lunch we worked on set building, costumes, and anything else requiring attention. We called it a day just before dinner where upon I raced home to pickup my makeup and wig which were stuffed into a paper bag and would be stored in my locker at the store. I was then off to a small food court to eat a quick dinner before reporting for work at the department store. In the stores employee locker room I established a routine where I would change into Michelle at the start of my shift and back into myself at the end of my shift. It worked out well for me and would last up to dress rehearsals.

While my duties at the department store were in and of themselves routine, dealing with customers was anything but. I was able to handle most of the problems, but some of the more demanding customers (I'm being kind here) required a team effort. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed my job, but never more than when a customer would ask me to model an outfit for her, and occasionally, him! To think a man wanted to see how something looked on me before he gave it to his wife or girlfriend was, well, it's hard to describe the emotional high that swept through me, or the feeling of validation of my being a woman instead of a crossdresser. Perhaps it was akin to something Dawn experienced when she was asked out by a man. If acting didn't have such a strong hold on me, I could see myself in a career as a crossdressed salesman selling women's wear just for that thrill. But acting did have an unbreakable hold on me and playing before a paying audience held an even greater thrill for me.

At the workshop, rehearsals progressed rapidly as well as set building and costuming. It was also when I was taught the tricks of the trade, one of which was the making and use of a gaff to hide the male gender when playing a female roll. It was something I would have to have by the start of dress rehearsals, so what little free time I had, was spent acquiring materials and making my own gaff that would be custom fitted to my requirements. I tried the finished product out by wearing it to my evening job. It made a slightly noticeable improvement to the look of the front of my skirt and I instantly decided to wear it for my job at the department store as well as for dress rehearsals.

The day of our first dress rehearsal is one I will never forget. I had been slipping into female mode from day one, which seemed to have a positive effect on everyone's acting, which in turn may have resulted in rehearsals progressing rapidly. It looked like we would be ready ahead of schedule in spite of there being one scene that had not been entirely addressed. That would be taken care of as we did a run through of the entire play in full costumes and staging. In that yet to be run through scene, my character was to share a hard, passionate, and prolonged kiss with the leading man. I had been rehearsing the scene over and over in my mind, using the faking technique Crystal had taught me, trying to find the best way to position my character to block the audience's view. I felt ready when the scene was finally run through. When the big moment came, I moved to what I considered to be the best position only to be stopped by the director. He re-positioned me so that the action between me and the leading man would be in full view of the entire audience. There would be no faking a kiss with this group. The director call for action and the leading man seized me by my upper arms. He forcibly jerked me towards him, bringing our bodies crashing together. Without any apparent hesitation, he planted one full on my mouth. I was in total shock and failed to react, but not for long. Instead of trying to push my way out of the leading mans grasp, my female mentality rose up and returned the kiss without reservation. It turned out to be the exact response the director had wanted. He had purposely skipped doing the scene until the last hour so that my initial and final responses would be fresh in my mind as we hit the road.

While the kiss was electrifying, and my reaction to it surprising, there was one other benefit, if you will. With me being mentally in female mode, my fellow actor's passion served to further validate my being a woman as opposed to acting as one. That in turn caused me to take my acting as a woman to a level I had had not imagined possible. It was something that didn't go unnoticed by the director and my fellow actors, especially the one who had kissed me. His name was Jack. He had a rugged handsomeness about him and was dressed in a manner that suggested that he was one of society's dropouts, with possible criminal tendencies. With my being deep in girl mode, I was strangely drawn to him, and found myself looking him over whenever the opportunity presented its self. Eventually, my mindset fancied having to run through the kissing part of the scene over again. That was strange enough, but it was after rehearsal when things took a bizarre direction. As we all started to disperse to change out of our costumes, Jack quickly worked his way through the crowd and intercepted me. In a seasoned and confident manner, he asked me out for a bite to eat at a little café within easy walking distance. That should have been a warning that Jack had an incorrect assumption about my sexual orientation, but my mindset quickly took over before the real me had a chance to surface and set him straight. Still, I turned him down, but give the excuse of my having to work at my evening job. Jack was visibly disappointed. He continued the conversation by inquiring about my job. With me still dressed as my character keeping me in female mode, I told him that I was a saleswoman in the women's fashion department at a major store in the mall. Jack was visibly pleased and took it as an opportunity to suggest that we get together after work. More warning signs, but my mind was ignoring what my ears heard and agreed to meet him at the end of my shift. We parted to change out of our costumes and go our separate ways.

My time at the department store passed quickly enough, although I was still anxious to get off work, change personas, and meet up with jack. He was waiting for me outside the stores employee entrance but was not wearing a happy look. Jack was visibly shocked and confused. His speech was a little disjointed, but I able to put enough together to get the impression that he thought with my having a job as a saleswoman, it would naturally follow that I arrived and left the store as a woman. He apparently thought we had made a date, for which I would remain in a female persona. My changing at the store was something he hadn't counted on and was thrown off his game. He tried to regain his composure by laying out his plans for the evening along the line of doing some dancing at the nightclub, have a few drinks, some deep conversation, and if things went well with us, possibly end up at his place for a nightcap. Finally my mind caught on to what Jack was up to and I let him know in no uncertain terms, that I did NOT swing that way and wanted no part of it. Jack was visibly stunned, and stormed off without saying a parting word. Having nothing better to do, I headed back to my condo where I would call it a night, but I knew it would be yet another time when sleep would not be coming any time soon. Many a question ran through my head, with the most disturbing one being, what was it like to experience sex as the girl? It was another one of those why was I asking myself that type of question moments. One thing was certain, the misunderstanding would put a chill on jack and I working together that would last for quite awhile.

Act 4, scene 2

In spite of the cold front between Jack and me, we completed rehearsals and all of the prep work needed to put on a play on schedule. I had put in a leave of absence request with Phyllis at the store, and was quickly granted. With my job waiting for my return, I could concentrate on our road trip and my acting. When the truck was loaded, the troupe climbed aboard an old bus and we took to the road. I was bursting with excitement, and why not? To think that I was headed for my first professional performance before a live audience of total strangers was mind boggling. It was an emotional high that resurfaced with each town we came to play at, but none stronger than that of the first town. It was a mid size community barely big enough to be called a city. It was a place the troupe had played at many times before. They knew what to expect of the city folk, and the city folk knew what to expect from the troupe. The only wildcard was me. We made town late enough in the day that all we could do was disperse to find dinner and then meet up in the hotel lobby to pair up, get our room assignments, and hit the sack. A long day of hard work would begin come morning.

Morning arrived with my roommate and I being rousted out of bed by Nigel pounding on the door. Only after we assured him that we were up, did he move on to assault the next door. Having to share a room with someone was a new experience for me, one that would force some changes in my morning routine. My roommate's name was Shaun, and he was charged with showing me the ropes of life with a traveling troupe, both in and out of the theater. When we were both ready for the day, we left the hotel and met up with other troupe members at a family style restaurant for a hardy but a not too filling breakfast. With the work that would be waiting for us, it was essential to be fully energized, but not stuffed to the point of handicapping our ability to work hard right after eating. And work we did, starting with unloading the truck.

The most demanding part of unloading the truck was the scenery and props. It was not just the size and unwieldiness of the pieces that we had to contend with, but the assembly and arranging of the sets backstage in a specific order so as to expedite changing scenes as the play progressed. It took a lot of thought and rearranging to fit everything in the confines of backstage. It was a task that never got easier as the layout and space available at each theater we played at was different. It was physically demanding work that would be finished with the staging of the background and props for the first act and scene. We had just started the unloading of that background from the truck, when Nigel popped through the backstage roll up delivery door carrying a couple of large bags. He held up the bags and declared an immediate lunch break. No one gave argument.

The work of assembling the first scenes background and setting it up the stage resumed as soon as lunch ended. It took more than an hour of combined effort to pull it off, at which point it was inspected, and approved. Everything else needed to put on a play was lugged in off the truck and bus. Each actor then claimed a workstation and set it up with everything needed to bring his or her character to life. Finally, late in the afternoon, we were free to go. Before leaving, I took several minutes to tour backstage and on stage to take in all we had done. It was astounding and didn't seem real. Nothing seemed real. It was hard to believe that in roughly twenty-four hours, I would be making my professional debut before a packed house of strangers with their eyes and attention locked on to my every move and word. The thought entered my mind that this audience would be very different from a high school or acting school audience and would be expecting a much higher level of acting. The thought was self inflating, giving ample room to panic, which in turn triggered a case of stage freight. It would take many an hour to dispel it and would hound me to bed where exhaustion and sleep could finally take command.

The morning of one of the biggest days of my life began with Nigel repeating his performance of rousting all of us out of our respective beds by pounding on the room doors. Shaun and I got up and engaged in our own morning routine, trying to weave the two together so as not to cause problems for the other. It would take many a morning to work out routines that worked for both of us. Breakfast was the same as the day before, but the conversation was very different. Everyone was excited about the performance that was just a dozen hours away. There was a lot of well wishing, teasing, joking, and last minute critiques of everyone's acting methods. I got more than my share of all. After breakfast, we gathered at the theater for a run through of the entire play in full costume and staging. Our audience was made up of the theaters owners and the staff. There were a few staging problems brought on by the space limitations backstage that weren’t present at the workshop. Solutions were debated and acted on. All in all, it was a very successful run through verified by our tiny, but enthusiastic, audience. High fives and hugs spread throughout the troupe. Nigel expressed his confidence that we were ready and released us to our own devices. The time up to when we would have to be back at the theater passed slowly.

With the advertised hour of our opening performance being just an hour away, the troupe started to arrive backstage and get into costume and makeup. Val, Zari, and I had arrived ahead of the rest of the troupe so as to be finished applying our own makeup giving us the time needed to work on the other actor's makeup. All went well and most of the actors were ready when the five minutes to curtain call went out. Those in Act 1 scene 1 assembled on stage and took their positions. A final check around was finished just as the director started to back off stage displaying a silent five second countdown using the fingers of one hand held up in front of him. He hit zero as the clock hit the advertised hour, cued the curtain, and took an observation position off stage with a copy of the script in hand. It was show time.

The curtain rose on my new life as an actor. A more intense thrill than the one I had experienced during my first play back in high school welled up inside me threatening to overwhelm my emotions. But I had been trained well by my teachers at acting school and wasn't about to let this thrill have any adverse influence my performance. I would act as my director wanted and did. Everyone did, even Jack in the kissing scene. He did it with all of the passion as if we were lovers, much to the audience's startled amazement. Any lingering frigged emotions he felt towards me had been checked backstage. He was a true professional.

The play ran through without even so much as a hint of any problems, miscues, or botched lines. It was so very different from any school performance I had been part of. And the audience could not have been better. They had reacted as wanted during the scenes of romance, comedy, and one very special scene near the end of the play, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I was on top of the world and the old feeling of not wanting it to end paid me another visit. To my surprise there was to be more for the troupe had a tradition of the main characters, in costume, mingling with audience members in the theaters lobby. We would field questions, pose for pictures, and occasionally sign an autograph. It was far more than what Dawn and her friends had treated me to back at the school, and I loved it. All too soon, I, and my fellow actors, had to wave goodbye to what remained of our adoring public. I was filled with joy and the certainty that I had found the answers to all my childhood questions. Suddenly, I couldn't wait for a review of the play to hit the news stand. It was as if it would verify that I had indeed found the answers to the questions of my youth that I had been seeking for so long.

A review of the play did appear in a late morning edition of the local newspaper. With me being the new kid in the theater, a good chunk of the review was on not just my performance, but the manner in which I came off as a woman and the effect I had on the audience. It stood to reason, what with the troupe's signature being men playing the role of women. The critic's slant of the review in my direction served to inflate my ego to the point where I overlooked the fact that the review was about the entire play and the praise was for the entire troupe and not just for me. After reading the review for the third time (ignoring the part on the play itself) I began feeling and acting a bit cocky. It took a whack up aside my head (literally) and a few choice words from my roomy to make me realize that the troupe was the star, not any single individual, and I wasn't always going to be cast in a premier role, indeed, there would even be times when I wouldn't be cast at all but would be just one of the grunts. The review suddenly took on a whole different value than the one I first gave it, one that would serve to keep me humble for the rest of the tour. It has retained that value over the years, and has been referred to whenever I occasionally needed a reminder of just who I am in relationship to the troupe as a whole.

The tour covered a lot of the country and would take us close enough to my parent's home town that they could attend a performance if they wished. I called them well in advance of the first performance date in the nearest town to them and let them know. Mom was very enthused and asked what the play was about. I gave her a quick summery and then add a caution about my being cast as the leading lady. She brushed that aside and said that she welcomed the chance to see me perform professionally. I thanked her and would arrange for tickets to be waiting for them at the will call booth. I also arranged for backstage passes so that they could meet my new friends and see my life as an actor. Thoughts of what my dad would think and say about my performance seized control of my mind, but not to the point where I couldn't refocus and give my best performance to a paying audience. I was acting like a seasoned professional and maintained that right up to the performance my parents would be attending.

Opening night in a new theater is always filled with a complex mix of emotions no matter how many times one has preformed the play in other theaters. My parents being in the audience certainly added to my emotional list. As our show time approached, everyone checked their emotions at the stage door and got down to getting ready to perform. By that time I had become well versed in making up my fellow actors and finished my work with more than enough time to check out the audience through a peep hole in the curtain. I was of course looking for my parents and quickly spotted them in the second row just off center. They would be right on top of the action and see every little detail of my performance. That meant my dad was going to get more than an eye full come the kissing scene. It was not something I wanted to think about, so I retreated backstage to get into costume and focus my mind on performing my part. I had just finished getting dressed when the five minutes to curtain call came. All I had left to do was to make a final head to toe check. My makeup - was perfect. My costume - was perfect. My mind set - was female. My parents – were not in my thoughts. Show time – bring it on.

The play ran flawlessly. I had given it my all. Everyone had given it their all. At the end, the audience gave us their all. After a couple of additional curtain calls, the main characters met members of the audience in the theaters lobby still decked out in their final scenes costume and makeup. Mom came rushing out of the crowd with Dad following at a slower pace. She took a position short of me to look me over and over. Her mouth was open but she was speechless. Dad was stunned. It was an awkward moment that I hoped to break by pointing to my very sexy and revealing outfit with both hands and saying that it was just a costume and actors wear costumes. My dad shook his head no, and proclaimed that I was doing far more than wearing a costume and acting, for if he hadn't known ahead of time which character I was cast in, he would not have been able to pick me out. He felt that my performance was so spot-on and that I was so into the part that I was more of a woman acting as a woman. He extended his praise to the rest of the male troupe members who were cast as women. Everyone's performance was so good that he gave up trying to figure out which female characters were actually played by women and just sat back and enjoyed the play. He wrapped things up by remarking that this performance, as a whole, was worlds apart from the high school plays I had acted in. Mom voiced her agreement and added her impression of the special scene near the end of the play with Dad simply nodding his head in agreement. I embraced and thanked both of them profusely for their implied acceptance of my new life style. After a short while, my parents accompanied me backstage where they met and chatted with my new friends. After I changed back into my street clothes, we hit the town until the troupe's curfew forced me to say good night to my parents. We would meet one last time in the morning before they headed back home.

The rest of the plays tour went just as well with an adoring audience giving me a huge sense of self worth. But as great as it all was, the play would turn out to be just a test to give Nigel a greater sense of my suitability for a far more demanding role in a hard hitting social drama. It was a play that the troupe had wanted to put on for a long time, but as good as the troupe members were, none could convincingly handle all of the aspects that the role demanded of its actor. It was one time when close wasn't good enough. Nigel had been hunting the acting schools of the U.S. and Great Britain for a new talent that could fill that role. He had obtained a more in depth description of my scene with Siena and was intrigued enough to check me out. I didn't know it at the time, but as impressed as he was of my acting, he need to see much more, hence my being cast as the leading lady in my first play with the troupe. But even that wasn't enough.

As I hinted at earlier, this first play had a special scene near the end. It had been designed to push the leading actor's acting and mental skills to their limits. It was a nightclub scene involving what appeared to be an all male chorus line, but it had one disguised addition. My vamp character would start the scene costumed in a red sequined bodysuit tux that would be completely covered up by a black 20's cocktail dress. She would enter stage left and be escorted by her date across the stage to a small group of tables at stage right. She would be seated by her date with enough fanfare to ensure that the theater audience's attention was on her. She would be oriented so as to view a dance number that would take place at center stage. Her date would then take a seat between her and the theater audience, partially blocking their view of her. An emcee would enter center stage and divert the theater audience's attention away from my character. That would be my cue to slip off stage right and run around backstage to join the chorus line. In a very short amount of time, I had to slip off the black dress and put on a tear away man's tux on the run. At that point I would be next to my fellow actors in the chorus line, waiting for their cue. Zari would be there with makeup in hand to aid me in adjusting my makeup to look more like a man, but not so much as to hide my being a woman when my tux was ripped off revealing my character dressed in the red sequined bodysuit tux. The last thing to be done was to help me hide my wig under a top hat. It was then that I could finally slip into the chorus line as they came on stage. It was a tall order, but not for the work to be done. The scene was crafted to see if a man could portray a woman disguised as a man, then transition back into a woman at the key moment. The deciding vote on my acting ability would come from the audience's reaction at the reveal and at the close of the scene.

The special scene had progressed exceptionally well with everyone performing their tasks without a hitch or delay, both on and off stage. The theater audience had been totally taken in as evidenced by their very audible gasps at the reveal, instantly followed by the jerking of their heads to stare at where I had been sitting. They struggled to contain their surprise of finding an empty chair, and let the scene run to its end uninterrupted. As the curtain started to come down, the audience burst out in applause and leapt to their feet in a standing ovation with verbal expressions of a job well done. They didn't settle down with the fall of the curtain either and their combined voices were loud enough to be heard backstage. That, combined with everyone backstage hugging me and shaking my hand, sent me on an emotional high to lofty levels I'd never before experienced. From that point on, the life of an actor was the only life I wanted, and time has only served to reinforce that resolution.

Act 4, scene 3

After the plays tour ran out, we returned to home base. Once everything was unloaded and stored away we were released to enjoy a brief vacation. My vacation was part time as I had to report back at my job at the department store. As great as the time off was, all of the troupe members were anxious to get back to work and we soon found ourselves in the workshops meeting room, but with Nigel being absent. None of us had received a list of plays to review in preparation to vote on the one we would like to perform next, and with Nigel not being there to answer questions as to why, speculation started to run through the other members with many a member glancing my way. Nigel soon burst into the room sporting a huge smile and lugging a pile of scripts. Everyone became silent and turned towards him. He returned their gaze and announced, "I believe we have found our Jennifer. It is now time for us to present her to the world." Applause and expressions of joy erupted throughout the crowd. As for me, I felt that I had been deprived of some key information that everyone else already knew. The feeling was further reinforced when I received handshakes and pats on the back from everyone within reach and then some. Val, who was the closest to Nigel, got up and took half of the scripts from him. Together they started to pass them out with Nigel reserving the last one for me. As he thrust the script towards me, he looked deep in my eyes and said "Welcome to the troupe, Jennifer". For the third time in my life, I was in a complete state of befuddlement. All I could do was take the script and look down at it. In a state that was more mechanical than one of comprehension, I peeled back the cover page and stared first at a synopsis of the play and then the cast list. My name was at the top of the cast list.

I had been cast in the led role of Jennifer, a teenage girl who had been sexually abused by two of the family patriarchs during her childhood and early teen years. The rest of the family knew about it but refused to acknowledge it out of fear of tarnishing the very old and proud family name. She was told to be silent as it was not something to make a big deal about. That resulted in her coming to feel abandoned by her family. In her mid teens, she escaped the family and hit the streets where she found a lot more men who would readily take advantage of her. In order to hide from such men, she took the persona of a boy, only to find that there were men who favored boys. In order to survive, she had to be constantly on the move from city to city, switching between male and female depending on the situation she was in, and taking low level jobs suitable for the gender she appeared to be. Eventually, she runs into a radical feminist who could see the trouble the poor girl was in and befriended her off the streets. The feminist soon enlisted her in a national women's movement. She was mentored by the chapter members and became empowered with the strength and the will to take on the powerful family heads and bring the once proud house down.

I could not imagine a more sophisticated, complex, or emotionally charged role that would demand everything I had, both real and imagined. But my mind was suddenly filled with the question of why would I, a budding new actor with so little professional experience, have been cast in such a stellar role instead of one of the troupe members who had far more experience than me? I had to know, I had to ask Nigel, why? That's when Nigel filled me in on the demands of the part, the testing of all of the troupe members, and his quest to find an actor who could take on all the part demanded. It was why I had been invited to join the troupe, why I had been accepted, why I had been cast as the star in my first play with the troupe. With all Nigel had seen of my abilities and talent, he was sure I could do the part justice. I tended to dismiss the vote of confidence and took the view that I was being subjected to a trial by fire, by which I had to put up or go back home. On top of that, I only had Friday and the weekend to familiarize myself with my part. It all combined to overwhelm my emotions, and I slid into panic mode.

After overcoming the initial terror, my emotions changed to being thrilled at the challenge thrust into my hands. After a few hours of task assignments, scheduling, and fleshing out the character and scenes, we were released. I immediately set to researching the part by borrowing books and renting movies from the library. As soon as I got home, I got to work and didn't stop until exhaustion forced sleep upon me. Each following day would become a marathon study session that would last well into the night. When Monday morning came, I was tired, stressed out, lacking of sufficient sleep, and more ready to start rehearsals than for any prior performance in my short acting life. I entered the workshop with my confidence running high.

The first couple of rehearsals were a feeling out period for everyone. It was a chance to get a sense of just who the other characters were and their relationship with everyone else. The real work would soon follow and it was going to be really demanding of all, but especially for me as I had to prove to the other members of the troupe that I hadn't been miscast. I had thought of a few methods to accomplish that goal, but in the end it was the part itself that dictated the final solution. This career make or break part, required me, a young man, to portraying a teen girl who often portrayed a teen boy. It was a potentially confusing situation given that scenes were not always rehearsed in order and could quickly mess with my mind to the point of my not knowing who I was at any given point in time on stage. I also surmised that the situation could spill over into my private life and become even more confusing and complex given my job as a crossdressed salesman. It was a situation that screamed for simplification. It didn't take long for me to realize that the one thing I could eliminate was the same as that of my first play back in high school, the boy factor. This time though it wouldn't just be on stage, but off stage as well and would be more than just looks for I would have to temporarily put aside my being mentally male. There was really no other option, for deep down inside I knew that just acting as a woman was not going to cut it. I would have to totally throw myself into the part and mentally become a woman. My rehearsals with Siena were the perfect model for that very strategy. We were hugely successful in part because I became proficient at transforming into a woman in looks and mind set so completely that the public was totally fooled. This part would require the same, but on a far greater scale. To that end, I made the decision of showing up for the rest of the rehearsals, not as a man playing a female character, but as a woman, with a woman's mind set, mannerisms, and dressed in the same type of clothes as any female member of the troupe. Makeup would be just enough to hide my real gender, but nothing more, as none of the female members appeared to wear any makeup at all. Their hair styles were very short and maintenance free. I would have to match that in some way.

With my deciding to be a woman for the rest of rehearsals it stood to reason that I needed to take inventory of my female paraphernalia. I was set for makeup and considered picking up a short haired wig, but decided after a long debate with myself, to get my own hair cut in a unisex style with slight feminine undertones. That would work for my character whether she was presenting herself as a girl or a boy. Besides, there were a few scenes where my character engaged in violent confrontations with other characters and I didn't want to chance a mishap during the performances of having my wig fly off or be pulled off. The audience's reaction would be humiliating and the account in the press would be devastating to my self-esteem even if it was just a small town paper. Clothing was another problem as there was nothing in either of my male or small female wardrobe that would fit in with the other member's generic urban style. Of course that meant I had to go shopping and I was going to need several outfits, far more than I had budget for. It was quickly decided to get a couple of women's tops, pants, and if there was any money left, maybe a skirt. I would have to forgo male clothes for the time being. I also decided to go as a female to ensure the proper frame of mind in the selection of my wardrobe and that would also make it easier for me to visit a salon to get my haircut. With a synopsis in place, it was time to flesh out the scene.

On a day when the afternoon work session had been cut short, I brought my script to life. The type of woman I could become was severely limited by my female wardrobe, which consisted of one dress and a skirt suit. The dress became the only choice by default, as the store's skirt suit/uniform had no chance of fitting in with the type of clothing I needed, even without the jacket. Besides, it was in my locker at the store and I didn't want to go get it or wait for another opportunity. Makeup was no longer a problem as I had everything I needed and was fast becoming a professional artist, capable of transforming male actors, as well as myself, into female characters. My hair was a different story. It was in an obvious boy's style which meant it wouldn't fit in with my going out in public while made up as a woman and wearing a dress. I would certainly be the recipient of some horrific attention. Covering it with a wig would work until I reached the salon where I could also be the recipient of some horrific attention. After staring at my hair in the bathroom mirror for some time, my mind settled on the only logical solution: I would have to rewrite my script and get my hair cut in a neutral gender style as a man, return home to transform into a woman, and then go shopping. A look in the phone book gave me the address of a national chain that catered to men and women. I grabbed my car keys and was off.

The salon wasn't far from my condo and I was soon entering the lobby. They weren’t busy and I was led to a hairstylist, a young woman around my age. I explained to her about my being in the troupe and my need for a cut that would imply that I was male or female depending on how it was combed. She had me take a seat at her workstation and looked over my hair. She didn't say a word, but I knew she had come up with an idea when a big smile spread across her face. She maintained her silence as she reshaped my hair, adding a rather unsettling element of mystery. Soon enough, she turned the chair towards the big mirror at the back of her workstation. I was surprised to see that my hair had been styled in a manner that suggested a young boy's short hairstyle, except she had tapered it in back along the lines of a woman's style. As I stared at the image in the mirror, she further feminized the cut by teasing the sides slightly to give them a fuller and shaggier look. The front was left very long, teased a bit, and then smoothed to sweep across my forehead with the ends pointed to my ear. It was a very cute, free spirit, feminine look and I loved it. After she gave me some pointers on how to reproduce the look, I figured that with a minimum of practice, I would be able to restyle my hair as needed. But then I had concerns over if I could comb it back into a man's style. She said it would be no problem and showed me how to do it. I could not have been happier. I settled up the bill, and headed back for home with my hair in a unisex style with male overtones.

Back home, I headed straight for the bathroom to restyle my hair into a unisex style with female overtones. It turned out to be easier and quicker to do than I thought it would, and after admiring my efforts, I was soon ready to change into my dress, apply my makeup, and head back out to go shopping for clothes. A final check using a recently acquired full length mirror in the bedroom showed that I was ready. I retrieved my car keys and wallet from my pants pockets, put them in my purse, and made for the front door through the living room. I paused at the front door to listen for anyone being in the hallway. With no sound coming from the hallway, I quickly exited my condo and headed for the elevator. The elevator arrived at my floor empty, but didn't stay that way for long. It made a couple of stops to take on passengers, all headed for the garage. None paid me any attention outside of a young man who spotted me as he entered the elevator and came to stand next to me. He must have liked what he saw as he gave me a courtesy nod of his head with a bit of desire in his eyes. I had an uncontrollable urge to flirt back at him, but didn't want him to start up a conversation that could fast become awkward in the confines of the elevator. I forced myself to just bite my lower lip, lower my head, and slightly looked away from him. A big smile spread across his face as he turned toward the elevator door. We soon reached the first garage level and as a couple of passengers exited the elevator, the young man again turned his attentions to me. I again shied away from him as I left the elevator and headed off for my car. He must have gotten the message as he didn't follow. Soon thereafter I was in my car and underway, headed for the mall.

While traffic was light, the traffic lights seemed to be conspiring against me as I hit every one. While waiting at a red light a couple of blocks before the mall, I spotted a thrift store a couple of doors ahead. I could see just enough of the front display window to pick out a mannequin dressed in female clothing that might fit the look I needed. As soon as the light changed to green, I headed for a parking space a few doors beyond the thrift store. The prospect of finding just what I needed at bargain basement prices filled me with so much excitement that I just couldn't wait for a break in traffic to get out on the driver's side, so I twisted my body over to the passenger side and got out of the car there. It was a short brisk walk back to the thrift store. As I reached for the door handle, I caught sight of a rack of clothing that could work for the look I wanted and upon entry, went straight for it. I quickly fanned through the clothes and found several women's tops, pants, and a couple of well above the knee skirts in the urban style favored by the members of the troupe, in my size or close to it. With the urban style, clothes don't always have to fit perfectly and sometimes it's better if they don't. I also found some young men's clothing in the same style and added them to the pile. On the way to the register, I passed by a shelf with hats on it and spotted a newsboy cap that was the perfect compliment for the urban style. I of course stopped to try it on. The cap fit well enough to be added to my pile. It was on to the register. The tab ate up the lion's share of my available funds, but I had gotten far more than what I would have at the mall. I had stumbled upon a gold mine and decided to try other thrift stores as money became available to try and add a few more pieces. Hey, a girl never has enough clothes, right? Having spent most of my money, the urge to shop dissipated to the point where the mall was forgotten. Besides, I couldn't wait to get back home to assemble and try on my new outfits. The cashier put my new wardrobe in a dark plastic bag and passed it to me. I took it with a big smile and with a nod of thanks, headed out of the store. The bag was on the heavy side and was stowed in the trunk of my car. With a break in traffic, I ran around to get in on the driver's side and quickly got underway.

The traffic lights were mostly with me and I made good time getting back to the parking garage at my condo. It looked like a lot of the residents were going out for the evening as there were more than the usual open parking spaces. That was fortunate as I wanted a spot free of people yet close to the elevator. I found the perfect space on the next level up from the street level and pulled in. With keys in hand I got out of my car. After opening the trunk, I switched the car key for my door key and palmed the set. The bulky and heavy plastic bag was retrieved, the trunk lid slammed shut and I lugged the bag towards the elevator, grateful for the short walk.

With the majority of the residents having gone out for the evening, there was little chance of running into people, not something I wanted to do anyway. The elevator was on its way down, most likely headed for the lowest level of the parking garage. There was a brief moment of concern when it stopped at my level to let out a couple of passengers. I had positioned myself off to the side and wasn't really noticed by anyone getting off or staying on the elevator. The door closed soon enough and the elevator continued on down. I had a short wait for its return on the way up, although it was long enough for my mind to fill with images of the doors opening revealing a car packed with men who liked what they saw. To my relief, the doors opened to an empty car. The trip up was uneventful, but that was not to last.

I got off at my floor hoping for a free run to my condo, but as I stepped into the corridor I spotted a couple of my neighbors engaged in conversation. They were between me and my condo and didn't look like they would disappear any time soon. It was the worst possible thing to happen and I had no idea as to how I would get into my condo without being found out. I needed to stall for time, either for them to leave the corridor, or for my mind to come up with a plan. With nothing better to do, I started to look at numbers on the doors. One of my neighbors took note and called out to me, asking what I was looking for. I hesitated before replying with my condo number. He pointed down the corridor and gave an approximation of far I needed to go. I had no choice but to move in the indicated direction. As I came up to pass them, they started to make some comments that made me uneasy. My sister's warning and my unpleasant experience on that fateful Halloween night came flooding back to my mind and I quickly shot past them, much to their amusement. That seemed to bring their conversation to an end and they both disappeared into their condos bring back a sense of relief. But my troubles weren't over yet as I still had to get into my condo, but not as me. An idea came to me as I reached my front door. I pushed the doorbell button before quietly unlocking and opening it. I said "Hi" (to an empty room) before stepping through and closing the door. The ordeal of getting to and in my condo without being found out was finally over, and I leaned back against the front door with a deep exhale, feeling like a cleaver girl. As my mind relaxed, the urge to celebrate took over and I knew just how to do it.

I headed for the bedroom, lugging the bag of clothes with me. On the way, I paused to turn on some music on so my neighbors would think I was entertaining the "woman" who entered my condo. Finally in the bedroom, I heaved the bag up and turned it over to dump its contents out onto the bed. My new wardrobe was spread out and neatly arranged. In my mind, the pieces were assembled into outfits. There were so many possible combinations, but I knew not all would work. The task of sorting them all out would be made easier courtesy of the training I had unwittingly gotten from my sister during our dress up sessions. The pointers Laura made while dressing me, along with my own dress up sessions after she left for college, would help me create outfits fitting of my new persona. Of course, I just HAD to actually try them on and model each one in the front room. My inner girl willed me to start with a skirt based outfit.

I took off my dress and stepped into a short, full circle skirt that had a beige and black floral pattern. Over that came a yellow tank top and a very dark blue denim jacket. Foot wear was something I was short of, so I made due with a pair of canvas running shoes. After checking myself out in the bedroom mirror, I strutted out into the front room to model my new outfit to an imaginary audience. I walked to the front windows and posed for a short while before returning to where my "audience" awaited me. I again struck a pose and then ran my hands over each piece of my outfit. When the thrills ran out, it was back to the bedroom for another outfit, but not before I donned the hat and checked how it matched up with my outfit in the mirror. The rest of the outfits were along the same mismatched lines and mostly based on pants. Eventually hunger pains put an end to my fun and I retired to the kitchen to scare up some dinner, dressed in the last outfit. While I was eating, a thought came to mind that I had been acting just as my sister had on so many occasions, except my session (and fun) lasted so much longer than any of hers. It would become the norm for me whenever I bought home new women's clothing. I stayed dressed and made up for the rest of the evening until it was time for bed. I removed my makeup, changed in to my usual sleep wear, and hit the sack as a man. Sleep that night came quickly with dreams of my sister dressing me in "Barbie's" clothes, only this time I was her Barbie doll and not her Ken doll.

I awoke the next morning ready to hit rehearsals. My morning routine was not of the usual for I had decided to arrive at the workshop as Michelle. I was nervous even though, deep down, I knew the troupe would be cool with it. As far as being caught by my neighbors, experience told me that they either weren't up or around at that hour of the morning and I got home from my job at the department store at an hour that was past their out and about time. With some new found confidence, I started to transform into Michelle. My hair was still in a female style and only needed to have the slept in look brushed out. Makeup was minimal and quickly applied. I changed into one of the pants based outfits I had "modeled" the previous evening and checked myself out in the bedroom mirror. With the urban look, I didn't need to be every-hair-in-place perfect, but I did want to look good and still fit in with the female members of the troupe. My look fit my goal, but I couldn't help wanting a little more, something that would make me slightly stand out. My thoughts turned to accessorizing and the one accessory I had was the newsboy hat. It was retrieved and put on in front of the mirror. It was the perfect touch and I swelled with pride. The thought of "If Laura could only see me now!" and what she would think of her Ken doll filled my mind. Keys, wallet, and everything else I would need was gathered up and put in my lone purse as I headed for the kitchen. The purse was hung over the back of a kitchen chair and I fixed my usual breakfast. After eating my fill, I shouldered up my purse and headed for the front door. I paused to make sure no one was in the hallway before stepping out in to the public eye. I was on edge with apprehension that didn't dissipate until I was in the elevator. The rest of the trip to my car and on to the workshop was routine. I parked in my usual spot in back of the workshop.

My getting ready as Michelle had taken a little longer than I had thought it would and that resulted in my being latter than normal at the workshops back parking lot. That sort of worked in my favor as no one was around making getting out of my car a lot easier. But as I made for the back door, nervousness started to build with each step. I kept telling myself that I was being silly as there was nothing to worry about and tried to relax. Still, when I reached the back door, I paused to take a deep breath and as I let it out, yanked the door open. I stepped out of the bright sun and into an area lit only by some very dirty windows high up on the outer walls. I had to pause once again, but this time it was to let my eyes adjust to the low light. As my eyes adjusted, I could see that the workshop and backstage areas were devoid of anyone. It was to be expected given that we usually formed up on the stage for rehearsals. I threaded my way through the maze of clutter and props to my usual dressing station where I hung up my purse before heading for the stage. With only a moment of hesitation, I came on stage from the left and approached the nearest group of fellow members. No one recognized me, and I was quickly confronted. I just smiled back and said "It's just me, mike, or if you like, Michelle". I went on to explain that I was just trying to totally immerse myself in my character. After the initial surprise wore off, everyone seemed to be cool with it, especially the women, who sported big grins as they looked over my outfit. All went back to what they were doing except for Jack, who continued to look me over a little while longer with what seemed like renewed interest.

The rehearsal progressed along normal lines with one noticeable exception: me. With each passing hour, I slowly sank deeper into my character. By the end of rehearsal my mind set was more of my characters than mine. That was reinforced during our work session with everyone calling me Michelle and giving me tasks that the few women members usually got. At the end of the day, I retrieved my purse and left the workshop with feelings that were more intense than those I experienced when I went shopping after rehearsals with Siena dressed and made up as my crossdressing character. Adding to the experience was my arriving at the department store as a woman, where I was received favorably by my co-workers. By the end of my shift, I was so into being Michelle that I decided to do as my coworkers did, that is, show up for work dressed in my uniform and makeup. Also, instead of changing into my street clothes, I stuffed them into a shopping bag and headed for home dressed in my uniform.

As I left the building, my path was crossed by a couple of executive type men looking quite handsome in their three piece suits. I felt I was their equal dressed in my skirt suit, something they seem to verify when they said, with a smile and a nod of their heads, "Evening miss". It was the perfect end to an amazing, life altering day. Suddenly, I felt every bit a woman and wanted the world to know it. With a new outlook on life, I got in my car and headed home. The trip was uneventful and I found parking not too far from the elevator. I exchanged pleasantries with a couple of people waiting for the elevator. We rode up together with me being the only one to get off at my floor. I exited and moved into the hallway without any hesitation, for I no longer worried about running into my neighbors fully crossdressed, and if discovered, I was prepared to explain it all away with my being an actor in a challenging role. I no longer cared if someone couldn't handle it or worried about adverse reactions. My mindset had changed and unknown to me at the time, a much bigger change was in the works.

Between the rehearsals, the set building, and my evening job, there really wasn't any time left in the day for me to slip back into male mode except on my days off from my job. But it wasn't long before I started to "forget" to change back into my real self and remained in female mode for the whole day, every day. That was quickly followed by a desire to extend my day into the night, accomplished by my using my employee discount to buy different kinds of women's sleepwear at the department store. That night, I choose to don a flimsy nightie and slipped into bed. Of course I had to explore all of the new sensations this unfamiliar garment had to offer. It was an interesting contrast to my usual pajamas that quickly played out and I was left with lying in bed waiting for my mind to clear so sleep could take over. That's when it suddenly hit me that I had unwittingly taken up Dawn's challenge in full and had started living and working as a woman 24/7. I rather liked the idea and decided to take up the challenge not just for rehearsals, but for the entire run of the play. And if the play's tour came close to where Dawn lived, then I would pay her a visit and show her how her challenge was playing out.

My becoming a woman full time had an effect on every member of the troupe, but none more than Jack. The frigid atmosphere between Jack and me didn't just thaw, it totally evaporated. He treated me in the same manner as he did with the other female troupe members and more. He constantly found reasons to interface with me or just be near me. On my end of things, each time I immersed myself deep into my character, I would see jack in the same light as any other woman would. Soon, I was opening up to his overtures and responding in a friendly manner, and even giving him an occasional friendly flirt. It was nothing serious and nothing really came of any of it, until a particularly grueling rehearsal that ended with all of us feeling in need of some rest and recreation. That's when Jack made his move and asked me out on a date for that very evening. Being tired and wanting of some sort of diversion from the play, I said yes.

Jack and I both needed to freshen up before going out on our date. I wasted no time getting home and headed straight for the shower via the bedroom where I tossed my purse onto the bed in passing. With my living as a woman, I had almost unconsciously started to buy and use toiletries that a woman would buy for herself. I had already replaced the neutral soap Mike had been using with one that had a strong feminine aroma. It was perfect for a friendly evening date as it would give me a feminine air without conveying the message of there possibly being a night in the offering, like perfume could. In the shower, the scent quickly filled the room and my nose, sending me into a dreamlike state that put me into slow motion. Somehow, I managed to finish my shower without too much time passing. After drying off, I wrapped the towel around my body like a woman would and exited to the bedroom. I headed for the closet and opened up Michelle's half.

I was so in a girl's mind set, that my mind totally dismissed my date being with a man instead of a woman. I just prepared for my date as any girl would. I even fussed over selecting what I would wear by pulling out tops with one hand, bottoms with the other, and holding both in front of me as I turned to the mirror. In the end, I chose my outfit with the intention of attracting Jack's attention but within my theme of not sending Jack the wrong message. I wanted to wear a skirt, but with my imposed limitations, pants would be a safer choice. I settled on an outfit that was as eclectic as my day wear but with a more formal look befitting of a date. I also put on more makeup than I had been wearing. A final check in my full length mirror confirmed that I was decked out perfectly for my date with Jack. I was a decent, attractive, young woman with enough paint to suggest my being less than prim and proper. Even Mike would like to date such a woman. I turned away from the mirror and headed out, snatching my purse from the bed on the fly. I didn't stop at the front door to check for someone being in the hall, for my neighbors had come to know that Michelle lived in the same condo as Mike, just not at the same time. I was out the door and quickly at the elevator. The wait was short enough and I was soon headed down to my car. The plan was for me to meet up with Jack, as he lived much closer to the restaurant he had chosen. I was anxious to get underway.

The trip to Jack's flat took me to a section of town I had not been to. The building was on the edge of the industrial side of town and appeared to have once been a factory of some kind. I found ample space in the guest parking area Jack had told me about and parked my car close to the building's entrance. The lobby was nothing more than a bank of mail boxes and a security door leading to a stair well. There was an intercom above each mail box and I pushed the button on the one over Jack's. Jack responded almost immediately and said he was headed down. It wasn't long before Jack came through the door and greeted me in a more familiar manner than I would have liked. The thought of a protest didn't materialize and I just brushed it all aside. Jack escorted me to his car and opened the passenger door for me. That pleased me, and I smiled at him as I got in his car. Jack's face seemed to light up just before he closed the door and ran around to the driver's side. He quickly got in and got us underway.

At the restaurant, a waitress led us to a small table apart from the rest of the patrons. Jack pulled out and held a chair for me. Of course that was a first for me, and deepened my mind set into female mode helping me accept my dating a man. Jack asked me what I would like and then ordered for me. As we waited for our meal, he further treated me as a woman, not only in the way he looked at me, but in conversation and in courtesies extended to me. It was like I had treated Dawn on our dates except I was, in a way, experiencing what she had and I liked it. At one key point near the end of our dining experience, I discovered that Jack had an acting career scrapbook. Something within caused me to express interest in seeing his scrapbook. I can't explain why, maybe I was channeling Dawn because of the almost identical situation that occurred between us. Something akin to a leer spread across Jack's face and he called for the check. He settled up the bill, escorted me back to his car, and took me back to where our date started. He invited me up to his place to check out his scrapbook. I accepted without hesitation.

Jack place of residence was a studio flat with an open concept. A bachelor kitchen was to the left of the front entrance separated from the rest of the flat by a bar with bar stools on the outer side. There was a walled off bathroom and shower directly opposite on the right. The far half of the room consisted of an entertaining area on the left, and an open sleeping area on the right. The entertainment area served as a repository for an eclectic collection of tools and mementos of various enterprises Jack had engaged in over the years. I could see the starter for many a conversation amongst some of the more exotic pieces. What I didn't see was a place for us to sit and engage in said conversation. Consequently, I soon found myself sitting next to Jack on the bed. I was very uneasy about having to sit on jack's bed with him next to me, and Jack didn't help matters when after handing me his scrapbook, he put his arm around my waist and slid across the bed into contact with me. I quickly turned slightly away from him and started to open the scrapbook. Jack started to point out things in the book, but as I relaxed and delved into the scrapbook, Jack lifted his hand away from the book and reached up toward me. He covertly placed his fingers on my far cheek and applied enough pressure to encourage me to turn my head towards him. He smiled at me in a reassuringly manner, which seemed to disarm any cautionary alarms within me. Jack leaned in as if to kiss me.

Thanks to the education I had received from Crystal on the right way and the wrong way to entice a woman into sex, I knew what Jack was up to and it wasn't a place I wanted to go. The memory of the first time I had rebuffed his advances also came to mind, along with the resulting chill between us. I was enjoying our renewed friendship on its new man and woman basis, and did not want to mess that up. But I also did not want to have sex with a man. I wasn't THAT far into girl mode and didn't think I ever would be. I knew I had to again set Jack straight but do so without jeopardizing our friendship for a second time. I didn't have a clue as to what to do except to get up off the bed. But first I had to break his hold on me by pushing him away, but trying to use only enough force to break out of his grasp. The scrapbook slid off my lap and fell to the floor. Jack ignored the book and seized my wrist with both hands as I bounced up off the bed and turned to face him. I tried to back away, but I tripped over the scrapbook and temporarily lost balance. Fear shot through me as I realized that he could then easily jerk me back onto the bed and swing his body over mine, pining me to the bed, making it easy for him to force his desires upon me. Fortune though was with me as force didn't seem to be on his mind, but he wasn't letting go either. It slowly became clear that Jack's plan was to restrain me until I tired of resisting and yielded to his desires. Oddly, anger was not my default emotion, it was remorse, and I found myself quickly apologizing. Jack's look was one of disappointment and it bothered me enough that I felt compelled to add that I just wasn't ready to go where he wanted … yet. Jack seemed to take it to heart and brightened up a bit. He then looked like he wanted to ask me for another date but didn't. Instead he just said he would see me at the workshop and we parted for the night. Back home, I went straight to the bathroom and made ready for bed. I climbed into bed knowing full well that it would be another time when sleep would be long in coming. There was just too much running through my mind, with the most disturbing thought being why I had hinted that I would be open to sex at some future time? And did I really mean it? The only thing I could resolve was a need for time away from Jack to sort it out.

My actions that night must have exposed a weakness or vulnerability in Michelle and Jack was quick to take advantage. He increased his attentions towards me at the workshop and added some expressions of affection when we were mostly alone. It all worked to make it impossible to avoid him long enough for my mind to get a grip on just what kind of relationship I, as Michelle, wanted with Jack. Jack in turn pressed on by asking me out to lunch as well as dinner. I occasionally accepted a date with Jack and soon found that the time between dates was getting shorter and shorter. I was also learning more about just who Jack was with each date, and Michelle became more and more attracted to him, which in turn, weakened my resistance to Jack's overtures to a more intimate relationship. It would be the pattern up to the last rehearsal before a complete run through of the play.

The end of the last rehearsal is always a good reason for a celebration and even more so with such a socially important and emotionally charged play. I was exchanging in much more spirited that normal congratulations with fellow cast members when Jack came rushing up to me. I turned to greet him just as his body came into full contact with mine. The physical contact was totally unexpected, but surprisingly welcomed. Even more unexpected was Jack's picking me up by the waist and spinning me around while showering me with praise before finally letting me back down. The physical contact combined with his enthusiasm and praise of my acting skills as a woman, cast a spell on me. I looked at Jack as more than a friend and saw desire in his eyes. It was contagious, and I felt desire take hold within me. My resistance was gone. Michelle wanted to be validated as a woman by more than acting as one or with courtesies extended to her. She wanted Jack. I wanted Jack. Jack could now see the desire in my eyes. He had won and insured his victory by asking me out to a night on the town starting with an upscale restaurant. There was no need to hesitate, or think about it, or find justification in what would surly follow when he took me home. It was all a natural progression of our relationship and my mind set. With our date set, we parted company and I headed for home to prepare for the biggest date in Michelle's life.

My big date with Jack screamed for me wearing a skirt. Up to that point, I had based my outfits only on pants, for while I enjoyed being a young woman and enjoyed Jack's company as such; I hadn't been willing to spend the night in the company of a man. But that time had passed and I wanted to send a very clear message of my desires. My employment at the department store had given me the means to buy high quality clothing at a huge discount, and I had acquired just the skirt that would send Jack the very message he wanted. It was retrieved from the closet and laid out on the bed along with everything needed to complete my outfit. It was time to hit the shower, but after a little extra hygiene that I learned from Dawn.

I came out of the shower feeling like a new woman, alive and ready for the new adventures that awaited her. It was as if the last vestiges of my being a man had washed off with the rinse water. I dried off by patting the towel over my body, like a woman would do. Where I had picked up on that, I really can't say. Perhaps it was in a scene in some movie I had watched. But a bigger mystery was why I had unconsciously done it instead of my usual method. I pondered it for a second or two before shrugging it off and wrapping the towel around my upper torso. Holding the towel closed with one hand, I sashayed back into the bedroom to dress in the outfit on the bed.

I stood beside the bed staring down at the clothes I had laid out before taking my shower. Thoughts of how I would look wearing them filled my mind. The look would be sexy, trashy, and a huge departure from my norm, but I loved it anyway, and I knew Jack would love it too. With desire for Jack strong within me, I unconsciously released my grip on the towel, and it fell to the floor. I reached out towards a pair of black panties, rubbing my hand across them, enjoying the cool, silky feel before picking them up. I stepped into the panties and teasingly brought them up my legs and into place. There was no resisting the urge to run my hands up and down my butt sending feelings of ecstasy throughout my body. As I let forth a deep sigh, my hands came around and began rubbing the front of the panties. I quickly became turned on, but not in the male sense. The arousal was internal, sending a clear message that my mind set was that of a woman. I was Michelle and wanted all that a woman was entitled to.

With a new attitude and drive in force, I got on with getting dressed. A black bra was slipped up my arms and hooked behind my back. It was padded to simulate the breasts I didn't have. The end result was feminine and sexy and I couldn't help posing in front of the bedroom mirror for a bit before getting on with dressing. It was a far cry from when I was my sister's Ken doll. Returning to the bed, I picked up and slipped on a bright red, short sleeve, nylon blouse, leaving the top two buttons unfastened. Next was the specially selected skirt, a shocking pink, hip hugger, mini skirt. I stepped in and tugged the waist band up to my waist. The last item was a pair of red pumps with four inch spike heels. These I slipped on my feet as I moved to the mirror for a final check. The look was hot and while I wanted to spend time in front of the mirror, I couldn't as Jack would soon be arriving. Reluctantly, I retreated to the bathroom to put on my makeup and add a couple drops of perfume in some strategic places unwittingly taught to me by Crystal during my sex education. I had become a seasoned makeup artist and was quickly made up for an evening out. I headed for the front door, picking up a black clutch purse off the bed in passing. There was some concern about my meeting one or more of my neighbors in the hallway given the way I was dressed, but it was about safety and not about being caught crossdressed. Thankfully the hallway and elevator were empty. After a couple of stops to take on passengers, the elevator arrived at street level and opened its doors to let me out.

I had made arrangements with Jack to meet him in the guest parking area. It was a precaution to lessen the chance of anyone I knew seeing Michelle meeting a man for a date that would obviously last until morning. The thought of someone I knew knowing I was going to sleep with a man worried me greatly, and caused me to question my sleeping with Jack. It wasn't something I needed or wanted. The guest parking was near enough to the elevator that I was able to spot Jack standing against the passenger side of his car as soon as I got off the elevator. There was no one else around, so I greeted Jack with a quick kiss much to his surprise. Jack grinned at me and opened the car door for me. He helped me get seated and closed the door after a brief stare at my legs. He sprinted around to the driver's side and quickly got in. We were off to the restaurant.

The restaurant turned out to be a small nightclub. It had an equally small live band and dance floor. All of the tables were for just two people and were arranged around the edge of the dance floor. It was classy with an upscale feel, yet intimate. I absolutely loved it. We were seated off to the right side of the band and given menus. With what had become our usual practice, I gave Jack my choice and he ordered for both of us. Our conversation was about the play up to when our dinner came, upon which we paused to partake in our meal. The food was pretty good but not really memorable. It was the atmosphere that made the club special, and Jack's taking me there made me feel special. I started to really open up to Jack's advances and our conversation turned to the lifestyle Jack was introducing me to. It all worked to insure that barriers and resistance were down and would stay down. But it was a turn on the dance floor where my journey to the other side passed the point of no return. I wasn't much of a dancer to begin with and even less so as a woman, but Jack was an excellent dancer and literally swept me off my feet into a passion I thrilled in. Continued dancing, drinks, and a late desert, took us well into the night and exhausted all that the club had to offer. It was time to take our date to a new location.

Jack took me home and I invited him up. With the hour approaching midnight, it was pretty much a guarantee that we wouldn't run into anybody in the elevator or in the hallway. We arrived at my condo unobserved and I quietly unlocked and opened my door. I quickly stepped through with Jack following close behind. With the closing and locking of the door, I was assured that no one would know that Michelle was in the company of a man. It would be the last mental barrier between her and the unknown pleasures offered by Jack. A reassuring smile on Jack's face would send a state of calm sweeping over me. Jack was very ready. I was not as ready but still ready. There was no need for any getting-into-the-mood tactics or drinks to break down resistance. With a sly smile suddenly spreading across my face, I took Jack by the hand and led him to my bedroom.

Jack and I came to stand on opposite sides of my bed, staring lustfully at each other. Something deep inside me told me that there was a greater chance of my actually "going all the way" if I took the initiative. With that thought in mind, I took a deep breath and as I let it out, started to undress. Jack quickly joined me and we ended up stripping for the others enjoyment. With the shedding of the last item of clothing, I stood naked in front of a man for the first time in something other than a locker room setting. We looked each other over and my wanting him intensified. I continued to take the initiative by locking eyes with Jack and bending forward, placing the palms of my hands on the bed. I stretched my body towards Jack, slightly tilted my head to one side, and closed my eyes. Jack's climbing onto the bed was transmitted to me through the mattress. Then I felt his lips on mine. We both moved towards the other, raising up, and bringing our bodies together just as I had done with Crystal when I lost one type of virginity with her. The thought that I was about to lose a different virginity to Jack did not escape my mind. I should have been put off by what Jack would soon be doing to my body. But my mind was so deep in girl mode that my mind was incapable of producing any male oriented thoughts. For all intents and purposes, I was a desirable woman with one or two small deviations from the norm. Jack wrapped his arms tightly around me and twisted me towards the head of the bed. He leaned into me until we pasted the tipping point. I fell back onto the bed with Jack on top of me. With us still locked in a passionate kiss, I silently surrendered to Jack. And as wondrous as that night's script came to be, it will not be seeing the limelight.

Jack was well versed in bringing someone new into the fold and led me along a different line than the one Crystal had led me down. It worked to impress upon me a wondrous experience uniquely different from my first loss of virginity, and just as memorable. Even after play was different, with Jack holding me to him from behind, nuzzling and caressing me as we waited for sleep to take command. It was during that moment of peace, secure in Jacks embrace, when I came to understand what Dawn got from sex with a man, why she approached sex with such passion and intensity expressed in body motion and dirty talk. I quickly came to want the same level she experienced and would mimic Dawn (in a toned down version) in subsequent sessions with Jack, much to his delight. Sleep came easy with dreams of future nights with Jack.

It was Michelle who first awoke with the morning sun forcing its way through the curtains on the windows. I was still in girl mode with my mind filled with dreamlike images of my becoming a woman. I started to stretch and made contact with someone in bed with me. It was a man, and he was naked. I was naked. I turned to him and stared at his face. He fit the images in my mind. It had all been real. A mischievous smile lit up my face as I started to caress his body with oh so light a touch. Jack slowly awoke with a little stretch and opened his eyes. I gazed at him, still sporting a mischievous smile. He reached up with one hand to caress my face. I turned my head into his strong, rough hand and nuzzled his fingers. Jack wanted much more and turned towards me, trying to bring his body up upon me. But I rebuffed him, and pinched my nose as if to say that he stunk. I kicked him out of bed and sent him to the shower. He acted like he was put off, but as he turned and headed for the shower, I detected him chuckling to himself. His tight naked butt occupied my attention until it disappeared behind the closing bathroom door. As soon as the bathroom door closed, I rousted myself up and out of bed. I looked around the bedroom and noted where Jack's clothes lay. They were pretty much in a single pile. As I stared at Jacks clothes, the mischievous smile again spread across my face. Squatting down, I picked up certain pieces of Jack's clothing and tossed them towards different corners of the bedroom. When I was finally pleased with the new arrangement of Jack's clothes, I sat back upon the bed and waited for his return. He wasn't long in coming.

Jack came out of the bathroom with just a towel wrapped around his waist. He looked at me with a big grin before redirecting his attention to his clothes. His grin was quickly replaced with a look of puzzlement as he looked down at where he thought his clothes were. Jack surveyed most of the room before finally spotting his under shorts and turned towards them. That was my cue and I shot up off the bed coming to stand between Jack and what he desired. He tried to sidestep me but I wouldn't have it. He stepped back and stared at me with his hands on his waist. I placed my hands behind my back and slightly twisted back and forth as I returned his stare with my mischievous smile. I let him ponder just what was going on for a short time before I leaned toward him, offering up my lips. Jack was a bright boy and caught on to my game. He seized my face with both hands and kissed me hard and just long enough to work his way past me. He broke the kiss and quickly snatched his prize. Jack triumphantly put on his hard won under shorts and then began the process of finding his shirt. I of course continued the game I had learned from Crystal. It didn't take long for Jack to figure out the rules for his getting back his clothes. The increasing intensity of his kisses along with the addition of some caressing of my body told me that Jack was enjoying the game. I too was having the time of my life, but all too soon the game approached an end as just his shoes remained to be bought. It may have been the end of the game, but I was determined that it would end on a climax that Jack would not be expecting.

I quickly took a position between Jack and his shoes. He in turn came at me and grabbed me by my shoulders. He started to maneuver around me even before he leaned in to kiss me. I would have neither. I countered his attempt to get past me by matching his moves and countered his trying to kiss me by bringing two fingers of one hand up to his lips. The puzzled look returned to Jack's face as he slightly pulled back from me. The mischievous smile returned to my face as I slid my hands up the front of his body and up onto his shoulders. I applied downward pressure. Jack quickly figured out what I wanted and it was obvious that he didn't want to do it. But Jack knew he had something really good going with me and didn't want to mess that up. He reluctantly went down on his knees and using a technique that would be used more on a genetic woman, brought me to the climax I desired. My mind was filled with what I had just experienced courtesy of a man.

With my sexual release, every tensed up muscle in my body suddenly relaxed. It felt like I was about to collapse down to the floor and was powerless to stop it. Jack grasped the sides of my waist with both hands as if to support me. He rose up off his knees, sliding his hands up my body as he came to fully stand up. Jack slipped his arms around me and pulled me to him forcing our bodies tight together. Jack kissed me hard. I closed my eyes and was welcoming his lips upon mine when suddenly my pleasures were interrupted by a strange, slightly unpleasant taste. In search of a reason as to why, my mind flashed back to a nearly identical situation with Crystal. My eyes instantly opened wide as I realized that I had tasted ME! The sensation that shot through me felt strange, but even stranger was an unexplainable desire for more. My tongue shot into Jack's mouth and darted about, just as Crystal had done with me. It was at that moment that I came to know of the thrill, the excitement, the sense of power, and the pleasures that Crystal had gotten from when she had pulled the game on me. I had the overwhelming desire to play the game with every man that I would come to sleep with, and have.

Jack needed to return home to change clothes before heading over to the workshop. That was okay by me as I need to shower and dress before going over myself. I took my time, acting out the night's script in my mind all over again. It had been so different from anything I had experienced before. I wanted another read through, but there just wasn't enough time to do it justice. I had to get to the workshop and get into character for the run through of the entire play. I finished up in the bathroom and bedroom, grabbed a bite to eat in the kitchen, and headed out for my car and the workshop.

I parked in back of the workshop and made a dash to my workstation. I got into my costume and makeup taking extra care that everything was perfect. That was followed by a slightly longer than normal checkout in a full length mirror before getting to work on the other actor's makeup. As each actor completed getting into costume and makeup, they headed for where they need to be when the curtain rose and waited for the director to cue the start. Due to my duties on makeup, I was the last one to head for the stage for the opening scene. With my arrival on stage the cue was given and the curtain rose.

The play ran exceptionally well with not even a hint of any unforeseen problems. Everyone was filled with the feeling that we were ready, and was verified when Nigel called the entire troupe on stage. With pomp and circumstance, he declared that everyone and everything had met his lofty standards. A loud cheer of celebration and relief erupted from all the troupe members. Everyone swelled with pride over how they had taken their acting to new higher levels, but none more than me. While I was still a rookie, I had made many a professional level decision in how I approached my character and none bigger than my living full time as a woman. It had been the right call in spite of the side effect on my sexual orientation. It really helped in my bringing the character of Jennifer to life and was instrumental in keeping my mind set from becoming confused and overwhelmed, no matter how many gender changes my character went through. I was ready. Michelle was ready. Jennifer was ready.

The day of our run through was also our final day before taking the show on the road. The entire troupe was wore out and in need of at least a day's rest, but Nigel's declaration charged everyone with a new energy and the task of loading the truck and bus was begun straight away. By that evening, the job was done and all of us felt like celebrating. Nigel declared dinner at the British pub. There were no dissenters and we hit the establishment en masse. The pubs patrons were overwhelmed and quickly assimilated into our celebration, there was no resistance. Piles of food were reduced to bare plates and barrels of ale were emptied. A great time was had by all and could have lasted till closing, but the fatigue caused by our intense work schedule was manifested in everyone becoming somewhat intoxicated quicker than they normally would have. Sleep then saw its chance to take over and forced all of the troupe members to head for home at a disgustingly decent hour. My own battle with sleep was lost the moment I entered my bedroom. I took a swipe at the light switch at the doorway and missed. My momentum turned me around and I backed into the bed. Not being exactly steady on my feet, I fell back upon the bed, and was out till morning.

Morning announced it's self by way of an extraordinarily loud alarm clock, accompanied by an unaccustomed amount of pain between my ears. It didn't take much intelligence to figure out that for the first time in my life, I was suffering from a hangover. While it wasn't a real ripper, my not having any previous experience to compare it against made it seem far worse that it was. Breakfast didn't appeal to me, so after I somehow forced myself to get up off the bed, I just changed clothes, brushed out my hair, applied some makeup, and headed for the workshop.

The scene that greeted me behind the workshop was a sad one. Everyone was suffering from the night's debauchery, except for Nigel. While he wasn't smiling, he also wasn't showing much in the way of a hangover, and he had out drunk all of us. Nigel was passing around a dark brown jug containing some unknown concoction. When I approached Nigel, he thrust the jug into my hands saying that it contained an Australian hangover cure and advised me to take a couple of healthy swigs. As I brought the jug up to my lips, Nigel rattled off the ingredient list which I ignored except for one ingredient I had never heard of: Vegemite. The strange brew flowed into my mouth and my throat instantly seized up. I violently bent over as I pulled the jug away from my mouth. It was the most God awful thing I have ever tasted and it was all I could do to keep from spitting it out. With Nigel's nonstop encouragement, I swallowed it and thrust the jug back into Nigel's hands. My formally empty stomach had strongly advised against my having seconds and wasn't inclined to retain the first. Somehow I kept it down. As to whether it worked on my hangover, I can't really say since I've had no previous experience. Maybe it's most potent curative power was to serve as a reminder that the best cure for a hangover is not to get one in the first place. If that be the case, then it worked, for I have not gotten drunk since that day. With everyone having partaken in the evil brew, we climbed aboard the bus and hit the road.

The road trip was uneventful and the effects of our hangovers had dissipated long before we pulled into our first venue. Setup at the theater was routine as was our free time afterwards. Room assignments could have been awkward what with me being Michelle as I couldn't really pair up with any of the female troupe members and I didn't know how Shaun felt about my new mindset. The problem was averted courtesy of Jack when he discretely arranged with Nigel to be my roommate. Michelle was rather pleased and found a way to thank Jack later that night. She and Jack slept well … eventually.

The morning of the next day we followed our usual practice of a run through of the entire play. Outside of the usual setup problems for each scene, there was a slight difference in the routine. It seemed that everyone worked their jobs with extra enthusiasm and attention. It stood to show just how important this play was to the entire troupe. We had also preformed to an empty theater as Nigel didn't want leaks about the play before our opening that evening. Even without feedback from a staff audience, our confidence level was off the scale. We all left the theater anxious to return that evening.

The desire to perform this special play manifested in everyone arriving backstage well in advance of normal. Val, Zari, and I took extra care in applying not only our own makeup, but the makeup of all the actors, and added double checking each other's work. Those in charge of wardrobe made sure that each costume was perfect with nothing missing, or out of place, or something showing that shouldn't. Those who doubled as stagehands checked and rechecked the lighting, props, scenery, and everything else needed to bring the play to life. And with the coming of the five minutes to curtain call, each troupe member focused on the jobs they were to perform both on stage and off. No one took it to heart more than me, and when I took my place on stage, I was no longer Michelle. I was Jennifer and ready to greet the world. Cue the curtain.

From the first rise of the curtain to the last fall, the play had run flawlessly. We had seduced the audience into the storyline from our opening lines. They had been powerless to resist being caught up in the play and forming a bond with Jennifer. They shared her sufferings and her eventual joy. Throughout the performance, the audience had been emotionally ripped, and loved it. They showed it to be true by demanding many a curtain call. At one point I was prodded by the rest of the troupe to take a solo bow. I didn't want to as the play was a team effort, but then the audience started to call for Jennifer. It was no longer my choice and I reluctantly held my ground as the troupe back stepped towards the back of the stage. The curtain rose and the audience greeted me with a standing ovation. I was speechless and overwhelmed. My eyes began to fill with tears of joy. A needed to compose myself swept over me and I wished for the curtain to drop in spite of the audience's continuous applause. Thankfully the curtain did drop and the troupe rushed up to surround me with congratulations. The director came in from off stage and ordered us line up in front of the curtain yet again as the audience was still applauding. As he backed away, I pulled myself together just before the curtain rose one last time. The audience was still standing and voiced their approval of our performance. As the curtain came down, the audience made ready to leave, bringing the performance to an end for most, but not all of the troupe. There was still the meeting in the lobby between the audience members and the main characters. There was a greater turnout than for any of the prior play's performances. It was some time before I could retire backstage to change into my street clothes and makeup. I made it back to my hotel room physically and emotionally exhausted. I hit the sack with the intention of sleeping in the following morning.

Nigel kindly let everyone sleep in until late morning before employing his tactic of wakening everyone up by loudly knocking on the doors. Nigel assaulted the door to Jack's and my room and both of us moaned at the thought of getting up. Neither of us made any moves or gave voice towards doing so. Nigel countered by announcing that he was dropping a copy of the local newspaper in front of the door before moving on to assault the next door. That was the incentive I needed, and I shot out of bed headed for the door only to be knocked aside by Jack. He reached the door first and seized the paper as his prize. He teasingly kept it from me a short while before we sat down on his bed. I snuggled up to Jack as he quickly sorted through the paper until he finally found the review of the play. We read it together.

The review was nothing less than phenomenal for all of us, and especially for me. With my being the lead star, the lion's share of the review was of course on me. In it, I came off as a seasoned professional instead of a rookie. The review would become a milestone in my career, marking the end of my rookie status. Nigel saw financial prospects in the review and made sure that it was included in ads he placed in the local newspapers in and around the towns we were to perform in ahead of our arrival. From then on we not only preformed to a sold out house at each previously scheduled evening performance, we added matinee performances to the schedule and these too were sold out. My parents had scanned the ads in their local paper and sent me a telegram saying that they had bought tickets to an upcoming performance, but didn't say where or when. They would surprise me in the theaters lobby after the performance. Anticipation would quickly get the best of me and I added checking the audience through peep holes in the curtain to my pre performance routine.

Anticipation of my parents being in the audience would build with each passing performance until it finally came to be. They made themselves known in the theater lobby after an afternoon performance when they quietly approached me from the side while I was posing for a picture with a fan. It was indeed a surprise for I had failed to spot them through a curtain peep hole before the play started. Mom threw her arms around me and hugged me intently. Dad shook my hand and showered me with praise. Mom finally let go of me, but it was for a picture with me in full costume and makeup. With many other audience members wanting some time with me, my parents back away and checked out the other actors while waiting for the crowd to disperse. Like all of the previous performances, it was quite awhile before we cast members could head for backstage. As I escorted my parents backstage, they expressed a desire to take me out for an early dinner. I took them up on that and left them backstage with Nigel while I made for my work station to attend to the removal of my stage makeup and change into my street clothes. I then rejoined my parents … as Michelle.

Needless to say, they were stunned speechless and totally baffled. I hastily explained that to do justice to my part in the play, I need to completely immerse myself into the character when in the theater. Plus with our twice daily performance schedule, I had chosen to maintain a female mind set between performances as it wasn't worth switching back and forth between being male and female for so short a time or for the risk of my possibly becoming confused as to who I am which would have a adverse effect on my performance. Of course, I "neglected" to tell them that "between performances" meant all performances and not just that day's. Nigel quickly verified the success of my strategy with his assessment of my performance and comments about me from audience members expressed to him. My dad wasn't happy (to put it mildly), but after listening to Nigel and having seen my performance, he looked at me as Michelle. After an awkward silence, he still wasn't happy, but did admit that I made "one hell of a woman", as he put it. Mother agreed and hugged me. For the rest of the evening, my parents treated me as their second daughter. I could not have been happier. With nearly everyone in my life on board with my alternate persona, I attacked the rest of the play's scheduled run, and my new lifestyle, with a more intense passion.

Act 4, scene 4

After a long extended run that included a two week run in London, the play was brought to an end. We all returned to base exhausted, happy, and temporally wealthy. The unprecedented success of the play had put a substantial amount of money in everyone's pocket. But it wouldn't remain there for long as each member of the troupe had many a necessity, and a luxury item or two (or more) which they all had needed for a long time to make life at home easier and more enjoyable. All too soon we were back at the workshop, slightly impoverished, and ready to vote on the next project play that would hopefully fill our pockets again. We had a spirited debate before we eventually came to a majority agreement.

The troupe settled on a period play set in a post revolutionary war New England. It was a satirical comedy that took a behind closed door look at a fictional founding family and the many diverse scandals within, along with the futile efforts by the head of the family to rein in the insanity and keep it out of the public eye. My character was the youngest of nine children and with three older brothers had virtually zero chance of ever becoming the head of the family. He therefore had no sense of loyalty to the family name and pretty much did whatever he wanted, including having a love interest in one of the household slave/servants played by Zari. The chance to work a couple of romantic scenes with Zari thrilled me, but her hard social demeanor was cause for concern. I just couldn't imagine her performing a romantic scene as the script required. My opinion was seemingly validated by her other scenes where she was cold and impassioned with a defiant air towards all others. But when our first romantic scene came, Zari had a surprise waiting for me.

The first romantic scene between me and Zari opened with Zari's character cleaning the windows of a remote room in the family mansion. My character sneaks into the room and quietly comes up behind her. He startles her by grabbing her upper arms from behind. She complains vehemently but doesn't struggle as if it wasn't her place to resist. My character positions his head next to hers and speaks words first of soothing and then passion in an attempt to lure her into an affair as opposed to just servicing a master. She maintains her trademark hard social indifference spurring the man into forcibly spinning her around to confront her face to face. He again speaks words of passion as he gently strokes her face with his fingers. He leans into her intent on kissing her, but this time she resists by slipping away from him and running for the door. He pursues and catches her at the door, wrapping both arms around her waist, and waltzing her back into the room. He nuzzles her ear and neck. She pushes backwards against his grasp and then suddenly turns around in his arms to face him and breaks out giggling. She briefly strokes his cheek with her hand before slipping her arms up around his neck and drawing them into a hard kiss. The scene ends with the two of them embracing each other with the man intently rubbing his hands over her back and lower backside. As the curtain comes down, they fall onto a couch locked in a passionate kiss.

The run through of the first romantic scene was incredible. Zari's performance was brilliant. Her masterful transition from being a hard, impersonal, and defiant slave/servant to a playful and loving mistress would definitely catch the audience unawares. What would catch Zari unawares would be a teasing hint of what I could do with my hands to bring her entire body into a passionate response. It was something I was taught by Crystal on our second sex education session. I had employed just enough skill to help both of us make the scene believable. It was also enough to arouse Zari's interest in me. At the end of the day's work, she sought me out and after a brief chat, I asked her to dinner at the British pub. She accepted and we had such a good time that we got in the habit of getting together after the day's work on the play for dinner. It was a script I enjoyed performing over and over.

It was on the first day I was off from my part time job at the department store that a change in the script was made by Zari. She announced that dinner would at her place. I was all for the change and followed her to her place. After a meal of some surprisingly good ethnic dishes, she enticed me into rehearsing different approaches to our romantic scene. It didn't take long for us to put more into the scene then we ever would on stage. It was cause for concern on my part as we usually worked close together on makeup and had become good friends and I didn't want anything to upset that. Sex between friends rarely ends well. I figured it would be best for me to leave before we went some place we could come to regret, and tried to do so. But Zari had already arrived at that place and was anxious for me to join her. She lunged for me from behind and took hold of my hand. She planted her feet and jerked my hand back towards her, turning me half way around. I turned my head to face her and made protest, but Zari, staring hard into my eyes, came back with "You're not going anywhere mister." and took me to bed. Zari's script for that night will not be made public anytime soon, if ever.

Come the next morning, I had to admit that sex with Zari was great, and not just for her skills in bed, but for another reason. It would turn out that she had taken a closer look at me back when I had started to show up for the previous plays rehearsals crossdressed as Michelle and had become a bit jealous when Michelle had taken up with Jack. She was thinking I might be gay but was thrown for a loop when I showed up for the next play as Mike. She was then left with trying to figure out if I was gay or bisexual. To insure the latter, she made it her mission to remind me that I am a man and enjoyed sex as such, starting with our first night in bed. Zari's labors forced me to take an in depth look at just what level my relationship with Jack was on, and then compare it with my relationship with Zari. It didn't take long for me to realize that I enjoyed sex as the man AND as the woman. The only question that remained was how to determine which one I would be at any given point in time. The answer was a no brainer. I would continue to become the same gender as the character I was cast in 24/7 and would remain so for the run of the play. Having set my being bisexual and being damn good in bed as a man, I turned my attentions to being the best woman in bed I could be. Pleasuring a man sexually was still new to Michelle and there was still much to learn in spite of Jack's mentoring. I focused my thoughts on the performance of all the women I had slept with, with emphases on Crystal. While I was able to pick up some pointers from a few of them, it was Zari that contributed the most. She had performed some acts during foreplay and had made some different kinds of moves during sex that were pleasant for her and stimulating for me. I intensely took note of all she did and filed it away for Michelle to use when she was in charge of my life.

My social life was finally in order. Mike had an intimate relationship with Zari that had long term prospects, and Michelle had the same with Jack. But life isn't scripted like some happy ever after fairy tale and I would soon learn that the troupe's membership wasn't as stable as one might think. My first lesson came when Jack announced that he was leaving the troupe for a new calling in another part of the country. The departure of Jack would hit Michelle hard. The second lesson came several months after that when Zari was lured away by an all black theatrical company in the Deep South. It was then Mike's turn to be hit hard. But both emotionally traumatic events would serve as a life lesson, and I would learn how to adjust and go with the flow whether I was Mike or Michelle. I myself have had several invitations to join higher profile acting companies and talent agencies accompanied with the possibility of playing on Broadway, but they were all normal actor and actress productions. There would never again be the chance of being cast in the role of a woman, and consequently, no justification for my becoming and living as a woman during the plays run. Experiencing life and sex on both sides is something I thoroughly enjoy and have no desire to ever stop, so my leaving the troupe is not to be found in any new script.

Act 4, scene 5

So, here I am today, an adult actor who's part of a nearly all male traveling troupe sitting backstage in some community theater, finishing up scripting out his life's history and thoughts as I wait for my fellow actors to arrive. Who knew that wanting to find out what it was like to wear a dress would lead me to where I am today? Am I unhappy about my scraping out a living with my less than "normal" life? Not a chance. Sure, the physical workload and often long hours sometimes combine to wear me down to the point where I've dreamed about having a conventional life with a job that wasn't always on the move. I've even fantasized about having a wife with children and living in a modest house in the suburbs and definitely having a bank account that has more than a couple of buck in it. But I've never even come close to acting on those dreams because that isn't who I've become, and my living and socializing as a man or woman, depending on how I've been cast in a play, has yet to become dull. The traveling can get tedious, but I can usually find some little thing, comment, or chance meeting that makes it all worthwhile.

Well, judging from the sound of the backstage door being jerked open and some raucous revelry, one can assume that the other members of the troupe are starting to arrive. That's my cue to wrap this up and start getting ready for my part in the play. We're putting on a charity performance for a group of special needs young girls. It's an adaptation of an animated Barbie movie called "The Princess and the Pauper" and I'm Barbie, with Barbie's wardrobe, oh yeah! Wish me luck.

We sincerely hope the reader has enjoyed the performance. Repeat performances are whenever the reader wishes. But for now, the curtain is coming down and the house lights are coming up. We wish the reader a safe trip back to his or her reality.

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