We stand centre stage at the end of our performance and wait for the applause. Blinded by the light, struggling to see beyond, into the blackness, we feel the pregnant pause, the eternity between completion and the complement; time to contemplate for both actor and audience. More than a note has been played, a word spoken, a step danced, a ball juggled, a wig worn and a costume changed for the sake of this performance. Little does the audience know that this has been the performance of a lifetime, filled with drama, laughter, tears, pain and the odd lost script line. Act after act, scene after scene, the show went on and the performer gave what he had; never more, never less but always enough. He has paid his dues and broken more than a leg or two. He knows nothing of his audience, only of himself and they also. yet they come to see him perform his art. They expect to get their moneys worth. They are not disappointed. Still he waits. Then a pair of hands come together and the applause begins. The light fades. He takes a bow and leaves the stage into darkness. He's done his job. He is pleased. There is no encore. The theatre empties for the next performer and a new act. The dust settles on on the stage and silence waits.