Snipped from my previous life as a projectionist: I am the projectionist. You may not know who I am. My goal is to ensure that you do not know I exist. Your voyage into the cinema is an illusion, broken only if I fail in my duties.
If I allow a scratch to dance down the center of the film frame, you will know me and curse me. If the volume falls too low, or a frame line can be seen, you will know me and find me so that I might set it right.
I have sat in darkened rooms, guiding films with my aching hands as they wind through the projector, keeping the take-up reel silent and the images pristine. I have unwound chaotic masses of curling film in silence while you regard your linear illusion in ignorance of its near-death experience. I have detected the acrid vinegar scent of decaying acetate before the image has deteriorated- keeping beloved films from shifting red to the past and becoming forever lost.
Forgive me if, on occasion, I get lost in my own illusion and forget to initiate the changeover…