An Open Letter to Tim Rop (Bellhop)

Dear Tim,

I am sorry we had to part so soon. I would like to thank you for occupying my body for a day. It was really something. I just wanted to take the time to talk about what you went through and how awesome it was for me to be a part of Southend’s first 24 hour improvathon.

Do you remember when we thought we could get through a whole day pretending to be Russian with just a GCSE History-level of knowledge about Russia? That was silly, wasn’t it.
The first moment that stands out is when Ali (in her infinite wisdom as the genius director behind all this) made us walk across the backs of the rest of the cast as they formed a staircase up through the hotel. We spoke about whatever came to mind, which just so happened to be Red Square – which we then split into the colour and the shape.

For about eight hours, any time we were onstage, we carried that suitcase with us. I kind of wish I’d had the foresight to empty it beforehand because it didn’t take long before we were awfully sweaty.
Then, for the sweet love of everything that kept us going, we were saved from being the daft comic relief in a comedy show by a bit of story development. We owe a huge debt of thanks to John for stepping in as Mr Luggage and to Alice for insisting that there was more to Tim than just a bad Russian accent.

From there, with the help of a serious lack of sleep, all of the cast, our characters and the storyline descended into the surreal. We did some excellent stage kissing and suddenly I was hosting a Q&A with a roomful of children. You told them about Richard Gere’s penchant for gerbils and we could all sense the tension in the room.
Then we got some really cute scenes with Tabitha that secured you, Tim Rop: Bellhop, as one of the nation’s favourite improvisational characters.
The pair of us survived the final battle by hiding behind a curtain and boom, it was over. Our time together was done and the last glimmer of a Russian accent disappeared from me.

So thank you Tim Rop, but thank you to Ali and Cat and Jess and Jim and Clare. Thank you to Beatrice and Blossom and Mr Luggage. Thank you to Dirk, Sedgley, Madame Lavinia, Charlie Chaplin, Albrecht Von Fuckenshischt, Lois, Sister David Mary, Myrtle, Paulie, Margot, Angelique, Dusty, Cleo, Greg, Olivier, Agnes, Jack, Joe, James, Edith, Samuel, Violet, Dick, Max, Dr Rance, Marcus, Sarah, Duck Monster, Tallulah, Captain Hank and Edmure Demure. I’m sure we were all other things and characters. I haven’t laughed that much for a long time and I am grateful to you all for your nonsense.
I am really proud to have been a part of it and it is only now, as I slowly pull myself from the wreckage that I am so thankful for all of this.

Thank you for your time.

Paul Schiernecker

Photo by Film Free Photography.

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