Ms. Lerner is allowed to eat while perched on her throne during the show, since the story line is built around a banquet. But on this night she was already full. She has been experimenting with a paleo diet, and had eaten some spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and garlic she made in her slow cooker.
In the stables, a knight, Kyle Calloway, 24, was making do with a coffee-flavored Monster energy drink as he warmed up for his star turn.
Three years ago, he was a carhop at a Sonic Drive-In in Garland, Tex. He is into parkour and freerunning, in which devotees run through a city using objects like walls and park benches as a kind of athletic obstacle course. He thinks that helped him get the job.
The switch to a queen hasn’t made much difference, he said, except in the part of the show when she rebukes the sexist knight who defies her.
“You do get a huge reaction from the females in the crowd,” Mr. Calloway said. But he doesn’t spend much time thinking about it. “All I do is eat, sleep, joust, repeat.”
After the show, Ms. Lerner drank some water, took off her microphone and found her Sharpie. She had to make one more trip to lobby to sign autographs and perform any last-minute knighting ceremonies in the same formal, vaguely English accent all the actors are encouraged to use.
She gets paid by the hour, and doesn’t mind having to do her own makeup at a sink near the toilet stalls in the locker room or to work the lobby before and after the performance. It’s show business, and she has loved it as long as she can remember.
Her father, Fred Lerner, was a stuntman, working in movies like “E.T.” and “Die Hard.” When she was a girl, he cracked his head open jumping out a window on the set of “Days of Our Lives.” The accident wasn’t his fault, she points out, but he was never quite the same after that.
Instead of attending a high school, she was home schooled so she could dedicate herself to acting and writing music. Her first credit was as a mean girl on “The Bernie Mac Show.”