In a way this extended discussion of failure proposes a reconsideration of the dialectics of loss and gain in performance. It pays attention, for example, to the hidden gains discovered by missing the mark and to the opportunities that arise when aspirations are allowed to fail/fall; to losing out as a way of winning another race whose objective has yet to be determined. It attends to the errant discoveries of the accidental as a way of expanding notions of skill. Live performance is always concerned with phantasmagoric comings and goings, with the emphatic if unconscious assertion of its inability to remain even as it flirts with the plenitude of the moment and the here and now of the present. I begin this chapter – an inquiry into the work of the New York theatre ensemble, Elevator Repair Service – by way of a philosophical anecdote that draws attention to the ephemeral but revelatory ontology that conditions live acts, and proceed from the development of what it might suggest.