COLLECTIVE: THEATRE MISHAPS (PART TWO)

WHAT IS YOUR FUNNIEST / CRAZIEST THEATRE MISHAP STORY?

(Some of these stories have been re-written / re-worded for clarity sake.)

 

#1

When I was 14, I played Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood. In one scene, I had to open a ledger and peruse through it. For the last performance, the stagehands pasted photos of morbidly obese nude women onto the ledger pages, kind of like what you would see on “adult” greeting cards at Spencer gifts. I had a very tough time keeping a straight face.

#2

I was in a show that was very dependent on the timing of the sound cues in the music. Opening night, we were at the very climax of the show when the wrong music started playing. No one knew what to do because we were waiting for the sound cue but we were also supposed to be in real peril. So for a full five minutes all of us were yelling “Oh no!” As we stood awkwardly in our places.

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#3

I ran lights for footloose and hit a cue too early… the cast had to do the last 5 or 6 seconds of a song in the dark.

#4

I did a monologue for a… “scholarship program” (read: beauty pageant). The mic went out for my entire performance. They rushed me offstage, gave me a new mic and sent me back out to reperform for the judges. But since I was being judged, I couldn’t do worse cuz then they’d see I let the tech difficulties get to me but I also couldn’t do better to show I had nerves the first time…. so I had to perform identically well… most stressful/weird performance.

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#5

One time during Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt’s pants ripped completely open down the side. It was during a fight scene so he couldn’t even fix it.

#6

When I was Long John Silvers years ago, I had my leg in a sling so it looked like I only had “one leg” as the script goes. One of the barmaids spilled a bit of water and as I went across the stage my crutch slipped on the water sending me flying across the stage into the pirates.

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#7

My best friend had written a monologue for his drama class in high school. The monologue was a crazy and violent guy who was yelling to himself. I remember one line was, “You should have taken your pills today now you’re going to have to hurt someone!” He stayed after school to practice and a teacher in the other room overheard him. She was FREAKED OUT. She got the Vice Principal to go talk him down and they almost called the police!

#8

This is not me personally but a young lady I knew was playing Kitty in The Drowsy Chaperone. During Toledo Surprise, she fell down and ended up fracturing her wrist. It was closing night and she still had to finish the second act.

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#9

This one wasn’t during a live performance, but one time after a play I was joking around with my friend. I was trying to be “sexy” and I seductively wrapped my leg around one of the doors on set… only I didn’t know that one of my fellow actors was on the other side. So I accidentally creepily wrapped my leg around him!

#10

When I was in Hamlet, Hamlet and Laertes had a fight in the graveyard involving a pickax. Long story short, Hamlet got a pickax to the head. I didn’t realize what had happened because his back was to me. He fell forward and I rushed forward to grab him like I was choreographed to do and I remember thinking “that’s a lot of blood.” He cut his monologue short and rushed offstage. He and I had a scene together immediately after that and he came on holding a wad of paper towels to his head. We spent the scene taking turns holding the paper towels to the gash. He finished the show and then we rushed him to the hospital where he got 10 stitches. No more pickax after that.

 

Yikes! Stay safe thespians.

Almost Getting Killed By a Pen Lid

During the school play, we were all goofing around on stage after a show. In this particular play we had a cap gun, which isn’t unusual for a school play. We were annoying theater kids so OBVIOUSLY someone had the gun and was swinging it around and yelling… probably while singing show tunes or using some kind of bad English accent. I mean, whenever were we not doing that stuff? What else do you expect from us?

Anyways, after pointing the gun at just about every single person in the cast, he holds it over his head and pulls the trigger. KA-BLAAM! It was the sound that you would expect from a real gun. I mean, we all stopped in our tracks, like what? Did that Pinocchio gun just become a real gun? On the ceiling above the stage (yes you could see the ceiling, it was a small stage) embedded into the tile was a blue pen lid.

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Someone had shoved a pen lid into the barrel of the cap gun and it had shot out as if it were an actual bullet. Now, obviously, some high school kid did this as a joke. I’m sure they just thought it would be funny to see the gun jam and then we would have to adlib some crazy thing on stage. BUT I think they seriously underestimated the drama of the drama department.

I immediately jumped to the conclusion that, HOLY FRICKIN TOLEDOS, this was a set up to have someone in the cast killed.

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At the end of the third act, the gun is shot randomly around at the cast during a struggle… so if this one actor hadn’t been goofing around before a show, someone would have gotten a pen lid stuck two inches into their body. It was like wedged so hard into the ceiling too. I remember we had to stand on a chair and really yank it down. I mean OBVIOUSLY, this was the dealings of a MURDERER. I was ready to call the police.

Looking back at it now, I’m sure it was just someone in the cast who was trying to play a prank. I’m sure they didn’t come forward at the time because I was about to slap a pair of handcuffs on someone. I never found out for sure who did it, even though you bet I tried, Watson.

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So anyways, that was one of the times I almost died in front of an audience.

COLLECTIVE: THEATRE MISHAPS (PART ONE)

WHAT IS YOUR FUNNIEST LIVE PERFORMANCE MISHAP STORY?

(Some of these stories have been re-written / re-worded for clarity sake.)

 

#1

I was teching a show once when the power blew out. The theater went completely pitch black for a full couple of minutes while I ran all the way to the power box to flip the breakers.

#2

My hair got caught in another actor’s button while my character was passed out. Both the actors on stage spent several minutes trying to get my hair free from the button, but they ended up having to rip my hair. The audience absolutely lost it and thought it was the funniest thing ever. I managed to maintain my composure and not laugh or open my eyes.

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#3

I once went down a dark hall to opening curtain and banged my shin into a wooden box. I was out on stage with my legs bleeding all over. The show must go on. Later turned into a huge blood problem called Mersa and almost lost my leg.

#4

I was a maid in the play and I was supposed to come out and give one of the actors a cup of tea. One time during a live performance I couldn’t find my prop teacup and in a panic another actor handed me a random glass to take out. It had some kind of liquid in it but I didn’t pay any attention to it. I gave him the glass and returned backstage. The other actor who gave me the glass freaked out and asked me why I hadn’t told him not to drink it. I asked him why, what was in it. He said, “I don’t know, I just found it out in the hall.” Glad I hadn’t poisoned him!

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#5

Once in Three Musketeers I was to put my head on a solid box after a battle scene. Someone mistakenly put a different a light weight box down.. during a fight scene my head went thru the box and caught my head and ears… the light came up again and I lied there in the box for four or so minutes until the scene change. The show must go on.

#6

I was once in a play that was specifically put on for Elementary kids. In one scene, I had to read a book with my back turned towards the audience. The prop I had was an old medical book with illustrations. And I swear every single time I cracked the book open it would open to a big drawing of a penis that I would accidentally flash the kids with!

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#7

It was the last show before striking the set, and I had done the show so many times that it was all second nature to me. So, in my off time, I settled in and started playing Zelda on my DS. I got so absorbed that I missed my cue for about 10 minutes and they couldn’t find me. Pretty embarrassing.

#8

When I was Friar Tuck in Robin Hood. I had costume mishap. There was a part where I swing Robin Hood around on my back. One show, his sword caught my pants and pulled them down. I ad-libbed and said, “Robin you’re a leg man I see.” To this day people think that was part of the script.

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#9

For class, we decided to do the ending scene from A Streetcar Named Desire. We weren’t able to get a sugar glass bottle made in time so we decided to use a real one. Big mistake. Somewhere in between breaking the bottle and the tussle, my partner pushed my hand back and I cut up the side of my nose with the glass. We finished out the scene, I bowed and then ran to the bathroom to take care of my bleeding face.

#10

My first show after having a baby was “Annie.” I was Lily St Regis and at one point rooster would throw me over his shoulder and run off stage. Well, this particular show, when he threw me over his shoulder, I ripped a huge fart. His mic was right next to my butt sooooo the whole audience heard it.

 

Part Two comes out next month! If you have any mishap stories to contribute be sure to send them to me!

The Time My Phone Got Switched with a Detective’s

I haven’t told too many people this story, mostly because it became kinda dangerous to talk about…

I think it’s okay now though. Probably.

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So when I worked as a receptionist I would get a LOT of phone calls. My job was to transfer the call to the right department, which was usually easy but some of the weirder ones were more of a puzzle. Like there were multiple types of IT departments for some reason? And also a lot of people would just straight up give you some weird story that made you want to transfer them to the hang-up department.

Well, one day some of my phone calls started getting weirder than normal.

I’m not even sure what the first one was about. It was in Spanish, which I speak… but that didn’t make me any less confused. The guy was like stressing out about some kind of fine or ticket or something? He was trying to access his criminal records or something. I was like, Bro, this is a printer company… Which just pissed him off worse and he kept repeating that this was the number that the police officer had given him. I hung up like, huh… that was weird. But it just got WEIRDER AND WEIRDER.

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I answer the phone and this guy asks for a detective with a really distinct last name. I don’t feel comfortable publicly disclosing that name, so I’ll just call him Detective Benitez.

Me: *Printer Company Name* This is Valerie. How may I direct your call?
Man: Put me on with Benitez.
Me: … Um. I’m sorry. There’s no one here by that name.
Man: Is this 801-bla-blah?
Me: … yes, that’s my personal line.
Man: Oh are you his assistant then?
Me: I’m a receptionist at a printer company…
Man: Oh, the receptionist. Well, can you deliver him a message?
Me: … uh–
Man: Tell him to stop f—ing harassing me because I never f—ing assaulted her in the first place.
Me: …
Man: Tell him Dale says that.
Me: K. Will do.

I would get these kinds of calls all the time. BUT ONLY ME. The other receptionist’s phone wouldn’t ring because they weren’t calling the main line they were calling me DIRECTLY. And sharing very weird personal incriminating information.

So anyways, one Monday I come in and the little light on my phone is blinking and I’m like… nah fam. Like the only way I have a message on my PERSONAL PHONE is if it’s for this Benitez guy. So I already knew what it was.

I was not prepared for what I was about to hear.

On my phone was a message from a woman relaying some key information about a murder.

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K. Now, I know all y’all Criminal Mind bingers are like ooh how interesting. Nah. This scared the … swear word out of me. I felt like I WAS a witness just by association of this event. Like now I had sensitive information that a psycho would not appreciate me having. And this murder was particularly dangerous too… (lol that was dumb, all murders are dangerous. But just know that it was a crazy enough one that my now involvement made me feel really uncomfortable!)

So we tracked down the real detective to give him this super important message. The detective took one look at his business cards and *whoops* TYPO. His number had been printed one digit off and he was doling my number all around town

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So that happened! Because my phone number got mixed up I had to deliver some significant evidence to a detective. And if you’re wondering if I would ever turn that premise into a book. UH-YEAH! Of course I will! I even kinda thought it would be fun to set it in the sixties and have it be about a serial killer who entices girls by pretending to be one of the Beatles… HAHAHAHA! Is that dumb?? I’ve never told anyone that idea before. It just kind of blurted out of my fingertips there.

Anyways! I try to often post about crazy stories, embarrassing stories, um stupid book ideas and stuff. Subscribe to follow along if you want more!

 

An Entire Family of Bad Luck Brians

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Have you ever seen the movie Pure Luck? Because let me tell you… this move to Arizona has been some of the worst luck I’ve ever had. It’s been so ridiculous in fact that you wouldn’t believe it unless I made a comprehensive list.

So here you are:

We got a late start getting out on the road because one of our drivers disappeared at Walmart for an hour

U-haul’s system went out nationally and double charged us for the trailer

Car’s AC went out as soon as we hit Mesquite

We tried to see Hoover dam. It was closed.

Our other car wasn’t put on the trailer correctly and almost fell off in the middle of the desert

Our credit card stopped working because of the unusual location even though we informed the bank we were moving

Got to the Air BnB late, misunderstood where the entrance was and got chewed out all day for trying to break in

Got locked out of our own gated community as we were trying to move in

Brought an air mattress for our helpers… didn’t bring an air pump

Got two replacement mattresses and a pump… that pump was broken

The flight we purchased for our helpers was delayed like three hours. Didn’t know about it until after they had gone through security

Someone in our building was smoking and it was blowing into our apartment

It took 4 trips to the DMV to get registration done because of random misunderstandings

Caterpillars keep crawling in through the bottom of our front door 🤷🏻

Our pool turned green

Jack had diarrhea for the first week

And then because of the diarrhea Jack had bad diaper rash the second week

I spent like 15 minutes picking out the most gentle face wash/moisturizer I could find at the store. I was allergic to it.

Dan’s bike got stolen off our porch

After fixing the AC we took our car to get tint put on the windows and our MECHANIC’S car broke down and he couldn’t get to it until the next day

We went to three different restaurants because we had gift cards. NONE OF THE GIFT CARDS WORKED

The ONE thing I was madly pregnancy craving does not exist here in AZ

The radiator in the OTHER CAR broke down

And literally as I was typing up this list, Dan came in to tell me that the plug on my laptop just SPARKED and EXPLODED. So I’m trying to write this post on my phone.

badluckfire

This probably all sounds made up. IT’S NOT. Hopefully, a meteor isn’t about to fall on us. Um… Help?

David Copperfield Made My Dad Disappear

Do you guys know this guy?

David-Copperfield

If you said Ty Burrell from Modern Family… you’re wrong.

Here’s a hint… He was pretty big in the eighties. Especially after he made the statue of liberty disappear and walked through the Great Wall of China. That’s right! David Copperfield!

My Dad is a HUGE fan of magic. So when we heard he was coming to Salt Lake, we got us some tickets y’all!

And if you’ve ever been to a magic show, you know they save the craziest trick for last. It was the end of the show… the last act… and David Copperfield said he needed some volunteers from the audience.

katniss-salutes

The way that he chose volunteers was sort of odd. He threw a Frisbee into the audience and whoever caught it got to participate. Well, the Frisbee flew right down and landed in my lap. I didn’t even try to catch it or anything it just landed on me.

David was all like, “Oh, can you hand that to the nearest adult?” Geez, Copperfield. Sorry I’m not MAGICAL enough for you. (I was about twelve? at the time). Wull, fine! My dad was sitting next to me so I handed it to him.

copp13

Meanwhile, the magician pulls out like ten more people from the audience and announces that he’s going to make them all disappear. Pretty cool. He puts everyone on this platform and gives them all flashlights. My dad was the designated hand out the side of the curtain guy. Prrrrestigious.

Once the curtain was on, the platform rose into the air with some really intense new age music. (lol I love how extra cheesy magic performances are. 100%).

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Everyone is wiggling their flashlights back and forth, including my dad whose hand is still outside of the curtain. David Copperfield yanks the curtain away and DUN DUN WOOSH! Everyone is gone. We stand to our feet cheering! The magician takes a bow and says “Thanks for coming out, bye!”

We’re all like… oh, huh? But our dad tho. I guess he’s just gone to another dimension now.

We finally met up with him later in the lobby and got to talk to him all about the crazy experience!

And you want to know how he did it? …

With MAGIC. Duh.

Trapped by a Parade of 2,000 Naked Bicyclists (No Joke)

My parents had this fun incentive that every time one of their children graduated from high school, that graduate got to pick where we went for our summer vacation. And while the limit of my imagination was California, my little brother chose to go to Europe.

June 2014, we were in London: me, my immediate family, a couple of my brother’s friends and my then fiancee Daniel.

We were scheduled to tour the River Thames, which I was particularly excited for because we were going to float past the recreation of the Globe Theater. And, hey, Shakespeare is sorta my thing. I was even IN an award winning Shakespearean play that summer so *sniffs and tosses hair over both shoulders like a snob*.

I was in the hotel getting ready to leave. When Dan calls me from outside.

DAN: Hey… There’s something really weird going on out here.

VAL: Oh, yeah?

DAN: There’s a big crowd of people… I think it might be a protest or something…

DAN: … … You should come down here.

When my family and I stepped out of our hotel we were greeted by a huge crowd of butt naked people standing around with bikes.

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So I guess the World Naked Bicycle Ride is a thing. (Don’t click on that unless you want to see nudies. NSFW. You’ve been warned.)

Us kids had a pretty good laugh at it, as my conservative parents were trying to herd our wandering eyes down to our river boat tour. We were only one crosswalk away from the dock before we found out that the streets were completely closed off.

So here we were caught watching the craziest parade ever. Thousands of naked dangling bodies zipping by us. Some were on rental bikes, which was… not something I wanted to think about too hard.

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(You know. In a weird way it was a confidence booster. In our society we never really see any ‘average-looking’ naked people. If you feel like you don’t look that great naked. Hey. Neither does anyone else. And I’ve seen a small towns worth of naked people to know. Everyone’s got rolls and flab. Guys are pretty much the same size… well okay, there was one guy that was “particularly brave”.)

Anyways, my mom is SUPER pissed off that we can’t cross the street. We’re about to miss our river boat tour because we can’t get around this moving wall of butt-cracks on bicycles. She WIGS THE FREAK OUT and just FLIPPING steps out INTO the middle of the parade.

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The guy has to squeeze his hand break and like skidded on his bare feet to stop from hitting my mom. Four to five people behind him are swerving and stopping and almost falling over. I thought for sure I was about to see my mother buried by an avalanche of a$$. She’s like waving us all to cross the street after she had just created the most awkward pile up in history.

That was embarrassing AF, but we made the river tour.

I feel like I can count that as one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me. I mean seeing a thousand lil’ Johnsons in one day is up there. I post crazy stories every month now, so if you haven’t subscribed yet, you may want to consider it.

 

The Girl Who Cried Celebrity

Keanu Reeves came up and talked to me at the Burger Bar, but no one believes me.

UNNECESSARY BACKSTORY

A couple of weeks ago, we went to California for a family vacation (all of which I will blog about next Thursday). The last time we went to Disneyland, there was *an incident* that Dan still teases me about everyday. It’s just that – ‘kay – I am the type of naive person that jumps to the most magical of conclusions, even if it’s not likely.

It’s summer 2015. We go out to eat at Blue Bayou with my family. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the restaurant that is inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Seriously, like people are riding past in boats watching you eat. When you go there, you’re basically cast as one of the animatronics.

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Just like everything else in Disneyland it’s very spendy and ritzy, probably even more so than other places in the park. (Not bragging, but this is important to the story, I promise.) My mom nudges me and points out a guy sitting in a really nice corner of the patio. She’s like OMG doesn’t that dude look like Walt Disney?

He did. Did I automatically think that he was actually Walt Disney? No. Did I automatically think that he was his nephew, Roy Disney Jr? Uh, yeah, you bet your childlike wonder I did.

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I am freaking out like this guy has to be Roy Disney Jr. Or family. OR SOMEONE. Because exhibit A) he was by himself. Um, okay. Who is ever at Disneyland by themselves? Eating at one of the most expensive places… like, I’m a sixty something year old dude and imma treat myself to a Disney day? Come on. Isn’t that just a little suspicious? Even if his family wasn’t hungry and decided to do rides, like how is he going to be at having a lonely filet mignon instead of like a giant turkey leg or a churro or something. Also it was the day before the sixtieth anniversary. So why wouldn’t the Disneys be there?

Well, whatever. He leaves. Never confirm who it was. Obviously it wasn’t Roy, because he passed away several years ago, but that was unbeknownst to me at the time. Later on after using the bathroom by the New Orleans train station, my dad very excitedly tells me that he saw that SAME GUY go into the illusive Club 33 nearby.

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I screamed at the top of my lungs,”I KNEW IT!!”… And then everyone started laughing at me. Ha. Ha. Very funny. Take advantage of my outrageously high hopes. Whatever.

Anyways, long story short (too late), I’m sort of the butt of the joke when it comes to stuff like that.

ACTUAL STORY

Okay, fast forward to now. January 2018. We had just finished up another trip to Disneyland and we were in the Long Beach airport about to go home. As we were walking the length of the airport I notice a guy in front of us. WHOA! This guy looked EXACTLY like Keanu Reeves. Like if you cut his hair and shaved off his beard, I mean- seriously he could get into movie premieres, you know what I mean? Total twin.

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I point him out to Dan who rolls his eyes so hard it probably hurt a little bit. Then I kind of forget about it.

Dan has the baby and I go up to get us food at ‘The Burger Bar’. I got chicken strips because whatever I order I have to share with Jack. They tell me it’s going to take 15 minutes to cook. So alright, I’m just standing there super awkwardly waiting for my food.

A guy steps over to me. “Hey, have you ordered?”

It’s the Keanu Reeves look alike. And oh my gosh, now that I’m getting an up close view, I’m like HOLLLLLLLYYYYY SHHHHHHHH- This could be him.

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I mean, yeah, if he bent one of the spoons I would have been less surprised. It would have confirmed that Neo was actually talking to me at least. Even the voice. That whispity flat voice, you know? (Descriptions and stuff. Don’t worry, I’m an author.)

We’re standing next to each other as we wait for our food. (!!!) And I’m dying to ask, “Has anyone ever told you you look just like Keanu Reeves? … like, are you?” The thing though, is that there are a bunch of other people around. I don’t want to out him. This guy is just trying to get a burger, he doesn’t want to get stuck taking pictures with people.

So I never found out for sure.

BUT-

The next day someone had posted a meme of him, and I was like waaaaait… I googled what he looks like currently. And guys. It was him.

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This guy at the airport had the same exact hair and the same patchy beard. Keanu Reeves talked to me and stood next to me. 100%. Even more convinced now after finding pictures for this blog post.

And of course, it happened to ME ONLY, so no one believes it. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!