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.

ouch

#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.

pen lid

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.

makin

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.

haircaught

#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!

spittake

#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!

book close

#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.

pants

#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 Puppet Switch

This is my all time favorite theater mishap story to tell. I can’t help laughing anytime I think about it.

So I was in this darling children’s play. My friend had written a stage adaption for the children’s book Ferdinand the Bull. And in this play, we had puppets. When the bull characters are kids at the beginning of the play, they are portraited with puppets. The actors would be on stage with our little puppets walking them around… almost as if we were out there playing with stuffed animals (just to give you the idea). Then at the very end, we would get into our full bull costumes in order to become ‘the adult versions”.

super cute
This…
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… to this.

It was a day play. And since we performed for school kids we typically held shows in the morning. One of my fellow actors had a night job as a security guard at the time. We’ll call him… Ryan, or something. So more often than not, Ryan would work a graveyard and then come straight to the theater right afterward. So in his defense… that would make any human being just a wee bit more than loopy!

I was supposed to come barreling out with my puppet (Torpedo) run him around the stage and start fighting with Ryan’s puppet. We had this like goofy little fight choreographed where the puppets got up on their hind legs and kick each other, spin around and flip! It was really cute and the kids loved it.

So I get ready to bust out through the curtains like any other day. I hear my cue. Bam! And what do I see? I don’t see Ryan with a little puppet. Oh no. I see Ryan in his grown-up bull costume on all fours.

Ummmmmm kay.

There was this weird moment where the play just froze. I completely stopped dead in my tracks and stared at Ryan. Ryan looked back at me with this freaking unforgettable face. His smile said this is perfectly normal. But his eyes said I’ve made a serious mistake, please help.

help

Um, the show must go on, I guess? I kept going with the scene. I ran around and fought Ryan with my puppet. Everything that we had blocked out with these little toy puppets, he now had to do himself. I can’t even begin to tell you how awkward that was. Slamming my little-stuffed animal into his head and him like wiggling his arms and batting the puppet around. I don’t know how it was even possible to keep face and not laugh at how confusing this must be to the audience. Like, why?? What is the artistic direction in this? Why are these kid bulls hanging around this creepy adult bull? I don’t even know.

The best part is, he was in too deep. He couldn’t even fix his mistake, because now the audience thinks that’s part of the show. He had to do THE WHOLE REST OF THE SHOW in this adult bull costume that’s only supposed to be at the end. Every weird thing we had blocked with the puppets, he had to try to mimic.

… Whenever I have a bad day, I just think of this.

Walking In On Someone During a Quick Change

Senior year, there was this new transfer student and he was *flame emojis*. Me and other girls in the drama class would always gossip about how good looking he was, like some Greek statue or something. Some of the girls thought he looked like Zac Effron, Personally, I think he kinda looks like Dacre Montgomery if I’m being honest.

So somewhere between these two actors, except like 6’4”.

He was generally referred to as “Hot Guy”, because of course. Anyways, when Hot Guy made the school play I was really surprised. I honestly hadn’t ever heard him so much as sneeze so I couldn’t imagine him on stage shouting lines with some booming voice. Well nonetheless, Hot Guy was in the cast and I was in the cast.

The play was See How They Run, which if you aren’t familiar, is a “six-door comedy”. In other words there are lots of people running in and out, mistaken identities, twists and all the shenanigans you could ever hope for.

SeeHowTheyRunposter

So because of the loony nature of the play, almost every single actor had at least ONE costume change. And in my high school, all of the non-musical plays were shooed out of the auditorium and crammed into a smaller theater room. Our backstage was not big enough for like separate dressing rooms, so we just had one trifold panel in the corner.

And also because the backstage was a tiny little area, we basically had to find a square inch to sit in and wait for our cues.

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Well, one performance, I was having a problem… an underwear problem. Like I don’t even know what brand or type I was wearing but whatever it was IT SUCKED. I was riding the train into wedgie central every time I so much as BREATHED. I needed to take care of this uncomfortable situation stat. And this kind of situation could only be taken care of in the most discreet way… if you be picking up what I be laying down…

I was like, HEY. Here is a gleamingly, brilliant idea. I’ll just slip behind the trifold and take care of this cotton mess of a thing… I’m sure you’ve already guessed where I’m going with this. I don’t know what I was thinking. Actually, yes I do, I wasn’t thinking at all. There were so many kids going in and out of the changing area, it would have been a miracle to not have caught someone back there.

Well, I did. I straight up WALKED IN ON SOMEBODY. And not just anybody, oh no. It was Hot Guy. HOT GUY. I just waltzed back there while FREAKING HOT GUY was in the middle of a quick change.

aah

Any second, sooner or later, would have been better. But he was at his most undressed point at the time of the walk in. Yup. Nothin’ but a tight pair of boxer briefs. (I just had to stop typing there to facepalm.) Like effing BURNED into my memory, the jingling sound of his belt as he desperately tried to cover himself back up and whisper-yelling, “Hey, hey, hey!” Ohhhhhhh my gosh. I think I said sorry like a hundred times in thirty seconds. A twenty-one-gun salute of apologizes as I RAN AWAY.

Walking in on anyone would have sucked. But walking in on hot guy was THE FREAKING BLUSHIEST WORST THING EVER. I couldn’t even look him in the face for a long time. People actually believed that I had walked in on him on purpose. !!!

 

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Like as IF I had actually planned out the moment that hot guy was going to be taking his pants off and just whoopsie daisy, lookie there, looks like I’ve accidentally gotten an eye full, oh darn. Even if I was interested in him at the time, like how would that creepy icebreaker even benefit me? “Hey, remember me? I’m the socially-demented girl who walked in on you almost naked. Here’s my number.” AND I COULDN’T even explain or defend myself, because SORRY I actually was just going back there to PICK SOME PANTIES OUT OF MY BUTT, OKAY!

Then again… I did end up dating Hot Guy for a couple of years… so I guess the whole thing wasn’t totally scarring.

MY LIFE AS AN ACTRESS: A TIMELINE

Before I start, here’s a warning: I started writing this post before I realized that… This is probably not very interesting to anyone other than me… But I wrote it anyways. Sometimes I just write stuff to archive for myself, so take it as it is. Maybe it WILL be interesting to you. Or at the very least you can get a general idea of my love affair with acting through the ages.

sisandi.jpg

4 or 5 YEARS OLD – My passion for acting (and writing consequently) really begins with my sister. We used to write our own plays, figure out the blocking and costumes, then put them on for our mom or sometimes a camera. It was all I wanted to do all day, every day. The games/plays that I would put on with my sister were almost always hilarious. We loved comedy. Strangely enough, though, it was the opposite when my sister wasn’t available. The games that I played by myself were incredibly melodramatic. Things like trying to survive a shipwreck (wading pool) or saving people that had been swept away from a tornado (getting my toys back out after my mom had come and cleaned up). Playing pretend was just the beginning.

9 YEARS OLD – I still LOVED putting on plays. So much in fact that I would write and direct plays at recess and then beg my teacher to let me do performances for the class. After a long while of interrupting class time, my teacher told my mother that she should consider enrolling me in acting lessons. She did. And I fell. In. Love. Head over heels.

14 YEARS OLD – Still ALL about acting. Writing and putting on plays for my church talent show. I could FINALLY take Drama in Jr. High… so wrote more plays for that even though it wasn’t a requirement to do so. 9th grade was my first ever experience with Shakespeare. Unforgettable. I was living the dream in my awkward gawkward middle school body.

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16 to 17 YEARS OLD – Okay, here’s where things get crazy. So I’ll just try to break this down as best as I can. Like a timeline within a timeline… Junior year, I performed in the school play. Then I got into filmmaking with my friends. Then I had an internship teaching theater at a Jr. High. Then I performed in another school play. And then finally I auditioned for my very first professional performance and got the leading part. And that theater couldn’t get rid of me for a long time after that.

18ish YEARS OLD – I worked a lot with Utah Children’s Theater. I acted in a few more plays there. I also worked regularly as a House Manager and had a couple of opportunities as a stage manager.

this is better

19 YEARS OLD – I went to school at Southern Utah University where I studied Classical Acting for a year.  So, obviously, my schedule was jampacked full of lovely theatre things. I decided that I missed Utah Children’s Theater, plus I ran out of money so I came back home.

20-21 YEARS OF AGE – The following Salt Lake years I spent more time at the Theater I had adopted as my home. I was an off and on stage manager, house manager, actress, teacher, assistant director, and tech person. I even came to every rehearsal of a play that I wasn’t in or managing in any way… I just loved that play so much that I kept showing up even though no one was paying me or asking me to. That’s a true story.

charlie

23-24 YEARS OF AGE – When I returned from my mission, I got another job at the theater I loved so much. This time as a Box Office Manager. I also started studying Elementary Education at the University of Utah as well as pursuing a K-6 theater endorsement. During my time at the U, I was introduced to THE BEST PROGRAM EVER. ArtsBridge! (Here’s a video of me talking about how great it is). I began training to become a “Theater Specialist” and worked with a lot of REALLY COOL elementary schools in the Salt Lake area. I loved this job so much! SO SO MUCH!

26 YEARS OLD – After I got married, I became the sole provider as my husband was in graduate school and the stage was put on hold. There soon came a time where we had saved up enough money for me to be able to quit my full-time job and go back to school. When I did, I immediately ran back to ArtsBridge and did a ton more cool stuff at Pacific Heritage Academy (all big and pregnant with Jack).

After having my darling boys, I had to hang up my acting cap for a while and become a theatre patron. I don’t feel like it’s the end. I just feel like it’s “a break” while my kids are little. Ultimately, I imagine never truly giving up acting. Anytime I see an old woman on a TV show or a commercial I’m like THAT WILL BE ME.