Tuesday, May 21, 2013

That One Time I Accidentally (Almost) Cursed Over The Mike in a Children's Theatre Production

Meighan at Heavens to Meighan is hosting a fun "that one time" link up here and you should all go play along because I had lots of fun writing out this story, even though it was soul-crushingly embarrassing at the time.
Back in the deezy, I was super involved in my community's children's theatre. Like, involved as in I auditioned for every play they did (and got in them, just saying), volunteered at the camps they put on in the summers, helped clean out the warehouse semi-annually, the whole nine. It was my life from 3rd grade to when we moved after my sophomore year of high school.

Here are a couple gems. This is a program from Sleeping Beauty. I was the witch. Thankfully they didn't make me wear the horn hat thing.
Being a talking apple tree in The Wizard of Oz. Is there a more cliche I-am-awkwardly-in-the-midst-of-puberty-and-still-want-to-be-onstage role? I think not.  I'm on the far right.

My "big break" came when I was 16 and it was announced that this summer, we would be doing Beauty and the Beast. Not the awkward made-for-school-shows one, either - the authentic Broadway script, complete with orchestra.  I was ecstatic.  I started practicing in July for auditions in February.  I wanted to be Belle so bad I could taste it.
All of that work paid off, because I got the part.

Yeahhh buddy.
We practiced for about 6 months, and opening night finally came around.  I remember actually being nervous, something that was kinda new to me - I guess I'd been doing it for so long that I didn't really get that nervous about it any more.
If you've spent time around theatre folk, you'll know that we're a superstitious bunch - don't talk about "The Scottish Play", don't say good luck, and know that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong on opening night.  If opening night goes smoothly, be afraid for the rest of your production.
Our opening night paved the way for a flawless run. Which means that opening was kind of a mess.
Not in a way the audience could pick up, necessarily.  At least my friends in attendance all said it was great (I have really nice friends.)
Just in things like people not doing their blocking quite correctly, a couple dropped cues, me putting on a dress inside out during a quick change. Nothing major.
Until the finale.
After some consideration, it was decided that I should be wearing the big yellow dress during the last number.  Which looked great, but gave me about a minute to get into it.  I also had a hair piece that I wore with it, because there was no time to actually do my hair differently.
As I ran backstage and jumped into my hoop skirt, a string broke and it went tumbling around my feet.  We were able to safety pin it, but not high enough to make room for the waltz I was supposed to do at the end (I just smiled really big and shook my head emphatically when Beast guy went in to dance).  That was fine, we could deal.
Now, before we get to the climax of this story, some background: The guy who was playing the Beast had his mike attached to the inside of his mask, so when he "transformed", he lost his mike.  The tech guys turned my mike up really loud to pick him up , but they usually waited until I was back onstage.
This time, they did not.
So I'm in the dressing room, with my mike on, unbeknownst to be.  And my slip has just broken, so I can't do my blocking for the finale.  Its ok, we're good.
But then, the momentous question that, according to my mother, echoed across the audience, ethereally emploring:
"Where's my hair?"
It had been left on the other side of the stage during a quick change, forlornly draped over a pair of antlers decorating "Gaston's tavern."
Thankfully, the tech guys recognized this question for what it was, the disgruntled demands of an already flustered leading lady.  They hurriedly switched my mike off.
Which was fortuitous, because the next word out of my mouth was not fit for the audience's ears.
(Bear in mind, I was 16. I have since cleaned up my language, and my personal life, but that's another post).
Everyone in the dressing room just kind of stared at me for a second. I guess it's not everyday that you see a Disney Princess in full regalia drop an auditory big one.
This rather rough opening paved the way for a great show run, and I absolutely loved it. Everyone involved in the Great Hair Debacle recovered.  We received no lawsuits and no one thinks I am terrible (as far as I know.)
The moral of this story?  If you're wearing a mike, be careful with your words.  Or better yet, just don't talk. Because you never know when that sucker might be on.


  1. I love that you were so into theatre! I always wanted to be but had terrible stage fright. As for the mike... I could NEVER be trusted to wear one of those things and not say something inappropriate. It just couldn't happen. I'm so glad you linked up, thank you!

    1. Of course pretty lady! It was so much fun and a great idea!

  2. Ah those were the days. It was cool to hear your story about Beauty and the Beast.

    I still have the aladdin DVD...mwhahaha

    1. oh my. I looked for aladdin pictures and couldn't find any! I must have removed them long ago

  3. Hahaha...it would have been hilariously horrifying if they had not turned down your mike.

  4. Ha- oh my goodness- so glad they turned down your mike!

  5. Oh my gosh I LOVE your story. haha I did theater through middle school and high school (I was actually in B&B, too), and recently did a community theater show. I related to everything you just said. Quick changes and losing hair always made me curse, too!


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