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.

freeze

#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.

april

#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.

crutches

#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.

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MINUS ONE: A Skit by Val Manwill

I obviously love stage mishaps so much, I mean, I’ve dedicated the whole last two months on it. But you know what’s even better than stage mishaps? A stage play ABOUT mishaps! Noises Off anyone??

Well anyway, a handful of years ago, I tried to write my own play within a play. And this is what I ended up with. It’s called Minus One. It’s quite an amateur piece of playwrighting, so that’s fine, just look past that. It was intended to be performed by 9th – 11th graders, if that gives you some kind of an idea. But I thought that it would be fun to share! So HERE YOU ARE:

 

 

 

 

MINUS ONE

By Val Manwill

 

 

 

 

 

ACT ONE

 

“Hamlet” rehearsal. SERVANT 4 enters, sets a sword and goblet on a table, then leaves. CLAUDIUS & LAERTES enter.

 

CLAUDIUS:          Here, young Laertes. A sword unbated.

LAERTES:              Heh, heh, heh. I’ll anoint my sword with an unction so mortal that there is none that can save the thing from death that is but scratched withal.

CLAUDIUS:          Let’s further think of this, if this should fail—

 

Enter HAMLET

 

HAMLET:              Dearest Laertes! Give me your pardon, sir.

DIRECTOR:          (interrupting from the audience) Stop! Stop!

 

The actors groan.

 

DIRECTOR:          Hamlet. You were early. Again. I don’t know how you manage to be a perfect seven seconds early – every. Single. Time.

HAMLET:              I am sorry, but it’s incredibly hard to hear from the wings. I think it’s that air vent.

HORATIO:            (pokes his head from the curtains) It’s true. You really can’t hear a thing back here.

DIRECTOR:          Do you understand what’s going on in this scene?

HAMLET:              I, uh—

DIRECTOR:          They’re plotting your murder.

HAMLET:              Yeah…

DIRECTOR:          Isn’t that kind of hard to plot your murder if YOU’RE STANDING RIGHT THERE!?

HAMLET:              … Oh.

DIRECTOR:          I’m done with excuses. If you can’t hear the lines then count to 30 in your head and come out on stage. Take it again.

 

THE ACTORS reset and begin again.

 

CLAUDIUS:          Here, young Laertes. A sword unbated

LAERTES:              Heh, heh, heh. I’ll anoint my sword with an unction so mortal that there is none that can save the thing from death that is but scratched withal.

CLAUDIUS:          Let’s further think of this, if this should fail, I’ll have prepared him a chalice.

 

CLAUDIUS takes the poison from LAERTES and pours it into the cup. LAERTES dips his sword into the poison cup. There is an awkward pause and then enter HAMLET.

 

HAMLET:              Dearest Laertes! Give me your pardon, sir. I’ve done you wrong.

LAERTES:              I am satisfied in nature.

DIRECTOR:          Okay. Better!

 

Enter HORATIO, GERTRUDE, and SERVANT 4 who is carrying Hamlet’s sword. SERVANT 4 hands Hamlet the sword. LAERTES does a super goofy fencing maneuver but has one hand holding up his pants.

 

DIRECTOR:          Stop. Laertes why are you only using one hand?

LAERTES:              My fencing pants are too big. I’m trying to hold onto them.

DIRECTOR:          Safety pin it.

LAERTES:              I can’t reach back there.

DIRECTOR:          Where’s Angie? (Calls) Angie!

HORATIO:            She’s helping the army of Fortenbras change in the green room.

DIRECTOR:          Then grab one of the servants running around back there to help you. We are grown adults, people! This shouldn’t be that hard! Continue please.

 

HAMLET and LAERTES fence.

 

DIRECTOR:          Servant 4 move to the back please. Further please. Thank you.

GERTRUDE:         The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.

 

GERTRUDE picks up the cup

 

CLAUDIUS:          Gertrude, do not drink.

GERTRUDE:         I will, my lord. I pray you, pardon me. (drinks)

LAERTES:              (aside to CLAUDIUS) My lord, I’ll hit him now.

 

LAERTES stabs HAMLET. They fight, HAMLET stabs LAERTES with the poisoned sword.

 

CLAUDIUS:          Part them! They are incensed!

HORATIO:            They bleed on both sides!

GERTRUDE:         (overdramatic) The drink! I am poisoned.

 

GERTRUDE dies in the most over the top way possible. THE OTHER ACTORS roll their eyes. THE DIRECTOR stands and applauds.

 

DIRECTOR:          My dear! Brilliant as always. That was fabulous! You were flawless.

GERTRUDE:         Well, of course it was. Would you expect anything else?

DIRECTOR:          Absolutely not. Please go on.

HORATIO:            (continuing) Treachery! Seek it out.

LAERTES:              It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain. No medicine in the world can do thee good. The king, the king’s to blame.

HAMLET:              Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damnèd Dane, Drink off this potion. Follow my mother.

 

HAMLET forces CLAUDIUS to drink the poison. CLAUDIUS dies.

 

LAERTES:              He is justly served. Forgive me, noble Hamlet. (dies)

HAMLET:              Horatio, I am dead. Thou livest. If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart—

 

Suddenly, HAMLET makes the most obvious and ridiculous ‘blank face’ as he forgets his line.

 

DIRECTOR:          Stop! (To himself) So close. We were SO close!

HAMLET:              I forgot what comes next.

DIRECTOR:          How do you NOT have your lines memorized 2 hours before we OPEN THIS SHOW!

HAMLET:              I’m sorry. I just kind of freeze up you know?

DIRECTOR:          Trust me, I know. Everyone in the audience knows! It’s that stupid face that you make.

CLAUDIUS:          I can’t work like this.

HAMLET:              I’m sorry, really. I just don’t know how to improvise Shakespeare.

DIRECTOR:          I feel so unappreciated right now. I have given you the most coveted role in all of the last 500 years of theatre. I made you. When I met you, you were in a public library reciting The Night Before Christmas.

HAMLET:              That’s not fair. . . everyone loved my rendition of The Night Before Christmas.

DIRECTOR:          Just do this show – THE RIGHT WAY! Please! Surprise me for once. Continue.

HAMLET:              Draw thy breath in pain To tell my story. dies

HORATIO:            Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

DIRECTOR:          Aaaaaand curtain! Good. Well, almost good. I feel like – things are too cluttered in this ending. Uh Servant 4?

SERVANT 4:         Yes?

DIRECTOR:          I don’t think we’ll be needing you for this ending scene. It doesn’t work with you there. You’re blocking most of the action.

GERTRUDE:         I think this scene should be for leads only.

DIRECTOR:          That’s just what I was thinking. Servant 4, thank you, but you’re cut. Everyone else, let’s set for this show.

 

Everyone leaves the stage except for SERVANT 4 who is almost in tears.

 

SERVANT 4:         “Cut”? Fine. I’m going home!

 

SERVANT 4 runs off the stage

 

 

ACT TWO

 

THE DIRECTOR stands on stage this time acknowledging the audience.

 

DIRECTOR:          Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all so much for coming to our version of the beloved play Hamlet. I wanted to give a quick message regarding the final scene- Act 5 scene 2. This scene is a very, very serious part of the play and we would appreciate it if all cell phones were turned off and uh, no talking please. Without further ado – The finale of Hamlet.

 

THE DIRECTOR sits down, and CLAUDIUS & LAERTES enter.

 

CLAUDIUS:         Here, young Laertes. A sword unbated—

 

CLAUDIUS & LAERTES look down at the table realizing the key props are missing.

 

CLAUDIUS:          Here is not a sword unbated.

LAERTES:              (scoots closer to the curtain and speaks loudly) Uhhh- Perhaps Lord Hamlet could bring me my sword.

CLAUDIUS:          Hamlet is going to bring YOU a POISIONED SWORD?

LAERTES:              Or perhaps I’ll fetch the sword myself! (Runs off stage)

CLAUDIUS:          (calls after LAERTES) Hey a chalice too. A chalice! (Follows LAERTES off stage)

 

Enter Hamlet

 

HAMLET:              Dearest Laertes! Give me your pardon, sir… I have … done you wrong?

 

HAMLET looks around confused at finding himself alone on stage.

 

LAERTES:              I have the sword!

 

 HAMLET ducks down behind a chair as LAERTES enters with a sword from stage right and CLAUDIUS with a bottle of water from stage left.

 

LAERTES:              I’ll anoint it with an unction so mortal that there is none that can save the thing from death that is but scratched withal.

CLAUDIUS:           I’ll have prepared him a chalice.

LAERTES:              A bottle?

CLAUDIUS:          A CHALICE!

 

CLAUDIUS takes the poison and puts it into the bottle. LAERTES tries to get his sword in the bottle but the opening is too small.

 

LAERTES:              (whispering)  It won’t go!

 

From behind the couch, HAMLET silently counts to 30 on his fingers..

 

HAMLET:              Dearest Laertes!

 

HAMLET pops up from behind the chair startling CLAUDIUS and LAERTES who violently spills the water in the bottle.

 

HAMLET:              Give me your pardon, sir. I’ve done you wrong.

LAERTES:              (sarcastically) I am satisfied in nature.

 

Enter HORATIO and GERTRUDE

 

CLAUDIUS:          (to HORATIO) Give him his foil.

HORATIO:            What, Me?

CLAUDIUS:          (through his teeth) Just get it.

 

Exit HORATIO. LAERTES begins his elaborate and goofy fencing move.

 

LAERTES:              Come, my lord.

HAMLET:              I – I can’t fight you without a sword.

 

LAERTES’ pants drop to his ankles.

 

LAERTES:              Very well. I shall fight you… when you have… a sword. If you’ll excuse me just a moment.

 

With his pants still around his ankles he waddles off stage. HAMLET sits in the chair, waiting.

 

GERTRUDE:         (slightly panicked) Uhh the queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.

 

GERTRUDE picks up the water bottle.

 

CLAUDIUS:          Gertrude, seriously. Do not drink.

GERTRUDE:         I will, my lord. I pray you, pardon me. (drinks)

 

THE DIRECTOR crawls “inconspicuously” on the stage and places a new cup on the table. GERTRUDE begins her dramatic over the top death scene.

 

GERTRUDE:         The drink! I am poisoned. (dies)

CLAUDIUS:          Um, actually dear. (Pointing to the new cup) I believe this is the poisoned one.

GERTRUDE:         Oh.

 

Gertrude gets up, walks over to the new cup and takes a sip.

 

GERTUDE:           Oh NO! The drink! I am poisoned. (Re-dies)

 

THE DIRECTOR drags Claudius offstage by his robe.

 

CLAUDIUS:          I will return. Delay the sword fight. Tarry!

 

CLAUDIUS and THE DIRECTOR exit stage left as HORATIO runs in stage right.

 

HORATIO:            I’ve got the sword. I’ve got it!

 

HORATIO trips on the water spill and is knocked unconscious. HAMLET turns around and breaks the fourth wall, making the same ridiculously blank face as earlier. He stands up.

 

HAMLET:              (attempting to improvise)  Tis . . . tis . . . twas . . . the night before Christmas and all through the house. Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care-

 

Suddenly LAERTES rushes in with the original goblet and splashes HAMLET in the face.

 

LAERTES:              Aha! It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain. No medicine in the world can do thee good.

 

Re-enter CLAUDIUS with another sword.

 

CLAUDIUS:          Part them! They are incensed.

 

THE DIRECTOR enters stage right and picks up HORATIO’s limp body. He moves him around like a puppet.

 

DIRECTOR:          (as Horatio) They bleed on both sides!

GERTRUDE:         (from the ground) The cup! I am poisoned!

DIRECTOR:          (as Horatio) Now cracks a noble heart.—Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing me to my rest! CURTAIN! CURTAIN!

 

THE ACTORS freeze and SERVANT 4 enters, addressing the audience.

 

SERVANT 4:         The moral of our little play is that no one person is bigger than another. No matter how small of a part you think you do, you can make a GIANT difference!

 

fin

 

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.

clueb

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…
713TEUDfOrL._UY445_
… 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.

ImmenseFamousAfricanparadiseflycatcher-max-1mb

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. !!!

 

benaldridge.gif

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

New Schedule for the New Year

It’s that time again! The time when I randomly throw you for a loop by changing the basic format of this blog. Yay! …

No, but for reals. 2019 is going to be WHAT’S UP!!! I am so excited for this schedule NO JOKE. You should be too! It’s basically a whole year of story time and a TON of craziness.

So each season has its own theme. Here they are as follows:

JANUARY & FEBRUARY: THEATER HIJINKS AND SHENANIGANS

What you can expect this season is lots of mishap stories from my years as an actress. I LOVE live-theater-gone-wrong stories, so I’m dedicating a whole two months to it. You might also see a cameo from a stage play writing sample of mine.

MARCH, APRIL, MAY: TALES FROM THE SCHOOLYARD

Basically what the name implies. Here you’ll get lots of childhood stories. I’m going to talk about my family and how I grew up. And I’m hoping to put in some writing samples from the single digit years.

JUNE, JULY, AUGUST: SUMMER OF LOVE

I don’t know why whenever I write “Summer of Love” I get “Jungle of Love” stuck in my head… like that’s not even the lyrics, but okay.

My five year anniversary is coming up so I felt like I wanted to be annoying and talk about that. To offset the cheesiness I’ll also throw in embarrassing stories, “Crush themed” of course!

SEP, OCT, NOV: ALL THINGS CREEPY AND CRAWLY

So next fall you’ll read about my experiences with ghosts and the paranormal. How I make a fool of myself by being scared of everything. Chilling writing samples (obviously!) And whatever crazy thrills I can think of.

DECEMBER: A SURPRISE…

This may or may not be a surprise to me too.  But I have some pretty cool ideas…

This year is special because I’m gathering tons of outside crazy stories from others and hope to do a “collective storytime” at least once a quarter. And then regularly I will give you updates on my life, my little boys and my authorly efforts. Feel free to subscribe to be notified every time a new post comes out.

Stay tuned and Happy 2019 everyone!

The Time I Passed Out at Work

Right out of high school I got a job as a seating hostess at an Italian restaurant. It was only my second day so I was trying to make a good impression. So when I got this monster of a stomach ache I didn’t want to tell anyone I was in pain.

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It was only my second day! I didn’t want to ALREADY be like, hi, I think I need to go home… or at least sit down. I couldn’t be a wimp like that when I knew that it could just very well magically resolve itself.

So instead of asking for a bit of a break or taking care of myself in any way, I did this: I stood at still as possible at the podium and locked my knees. I don’t know if anyone else has this kind of logic… but if I’m in pain I just stay as still as Dr. Grant trying to evade a T-Rex then I don’t have to feel my own insides.

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I stood stiffly like that for a couple of hours honestly. But I was not going to give in and tell everyone that I was suffering. That is not what I am about. I could be trapped under a cement roller and choose a squishy death over “bothering” someone with my needy problems.

I guess when you black out the first thing to go is your peripheral vision. That’s what happened to me anyway. It took me all the way to tunnel vision before I was like, hmm, I should probably say something to someone. I turned to my manager Kristin and all I got out was, “Hey, Kristin. I don’t feel very good–”

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It was weird. I could hear my other manager yell, “She’s going to pass out.” And I felt them catch me. But then all of the sudden I was asleep. I actually had a dream when I was passed out. I swear that’s always in the movies but that actually happened to me. I dreamt I was at a theme park with my mom and sister, so when I woke up on my back on a bench in a restaurant waiting area, I was more than a little disoriented. It took a minute to remember oh yeah, wait… wasn’t I at my new job?

Me:          What happened?

A Cook:   You passed out. Here have a coke. *hands me a class of soda*

Me:          Thanks? … What?

There were SO many people around. I don’t know how long I was out, but long enough to gather a small crowd. This one guest was like FRANTIC AF. He shoved past everyone to get to me and was like half-yelling at me.

Guy:      Are you a diabetic?

Me:        What? No.

Guy:      Are you sure?

Me:        Yeah…

Guy:      Do you want me to call your doctor to find out if you’re a diabetic?

Me:        I… I’m not a diabetic.

He shoved a little green mint into my hand (even though I was already holding a full glass of Coke)

Guy:      I grabbed a mint off my table, because you’re diabetic.

Me:        Oh, but I’m not… okay, thanks.

 

I was out long enough for them to have called my mom to come and get me, which if you knew the majestic levels of worry that my mother can achieve then you know how the rest of my day went. It was embarrassing to have to take sick leave not even 48 hours into this new job. But hey, at least I got a Coke and a mint…