Thursday, November 17, 2005

Stage Production Follies

[TBOs note: This is in response to fuckwad's post regarding ad libbing/general production foibles.]


1) One of the first shows in Seattle I was cast in was this abomination creatively called Apocalypse Rome (Nero is jailed along with some early jesus followers. They escape. Conceptually sound, ehhh execution.)

2) Being the big, tall, beige-colored Puerto Rican I am, I was, of course, cast as a Roman Centurion. Centurions wear those little skirt thingies with the sandals.

3) I'd just taken a needless Method workshop, and I had been more than a little disappointed in it. (In retrospect, I keep thinking of Olivier's comment to Hoffman, during Marathon Man: "My dear boy, why don't you try acting?")

4) You've heard of shoestring budgets? This was a one-of-those-plastic-things-at-the-end-of-shoestrings budget. The roman columns were made out of painted Castrol Motor Oil boxes.

Incident #1

I am thrown on-stage for my first entrace, which ends with a shoulder roll. In a fit of wanting to make my $150 workshop worth something, I decide to try some method shit with the role.

"Did centurions wear underwear?" began the brilliant line of thinking. "No," I correctly, if foolishly, answered myself.

I practice the roll commando-style through tech and dress rehearsals, nary a nether made an appearance.

Opening night: Entrance, roll, skirt thingy around my waist. A woman in a wheelchair sitting front row center gasps and utters: "Oh, my!"

No more method bullshit for TBO. Ever.

Incident #2

Towards the end of the run: Entrance, roll. My foot brushes a "column" and causes it to fall down.

Calamity and laughter, particularly amongst the onstage cast. I have the next line, and the plot/show can't move forward until I utter it.

I try to say the line a few times, but amidst the raucous laughter in the crowd and the giggling castmates, it's a lost cause.

So, instead, I decide to do something about the column, thinking that putting it away will take it out of everyone's mind.

Well, the column is held together by scotch tape, so it all disintegrates as I try to pick it up.

More laughter, the cast is weeping onstage. And this time, I prep myself for the opening.

As the crowd starts collecting itself, I utter "you're right, this is funny."

I use the ensuing laughter as cover while I pick up the individual boxes and carry them off stage.

The show goes on.


At 1:59 PM, Blogger rob said...



At 7:14 PM, Blogger Jayne said...

Thankyou so much - honestly one of the first laughs I've had in weeks


At 10:14 AM, Blogger the beige one said...


Email me,'s in the profile...

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Missuz J said...

Makes me wish I hadn't given up acting after high school. In my farewell performance as Cha Cha De-Grigorio my senior year, my left boob popped out of my dress during the final dance number. GT

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Stine said...

Yay for popping boobs. I've had one of those experiences as well.

Dood, that's some funny shit there, yes it is.


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