Pop Goes The Bean Bag!

popped bean bag cartoon

AKA: Man, I Wish Someone Was Filming: PART 2

Hello Gentle Reader!

Welcome back to hear about my fabulous fails that ended up making delightful memories.😜

Today’s fail is my second favorite. The reason it isn’t my first fave is ONLY because the show itself is SO funny and even if this fail didn’t happen, the audience still would have enjoyed the show.

Let’s go back to 2015, Dear Reader. The show is Boeing Boeing.                                            The role is Robert Lambert.❤️

Show summary: Well-To-Do bachelor, Bernard gets a visit from small town friend from college, Robert. Bernard reveals he has 3 fiancés who are all international airline attendants on different airlines and their paths never cross. Or do they?

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I loved that painting!!!! Those were some stiff shoes and I am pointing my toes so hard RN!!!  Me and Berthe (Christine McElroy)

The story so far: Bernard and Gloria (the American) are having breakfast when Robert shows up. After Gloria leaves for her flight, Bernard tells of his love life: 3 fiancés with two days spent together each week and their paths don’t cross. Bernard invites Robert to stay with him and tells him that Gretchen (the German) will be having dinner with them before continuing on her flight, but first, Gabriella (the Italian) will be incoming for lunch. There is a large scene between Robert and the housemaid, Berthe, at the top of Act 2, that really sets up the forthcoming physical comedy of the rest of the play. Arriving much earlier than scheduled, Gretchen and Robert meet while Bernard is out and he is totally smitten with her. She storms off to her bedroom in exasperation and as she does, enter Gabriella and Bernard! Gabriella is now on a turbo jet and doesn’t have to leave until tomorrow. I recall how much the energy ramped up at this point as the dialogue goes back and forth much faster and I am jumping all over that stage and I pretend to be a tree in the wind and a bunny on a meadow… Robert convinces Bernard and Gabriella to spend a romantic night in the countryside leaving Gretchen in the apartment with Robert and Berthe. So far, so good! But a call comes in saying that Gloria is on her way back because there is a storm. And that’s where we find my fabulous fail…   (I kinda wish I had did this as a vlog, because they way I wrote the paragraph above should try and be read in one big breath to get the sense of the chaos of the show, but you wouldn’t know that.)

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Same scene as the “incident”, but on a different night. See? I am already a mess from running, jumping, squatting and falling in the first 2 acts. Me and Gloria’s (Heather Bass) finger

Top of Act 3, after dinner together, Robert accidentally offends Gretchen and she storms off for a walk but not before beating on him with her purse, which gets left behind. A mini-scene between Robert and Berthe sets up the entrance for Gloria.  As she walks in, Robert notices Gretchen’s Lufthansa bag and Berthe intercepts Gloria.

This is the stage direction in the script:  “(Berthe turns Gloria away from Robert. Robert throws the bean bag chair with himself on it to hide the Lufthansa bag in front of Door #1)”  We liked it, so we went with it! 😆

Now, my Lovely Reader, I am a chunky monkey, thick like molasses, and apparently reckless! LOL! So as the following happened, so too did my fail:

GLORIA. Hi! (Played amazingly by Heather Bass, waves to me)

ROBERT. Hi! (Big eyed and overly toothy smile, I wave back “There’s nothing weird here at all ”  of  course I don’t say it, that’s my inner dialogue. LOL!)

BERTHE. Good evening, Mademoiselle. (Christine McElroy was perfect as Berthe BTW’s. She takes Gloria as she is saying her line and leads her a step away from the bag)

As Christine shifts Heather over, I grabbed the bean bag, tossed it on the purse and jumped over it to sit facing the audience.

Weeeeeeellllll…

When I landed, there was a distinct and audible, PFFFFT! 💨and suddenly I noticed there were little pellet type things all over my legs.  I could feel my feet slipping out from under me and I knew the bag popped.  Well, that and the hysterical laughter that was coming from the audience was a big clue too!

Here I am on this popped bag, the audience is dying of laughter, Christine and Heather are being amazingly professional, and waiting for the die down to happen, all while maintaining character. If it were me, I would have been DYING!!!  Anyway, from has been told to me, the hole was in the vicinity of my bits and pieces. (That sounds terrible when I read it back… Imma leave it tho.) When I landed the bag shifted slightly and I wasn’t really centered and ‘comfortable” on the bag, so as though nothing were wrong or out of the ordinary, I try to get my feet back under me to reposition myself. Each movement cause a new spewing of little rabbit turds to pop out of the bag which is under my bum so it looks like I am popping them out not the bag and the audience launches into another fit of laughter. Mind you, I didn’t know where the hole was at the time, I was only told of it after, which makes me actually laugh when I think about it. Wait… laughter subsides…

Gloria and Berthe have a few lines of dialogue before, Heather as Gloria makes her way over to me, who is  cool as a cucumber and says:

GLORIA. And how have you got on since I left this morning?  (LAUGHTER)

ROBERT. It’s been quite dull really (LAUGHTER)

GLORIA. Cosy here, isn’t it? Home sweet home. Everything’s so calm. (BIG LAUGH!!)

ROBERT. Calm yes? Really calm isn’t it, Berthe? ( BIG LAUGH!! Remember each little movement i make has me rabbit poopping bean bag beans…)

BERTHE. Calm as calm can be. (Christine’s deadpan perfectly delivers the killer blow for this whole mess and the audience explodes with laughter and applause.) 

I could only hear Christine but since Heather was much closer to me and looking down at me, I got to see her struggle with maintaining a straight face whilst I was playing the laziest version of Peter Cottontail. 👀😄😂

If I remember correctly, bean bag beans were found constantly on the set during the run.  I felt bad that the bag popped because it meant funds had to be spent to repair and refill, but grateful that it happened early in the run with a big audience and we had nearly a sold out run because it was a funny show. Even without the beans!

Oh, Gentle Reader, I hope I conveyed that story better than the last, and I hope it brought a smile to your face. When I think back on that moment, I get a pretty good laugh out of it. That show is one of my more cherished plays.  Not only was the script funny as all get out, but the cast fit the characters and got along so well and it was easy to get lost in my character. For the director, Kevin, I cannot say “thank you” enough. 💖 And thanks for the pictures! It reminds me it really happened.

Until next time, my Dear Reader…

 

Man! I Wish Someone Was Filming…

laughing audience

Hello Gentle Reader,

There aren’t many instances when I wish someone was recording a night’s production performance. Especially since, as I have mentioned before, I don’t like being in front of cameras.

I would like to share 3 or 4 of my spectacular fails that turned into big laughs. I say 3 or 4 because, 2 happened in the same show, so I don’t know if that counts as a single incident. In the next few posts, I want to share them to maybe bring you a smile. 😄 Fingers crossed.

I don’t know how to rate them, because they were all belly busters and hard to not ham up. I am going to share them in order of what makes me smile the most when I think back on the incidents. So, Dear Reader, let’s start off with a smaller smile incident.

The show was Crazy For You way back in 2014. The role is Bobby Child.

Imagine if you will, Kind Reader, this super sweaty actor wearing layered costumes and we are on the second to last scene for Act 1. Prior to this point, there have been at least 4  dance numbers (K-Ra-Zy For You, I Can’t Be Bothered Now, Shall We Dance, Slap That Bass) so I am a hot mess. Dripping with salt water and makeup, I know my face is getting oily.  CURSE YOU COMBINATION SKIN!!!! Oh, AND it is summertime. 🌞!!😓

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Anyway! Back to the moment. If you don’t know the show: Bobby is a NY young guy that loves the theatre. Musical Theatre in particular. Typically, cast as a caucasian, so my caramel colored ass was surprised that I was offered the part, but I digress…  😵

Bobby Child works for a bank and the is going to Nevada as a representative to deal with an upcoming foreclosure. It turns out that the foreclosure is for a theatre that belongs to Polly who he falls in love with, and her father. They have a notice saying to expect Bobby, so when Bobby finally introduces himself, it goes all wrong. He then has a brilliant idea to dress up as a famous director, Bela Zangler, to put on a show, help save the theatre, and win Polly over. That brings us to the point at which “the incident” happens. The big thing to note is that Zangler has a mustache that Bobby does not…

Polly ends up crushing on faux Bela during “Slap That Bass” and pursues him during her song “Embraceable You” at the end of the scene.  As she is making her advances, Bobby is trying to divert her affections from himself as Zangler to Bobby in the midst her singing. One performance, it was so hot outside that the mustache glue wouldn’t hold (ok, who am I kidding? It hardly ever held but at least I could fake it and push it back on most of the time). Polly, brilliantly played by the amazing Fiona Condon, sings out to the audience and then turns to Zangler in her saucy advances, I usually would press the mustache on while she looks away. At one point, I counter and cross her to just past the opposite side of center stage and I try pressing the fake hair back on, but it comes off in my hand! I know that the glue is officially a lost cause. ACK! I need to find a way to keep the mustache in place when she spins me around so the only thing I can think to do is to lean way back like a frug dancer from Fosse’s famous Sweet Charity number. It is obvious to everyone in the audience that the glue is lost at this point, but Fiona doesn’t let that phase her one bit! Such a pro, she is. I can hear the audience laughing as she is singing and I can’t focus on her words because all I am thinking is “Shit! Shit! Shit! It’s not gonna hold!” At the end of the number, Polly plants a big ol’ kiss on Zangler and as she pulls me to her, the mustache slips into prime position and it is a big salty gluey flavored smackaroo. Just a whole number of me trying to keep that stupid thing on in different ways, there was some face slapping at one point,  but none were more ridiculous than the “hairtoss.”  When I couldn’t press the darned thing back on, I had to do a head toss to try and get it to “hop” back in place.  Imagine a beautiful lady singing a beautiful song beautifully juxtaposed with a panicked sweaty oaf, trying to play it cool as he tries to keep a mustache from falling off of his face while trying to keep it on the sly. 

I still have that monstrosity. Somewhere.😆

Looking back on that moment in the show always makes me smile and chuckle a little. Oh, Gentle Reader, if only someone had filmed that, you would see the most glorious madness. I hope I told that story vividly enough that you get to imagine the absurdity of the moment and it makes you smile. Even if it is just a little, that is a win!

Until next time, Dear Reader, I hope you are doing well and keep safe! The next one really did need a video.  I couldn’t believe it when the director told the the stage picture that we had… 😜

 

🎼🎶Want Your Bad Romance🎶…

ring light

Hello Gentle Reader,

As COVID-19 virus is running through most of the world, people and businesses have adapted to survive.  People started following the shelter in place suggestions. Restaurants have focused on to-go orders or take out only. Stores that are open have been asking for people to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart.  Theatre companies have turned to streaming content to share performances.

WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Wait! What? NO! Whhyyyyyyyy-uh? I am sure that I have mentioned it about a hundred times that I am camera-shy.  No, shy is not the right word. Resistant.  YES! That is much better suited to my detestations toward the lens of a camera. Mind you, I don’t mind taking pictures of others; in fact, I love it.  I just don’t like to be in front of a camera.

It is just so dead and lifeless.  There is no spark of energy to interact with it. It is like trying to get a reaction from a wall. Nothing to feed off of. It is just kinda gross to me, to be blatantly honest. That’s why I don’t really do selfies or make videos on other platforms. I have been advised to do so, but… *shudder*  It is INDEED going to be a “bad romance.” I don’t really want it, but I gotsta learn to live with it.

{SIDENOTE: I just watched a crap ton of videos from Tik Tok users that have some creepy stuff in them, so now I have that rolling around in my melon too. I know! I know, there is nothing creepy in my home, but… *shudder*}

Anyway, with things going more and more digital, I suppose I must get over my resistance to la lens; that’s spanish for lens. [☜ That was a lame attempt at a joke.] I don’t know how I will do that, but I started with getting one of ☝︎ those illumination donuts, as my home is rather dark. It is one thing to film a production that has a live audience, but to “act” just with a camera seems so counter-intuitive to the whole business of theatre. 

My Dear Reader, thank you for letting me bend your ear and share my apprehensions about this luster circle and the need for it; being in front of a camera. Next, I have to find a decent camera.  I checked out the camera on my laptop and whew doggie, it is rough. YIKES! My phone has a pretty good one, but I would like to have the ability to see multi-angles and such. I figure if I have to do it, I should try to fully commit. Right? No, seriously, is that right? { 😏Another joke.}

I don’t know if it will transform into anything, but I shall keep you posted nonetheless.

Thanks again, Kind Reader. In this crazy time of social distancing, mental health awareness, physical health awareness, you are a wonderful source of light. Like a star 😊

Until next time…

When It’s Dark, Look For The Stars…

Star Cluster

Dear Gentle Reader,

I hope this finds you in good health and spirits!

At the start of this crisis, I told myself that this would be a great time to do all the things that I felt I didn’t have time to do. Ha-ha, yeah, right.

By the end of the first week, I could feel a suffocation building. You see, there were a lot of things that I was in the middle of and leaving them unfinished would prove to weigh heavily on my psyche. My team and I were placed on furlough in early March. The company that holds the contract to the location we are located was up for renewal this year and we still didn’t know the status.  We didn’t know if we would be employed when it was time to come back to work. I was in the middle of interviewing for a new job that would have incredible effects on my life and present new challenges that I was looking forward to. With hiring frozen, there went that possibility for now. In mid-April, I found out the company I am with lost their contract. Now it became a question of would we be invited to join the new company or would my team be up a creek?

Couple this stuff with the health issues of some of my loved ones. My job, while sending me on furlough, was kind enough to continue to pay for my health benefits which was an  unbelievable kindness that I will never forget. The reason it meant so much to me was because my hubby (who continued to work) is still dealing with his cancer which we hadn’t told many people about and we are both covered under my company. Every day, I am constantly checking in with him to see how he feels. I almost feel like a mom. LOL! So a massive cloud was building over this one issue.  My mother and sister both work in nursing homes and I have seen both catch colds from people there. I know it isn’t intentional and I feel for all involved, but I would worry about what could happen if one of them came home with the virus? My dad is suffering from dementia and his health isn’t all that great as it is and it takes a lot to push away those thoughts. My good friend, Tom, works in a place that is considered essential and I worry about his health as well.

I had nightmares that ended up with me alone in strange places when I was once surrounded by people and places that were familiar several nights a week. This put my sleep cycle into something much more severe chaos than mere insomnia. What did these dreams mean? I know some people think they mean nothing but to each their own.

I would try to distract myself with projects but eventually, those thoughts would come back and take over, so I would move on to something new but once again, Dear Reader, came the worries. It seemed like every”where” I would run to, I was followed by these lingering thoughts that would bloom into storms of worry. My eyes would flash with tears and my blood would pound in my ears like inescapable thunder.  For weeks. Finally, I sat down in the middle of the “rain” and just surrendered. So I wrote to you, Kind Reader.

When I set out to do something, I typically get it done or I get a version of it done that I can live with for now. However, when I don’t do it, I engage in a lot of negative self talk and frustration with myself. I wish I can tell you how all the things that I didn’t get to do or complete have contributed to that typhoon of depression and anxiety.

I know that it can never rain forever. I know this. I know that no single feeling will last forever. Once this virus is under control, I would feel better. Then something happened. When I focused on that one little fact, “it will not be forever” (It just feels like it.) the rain lightened up a little. Each day that my love came home and was feeling fine, it lightened up a bit more. Then, one day the doctor said that the immunotherapy seems to be doing some good and the rain stopped. After that, I found out that most of my team was going to be moved to the new company that won the contract. In fact, I just signed my offer letter today! The nightmares have stopped.  When I check in with my mom I find she and my dad are doing great. I don’t think the worry was needless or irrational or unwarranted, but I am surprised at how deeply it sank its snare into me. I thought I would be on social media so much more than I am currently, but all I could handle was a text thread between my siblings and nieces and my besties. I would pop in every couple of days, but it was all just an attempt to distract myself and not to connect. It is rough. It WAS rough. I think now that things are evening out, I may be back on more. Fingers crossed.

I feel like I will be back to normalish soon whether or not the shelter in place orders are lifted. Until then, I will keep looking up.

Do you ever notice that when you look up and see the stars they glitter their little hello’s, but when to look past them, more come into view? Like you are getting closer to those far away balls of light?

If you, Gentle Reader, are finding that this shelter in place and social distancing is getting you down and need to talk about it, drop me a line! If you feel like you need help, reach out to NAMI.ORG or you can call them at 800.950.NAMI or text “NAMI” to 741741.

Again, we are all in this together.  Be kind to yourself and to others. Be alert and be safe.

Until next time….

I’m Not OK & That’s OK

white ceramic sculpture with black face mask
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Hello Gentle Reader,

How are you holding up during this pandemic? I hope you are well and staying safe and healthy.

If you would have asked me last month, I would have said I am great. That would have been a 3/4 true statement. People ask now and I tell them I am doing ok. That is a lie, Dear Reader. A big ol’ bold faced lie, I tells ya!

I think I really hit “the wall” about two weeks ago. I have tried to keep myself busy learning some new things, completing yarn projects that I had started but never finished, and even moving all the furniture in my apartment around. I would have done a closet cleaning, but I did that around Christmas time. Every time I try to work on something theatre related, this deep sense of despair hits me like a kick to the chest.

Yup! Like Bruce Lee is kicking me in the chest…

Ever since I got the directive to stay home on March 11th, I have been having a hard time sleeping. I have tried sleeping pills and they do the trick, but I don’t take them repeatedly  because I don’t want to make a habit out of it. I used to find that using them for one night would reset my sleeping rhythm and I would be good until the next bout of insomnia.

Now, I think they enhance my anxiety more than anything else. When I do sleep, I either can’t get comfortable or I have nightmares that set the anxiety into overdrive or scare the shit out of me. Sometimes both.

I think of my friends every hour but I find pulling up social media to be less stimulating than actually seeing them in person or laughing with them and feeling that vibration fill my heart with joy. When I think about logging on, I just get overwhelmed.

I have an ongoing text conversation with my siblings and a cousin and my nieces, but it isn’t the same.  It is nice to have, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t the same and my brain doesn’t like the lack of punctuation and all the spelling errors thanks to voice text. LOL! I know, Kind Reader, I am being ultra whiney right now and I should be grateful for the contact. I hear you and I acknowledge you.

It’s true, Gentle Reader. I am being whiney. But here is the point of all of this. It is ok to not be ok. I have always said to embrace your feelings. Acknowledge them and walk through them. I am bringing them to light because maybe in doing so, it might help someone else that is struggling with this shelter in place malaise as well.

For me, I imagine working my way through them as though I was walking through a haunted maze or house during Halloween.  For those of you who don’t know, I love horror movies but am terrified of the dark. (Rereading that last sentence during editing makes no logical sense, I know, but then again, neither does loving performing but hating being in pictures.) Walking into a haunted house is always a sense of fun and dread, granted there is no fun in the feelings I am currently fighting. I jump at everything that pops out or screams at me. I have night lights in every single room of my apartment. I think every noise that the neighbors make is something other than what it is. I am a psychological mess. I freely admit that. I’d love to see a therapist, but worry that I would go bankrupt for all the sessions I would need to fix me. But I know I am not alone. And You are not alone.

So as we work through this and maintain vigilance in the face of this pandemic. Honor your feelings. Work through them in any way that you can. If you want to drop me a line, feel free to do so. Maybe we can trade ideas. If you feel like this is way too much, please, PLEASE, reach out to NAMI.ORG or you can call them at 800.950.NAMI or text “NAMI” to 741741.

My Dear Reader, we are all in this together. Be kind to yourself and to others.  We don’t know what others are dealing with. Be safe and be aware.

Until next time…

Been Having Some Dreams…

something's coming

Hello Gentle Reader!!

I have been having some dreams this week that have been lingering.  They aren’t bad, just creepy. One was very much like the Tremors movies. For those of you that have never seen them, they are these monsters that look like giant mutated Beetlejuice-esque sand worms. They are summoned by the vibrations that one’s movements make. The whole dream is just about me trying to stay ahead of them. The second dream had me staying at this cute TINY house that was at the bottom of some large hills (i can’t say mountains, but they were very large but not craggy, so…) and there was this crazy dark fog that descends from the hills.  I felt like something bad was coming, so I hop in my car and drive away but no matter how fast I drive, those clouds are rushing toward me like a sandstorm in movies. And I know, I KNOW something bad is in there. 

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My Gentle Reader, the paragraph above was the start of something that was supposed to be a post for February 8. I don’t know for what exactly, which is why I didn’t finish the post but going back and seeing this on today of all days makes me think that the Universe was trying to tell me something.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Social Distancing Land!!

The ol’ survival job shut down operations on last Monday, but I was able to find about 3 extra days of work for my team so we wouldn’t be financially orphaned for what I thought was only going to be about 2 weeks initially.  Here we are six days later and the Bay Area is just NOW starting their “soft” lockdown of staying home for 3 more weeks. I understand the idea behind this call.  I don’t like it, but I understand it.

My heart breaks for all the performances that were cancelled.  All those parts that actors no longer get to play.  All the storytelling the audiences don’t get to enjoy. All the work that went into productions and no one to appreciate them…

Then I began to wonder how long this could go on. Seeing how China was experiencing this since December, will it take 3 months for this whole thing to finally blow over? Thankfully, China hasn’t seen any major upticks in new cases being reported since the month began, but it isn’t over yet.

While the social distancing thing is happening, I am trying to remain collected and calm, but I keep wanting to go and do the things I would normally do when I am bored at home, like go to the gym. But those are closed. LOL!

With theatre companies canceling/postponing stuff, I don’t have any projects to prepare for yet, so I can’t find anything to make me feel like I am being productive. Yes, the knitting and crocheting help, but only for so long. Since my apartment is mostly carpeted and kinda crowded with stuff, it isn’t as fun to do Broadway routines here. But I try.

Oh Dear Reader, I hope that I will find the ideas I need to create something that will truly keep me busy without anxiety through the quarantine. In the meantime, let me know what you are doing to get through this crazy time in the comments section.

Take care of yourselves, Gentle Reader.  Be alert but not anxious.  Most importantly, be kind and thank those people that are still in the world offering services and goods to help us get through this.

Until next time…

Relax! Don’t Do It…

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Hello Gentle Reader!

Once upon a time, I used to stress out about not having a production to work on right after my current project would end. With Little Shop of Horrors ending on Saturday, I am  getting a little antsy about that very thing.

My logical brain knows that there will be a project for me somewhere at some point, but as I have pointed out time and again, logic is NOT my default setting. 😄

Having taken 2018 off (and most of 2019 too), I know that Theatre Arts will be around when I am ready for a project.

I used to be grateful that I had an answer for people when they asked, “what are you working on next?” Recently, one of my Lil Shop castmates asked and I said, “I don’t have anything coming up and I don’t mind.” I never expected the calm that I felt when I said that.

My Dear Reader, I know when the right project comes along it will call to me. I just hope that I can audition well enough to become part of the cast. Fingers crossed.  Toes too! LOL 😂

I do have to say that I am so grateful at being a part of the thriving theatre community that we have in the Bay Area. From the actors, to the producers and staff, to the incredible artists that work on design elements, there are so many insanely wonderful people that are part of it.

So there shall be no freaking out! I hope. LOL! No, no.  It’ll be fine.  I think.

Yeah… just gonna wait for that project to call…

*sits and waits…*

*and waits…*