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. 🌞!!😓

C4U_0066+copy

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… 😜

 

Crazy-for-You-logo1-300x469 When I was asked to come in and read for the part of Bobby Child, I never thought I would actually get it.  I know that I shouldn’t think that way. When you are in contact with someone who teaches you something negative like this when you first start out, it is a hard thing to stop hearing in your head.  Over the past few years, I have been trying to keep my distance from such people so I can retrain those bad thoughts.

This show has been a challenge and a chance for growth.  It has had some great highs and personal breakthroughs as well as tons of self doubt and bouts of panic.  What makes the whole thing incredible is the rest of this cast and staff.  I am surrounded by unbelievably supportive, upbeat, and talented people that helped me through all of it.  I adore them for this. When I speak of personal breakthroughs, I gotta say, I don’t feel like I have ever connected to a character as much as I have to Mr. Child.  It has been said that this show was simply a fluff piece.  I think of it differently.  Like I thought of JC Superstar, it is a show about Love. Love is the greatest thing to fight for. Bobby has this tremendous love for theatre and an unquenchable need to be part of it.  The first time I said the lines “Because this is my life.  It’s all I care about.” aloud, I got that choking feel that one gets when you want to cry.  Throughout this two and a half hour show, everything that he does to help just falls apart. So by the time he makes his way back to New York, he is not in the best state of mind.  The producer that he auditioned for doesn’t want him.  The show that he tries to put on doesn’t sell any tickets.  The theatre that he was trying to save is getting sold to a forward thinking business man.  The girl he falls in love with “sticks the knife in” when she says that there isn’t any reason for him to stay.  After all of these failures, this guy still has a tiny bit of hope. And where there is hope, there is the will to fight.

The song “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” is such a fantastic song and it’s so upbeat.  It’s about remembering every detail of this girl and their time together and knowing that there is never going to be a relationship.  Whenever I hear it in the context of this show though, I feel like it is missing something.  I know it’s probably just me being the weirdo that I am, but the song comes after all of the stuff in the paragraph above has happened. The first time we worked this scene, I couldn’t get through it because it made me so sad.  Even just talking through the song had me weeping.  It’s tragically romantic in a way  and I began to think about my life and connections with this song grew into something heavier.  As we worked through it, I began to dig deeper into what multiple disappointments feel like.  What does the ultimate disappointment feel like? This man shouldn’t be so upbeat.  He’s come to the realization that Mother has “won” and he must stop dreaming of a life in theatre and work in a bank.  I believe there needs to be some weight to this song.  I am so lucky that our Music Director, the AMAZING Joe Kelly, lets me slow the song down.  The challenge there is if you sing it fast, you get it over with like “I don’t care, but deep inside I really do.”  If you slow it down, you get to sink into the sadness a little more which could get you caught in that space where you full of emotion, but not holding out the notes.  What I love about that is it makes you fight to get the train back on the track which, I hope, translates to Bobby Child accepting the cards dealt and heading home.

I love this well intentioned guy who doesn’t always think through every scenario.  He dives right into half baked ideas.  He believes in the theatre wholeheartedly.  But most important is that he never gives up the fight.  It was a part that was never on my radar of bucket list shows, but I cannot say how grateful I am that Bill Starr asked me to come in for this role.  I have never worked so hard to try and get something right than I have on this show.  It’s like playing yourself, but you can’t BE yourself and that makes it so much harder than being a whole new character.

Then came Opening Night and suddenly all of the weight of the work seemed to just disappear and while there were flashes of panic (mostly during some insane costume changes that only worked once Saturday night showed up), we put on a helluva show!

The show runs weekends through July.  Click for ticket info!