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.)

Version 2
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…

 

Can’t wait, but…

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Hello Gentle Reader!

As you know, I am stepping into a director role once again for 🎷 Smokey Joe’s Cafe (which I lovingly call SmoJo’s). I didn’t think that I would direct again after Jesus Christ Superstar. 😔 It wasn’t the complete vision that I had and made way too many compromises for it to end up the way that I wanted. It wasn’t my vision, but I loved every person that worked so hard on it.  My only wish is that I didn’t compromise what I wanted. 😉

I had mentioned that I was hesitant to direct to a good friend the other day (even though I have already accepted the position, yes, I know how it sounds) and she had some great advice and said “Don’t be! You learn from every situation, so whatever happened last time, learn from it and don’t let it happen again! You will make mistakes with every show…”

As I sat listening to the talented people 🎤 belt out tunes during the initial auditons, the voice of self doubt kept popping up and asking “are you sure you want to call XYZ back for XYZ role?” or “are you sure you can bring the best out of these people?” 👿 It was hard to shut it down. I am so glad that I have the team that I have. We laughed so much with each other and were all excited by all the people we had come out and sing us a song. The laughter does SO much to help squelch that voice. Something about sharing laughs with people helps me bond and connect them. Do you ever notice how laughing settles nerves and most uncomfortableness? It helps me so much. 👍

My Dear Reader, I was initially worried that we didn’t have people banging down the doors to audition but the number of people that did, had brought a lot of great stuff to the table. When I got home, after the second day of auditions, I KNEW I had a cast in there.

I slept so good that night! LOL. 💤

Oh, Gentle Reader!  Knowing that I have 9 roles that can be filled 3 or 4 times over by these auditionees puts my nerves and heart at ease, but that stupid worry voice, while muffled, is still there. Am I the right person to lead these 9 people to a packed house of spectators that will be blown away?

Yes.

I am. Thank you ❤︎, Jillian, for giving me a different way to look at this! So once the decisions are hashed out, I will happily pour as much of my heart and soul into this show that I am asking the performers to give to the audience.

And I can’t wait for you to see what’s in store!

So my Kind Reader, what do you do to get over that little voice that makes you doubt yourself? Or maybe you don’t have that issue… if you don’t, damn! I would love to be you.  Well, like you. 😉

Until next time, Dear Reader.  I look forward to talking about the callbacks… but that’s another post. Muahahahaha!!!💖💖

 

Something stressful this way comes…

Sam Valenzuela and Lalo Lopez acting like hams!

We had a designer run-through last night and the work was very, very rough.  There were a lot of questions from people, usually starting with the words “In the script it says…” and then adding a detail that hasn’t been spoken of, or addressed as of yet.  It’s funny how many things can be accidentally overlooked when focus is on one aspect of a play.

When we get into the last few weeks before Opening Night, things begin to get stressful sometimes.  Everyone begins to intensely focus on the task at hand.  People begin to “wear” their characters in the hallways and in the wings while waiting to go on stage.  The usual lively jokiness that abounds in the hallways may cause the actors to break concentration.

One of the many things that I try to do is be respectful of my fellow actors and before performances, I try not to fool around if I see them focused on their entrance.  One of the worst things that an actor can do is either miss and entrance or come onstage late. I would hate to be the cause of something like that, so I do my best to stay out of the way.

Since we open in two weeks, things are going to be tough and a wee bit on the stressy (yup, it’s a made up word) side. One of the best things that we as actors can do for each other is to know our lines, our scenes and entrances, and to keep the silliness to a minimum.  But I have to emphasize that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop laughing.

And with these people, I don’t think that will be a problem.

Lalo Lopez, Sam Valenzuela, Jay Vera, Anees Guillen, Maya Malan-Gonzalez, Jessica Castaneda