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.ūüėú

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.‚̧ԳŹ

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?

11650727_10206209033362167_469104043_n
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 fianc√©s 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! ūüėÜ

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! ūüí®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. ūüĎÄūüėĄūüėā

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. ūüíĖ¬†And thanks for the pictures! It reminds me it really happened.

Until next time, my Dear Reader…

 

Stepping Into The Limelight…

This is Leo.
This is Leo.

Hello gentle reader,

My first time walking into Limelight Actors’ Theater was filled with so much anxiety. ¬†By now, you probably are thinking “Jeez, what doesn’t make you anxious?”

Touche’ hahahahaha

I was brought into this project by some fabulous friends, so I felt it super important to make a good impression on the director-fella, Kevin Heath, who is also happens to be the co-owner of the company, along with Alan Obata.

Weeeeelllll, walking into rehearsal 15 minutes late was NOT the way that I wanted to start off our first encounter.

Now, lemme ‘splain.

I had my GPS set for the Limelight address… but for one that was from a while ago. LOL! And what, bummed me out is that I circled the block twice with 10 minutes to spare trying to see if I was in the right spot because the only place that looked open was a car repair shop. ¬†Then somehow, I managed to recall that our fearless leader had sent an email about the location for our read through.

One minute after the scheduled meeting time, I sent him a message letting him know of my goof and he was kind and understanding.  So I drove down the street and made it to the proper spot and shamefully walked into the venue.

Right away, Kevin popped up out of his chair with a big smile and a ready handshake. ¬† Easily one of the kindest people, I have had the pleasure of meeting. ¬†We traded pleasantries around the table as we¬†took seats to begin the reading. ¬†Like the first read through of “Super Villain” at the Pear Theater, I giggled the whole way through, and in the process stumbled on some of the words.

When we reconvened, after a month and a half away, we got to work putting this show on its feet. ¬†I felt a little like I was bumbling along through the blocking, because I needed to get my awkwardness into gear. ¬†I hoped that it didn’t look too¬†spastic when I panicked. Then when we were told that a piece of the furniture was going to be a bean bag that I jumped on, I felt my stomach flip flop. ¬†A big guy like me? ¬†Jumping on a bean bag? ¬†C’mon!!!!! ¬†Talk about panic.

We rehearsed and rehearsed with no problems. ¬†Things were piecing together. ¬†The motions a bit more natural even though they sometimes were opposite of what I would normally want to do, thanks to my want of being a dancer. ¬†Graceful wasn’t what Robert was about.

Preview snuck up so fast! The people that were there got to bear witness to my fear ever since the announcement of the bean bag.

The Bean Bag Incident…

Yes, dear reader. You can probably guessed what is to come.

All I remember is putting the handbag I was suppose to hide in its place then rushing over to get the bean bag. ¬†I recall getting my hands on the white, smooth, faux leather and jumping in the air and suddenly hearing “pfwhoosh!!” Then an eruption of laughter.

I flailed around on this ever shrinking bag of beans and the laughter escalates in the midst of my flailing! I finally feel the giggles dying down and calm my motions as well for the scene to continue.  Oh boy! When I stand up, there is a mess of little white puff balls littering the stage and I worry that someone is going to fall.  GAH!!  Why a bean bag?  LOL!

Take that bean bag!!! Me :1 Bean bag: 0

It wasn’t until after the performance that I was told that every flail resulted in those little beans flying out of the hole in the bag which happened to be near my crotch, thus making me look like a seahorse on dry land birthing my offspring. Can’t visualize it? Check out the bottom of this post.

After that first audience, I always had to mentally prep myself for the possibility that it could happen again. ¬†That’s when I found Leo (image at top). ¬†He was just a pattern on the back of the set. ¬†The natural lines in a wood pattern that my brain decided looked like a lion. ¬†Every night there after though, I would take a moment and run down that particular sequence of events so that everything would be fine. ¬†He was like my little mascot for the show.

I really don’t want to gush about how fabulous it was to work for the Limelight Actors Theater Company. Not because it isn’t true. Absolutely not. I had a marvelous time! ¬†I don’t want to gush because then¬†everyone is going to want to work there and they should, but I don’t want to have so much competition for roles. ¬†Selfish? ¬†Totally. ¬†I wholeheartedly admit it.

That being said, I think people should experience what it is like to work for someone who cares so much that the actors are able to focus on their roles and fosters an environment that truly feels like we are creating something in tandem. ¬†We were welcome to try out as much as we wanted, and believe you me, I took full advantage of that. ¬†I don’t think I did anything the same more than twice while we were rehearsing because I kept having different feelings appear in my noggin so I would run with it. ¬†Sometimes it worked out better than the last thing I thought of, and sometimes it didn’t. ¬†I appreciated that whenever I would say “it feels weird to do…” ¬†this motion or that one, I knew that I was heard and got to talk about it.

*sigh* I already miss the place. Not to mention the amazing people that I had the chance to work with! ¬†I always love getting to work with my buddy Aaron Weisberg and the superb Cindy Powell, but to play on a stage with the very funny trio; Christine McElroy, Rachel Perry and Heather Bass was sheer joy! ¬†Everyone was genuinely interested in our castmates’ lives outside of Boeing Boeing¬†and it was so fun getting to really know these outstanding beautiful people.

So… thank you to Kevin and Alan of LAT for letting me be a part this crazy and kooky show with a whole slew of great people. ¬†Alas, now it comes time to depart for the next destination, but I can’t wait to be for a return visit!

As promised!!

SEAHORSE!!!