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I can’t believe I did that!

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Acting
Forum Discription: Q&A about auditions, character development and other aspects of the craft
URL: http://www.communitytheater.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2044
Printed Date: 6/19/24 at 11:54am
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Topic: I can’t believe I did that!
Posted By: eveharrington
Subject: I can’t believe I did that!
Date Posted: 9/26/06 at 2:15pm
I just flubbed a very important line in the last scene of an intense drama in such a way that even though we all kept a straight face and soldiered on the audience caught on enough to giggle.    I know it happens to the best of em and everything but I'm feeling pretty stupid, and I need funny stories of similiar F*** ups to make me feel better.

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"If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights."



Replies:
Posted By: MartyW
Date Posted: 9/26/06 at 2:31pm

Just last week... Opening night.. Show, Over The Tavern.. I was playing Chet the dad, I am having a very serious conversation with my wife and I am relating that my drunken father has just quit because I told him he had to quit drinking... It is one of the "resolution" moments at the end of the play.... I am suppose to say:  I told him I would help him, over the rough spots, you know.  I know lots of guys in AA, it's no shame, I even said I would go to the meetings with him..."  What I REALLY said was  "... I know lots of guys in triple A and its no shame....."  Serious moment gone forever... But hey, got enough of a laugh, the director was seriously considering have me keep it in... I didn't.

Differnt play, different flub.. it happens..



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Marty W

"Till next we trod the boards.."


Posted By: POB14
Date Posted: 9/26/06 at 2:56pm

Let's see . . . there's got to be one that years of therapy haven't erased yet . . .

I guess my best was in The Desperate Hours.  I was playing Robish, the least couth of the three escaped murderers.  The premise is that these guys hold a family hostage in their own house.  So I clomped around, drooled, generally acted apelike.

The set dressers put a plate of M&Ms on the stage, and one night I figured, hey, I'll grab some and throw them in the general direction of my mouth.  So yum, M&Ms, except that a piece of one got caught in my throat.  Choke, hack, cough, and I sounded like Harvey Fierstein the rest of that act. 

Second best was in Any Wednesday.  I played the businessman who had a suburban wife and a downtown mistress, kept in the company apartment.  They meet, of course, and at one point we're all playing a word game, Ghost or some such.  So one night, I start us off . . .

with the wrong word.  I use the word that comes LATER in the scene, and it won't make sense to do that bit now, and the game won't make sense if the others don't continue with the right words.

The lady (bless her) who played my wife simply sneered, "I don't like that word.  Try another."   I gave her the evil eye, started the game with the RIGHT word, and then when I started the next round, used the word (correct at this point) I had used before, with a little sniff in her direction.  Ended up almost more fun than the way it was written, but man, that was scary for a while.



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POB
Old Bugger, Curmudgeon, and Antisocial B**tard


Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 9/26/06 at 4:27pm

Though I certainly have enough of my own gaffs to fill a book, the one that I remember the best was made by another actor 30 years ago in a production of "Inherit the Wind".  In the big courtroom confrontation between Drummond and Brady, leading up to the big moment when Brady says something like "I'm not concerned with the age of rocks, but rather the Rock of Ages", all would have been well had Drummond given Brady the right cue, which was something about "Do you see this rock in my hand?"  For whatever reason, on the given night, Drummond asked Brady "do you see this sponge in my hand?"  Where do you go from there?

The poor actor that portrayed Brady was also the victim of another gaff.  Probably 35-40 years ago, in one of the Dracula plays, he portrayed a character that was a doctor, I'll call him "Dr.X"(I'm vague on this since it was before I was involved in the Playhouse.  I'm just repeating stories that have since become legends).  He was waiting for his Act I entrance when he heard the character onstage that was supposed to give him his cue announce to all and sundry that "Dr.X" had passed on.....a line that wasn't supposed to be given until Act III!  There went Poor Actor's entrance....and all the rest of his scenes as well.  I suppose he could have entered and said something like "rumors of my death have been grossly exaggerated", but.....again, where do you go from there?

Two more of my personal favorites occurred in the same production of "Harvey"...and one of them was mine.  The actor playing Elwood P. Dowd was supposed to charm the young nurse with the line "I'd much rather sit here and look at you, my dear" or something like that.  It came tripping out of his mouth as "I'd ratch mother...etc."  We never let him forget it, and created the myth that "ratch mothers" were the little furry creatures living in the Playhouse basement!  My own flub (I was playing Veda Louise) was when I was supposed to say that "I have taken a course in art" (referencing the portrait that was supposed to be my sainted mother, but was in reality one of Harvey and Elwood).  Have you ever opened your mouth and heard words that you've never memorized or spoken before flow out?  Well, what flowed out was "I have taken a court in arse", something the very proper Veda would never have admitted to!



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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: Mike Polo
Date Posted: 9/27/06 at 8:37am

One of my favorites happened in Noel Coward's "Private Lives". I was playing Victor and had turned to Elyot and said my line... I thought. It wasn't a funny line, at least it never had been, but the audience that night thought it was hysterical. I was puzzled and my hind-brain went into overdrive... what had I said? About two pages later I figured it out... I'd said to Elyot, "I intend to divorce YOU naming AMANDA as co-respondant!" Not Coward... more likely Wilde, but I'd said it and it was way too late to take it back.

And then there's the legend passed down in our theater about the gentleman who was in the middle of a passionate monologue (can't remember the name of the show) when his false teeth flew out of his mouth toward the audience! Said gentleman, in an amazing display of reflexes, reached out, grabbed his teeth on the fly, put them back in his mouth and continued as if nothing happened.



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Mike Polo
Community Theater Green Room
http://www.communitytheater.org
http://www.twitter.com/CTGreenRoom">


Posted By: Topper
Date Posted: 9/27/06 at 9:32am

My favorite happened during "The Taming of the Shrew."

I was playing Tranio, the servant to Lucentio.  Unfortunately, the costumer was overwhelmed with all the period pieces and produced a hat for Lucentio that was ill-fitting and looked ridiculous on him.

The actor playing Lucentio had enormous problems with that hat (and hated it from day one as it would continually fall off his head or over his eyes, etc.

I guess the actor finally reached the breaking point, for in the scene where Lucentio gets the idea to have Tranio impersonate him, he's supposed to hand me the costume pieces and say the line (as written) "Tranio, at once uncase thee; take my colored hat and cloak."

Instead the line uttered was close to "Tranio, at once uncase thee ... take this f**king hat and cloak!"

Fortunately, his speech continued for a couple more lines as I was too shocked to speak, not exactly sure of what I heard.  I don't believe  Lucentio was fully aware he said it, either.

It wasn't until we got off stage and saw all others laughing hysterically (but silently) that we were sure of what happened.  Apparently, it was caught by very few audience members who assumed either they misheard the phrase entirely or were convinced that Shakespeare really was a writer for all the ages.



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"None of us really grow up. All we ever do is learn how to behave in public." -- Keith Johnstone


Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 9/27/06 at 9:40am

Mike Polo:  re:  flying dental work

You must have seen my husband when he played George in "Moon Over Buffalo"!  Luckily he had fast reflexes and quick hands!



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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: GoldCanyonLady
Date Posted: 9/27/06 at 11:15am
Last year in Meanwhile, Back on the Couch, Parker and Victor are standing at the bar and had just finished a drink. Parker was supposed to address Victor then finish the line, but instead he called Victor, "Parker". Without waiting for the rest of the line quick thinking Victor, said, "I'm Victor and you're Parker; have another drink". The audience roared for what seemed like a full minute.

Barb


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Barb Hofmeister,
MountainBrook Village Players, Gold Canyon, Arizona.


Posted By: castMe
Date Posted: 9/27/06 at 5:43pm


will write when I stop laughing


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Investigate. Imagine. Choose.


Posted By: jphock
Date Posted: 9/28/06 at 6:55am
I was in Sullivan and Gilbert (a play with music about a fictional day in the life of G&S in the theater) playing the bumbling Prince Alfred. The scene is that I'm sitting outside of the ladies dressing room with the lovely young soprano when 3 of the ladies from the chorus burst in and interrupt. I flirt with them mercilessly and then they all flutter off stage to get changed. Well...opening night...Instead of 3 chorus girls-there are only 2 (apparantly the 3rd decided to change costumes during the scene instead of after). And the one that's missing is the one that does all of the talking. The 2 that do come out give me a deer in headlights look and then we all attempt to fumble through the lines. They tell me to sit down-when I'm supposed to remain standing. They introduce themselves with the wrong names. Wrong line after wrong line after wrong line. We were all trying desperately to just move on but we just kept digging ourselves deeper. Finally, one of the chorus ladies whispers under her breath "just kiss my hand and say goodbye so we can get the hell out of here!" So I did...and so they left and I went back to wooing the lead soprano.

The whole thing wasn't more than 30 seconds...but let me tell you it felt like an hour and a half as we all tried to get ourselves out of the mess we were in. Luckily my character was generally doing stupid things-so I'm not sure the audience caught on to our problems.

Ahhh..the joys of live theater!


Posted By: DWolfman
Date Posted: 9/28/06 at 10:39pm

I was the balladeer in "Best Little Whorehouse" (can we say that?), had the first line in the play, complete with guitar and cowboy hat.  I've got a habit of running my first line several times before going onstage to lock it in, break the ice, hit the ground running.  So "It was the nicest little whorehouse you ever saw" was primed, ready and jumping at the reins to pop out to the audience when what came out was:

"It was the nicest little horse house you ever saw."

Knew it when I said it, mentally kicked myself unmercifully, and soldiered on with grace and enthusiasm.



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Even a man who is pure of heart...


Posted By: Gaafa
Date Posted: 9/29/06 at 1:36am
Originally posted by DWolfman


soldiered on with grace and enthusiasm.

It was great you recieved support from these two old mares!


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      Joe
Western Gondawandaland
turn right @ Perth.
Hear the light & see the sound.
Toi Toi Toi Chookas {{"chook [chicken] it is"}
May you always play
to a full house}



Posted By: B-M-D
Date Posted: 9/29/06 at 12:56pm

OK maybe not as tragic or humorous as some that I've read.   I committed one of the bigger offenses that I can think of last night in a performance of California Suite.   I play Marvin in the visitors from Philadelphia, the piece about hiding the hooker from his wife Millie.  In the opening sequence I'm supposed to try and get a pair of fishnet pantyhose on to the passed out hooker.   Completely forgot to do the bit and the dialog that goes with it which gets some of the biggest laughs in the show.    I resurected the dialog when I went back in the room to drag the hooker out to the hall but it didn't get nearly the laughs that it gets with the bit itself.   I was beside myself when I got off stage.

Nine out of ten performances ain't bad I guess (provided I don't forget tonight or tomorrow).



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BD

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."


Posted By: eveharrington
Date Posted: 10/02/06 at 11:07pm
Thanks for all the company for my misery

We just completed our second weekend (virtually) flub free, but I felt much better after commiserating(?) with you all. Nothing beats a good theater blooper story.

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"If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights."


Posted By: Juror #3
Date Posted: 10/06/06 at 3:24pm
I was playing George in "Moon Over Buffalo" at a dinner theatre.  During the opening while George is doing his Cyrano, I got so caught up in the moment that my full upper dentures flew out of my mouth.  I had my right arm up and towards the front of me, and so I caught them, spun so my back was to the audience for a moment, and re-inserted them.  I spun back and continued as if the whole move was part of the action.  It was then I noticed that some of the people nearest the stage still had dessert, apple dumplings, sitting in front of them.  My efforts apparently had so stunned them in their brilliance that they stopped eating.  At least I hope that was why they stopped.

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Juror #3


Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 10/06/06 at 3:41pm

Honey (juror#3):  I already told that story about you 8 posts ago!

Love,

red diva



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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: POB14
Date Posted: 10/07/06 at 8:58am

I, for one, can't get enough of the Juror #3 Denture Story.  In fact, I wish someone would post it again, right now!  Maybe I will!  Although I think I'll punch it up a little.  I think you should have the teeth fly into the audience and start eating someone's apple dumplings all by themselves.  Or maybe they could bite somebody who was talking during the show. 

Yeah, I know.  I'm stupid. 



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POB
Old Bugger, Curmudgeon, and Antisocial B**tard


Posted By: MartyW
Date Posted: 10/09/06 at 9:22am

It's ok Steve... I laughed the second time too...

 



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Marty W

"Till next we trod the boards.."


Posted By: Nanette
Date Posted: 10/26/06 at 5:51pm

I was costuming a production of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and was in the back of the house during a rehearsal doing fittings.  The actor playing the father was checking off a list of things he was to pick up at the market. 

His line was supposed to be, "Peanuts.  I like peanuts."

His line came off as, "Penis.  I like penis."

He had that enunciation down pat by opening night.



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In a world of margarine, be butter!


Posted By: eveharrington
Date Posted: 10/26/06 at 7:59pm
Originally posted by Nanette

I was costuming a production of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and was in the back of the house during a rehearsal doing fittings. The actor playing the father was checking off a list of things he was to pick up at the market.


His line was supposed to be, "Peanuts. I like peanuts."


His line came off as, "Penis. I like penis."


He had that enunciation down pat by opening night.





Alright, one more I guess, there is a legend in our company that tells of the dresser that was helping one of the actors during a quick change for "Greater Tuna". Now, they were close to the end of the run and had these changes down pat, so while kneeling on the floor, facing away from the actor preparing his next costume she reached behind her for the prop he should have been handing her and instead promptly grabbed and yanked on his "pants business". This understandably caused quite a loud yell to eminate from backstage and throughout the audience.

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"If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights."


Posted By: Nanette
Date Posted: 10/26/06 at 8:53pm
That "business" was quite a "handful", was it? 

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In a world of margarine, be butter!


Posted By: falstaff29
Date Posted: 10/29/06 at 6:15pm
I've been in the audience once where a dialogue that obviously has two similar lines (we'll call Line A and Line B) got screwed up so that when the character said Line B (the second one), the other character said his response from Line A, and so a good deal was repeated.

As for the scariest line flub I personally was involved in: I was in a 24-hr. play, so we wrote, directed, rehearsed and memorized within 24 hours, hence the name.  I'd done them before, I've done them since.  I usually am really good at learning lines, and pretty good at covering, but in this particular scene, we were doing this almost Pinteresque play, where I was being interrogated by this other guy, and HE DRIED.  Completely dead, and since his character is the one who's asking the questions and will reveal to me the crucial details of what happened as a result of something I did, I can't really do anything, since my character doesn't have any information.  So, I just went off the cuff, and wasn't even trying to feed him his next line, just saying whatever I thought my character COULD say until I worked out a way to give him a cue that he could pick up.  We dropped about a page of dialogue, replaced by me stammering through this improv, trying furiously to think of a way to get back to one- any- of my lines somewhere later in the play.  Thanks to the style of the dialogue, it had a lot of built in pauses and sentence fragments, so my cover wasn't nearly as bad as it could've been.


Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 10/30/06 at 3:03pm

falstaff29:

That "24 hour theatre" sounds rather harrowing, but challenging.  Our local university does the same thing, but calls it "Triage Theatre" - perhaps a very appropriate name according to what you wrote and what I've heard locally!



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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: falstaff29
Date Posted: 10/30/06 at 3:18pm
Haha, it depends on how well it's organized, but in general, they go really well.  I like them because the compacted time range and lack of sleep just lets you be really free.  The scripts are often really offbeat.  And the realization that you only have so much time to figure it out gets rid of any sort of restraint that inhibits actors during rehearsals.  I think they work best when there's some theme the writers agree to employ, often a short phrase like "fly on the wall" or "closed curtains" or "on thin ice," all of which are real examples from my experience.  Each writer/ writing team can take it as literally or figuratively as they want.


Posted By: POB14
Date Posted: 10/31/06 at 2:44pm

Originally posted by falstaff29

I've been in the audience once where a dialogue that obviously has two similar lines (we'll call Line A and Line B) got screwed up so that when the character said Line B (the second one), the other character said his response from Line A, and so a good deal was repeated.

Oooh, you've brought back a scary memory this Hallowe'een .

(Off topic, since it wasn't MY screwup, but still.)

A few years ago we did a whodunit called Whodunit.  The main character dies, but is allowed to come back to earth to solve his own murder.  It's not actually as funny as the premise, unfortunately.  Anyway, the detective has two very similar speeches, one in Act I, the other in Act II.  Well, one night during Act I, he (without realizing it) shifted into Act II.  That would have made for a very short and very confusing play.  I was able to (somewhat ham-fistedly) bring him back -- something of the old "So what you're telling us is . . . ." wheeze.  Man, that was scary for a while!

ETA:  From this day forward, "pants business" shall be my Official Favorite Euphemism (tm). 



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POB
Old Bugger, Curmudgeon, and Antisocial B**tard


Posted By: eveharrington
Date Posted: 11/01/06 at 2:56am

ETA: From this day forward, "pants business" shall be my Official Favorite Euphemism (tm).

[/QUOTE]

Ahhh, my gift to you, go forth in peace but use this new power wisely and for good.

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"If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights."


Posted By: POB14
Date Posted: 11/01/06 at 9:53am
Originally posted by eveharrington


ETA: From this day forward, "pants business" shall be my Official Favorite Euphemism (tm).



Ahhh, my gift to you, go forth in peace but use this new power wisely and for good.

Aw, that's no fun.  The heck with it, then!



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POB
Old Bugger, Curmudgeon, and Antisocial B**tard


Posted By: eveharrington
Date Posted: 11/01/06 at 7:00pm
Originally posted by POB14

Originally posted by eveharrington


ETA: From this day forward, "pants business" shall be my Official Favorite Euphemism (tm).


Ahhh, my gift to you, go forth in peace but use this new power wisely and for good.


Aw, that's no fun. The heck with it, then!



Alright, alright, yell it at small children from a moving car then.

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"If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights."


Posted By: POB14
Date Posted: 11/02/06 at 9:08am
Originally posted by eveharrington

Originally posted by POB14

Originally posted by eveharrington


ETA: From this day forward, "pants business" shall be my Official Favorite Euphemism (tm).


Ahhh, my gift to you, go forth in peace but use this new power wisely and for good.


Aw, that's no fun. The heck with it, then!



Alright, alright, yell it at small children from a moving car then.

"But . . . but . . . officer, Eve Harrington said I could . . . yes, yes, of course I'm aware that's a character from a Bette Davis movie, do you think I'm stupid? . . . well, okay, you can think that if you want, but . . . no, I do not think Bette Davis talks to me, Anne Baxter played that part, and anyway it wasn't Bette Davis, or Anne Baxter either, it was Eve Harrington . . . now, now, put that taser down, I'm not . . . AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!"



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POB
Old Bugger, Curmudgeon, and Antisocial B**tard


Posted By: Director1
Date Posted: 11/03/06 at 7:54pm

One of my favorite stories was told to me by a friend.

He had been working lights for a community theater production of some (forgotten) early twentieth century romantic melodrama.  Through the course of the play, he roguish hero sins and then redeems himself through many altruistic acts.  At the end of the play there is a climactic swordfight where the hero is fatally stabbed, causing him to fall into the arms of his friend, and there give his "farewell to the world" dying speech.  He then dies.  The friend sadly looks up, out past the audience and gives the curtain line:  "He died... fire darting from his eyes."  At this point the curtain is somberly brought down on the final tableau.

On the given night, there was electricity in the air from moment the curtain first went up.  Before the packed house, each scene engaged the audience more intensely than the previous one, resulting in thunderous applause, as the first act curtain was brought down.

The second act was even better, drawing cheers from the crowd as the curtain was lowered for the second intermission. 

Primed for the third act of the play, the excited cast went on, playing each scene with greater ease and assurance than at any previous performance of the show.  The play had soared and now it was time for the final scene...

The swordfight went flawlessly.  The hero having been stabbed, fell gracefully into his friend's arms and eloquently delivered his final speech.  The friend, then sensing his cue, took a dramatic pause, looked out over the heads of the audience members and gave the curtain line which has been remembered to this day:

"He died... farting."

There was a slight moment of hesitation and then the curtain was slowly let down.

After a confused pause in the audience, one member eventually began to clap, and the others, out of form, followed suit.

A great moment in the theatre.



Posted By: tristanrobin
Date Posted: 11/12/06 at 8:38am
I was playing Barrymore in "I Hate Hamlet," in which there is a terrific -
LONG (choreographed to about three minutes of swashbuckling music) -
swordfight. Up stairs, down stairs, leaps over sofa, spins and leaps. Quite
thrilling.

On opening night, I was given my cue ... and leapt to the fireplace over
which my sword was hanging. I leap. I look. Nothing. The ^%$#@#$@!
prop mistress had not returned it to the set after dress rehearsal.

Having no idea what to do - and hearing the opening strains of that
damned music - I grabbed a long-stemmed rose from an arrangment on
the set, and did the entire duel with the rose as my weapon.

The most embarrassing moment (as if just DOING it wasn't bad enough)
was when I got to stop the fight for a moment to deliver: "This is why
actors act. We're allowed to do this sort of thing." The audience was in
hysterics - and I was humbled forever.


Posted By: Gaafa
Date Posted: 11/12/06 at 8:26pm
What a great creative accident, that?s definitely ?comedy with it?s pants down?.
I hope you kept it in for the rest of the season?



-------------
      Joe
Western Gondawandaland
turn right @ Perth.
Hear the light & see the sound.
Toi Toi Toi Chookas {{"chook [chicken] it is"}
May you always play
to a full house}



Posted By: tristanrobin
Date Posted: 11/13/06 at 12:30pm
oh, geesh no.

it was humiliating. LOL


Posted By: JShieldsIowa
Date Posted: 11/13/06 at 1:00pm
Sadly, that's why I check my props 15 times before the house opens.  (I go a little OCD now if I am acting)  We were doing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest and I was supposed to restrain McMurphy with a belt.  The props mistress (who was in over her head) didn't put the belt back in the nurse's station for our opening night (even though she did for every rehearsal).  I, of course, was hurried that night and forgot to double check my props before the house opened.  I had NOTHING on stage to restrain him with, so I just sat on the guy.  The audience giggled while I died inside a bit...  It was very 6th grade school yard which didn't fit with my character but I had no other choice!  Then, as I'm sitting on him - I see the props mistress looking at me from the wings and getting ready to cross the stage to deliver the belt to me.  I think she physically felt the daggers come shooting from my eyes and decided that I would use the belt for something else if she tried to deliver it to me! 


Posted By: VPA1
Date Posted: 11/14/06 at 7:24pm
Instead of "it's all my fault princess," he said "it's all my fart princess". It
took about five seconds for it to sink in and the audience erupted with
laughter. Very serious scene, too!   I directed the show, I was aghast...until
the audience started laughing...I gave up and laughed too!


Posted By: jenniz
Date Posted: 11/17/06 at 11:49am

I played Gertrude in Hamlet a few years ago. We took the closet scene to a competition...I know the show like the back of my hand, the closet scene is my favourite to perform....

 We are at the competition...we were in the Closet Scene...

 Hamlet yelling and screaming at me, I am sobbing, he says something.....I blank...what did he just say? where are we in the scene? what was my last line??? I can't remember a thing...I sit there sobbing for a second and then pull my darling hamlet close to me, "Where are we???" I hiss in his ear, he pulls back disgusted in true Hamlet form, I pull him back this time so his head is upstage to me he hisses back "O, Hamlet, thou hast..." I let go of him relieved, but look at him with such love passion remorse and shame when I say this line that we win first prize and the ajudicator chooses that part to particularly give us credit for!!!

So, a very embarassing and potentially devastating moment was translated into first prize and high regard!!

Jenni



Posted By: SherrieAnne
Date Posted: 11/26/07 at 8:49pm
MY worst onstage moment was in a production (not too long ago) of YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU.  I was playing Mrs. Kirby, the wealthy boss's wife and future mother-in-law.  Let me state first that I've worn dentures for many years (thanks to tetracycline given my mom while I was in utero, & a dental plan that won't pay for implants).  If you're familiar with the show, you know that when Mrs. Kirby makes her first entrance, she sees Grandpa's snakes and goes into hysterics.  Well...one night, when I screamed my tongue somehow caught the back of my upper plate - and propelled it right onto the table.  I swiftly put my evening bag downstage of it, swept it up and crammed it into my mouth (covering it with my hands); the rest of the cast thankfully didn't react, but I was so mortified I didn't even want to go out for curtain call.Cry  The producer came backstage (with mascara running down her face from laughter tears) and convinced me to take my call - and I got a standing ovation.  The audience thought it was part of the show!!! Shocked

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There's a little bit of diva in all of us. Some just have a larger helping than others.


Posted By: TonyDi
Date Posted: 11/27/07 at 8:03am
I think one of my (luckily) very FEW mishaps on stage, and honestly the ONLY time I can ever recall going up on my lines, was during ROMEO & JULIET doing Shakespeare In The Park - in the town where I live. I was Friar Laurence.  And during the exchange between he and Juliet - who has come to him for some kind of help, even a "potion" with which to dispatch herself to death (as Friar Laurence was also an expert of plants and natural remedies) he refuses to be part of her taking her own life.
 
Well frustrated, she spots a knife lying on the table and grabs it and instead intends to commit suicide by knife.  Well Friar Laurence is supposed to grab her hand and struggle to free the knife from her hand and prevent her from being successful.
 
SO....I grabbed her wrist and did a GENTLE twist only for her to drop the knife and I watch this knife drop to the stage, as if in slow motion, STICK IN THE STAGE and waft back and forth ketwang, wang, wang, wang like a knifethrowers knife would do.  I lost it right there.  Some INSANE props person had used a knife that looked rustic and old and period but was as sharp as a razor blade with a point that could pierce steel.  As I watched this in horror and disbelief at someone's utter stupidity to use a REAL, SHARP, DANGEROUS and potentially VICIOUS instrument of destruction or at least - slaughterhouse or meat packing plant quality - I lost my place. Immediately, I pulled Juliet to me in a fatherly embrace and whispered in her upstage ear - "where the hell are we"?  At that point, she angrily (in character) pushed me away and cried, "Hast thou NOTHING for me"?  And that seemingly millenium of time (though only seconds) triggered the mechanism and I was back on track.  Yea, Tara!!! She saved my tush that's for sure.  Then I picked up the knife after she exited, and went on the hunt for the props person after I left the stage.
 
Suffice it to say, I DID NOT commit murder that evening but I don't think I saw the props person after that night for the whole run of the show. Ah, the memories of real life props. Where DO we hire these people?
 
OR there was the night during Pippin, yet another props person (first performance) rigged up this contraption on my back so Pippin can STAB me in the back (I was Charlemagne his father).  Well FORTUNATELY and I say this with reservation, when he DOES stab me in the back the rig FAILS (as I feared it would) and I feel a knife plunge into my back.....I thought.  But I didn't know.  I laid there on the stage while they sang MORNING GLOW, I come back to life and leave the stage.  Well the whole time I THOUGHT I felt the familiar letting of blood and thought it flowed nicely.  Ok, offstage, rig removed......THANKFULLY THE BLADE of the knife had a plastic sheath on it, the blood was merely SWEAT (no kidding), but the BLADE of the knife was bent and I did have a bruise on my back.  Needless to say I redesigned the rig and that never occurred again.  Another brain-trust props person that I even asked at the time where they hired her.
 
Okay that's enough. There are more but you'll just have to buy the book!! LOL
 
 
TonyDi
 


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"Almost famous"


Posted By: tristanrobin
Date Posted: 11/28/07 at 7:19am
Sherrie Ann - I think you win the prize! You just made me spit coffee.



Posted By: lynda gee
Date Posted: 12/12/07 at 10:22am
These community theater bloopers are all hysterical (now that we can look back on them; isn't it interesting how a few seconds of agony onstage feels like years?)   I, unfortunately, have had a few mishaps onstage myself but the worst was when I was playing Aunt Eller in a production of "Oklahoma!"  We were playing our next to last performance in front of a very dead audience; in fact a lady in the front row had obviously gone to sleep and was loudly snoring.  We were trying not to look at her and stay focused.  It came time for the big song "Oklahoma" and I had the line in the intro "flowers on the prairie where the June bugs zoom!"  BUT somehow my tongue got tied and words in a strange new language poured forth!  It was like Aunt Eller speaking in tongues!  Somehow the rest of the leads kept their focus and got through that great song, but they have never let me forget those agonizing "moments." 


Posted By: pdavis69
Date Posted: 12/12/07 at 12:03pm
Many many years ago when I was in college, I was in a production of Seven Keys to Baldbate.  The show was winding down and the police were supposed to come in and wrap up the mystery but they didn't come on.  We waited and waited and then waited a bit more then I just stepped out the frond door and looked backstage only to find the police office (female) in the middle of "pleasing" the stage manager (male).  I went out the door and "discussed" with them that she needed to be onstage now.  I thought that I was being quiet enough and I used some words that were not mom worthy.  We ended the show and I spoke with my mother afterwards (who had been in the audience) who informed me that she and the rest of the audience had heard every word.  Somehow I had found the only spot in that theatre with good accoustics to deliver my tirade.

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Patrick L. Davis
Fort Findlay Playhouse


Posted By: eveharrington
Date Posted: 12/13/07 at 1:40am
Originally posted by pdavis69

Many many years ago when I was in college, I was in a production of Seven Keys to Baldbate. The show was winding down and the police were supposed to come in and wrap up the mystery but they didn't come on. We waited and waited and then waited a bit more then I just stepped out the frond door and looked backstage only to find the police office (female) in the middle of "pleasing" the stage manager (male). I went out the door and "discussed" with them that she needed to be onstage now. I thought that I was being quiet enough and I used some words that were not mom worthy. We ended the show and I spoke with my mother afterwards (who had been in the audience) who informed me that she and the rest of the audience had heard every word. Somehow I had found the only spot in that theatre with good accoustics to deliver my tirade.




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"If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights."


Posted By: kalloo
Date Posted: 1/17/08 at 12:56pm
We recently staged Man of La Mancha and, apart from the theme song being christened by the backstage crew "The Impossible Note" - all went well. Until one night when Sancho inadvertantly called Quijana - Cohones!!

Another incident sums up very small town community theatre so well. This was many, many years ago and we had cast a local cop to play - the local cop. Curtain was a few minutes from going up and no sign of him. Major panic all round. Finally, five minutes after curtain up (stagehand busily dressing for his first ever role) - he arrived.  His reason for being late? He was delayed at the police station because he had to arrest someone who was drunk & threatening to shoot his wife.
"I had to charge him with dangerous use of a firearm. If'd I'd made it attempted murder I'd still be there"

Those were the days!




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Caryl


Posted By: biggertigger
Date Posted: 1/18/08 at 9:52pm
As many who do theater and full time jobs, you know how schedules can conflict.  Because of my job I was scheduled to work a 24 hour shift on saturday.  I was granted time off to do the saturday night performance.  As the schedule went, I completed the friday show and back home to get to sleep at about 11 P.M. to get up at 5 A.M. for work on saturday.  Did the saturday night show and went back to work.  I completed work at 6 A.M. for sunday and went home to bed.   There was a sunday matinee that which I need to arrive at about 12:30.  My plan was to sleep between the matinee and the sunday night performance.  After the matinee I was not very tired so I went to dinner and then back for the 8 P.M. performance. 
By the end of the show I was exhausted.  I patiently waited to do the final scene with the person playing my mother when I walked on a few lines to soon.  I backed out of the "room" and waited for my correct enterance.  When my "mother" and I walked on stage I burst out laughing histerically.  I couldn't catch my breath to say my lines and just continued to laugh.  In between laughters I mutter my few lines and finally the curtain came down. 
I turned Agatha Christie into a comedy.


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The two greatest days in a theater persons life, the day you start a new show and the day the damn thing closes.


Posted By: TimW
Date Posted: 1/18/08 at 10:40pm
Just to let everyone know that 'accidents' aren't always on stage:
 
Recently we did a show where music leads into the curtain opening. Unfortunatly, the music wasn't audible. The SM asked me "what happened to the music". My responce was "crap, something is scr***** up". The something turned out to be the wrong mute button being pressed on the sound board.
Yup, you guessed it. My responce went over the sound system in the theatre. We got a chuckle out of the audience, but not from me.


Posted By: DWolfman
Date Posted: 1/19/08 at 12:55pm

Our first production as a dinner theatre company ended with a Sunday matinee. Evidently I missed the memo on show time.  Thinking it started at 3 (as did every other matinee I had done locally) I spent the morning gathering closing show gifts for cast and crew.  I pulled into the parking lot at a quarter of 2 (which would have been earlier if not for the shopping, I am generally the first person to arrive) only to find the 60 year old director pulling out what little was left of his hair with one hand and chain-smoking cigarettes with the other.  He raced (yeah, raced) to my car and opened the door saying we had a full house, dinner served and settled and showtime a little over ten minutes away.  I barely had time to slap on a little makeup and strip down to my boxers before the lights went down and I entered the stage.

The good news: I entered in the dark and took my place under the bedsheets in my skimpy costume because we were doing Neil Simon's "Same Time Next Year."
 
The better news:  The show went almost to perfection probably due to the explosion of tension that opened it.  And I even got to direct the director in the next production (who thankfully did not put me through any such troubles at all)!


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Even a man who is pure of heart...


Posted By: Theatregal79
Date Posted: 1/23/08 at 2:33pm
Ok so here is one of my flubs, although in my defense I didn't break character and kept moving.  I was doing a play called "The North Platte Canteen" and I played Nancy the reporter. The line is "Well I feel like I'm halfway down Alice's rabbit whole anyway, why not."  Instead I said, "Well I feel like I'm half way DOWN ALICE'S HOLE..."  I said it as per usual and a split second after I said it I realized what I said and told myself just go on (luckily the other actress was speaking at this point).

So you are not alone... and yes the rest of the cast for the rest of the run always listened extra carefully when that line came (I could feel their energy from back stage lol).



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