Hey, coffee lovers! I’ve been doing theatre since I was 7 years old, so naturally I have had A LOT of embarrassing experiences. Combine my clumsiness with my inept ability to make a fool of myself, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.
- The Wig/Mic Incident
I was in a production of Bye Bye Birdie where I played Mrs. Peterson, an insane old mother who is a bit too attached to her son, the protagonist. The production was very fun, though we had a few problems during the performances. Somehow I always manage to curse every mic I come in contact with. Every. Single. Night. The mic I wore mysteriously malfunctioned. At one point I had to turn off my mic when I walked on stage, and I may be good at projection but even that wasn’t enough for the packed audience of middle school parents.
To add onto my already disastrous performance, I had some problems with my wig. At one point my character rolls around on the floor (which also put holes in all of my leggings). I had a very interesting wig to say the least, and during opening night my wig began to fall off of my head. I ended up holding onto it for dear life and trying to ignore the fact that you could totally see my entire head for the rest of the scene. Lesson learned: you can never have too many bobby pins.
- I’m sorry I made your kid cry…
Last year I played the Giant in Into the Woods, which meant I did my lines from the sound booth near the back of the theater. The character has a pretty intimidating voice, and I was a few seconds late to a line because I heard a small child in the audience say, “Mommy I’m scared, she’s really scary! I don’t like it mommy!” Needless to say, I actually began to tear up and felt terrible.
- The worst possible time to get a foot cramp
During dress rehearsal of the current production I’m in of We Will Rock You, the curtains opened and I got a terrible cramp in my foot. You know the kind of cramp you will randomly get that hurts so bad that you genuinely consider chopping your limb off? It was that cramp. I’m also in the very middle and on an eight foot high platform. It was not a pretty sight to see me stumbling through the choreography of “Radio GaGa”. The look on my face must have been priceless for the cast of a local cast that decided to sit in on our dress rehearsal!
When I went to see Dear Evan Hansen in New York, I walked down to the bottom floor to practically throw my money at the merchandise stand. I was having a grand ole time and had my head held high… until I tripped down the stairs. A man was trying his best to contain his laughter but didn’t know how to help. It took me a second to stand back up because I was sat on the ground contemplating the sheer amount of embarrassment I was feeling.
- Maybe let’s tone down the dancing…
In the production of Alice in Wonderland I was doing a big dance number for the prelude before the mad tea party. During one of the rehearsals I got a bit too into the dancing and was a bit ahead of the music. I ended up doing the floorwork a second too early and got kicked in the face. The music stopped because I fell back on the stage, which was disastrous for everyone else. The best part was it was quiet and a few people yelled, “Alice down!” when the music stopped. I was given an ice pack and chilled out for the rest of the number, but all in all I was alright!
- The show must go on!
Also during Alice in Wonderland there was a huge storm, and the property is below sea level (normal for southern Louisiana). It rained so much that during the performance the theater was flooding! There was literally an inch of water in the audience, but we kept going. The only problem for me personally was that I slid across the stage in my jazz shoes (which were soaking wet) and nearly wiped out. I guess we were just pretty committed.
So, those were my biggest theatre fails. Tell me if you have any embarrassing stories to share, I’d love to make myself feel better. Until next time, grab a coffee and try not to fail too much.