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This is a question On the stage

Too shy to ever appear on stage myself, I still hung around theatres like a bad smell when I was younger - lighting and set design were what I was good at.

Backstage we'd attempt to sabotage every production - us lighting geeks would wind up the sound man by putting the remote "pause" button for his reel-to-reel tape machine on his chair, so when he sat down it'd start running, ruining his cues. Actors would do scenes out of order to make our lives hell. It was great and I don't know why I don't still do it.

Tell us your stories of life on the stage.

(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 11:02)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Aged 15, a 600-strong audience of peers, and a trombone Solo.
Put yourself in my position. Here's a moment from my past.

Imagine for one moment that you're not exactly the most popular kid in school. It's school that revolves around sport. The vast majority of the well-monied pupils eat, breathe, shit and wank sport.

You however, are not a born-and-bred sporting egoist. You're not floating on Daddy's bank-balance. You are a music Scholar. You in for for free. However, you're in way over your head. Will "I poked Di" Carling went to your school, and your ability to play cricket and rugby comes a close second to Your equally non-existant ability to shit Tiffany cuff-links

To all around you, you are nothing. A waste of space. Something that crawled from the abortion bucket in the corner of the clinic's most dank room, and survived when rightly, your life should have never been allowed to start. This vicious and blind view on life has earned you the nick-name: "Bucket".

*************

You're on stage. Alone. It's 6' high. Infront of 600 lads who hold you with a special kind of disdainful contempt. Infact, It's the social equivalent of shoving O.J.Simpson up on stage at the KKK's annual NRA supporter's meet.

Your tutor has said "Go on... It'll be good practice for your Grade 8 exam" (Here Mr Christie... We're going to drop you off in the Savannah, just ahead of these rabid cheetahs.. it'll be great practice for the 100meters sprint)

True.. there's a big exam coming up and you've been playing this damned thing for 10 years. Your party trick which, though lost on the rugby toffs, will yeild ladies at university: 10 years of tonguing the steel has lead to the ability to push your tongue through a slightly yellow un-peeled banana... It doesn't matter now though: these guys don't give a shit. They want to see you fuck up.

This isn't a concert, this is morning assembly, there is no back-up act. The time is now. You're it.

Expectant silence... A couple of jeers, and you're sweating. You're the Beta-Male in a heard of Alphas. You can feel the sweat running down your spine, and suddenly seeping away into the shirt: Even your own SWEAT doesn't want to be near you...

You've been warming the trombone for 10 minutes now.. each and every breath you take has been ex-haled through the cold tubing... calmly trying to control your heart-beat with smooth breathing. There's good deal of condensation in the bottom of the trombone's slide.. people think that it's spit that brass players blow from the "water keys" on thier instruments.. it's not. It's condensation.. but that Doesn't stop you from blowing it all over a smirking brat in the front row... but as you blow you can feel your breath shaking: about as good as Kasparpov developing a migrane just as his opponent sends out the first pawn...

Silence.


Raise the trombone, and Autopilot kicks in. Eyes closed, instrument raised high; years of practice launch you into one of the most complex and mixed trombone solos ever written. Ranging from ear-battering bombaste, to erie and spine-tingling melodies.

My Eyes stayed closed, all 7 minutes of the solo memorised after hours of playing it through.

Right at the end just after the last note rang itself out in the high beams of the building. I opened my eyes because I was suddenly aware of a the wind outside, and the gentle scrunch of the gardeners boots in the gravel. I could hear the smallest noises that the world had on offer... but not the people infront of me... A room full of 600 lads, and not ONE of them was making a sound.

A Seat creaked, and someone stood up and started to clap. Then the noise was deafening as hundreds of seats were pushed back and everyone else followed suit.

It blew me away. Completely.

My legs felt like jelly as I left the stage, but it didn't show.

*******************************************

Most of the special people from that school are living out of Daddy's pockets now, or sponging from better-off friends. Some are Lawyers, Some are brokers, but they're all still cunts, grumbling about how hellish london is.

The underdogs from that school have excelled. They're flung to the far corners of the earth living life to the full. I know of two who are surf instructors and life guards in north-east Australia. Some in Barbados, and others happily married in exotic countries.

***********************************

I quit the trombone the day I walked out of that school. I keep my Tenor Trombone as a reminder, and nothing more.

Swings and roundabouts kids. Swings, and big fucking roundabouts.
(, Mon 5 Dec 2005, 11:58, Reply)
Magic show
When I was eight, I was dragged out of the audience at some bloody awful variety show at our village hall to help the magic act. I had to help hold up a curtain while the Great Wazoo's old and wrinkled assistant, Brenda, escaped from a box she had been padlocked inside.

Well, fuck me stupid, if the old cow was only escaping out of a flap in the side. Nobody would listen to my protests at the extreme lack of actual magic going on, so I took it into my own hands to reveal the fraud that was going on in front of my very eyes.

I let go of the curtain, to reveal a surprised looking pensioner in a leotard trying to crawl to safety.

I remember the Great Wazoo's words as if they were yesterday: "Brenda! Get back in that fuckin' box!" Then: "You little bastard."

I fled.

My stage career was over.
(, Mon 5 Dec 2005, 17:47, Reply)
Achtung
I was once in a school "comedy" play in which I played the lead role, a German soldier. In once scene I had to pretend to be drunk on schnapps (the bottle was empty, I was only about 12) and stagger around whilst singing Lili Marlene or some such tripe.

On the final night of the play the mayor and his wife came along to watch, as did my parents. Very proud I was too.

As I reached the start of the "drunk" scene I realised I had an enormous fart brewing. A whopper. The thought of letting this one blow whilst on stage right in front of the mayor suddenly struck me as hysterically funny. In a moment of method acting brilliance that belied my tender years I thought sod it, go with the giggles, it'll make the drunk act more realistic.

Except that the giggles really took hold and the more they gripped me, the looser the grip I could maintain on my sphincter. I ended up hooting like a gibbon, tears streaming down my face, and with every laugh a small but perfectly audible portion of fart trumpeted out.

None of the audience were laughing by now. Mr Mayor didn't look very happy at all.

The time came for the staggering & singing part - but by this time I was in no fit state to do either. I tripped on the edge of the stage, fell off, rolled over onto my back - and found myself staring straight up between the legs of Mrs Mayor.

There'd been a big gasp, and then silence. I lay there thinking what the hell do I do now? I have disgraced myself comprehensively, I've brought shame upon myself, my school and my parents. Then I decided. Fuck it. It's better to hang for a sheep than a lamb.

So I took a deep breath, squeezed my eyes shut, and let rip with the rest of the fart with every ounce of strength in my body.

If only I'd shat myself too.
(, Mon 5 Dec 2005, 17:42, Reply)
Ballcony scene
My best mate Dan at secondary school had some kind of bizarre scrotal fluid-retention condition which resulted, for a period of about four months in year 10, in him having one ginormous, majestic nad alonside his suddenly-relatively-folorn-looking normal one. Since he was understandably a touch sensitive about the exotic and terrifying contents of his y-fronts, it was agreed that it'd be a secret - one that I'd sworn on our friendship to carry to my grave.

After weeks of militaristic organistion, favour-pulling and dinnertime bribery, he finally landed the role of Romeo in the school play opposite - you guessed it - Chloe, the girl he'd been obsessed with since junior school. She was popular even back then, but now she'd blossomed into an implausibly beauteous maiden and was basically beating them off with a shitty stick. Dan saw his opportunity to woo her on a more intellectual and intimate level, and, to be fair to him, he used it well: rehearsals went brilliantly, and by opening night, rumours were rife that he was in for a bit of corset-popping at the aftershow shindig in the main hall.

Alas, fate wasn't smiling on him that night. The curtain went up at the start of Act II, and, as he emerged from the wings for the famous weepy scene, a hushed murmur of confusion rippled around the audience of parents, teachers and friends. There appeared to be a large protuberance in his trouser area - given that he was wearing a cod piece coupled with sheer lilac tights, it looked almost aggressively tumescent. Dan clearly hadn't noticed, but while he was "wherefore"-ing for all he was worth, people were starting to laugh quite loud. So, from the front row, I did the only thing I felt I could. Feeling like I was bellowing at the top of my lungs, I tentatively hissed "Dan, your...um...costume...". Fucksocks - not quite loud enough. Like the true pro he wasn't, poor chap, Dan turns round mid-sentence and, squinting in the full glare of the spotlight, says: "What..?"

What the hell was I supposed to do? By this time everyone was looking at me, including Romeo and Juliet, and everyone sitting around me knew exactly what I was trying to do. I panicked. I was embarrassed. I was mortified. We'd had a half-joking conversation before the show about how awful it would be to get a hard-on just before you went onstage, and for some reason I was convinced this was precisely what the audience believed they were gawping at right there and then. I didn't want everyone to think he had a lob on for his would-be-bride. That'd ruin his chances of romantic conquest. He'd be gutted.

So I shouted "Your water bollock is out."

He had about a week off school. When he came back, he'd had it 'sorted'. The water bollock was no more. Neither, alas, was our sacred bond of brotherly trust. :/

I don't even know where he lives these days. I do know it's not with Chloe, cuz she married an ice hockey player and moved to Canada - a journey almost as long as this entry.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 12:27, Reply)
Dib dib fucking dob...
I was 11 years old and one of Baden Powell's finest female recruits. I was starring in The Gang Show...

I had my very first period on stage in front of 500 people whilst singing 'Bare Necessities' from the Jungle Book dressed as a cave girl.

My therapy bill is astronomical.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 14:10, Reply)
being hit by a house and an impromptu ice skating performance
Just a couple I can think of at the moment - Firstly when I was about 12 or 13 I was playing Mr Beaver (no jokes, please) in The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe. Everything going swimmingly until one set change. I was standing on stage with the rest of my beaver family when the lights went down for a scene change - from forest glade to beaver house. Unfortunately I was stood about 1 foot too far forward and the entire house came crashing down from onto my head. A big thunk can be heard in the video of this, followed by the dim view of a shadowy pair of legs sticking out towards the audience. Luckily my chicken-wire constructed beaver hat saved me from concussion, but for the rest of the play Mr Beaver had a serious dent in his head.

Secondly, not acting this time but backstage for a play (name forgotten) I was suspended on a very wobbly and dodgy gantry swinging from the eves of the theatre in charge of the dry ice machine - I had to operate this at certain points during the play to provide a misty atmosphere. Nothing as strong as fog, you realise, just mist. For those of you who don't know, these machines are operated by lowering a basket full of frozen carbon dioxide into a container of water. The water melts the dry ice and the wonderful misty effects are produced. Dry ice is VERY VERY cold (about -80 centigrade) so wearing gloves is a must. After the second ambient misting, things were going fine. Until one of my gloves fell off into the dry ice machine. This blocked the vents completely and wedged the basket of dry ice into the machine. "Oh well," I thought, becoming increasingly enshrouded with smoke, "I've missed the cue for this one, but hopefully I'll be able to work the blockage loose for the next one."
Wrong. Very wrong.
Missed two more cues whilst trying to extract my glove. Eventually however, I worked the wedged glove loose, but at a completely inopportune moment. The machine belched forth its entire stored quantity of smoke all over the stage. Which at that time was set as a living room, and not a misty forest.
Bugger.
The amount of dryice and liquid that poured from above all over the stage hit the stage floor and turned into a layer of ice. Real ice, not dry ice. The play was immediately turned something that closely resembled 'muppets on ice' which although hugely more entertaining than the actual play, still earned me a bollocking.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 12:45, Reply)
Cocktails
I have a friend called Martin who did the whole drama school business. Now at these schools, the number one rule is 'don't corpse' (that's getting giggling fits for all you non-thesps). The punishment for this would be the drama teacher making you stand in front of the class and haranguing you in a Sgt. Hartman (Full Metal Jacket) stylee. "Are you happy you ruined everyone's performance? Are you proud you ruined the hard work of the whole cast?" kind of thing.

Despite this there was quite a keen contest to see who could make who corpse and in what imaginitive ways. The week before the end of year performance that they would all be graded on, Martin was currently in the lead. During dialogue between him and his main rival in the previous weeks rehearsal he had spent the whole time muttering obscenities under his breath while his colleague was speaking his lines, loud enough for them to hear but no one else. Therefore when his colleague suddenly burst out laughing no one knew it was because Martin had just whispered to him "You're not even good enough to be Richard Madeley's fluffer'.

Martin relaxed with a seemingly unassailable lead. Until, that is, the night of the big performance. One of the many climactic scenes took place in a cafe between Martin and a girl playing his wife. The scene was supposed to reach a crescendo shortly after the waiter brought them their drinks. The wife said something cutting, Martin was meant to down his drink in one, call her a 'selfish bitch' and storm out of the imaginary cafe. Easy. The problem was that Martin's rival was playing the waiter and, being that Martin was so engrossed in the dialogue, waiting for his cue and doing his best 'angry face', he didn't notice the smirk on his co-stars face as he did so. The girl finished her line, he began to down his water and that was the moment he noticed the condom floating in it.

Instinctively he spat his drink all over his shocked-looking 'wife' and, quickly recovering, called her a selfish bitch while openly laughing in her face before running off in hysterics.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 12:36, Reply)
So Many
In a past life I used to work as a lighting tech for bands and have many, many tales of those days (dancing with Barbara Bach, asking Jayne Seymour for a blowjob, having Billy Connolly ask me if I really enjoyed drinking as I was throwing my ring up and more) but this story is about a gig at Manchester Uni.

In the 80's a punk called Johnny Stack was running the events at Manchester Uni. He was an unmitigated disaster as he was always booking bands he loved at exorbitant fees who nobody had ever heard of. The Events Crew was going bankrupt fast. But he did have one notable success - he booked Curiosity Killed The Cat before they were famous and they were due to play the Union in the week when they were number 1.

Well the kiddies of the North West turned out in droves. We oversold the gig by about three times what the fire limit was and had to draft in all sorts of extra security, crash barriers etc.

During the gig I was in charge of onstage security which meant that I was standing just to the side of the PA stacks watching the crowd. The crowd was a mad pulsating thing, surging backwards and forwards and, inevitably, some poor sod would lose their footing and disappear under the feet of the seething mass. When I saw someone go down I'd whistle (I've a fucking loud whistle) and point where someone had went under and a couple of bouncers would jump into the crowd and haul the unfortunate to their feet. Real adrenaline pumping stuff.

Anyway, about halfway through the gig I heard a cheer and saw some random bloke, on stage, with his arm around the lead singer. He'd grabbed the microphone and was bellowing out the words to the bands hit. Well this wasn't fucking on! How the hell did they get past security?

Galvanised into action I ran across the stage, grabbed the offender and rapped a nerve in his wrist. The mike fell and the lead singer got it and I grabbed the offender by the arse and collar and with a quick run, hurled him into the crowd. He sailed forward and landed head-first and then slowly sank so that only his feet could be seen waving frantically in the mob. Funny as fuck.

Job done, I retired to my perch on the PA stacks and the gig went on. At the end of the gig I went backstage to see the band and when I got into their dressing room, sitting there was this poor bastard who I'd chucked into the crowd. His face was a mess where the crowd had trampled him. Black and blue with a really puffy split lip. Turned out he was one of the friends of the band and his participation on stage was part of the act.

Oops!
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 11:44, Reply)
When I was in my school play
I ran on stage, couldn't see the audience because of the lights, I was so nervous I shouted my lines then pissed myself with fright in front of the whole school, parents and teachers included and ran off crying.

Oh the shame!

[edit]Fucksocks, the QotW has finally changed![/edit]

When I was in primary school, the nativity play was very inclusive – you were involved onstage, whether you wished to be or not.

Needless to say, all parents wanted their children to be one of the principles – Mary, Joseph, a Magus or failing that a shepherd.

My friends and I, on the other hand, wished to have absolutely no involvement at all. Unfortunately, when one was cast as a shepherd thanks to particularly pushy parents, the rest of us were also.

Our disappointment at being on stage, however, was short-lived when we discovered during rehearsals how much fun it was!

Following the star to Bethlehem was a slapstick procession of tripping each other with our crooks.

Gazing in speechless adoration at the baby Christ became plucking him from the crib, against all instructions to the contrary, and passing flinging him amongst us with comments likes “Blimey, what’s wrong with his hands?”.

Yes, it was childish but then we were, after all, children.

Finally, only two nights before the main event, the director had had enough and we were hastily recast in roles that were restricted to a brief jog across the stage.

We were to be Herod’s soldiers during the massacre of the innocents.

To this day, I really can’t understand how our director could have been so naïve, so optimistic. We were, after all, children.

So, come the big night, the stage is set, our moment has come and, dressed in legionnaires uniforms and clutching our plastic swords, we formed up and, accompanied by a soundtrack of wailing, we trotted across the stage.

Half way across, we stopped to enact our revised and more realistic scene. We whipped out the dolls that we had secreted about ourselves and ripped them to pieces, tossing limbs, torsos and heads into the audience and spraying stage blood in every direction.

Needless to say, despite being in the best traditions of the theatre, our improvisation was appreciated not by our head teacher, nor the director nor even the audience members who were struck with bloodied bits of baby.

The following year, the scene had been cut and we weren’t even allowed in the auditorium.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 11:55, Reply)
Ohh it gets worse stick with it
I'm a married man of more than a few years but IT, the IT event, that had been bottled and pushed into a deep hole, came back to haunt me from the past like you wouldn't believe.

One fine day I was in Sainsbury's wondering which queue would travel the slowest, (something I was cunningly trying out to speed up the checkout process) when I noticed this leggy blonde woman in a short skirt looking at me?....at me!..., as a look over the shoulder confirmed!! She smiled, licked her lips, and then and there I thought go for it..go for it, all systems are go......
"erm do I know you?"(I know,smooth eh)
"Mmm yes I think you do" (WTF???).. she continues with the gobsmacking sentence..."I think you are the father of one of my children."
KAPOW!!!And other assorted Batman effects apply...
Fuck me, the traumatic memory block gives way like a chinese dam and the 'IT' event comes flooding back, every nerve, the neurochemistry kicked into action by the firing of a million electrical impulses.And so, the link to the QotW finally revels itself, as I vividly and uncontrollably recall my one regretful moment of alcohol+ fuelled weakness at a Stag Evening........

"Oh my god, you must be the blonde stripper I screwed on stage in front of fifty strangers whilst your ...Uurgghh dirty, dirty erm...girlfriend took the opportunity to whip me, piss on me and insert the whip handle into me and making me wag my 'tail' by gripping my testicules?"

Here that link I have tried reasonably hard to build becomes weaker I admit,
as the womans now puzzled and shocked look is overtaken with the sentence causing such SHAME! (I missed last weaks QotW btw!)

"Oh no,I am er your daughters form tutor!"

Fit SHuck Bart and Follocks I would have thought if it were true.

But probably deserves two clicks on the I like this button for the link to 2 consecutive QotW
(, Tue 6 Dec 2005, 0:38, Reply)
Cocking with Elvis
A couple of years ago, I was cast as Stuart in an Amateur production of the truly magnificent play, "Cooking with Elvis".

Those of you of a more (or perhaps less...) cultural bent will know that the play involves the thick-as-fuck Stuart shagging an underaged fat lass, wanking a cripple off and licking the resultant manfat from his fingers, kissing said cripple...oh, and nudity.

Initially, none of this concerned me. Everything apart from the nudity was, of course, merely acting. And I was under the impression that the nudity would be of the "back to the audience, arse only" so beloved of raucous, provincial comedies (cf. The Full Monty).

However, I'm nothing if not an arrogant and unlovable fuck. And the director, who is mates with the writer, wanted this production to be as good as the original play (and better than the one featuring world renowned alcoholic brummie poopie-poker, Frank Skinner).

"So," she said to me "are you going to do full frontal nudity?"

"Wh....what?" I said, feeling like a starlet encountering the first Casting Couch moment.

"Well, you can do it with your arse to the audience, but...well, they did it full frontal in the original play. And I know what you're like; you won't want people going away thinking you're a coward for not going all the way like the pro did".

Bugger. She had found my weakness; my vanity and sense of superiority.


So; the week of the play arrived, and I got my knob out twice a night in front of an audience of baying, cock-hungry "women of a certain age". And the play went down a storm; standing ovations every night, and in my case, an ego that threatened to block out the sun.

Come the last night, we were told of an unexpected treat; the cast of the original play were coming to watch us. Much glee ensued, and I like to think that we did ourselves proud.

After the show, whilst exchanging luvvie-related smalltalk with the chap who played Stuart in the original, he remarked "Mind, you're very brave."

Gears started to whirr in my mind. In particular, the gears marked "You been stitched up GOOD and proper".

"What d'you mean?" I asked, a rictus grin frozen to my face.


"Well, I always just showed my arse to the audience and...where are you going?" he asked to the back of my head, as I exited the room to shouts of "Where's that FUCKING director?!?!"

So yes; I was tricked into displaying my trumpet and flute. And I wasn't even allowed to put a note in the program explaining how cold it was onstage...

I'd apologise for the length, but it would come across as a cheap pun.
(, Mon 5 Dec 2005, 12:48, Reply)
He's a sinner, candy coated...
As a pre and teen-ager at boarding school I suffered through various mandatory stage productions until I realised I could take control and produce (also write, direct, construct props, etc.) the things myself. Many happy memories, with the RoboCop costume (working gun leg) being a particular highlight.

useful_idiot's mention of Bugsy reminded me of the time when our school chose that as the annual full-school xmas production. It was memorable for a few good reasons.

1. Cast. The actors playing the principal roles (Fat Sam and Dandy Dan especially) resembled the kids from the film, could really act and also hold a tune.

2. Splurge guns. Designed and built by yours truly.

To put on a production of Bugsy, you had to buy the script in book form, which featured the collected wisdom and experience (or lack of) of those responsible for staging previous amateur productions. Imagine my reaction on reading that a fair few schools had such a complete lack of technical talent amongst staff that they opted to replace splurge guns with cream pies or ping-pong ball launchers. The challenge was on.

The hero gun was a modular (broke apart as per the film prop, into carrying case) pump-action precision shaving-foam-shooting work of art. Background props were hollow shells over cans of 'ultra blizzard'*. Fat Sam's exploding monstrosity was built by a friend of similar talent - Dan's foam cannon shot shaving foam** in all directions. For final scene on the last night (all-out foam war) he increased the capacity of the firing chambers*** to about 5 litres. Not a good thing. The chaos derived from 30+ cast with guns and pies was increased by liberal quantities of foam sprayed on from backstage by certain helpful crew members. I recall most of the front rows of audience getting plastered with the stuff. Great fun.

That was fifteen years ago. Still have the hero splurge gun. It still works. :)


*non-slippy water-based foam.
**very slippy. Important, that.
***multiple 2-litre soda bottles.

[mod edit: We want a web page with instructions for this. For, erm, well, no reason...]
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 16:05, Reply)
Cruel joke to play on an unsuspecting child
School production of Jack And The Beanstalk. I must have been about ten, so let's say 1988.

My part in this epic production? The Wizard. You know - the WIZARD! He's the fella who swaps a cow for some magic beans.

Wizards, as we all know, dress in pointy hats and dark blue "robes" with dodgy gold moons and stars stiched all over them. Wizards, as you may be also aware, tend to appear in clouds of smoke. Go along with this one. Our script-writer obviously did.

The time for my big scene arrives. Lights flash! Cymbals crash! Cue ten-year-old me leaping "magically" onto stage in a puff of smoke.

To be more precise: cue a young boy in a funny hat and a dress, jumping onto stage holding a large, cloud-shaped piece of grey cardboard, with the word "PUFF" emblazoned across it in huge, bright red, capital letters. A young boy whose entire (mercifully brief) appearance on stage was subtitled with one word, calling into question his burgeoning sexuality.

I don't think any of the so-called "grown-ups" in the audience could hear any of my lines over their collective guffawing. At the time, I just assumed our script was even more hilarious than it had been in rehearsal. Took me YEARS to get their "little joke". Bastards.

Sad thing is, I think I still have that puff of smoke in the back of the wardrobe somewhere...

*pop*
(, Tue 6 Dec 2005, 16:33, Reply)
About 3 years...
...ago one of the members of the theatre group, that I was a member of, wrote a rather good play which was a sort of Monty Python meets Carry-On with added music.

Anyway, it was the final night of the 3rd tour...we were in Trowbridge (*shudders*) and due to a slight problem with the advertising we had attracted a grand total of 8 people.

I was bored and just wanted to wrap and get to the pub...it occured to me that there was absolutely fuck all the director could do to me so at an opportune moment I bounced across the rear of the stage singing the badger/mushroom/snake song as loud as I could whilst imitating the badgers' dancey action.

The audience thought it was part of the show...the rest of the company adlibbed then carried on and the incident was never mentioned again.

That may have been the first live performance of weebl's work :)
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 15:14, Reply)
Shit T-bird
I was in a school production of Grease, I played Doody and had a couple of solo songs to sing. It was great fun, and I was a minor school celebrity for a week with younger girls following me around and giggling. (I think they liked me, thinking on it now maybe they were just giggling at me.)

Anyways. Anyone who knows the film knows there's a scene where Danny reveals the Greased Lightening car. A souped-up t-bird that makes everyone swoon and break into song.

Well. We're a school production. We didn't quite have the budget for that.

So the wood-work teacher knocked one up. It's quite difficult to describe it's splendor, I wish I had a photo for you, but I'll try.

First off, it was made of wood, painted with matt-white house paint. It didn't have the sleek lines of a T-bird, but was angular and boxy. With visible screws where the joins were.

It also wasn't very big. If someone attempted to sit in it, the effect was much like Noddy in his noddy car.

Now, imagine this "car" being pushed on stage and the cast having to deliver lines like, "oooh! what a fantastic motor" and then perform a song with lyrics like , "You know that I ain't braggin', she's a real pussy wagon - greased lightnin'"

It effectively turned the scene into a huge piss-take, with every line sounding like sarcasm.

It brought the house down. People ROARED.

Frankly I think our version was better than the film.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 13:47, Reply)
The blackness
I can trump all of these "I played a tree" or "I played a cow" stories.

In second year junior school I played . . .

A patch of darkness.

Oh yes. Myself and 4 or 5 others dressed entirely in black with black face paint on a dimly lit stage.

I don't think the headmaster liked me.
(, Sun 4 Dec 2005, 16:48, Reply)
I just remembered another one.
I was playing at York Uni back in 1989. The support band was a uni band called The Flowers. We were sat in our dressing room running through the set list and there was a knock on the door. In came this really toffee nosed twunt who turned out to be the lead guitarist in the support band. Talk about a ponce! He made Brian Sewell sound common, and all he went on about was how he liked our band, how he had bought our new album, had all our albums and went on to talk about his 'daddy'. Daddy this, daddy that, you would think he was 6 years old. Anyway, he banged on and on about this Gibson Les Paul 'daddy' had found in America. It was a very early one, one of the first 500 made as I remember. In todays money, worth around 40 grand. Our guitarist also had a few Les Pauls but nothing like this. The toff was boasting like a kid in a playground and offered our guitarist a go as a treat. Of course he told him to fuck off and we kicked him out of the dressing room. The band had just gone on stage, and from the response they got from their fellow students, we presumed they were also all of the shit. They started off with the Stone's 'Jumping Jack Flash'. They rhythm guitarist began the intro and after the fourth bar shouted "1-2". The lead guitarist then swung into action. Literally, hitting the headstock of the guitar against the mic stand, snapping it off. His expression was priceless. The whole band ground to a halt, the audience were in fits of laughter and our guitarist walked onto the stage and offered him the use of a rather clapped out beaten up old Strat copy he used for throwing about. Fuckin' priceless!
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 23:56, Reply)
another one for the boys
just did a fashion show thingmajiggy. It was for hair, but all the models were in high-fashion outfits. I was stage managing (=shouting a lot at prima donnas), and on cans (that would be comms headsets for the uninitiated). Most of the day it's been leggy american models, generally making me feel short, fat and an inadequate example of the lady sex (which I'm not at all, it's just easy to feel that way around mod-ells). The way the stage was set up, the god-box (or production booth as it's less egotistically known) was 90 degrees to the stage/catwalk, meaning sound, lighting and producer could just about see me and anyone next to me thorough the one entrance to the stage with a wall in front, to hide us and allow stage left and right.

So I'm standing there, waiting for the next bunch of models to rock up. One passes me to stand on a step, and I can't help letting out a quiet "f**king hell". The girl who has just walked past me is wearing NOTHING but a gold mesh tunic, and has HUGE breasts. Even I'm trying not to stare, until I get asked "what's wrong?" over cans. "Oh, nothing. You'll see". Once she gets to the step, cans go mental - the lighting guy shouts "good christ!", sound guy starts giggling, the producer asks "who has my camera?". Unfortunately, the camera and VT crew, both in the wrong wing or filming the intro from the audience, have no idea what this noise is about. One of them asks our sound guys what's happened. Sound guy: "there aren't words". Camera: "in one word then". Sound "Magnificent".

Please bear in mind here that I'm the only one who can hear this by the models, and the client standing next to me is beginning to wonder why I seem to be laughing at a naked girl.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 15:21, Reply)
Badger Badger Badger
Having auditioned for the part of the aforementioned meles meles (what a fantastic latin name for a badger, it's so badgery) in my school's production of The Wind in the Willows I was unhappy to be given the part of Mole. I mean it's bad enough that they made everybody do it in the first place but at least Badger has some bloody balls unlike the sniveling bugger I had to play, I mean I had my reputation as a nasty little psycho to protect and how the hell was I to do that as a mole? Luckily fate was to provide as we shall see. Anyway, much pain and practise later it comes to Opening Night! Toad Hall is about to be stormed and various vermin thrown out on their fury ears. I let loose my fearsome scripted battle cry of "A Mole, A Mole!", which is by far and away the least effective such shout ever devised in the field of combat, and charge along with Ratty, Toad and Badger into the heat of the fight. Here's where I feel there was a slight misjudgement on the part of the drama teacher. Who would actually give out real oaken staffs to a bunch of vicious ten year olds? Especially when the kid that was playing Chief Weasel was detestable thief with a nasty habbit of trying to steal everything of value that the the now enraged, tactically aware and heavily armed Mole possesed, as well as trying to generally piss him off no end, safe in the knowledge that he could run faster. Much method acting later he is dragged off by some less well battered ferrets and I and my comrades launch into the final number knowing full well that come morning this is going to require an explanation. The video is still in much demand on Christmas mornings in my household, my father going so far as to claim it's the only school funtion he's ever enjoyed going to.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 12:37, Reply)
School Nativity play, aged 5.
I played a Shepherd. Had to wander through the audience dragging a toy stuffed lamb on a lead as 'my flock'.
Dragged said lamb up front of stage whereupon its head fell off in front of the whole audience.
The uncanny thing was, that at EXACTLY the same time, Baby Jesus' (played by a doll) head also fell off, rolled to the end of the stage and fell off.

There was a hush amongst the audience as if they were waiting i guess, for some sort of childish comment from one of us mortified 5 year olds.
But no, the comment came from a muffled voice about halfway back in the audience:
"Angel Gabriel watched down upon him my arse."


I am now a practising Athiest.

(returns to stabbing kittens with an inverted crucifix)
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 12:14, Reply)
Graduation Day
It's amazing what even ten seconds worth of being centre stage can do to the poor human brain. Probably the funniest two both happened on the day I graduated and I still can't figure out which one was the winner.

It's possibly the fat, hairy boy who tries to pretend that looking like a freak is 'alternative'. Carrying out his life in his 'own way' where he 'doesn't play by the rules'. In reality he doesn't play by the rules until mummy finds out and gets angry. In general, he thinks he's cool but everyone else thinks he's a total gimp. This can be proven when he crosses the stage to collect his degree and, realising the time to assert his 'obvious' coolness is right now, stops, turns to the audience and gives everyone the peace sign. The near-constant applause suddenly drops to a polite finger tapping noise and above the murmurs a voice sails from the back of the hall hollering "FUCK OFF YOU FAT TWAT!" He is unique in the fact that I've never seen anyone else's face so clearly telegraph the crushing of their hope, spirit and dreams so quickly and entertainingly

The other candidate was the girl whose brain simply imploded under the attention. Despite spending a good hour or so watching people walk up the stairs on the right, collect their degree, then walk down the stairs on the left she obviously couldn't grasp this complicated proceedure. She walked up the stairs on the right, collected her degree (all the while smiling) and then for some completely inexplicable reason turned hard left and just walked off the front of the stage, six feet down and into some potted plants. I wouldn't care, but the audience were as lit as the stage, she must have seen the drop coming as she walked towards it!

On second thoughts, maybe we're all winners. Well, except them of course.
(, Sat 3 Dec 2005, 0:35, Reply)
Elton John
I was ligging a gig in Paris where Elton John was playing. My ex was the lighting tech for the gig and I'd whizzed over to join her for the French part of the tour.

As I was familiar with all of the lighting kit I was helping Liz out where I could and during the gig I was at the side of the stage with the backup lighting deck with a headset on listening to the crew chatter. The gig was going well, the lights show was spectacular and Elton was really working the crowd. (BTW, contrary to what you hear in the press I found Elton to be a really nice bloke. Generous, thoughtful, polite - a pleasure to work with. bent as nine-bob note but a really smashing bloke.)

And so the gig went on. Then, suddenly I heard my GFs voice over the mike:

"Just lost all Vari-Lites. Decks dead"

And then the tour managers laconic voice:

"Elton's down. Elton's just collapsed"

As soon as I heard my GF say she'd lost the lights I'd jumped into action and was readying the backup deck. I ripped the cover off and then unscrewed the multicores that led to the main deck and started to power it up and go the the diagnostics while keeping a running commentary up on the lighting radio channel to my GF who was making her way through the crowd with the lightshow on a floppy disk. One by one the lights reported back that they were online and ready to rock and roll. Just as the final bank reported in as ready Liz appeared at my side with the vital floppy. She shoved it into the deck and loaded the pre-sets and the deck burst into life and all the Vari-Lites went through their reset routine.

"Vari-Lites back online" says Liz over the radio

"Elton's back on his feet" says tour manager

And with that, the show went on.

I still swear to this day that Elton John is really a robot and he's controlled by a Vari-Lite lighting desk.

Cheers
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 12:37, Reply)
well it's not quite a story...
My 5 year old daughter has her nativity soon.

I keep asking her to tell me about "the little baby cheeses" in the hope that when she does her speaking part cheeses are mentioned... Am I cruel... cruelfather@hotmail.com
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 12:07, Reply)
A really shit play
When I was in the first year of primary school we put on a production, as always, of the birth of Jesus and that. The parts were few and far between so I really kicked up a fuss and wanted to be in the play. Unfortunately the only parts going were the parts of miscellaneous angels, of which I refused to be. So in there near biblical wisdom the teachers created a part for me, through which I would be present for the duration of the play.
I played the rock.
I sat in a bin liner with dust on me for 45 mins, beaming from ear to ear. Only now I realise how degrading this performance actually was. Can you imagine my parents going to watch the play expecting me to be Joesph or a wise man..
(, Mon 5 Dec 2005, 11:37, Reply)
i don't do drama...
but my sister has always been heavily involved...

she used to perform in a local youth theatre group and one performance, in particular, sticks in my mind...

it was something to do with greek mythology i think, or some such bollocks - agamemnon.

the director was a pretentious luvvie, who actually detested children and had no time for any of their oppinions or ideas. so when one day he announced that the entire cast would be hanging off one of the scafolding towers for part of the play, no one dared mention that it would only support a maximum of 8people.

all went well in rehearsals and finally the opening night was upon them all. there was one last rehearsal in the morning, to make sure that everything was perfect for the evening's performance. (you can see where this is going, can't you...) everything was going perfectly, until the scene where the cast had to hang off the tower. now 20-odd teens hanging off a 20ft tower, that strictly states no more than 8 at a time is asking for trouble! add to that the fact that they all had to be wailing and swinging themselves about whilst on it and you're heading for a disaster...

oh, what a disaster is was! the tower fell backwards complete with the, now screaming, actors and crashed to the ground. those on the lower levels (including my sister), were relatively unharmed, but about half the cast had to be rushed to hospital - broken bones, concusion, serious head injuries, etc.

what could the director do!? phone around and let people know that it was cancelled? refund the money to the people who had bought tickets? phone the parents of those who were now in casualty?!? no. he did what any hard labouring director would have done and pressed on with the performance, with about half of the remaining cast!

it was one of the weirdest plays i have ever been to see. it made no sence, as many scenes had to be cut, due to lack of consious people left to perform it. many were crucial to the plot and alot of the audience walked out.

the best bit was at the end where one of the actors had a solo speech and had looked a bit woozy throughout the play anyway. she walked towards the front of the stage, made to start her speech, threw up into the audience, passed out and was promptly rushed off to hospital to get her head looked at.

i was the only person clapping at the end, much to the consternation of the rest of the audience!
(, Mon 5 Dec 2005, 5:31, Reply)
I saw a play once
It was shit.
(, Sun 4 Dec 2005, 23:45, Reply)
SCROOGE
was recently involved in a production of SCROOGE, the musical based on Charles Dickns Christmas Carol. I was playing double bass, we also had a band of various other wind and brass instruments in addition to timpani and 2 keyboards. a few classic moments came out of this
Tiny Tim, a little 10 year old kid on a crutch on one side, within the one performance managed to switch the lame leg a few times, sang a whole song, a really sweet one 'on a beautiful day that i dream of' sitting on a table, legs open and swinging (as scripted) with his fly open, and slip over walking across his stage (his crutch hit abit of snow fluid). most of the band had a good laugh at this, except the timpani player who normally laughs at everything, so at the interval i mention it to him and his reaction, with a completely straight face and being completely serious, was 'yes i saw that, i just didnt think it was funny, after all the little shit managed to keep his balance!'

another night, our ghost of christmas present was meant to have a conversation with scrooge:
g: drink this
s: what is it?
g: the milk of human kindness
s: iv never tasted anything like it, can i have some more
g: (then pours more)

what ghost actually said was:
g: the spirit of human kindness
s: can i have some more?
g: NO!!!!
S: (looks very confused and put off)
he couldnt have been more wrong if he'd said rhubarb!
this actor, by the way, is the same bloke that comes on at the end of 42nd street singing, solo, FIFTY SEVENTH STREEEEET!!

another time, we were playing along for the reprise of the aforementioned beautiful day song, with a dead tiny tim singing off stage, very emotional moment, final note, meant to be very quiet, i slipped and twatted the bass string as hard as is possible without breaking a string, and if you dont know, a double bass is bloody loud!

On the last night, we (the band) decided to have some fun with our conductor. it also happened that his parents were in the audience that night, they came over from ireland to see his show conducting debut.
within the one night, half the band swapped places with the other half, a light jolly solo that should have been on piccolo was played comically on the trombone, we placed one of those fart speakers under his chair at the start of the week and he was STILL blaming the floorboards, and we found the nastiest picture of a huge fat black ugly woman naked, legs open, and selotaped that onto the page of his music that was the most emotional song of the whole piece



apologies for length, girth and all other things, but hey, iv finally popped my b3ta cherry!
(, Sat 3 Dec 2005, 2:52, Reply)
Band stories
During a complex and brilliant drum solo, the LightTech decides this would be a good time to deploy nothing but strobe. Have you ever tried drumming whilst your hands appear to be stationary?

Trying to play a fretless bass whilst the LightTech opts for a tight spot on only the lead singer. EVERY NOTE WAS SLID! Crowd thought it was brilliant.

Forgetting to tighten all the bolts on a drum kit which promptly fell apart during the first song leaving the drummer with comedy kit of just bass, snare & high-hat. Crowd thought it was part of the show...

PC sequencer having a BSOD just before the Wakemanesqe keyboard solo leaving the ivory tickler playing prog-rog on the only non-midi keyboard he had left - a Casio VL-Tone (plinky, plinky, plunk). Crowd also thought this was ace.

Punters eh? Easily pleased 'tards the lot of 'em...
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 18:39, Reply)
How true.
When I was at primary school I used to play in a recorder quartet with 2 twins (both of which I later went out with, although not at the same time, alas) and another girl. As the only boy, I considered it my duty to my gender to play the tenor recorder, rather than a weedy descant. Upon walking onto stage, some young girl in the front row of the audience exclaimed 'Wow, that's a big one'. Even at that age, I thought 'Yes, yes it is'.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 17:15, Reply)
My auntie fell asleep during a concert once.
It wouldn't have been so bad, except she was in the orchestra.
(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 15:39, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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