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This is a question Performance

Have you ever - voluntarily or otherwise - appeared in front of an audience? How badly did it go?

(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 9:26)
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Evil dwarf, neutral
I've got a few stories. But not because I'm an actor, but due to the fact my job involves stages and speakers, though I've done a fair bit of proper theatre too.

But my favourite stage appearance was:

I'd got a colleague to call a speaker prior to the event to check their name spelling. But as they had a gender-neutral name, it was also to find out Bird or Bloke. My colleague got off the phone and went 'um, I still don't know'.

So I rang the client, who was a colleague of said speaker, and they, quite revealingly with hindsight, said 'um, we don't know'. To be safe, we left off the Mr/Miss/Mrs etc on their welcome pack.

So the speaker arrives on the day, led in by my colleague who, wide eyed and suppressing hysterics, steps aside to reveal It.

It is small - about 5'1" - grey-haired, feminine face, grey goatee, kind of shrivelled but not in a 'oh, it must be genetic' way but just sort of cramped, wearing a suit three sizes too big, doesn't understand personal space and speaks in what can only be described as a Terry Jones old lady squeal. I still do not know if it is male of female. I shake the hand, show them the podium, and remind, er, it, as I do all speakers, to relax and speak upright - do not lean into the microphone, we can just turn you up etc... I'm getting a bit worried because not only is this creature a bit weird, when practicing it seems to be doing the exact opposite of what I'm saying. I demonstrate it, describe again, and hope for the best.

The show starts. The gender-neutral goes up, and immediately starts speaking into the podium mic like it's a sports mic. Despite having playback speakers, and the entire audience gasping and holding their ears, the penny does not drop that the loud bangs and crunches and whistles being created are its own fault. The thing carries on.

I rush to sound, who shrug. I need to get him/her to lean back. I sneak up with a note that says 'PLEASE STAND BACK FROM MICROPHONE, AUDIENCE CANNOT MAKE OUT SPEECH' and place it by the mic. And the little f***er just waves it away and carries on.

The client is giving me pleading faces with their fingers in their ears, so I break a cardinal rule and get onto the stage. I try to look confident but respectful as I tap the entity on the shoulder, who responds with an evil glance and carries on breaking the sound system. I have to be firmer, and this time I gently but firmly turn the speaker around and lean them back, and politely, with bowed head, ask them to please stand a pace back and upright, as their speaking into the mic has prevented the audience from hearing any of their speech. I say it firmly but kindly. I also, because I'm not getting in trouble for this crap, say it loudly enough for the mic to pick it up so the audience can nod in approval and my break of etiquette can be forgiven.

You know what the little arse does? Pushes me AWAY. HARD. I actually stumble backwards - I'm only a tiny thing myself but it's the sort of push that would make bouncers smash your face in if you tried it with them.

THEN. Leans INTO the mic. Speaks EXTRA LOUDLY. And leaves me, dumbfounded, standing on the stage giving the audience a look of WTF before theatrically shrugging at the client and walking off.

We turned the mic down to near silence and let the audience talk amongst themselves.


And that is the one time I ever got onto stage during one of my own shows.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 11:35, 7 replies)
Just weird....

What happened after the speech? Did The Thing dive any explanation?
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 11:55, closed)
I wish I was making it up, but
...It disappeared in the lunchbreak. Just into thin air. General consensus was it had headed back to Faerie to join the other asexual boglins before the tube rush hour.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 23:54, closed)
Funny peculiar
Possibly a top three; have a click.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 11:58, closed)
Very nice story
What was its speech about? I wish you could tell us the monster's name :-(
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 13:31, closed)
The first question I can't answer, for two reasons. One, it was a closed conference, and more importantly two, I couldn't hear a fucking word.
And I can't remember its name. Its face sort of wiped it from my memory. Let's call it Rumplestiltskin.
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 0:02, closed)
This is it. All My Scars said it - possible top three.
What happened afterwards? If they'd shoved me like that they would have had their head repeatedly smashed into the podium and the microphone shoved up their arse.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 14:17, closed)
As mentioned above, not much.
It disappeared. I got an apology from the client. Nothing nearly as exciting as a freak vs event producer smackdown with a VGA cable and a number mic paddle. Sorry.
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 0:05, closed)

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