Embarrassing Moments? Deb Linda Says Go For the Applause!

I know what you’re thinking. How can a woman who posts a picture like this…


…in her second ever Deb post possibly be embarrassed by anything?

And you’d have a point. I really don’t embarrass easily, but there are things that will abash even me. Especially things onstage. (Hmm. Could be why I switched professions. If I embarrass myself on the page, I usually have the option to edit.)

Would that I had had that option on a few notable occasions while I was performing. *sigh*

The first was while I was still in college. We were staging Arsenic and Old Lace, and I was playing Martha, one of the elderly aunts who, along with her sister, had a penchant for poisoning the gentlemen who visited their home.

Now, I was always a tad OCD when it came to memorizing my lines. Like a lot of actors, I lived in terror of blowing a line in front of an audience, so I tended to run them over and over in my head backstage.

Yup, I had those lines down pat. It was my entrance cue I missed.

My poor fellow actors were left floundering onstage for a good minute and a half (trust me, that’s an eternity in floundering-actor time) while I diligently made sure I wouldn’t forget what to say when I, yannoh, got around to joining them.

Fortunately, my cast-mates were skilled at their craft, and ad-libbed nicely by saying (loudly enough to get my attention), “I WONDER WHERE MARTHA COULD BE!”

Um, yeah. Needless to say, “Martha” was a little red by the time she got her aged butt out there.

The second time was onstage at Melodrama Theater. Now, as its name would imply, we put on old-fashioned melodramas, complete with innocent ingenues and mustache-twirling villains. The audience was strongly encouraged to cheer the hero and boo the villain, and even (pay attention—this part is important) to throw popcorn at the villain. Not only was this fun for the audience members, it also meant we sold a lot more popcorn, which has a high profit margin, which in turn meant the actors could be paid.

Unfortunately, popcorn is slippery. The stage was always swept between acts, but you still had to be wary. Sadly, on one occasion, as I was making my big entrance as Showgirl Flora (along with my fellow showgirl, Fauna), ready to make a splash with our big number—”If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait”— I was not wary enough. I slipped on a stray piece of the treacherous white stuff, and fell ass over teakettle, landing solidly on my backside, high-heeled purple suede boots flying high in the air.

Let me tell you, it’s hard to maintain any pretense to grace after that.

ADDENDUM: I have been informed by TG that setting three consecutive toaster ovens on fire is way more embarrassing than anything I ever did onstage. But he was my only witness there, and he’s more than accustomed to my incompetence in the kitchen, so frankly I’m not really embarrassed about that. Still, he insists I should be.


So, have you done anything to make your cheeks turn red lately? Onstage or off, your choice.


P.S. Oh, my gosh! I almost forgot the most important thing:

The Debutante Ball Query Critique Contest!

The Debs are giving away query critiques to 5 of our beloved readers! To be eligible, just leave a comment any day during our Submissions week (Starting Monday April 9 and up to and including Saturday, April 14ths post—contributed by our FABULOUS guest agent Michelle Wolfson) and specify if you’d like to be entered in the contest (starting April 9th) and we will randomly select 5 winners. You’ll have up to two weeks to send us a digital copy of your query letter (for books in any genre) and we’ll give you feedback on the query. We’re so excited to see what everyone is working on!



55 Replies to “Embarrassing Moments? Deb Linda Says Go For the Applause!”

  1. Oh, Linda–I think that popcorn example gives new meaning to the theater term of “going up” on one’s lines!

    And three toaster ovens strikes me as more impressive than embarrassing. Just sayin’, TG. 😉

    1. LOL! And, yeah, I thought the toaster oven thing was impressive, too. I mean, anyone can burn up one or two, but three? Now, that takes effort. 😉

          1. Nothing can draw him out of the shadows quicker than a reminder about those toaster ovens. Sheesh, it’s not like I *cough* did it on purpose or anything, just so he’d be afraid to let me cook…

  2. LOL! And then LOL again! TG is wrong; the stage stuff is far more embarrassing. Also, I’ve now got a hankering for some purple suede boots.

  3. Embarrassing? Me? Hah. Except maybe for that thing last week when I called a guy at the radio station to beg for a couple of promo interviews for an event I’m organizing, then called him by the wrong name. Yeah, way to butter him up.

    1. LOL! See, this is why I tend to call everyone “sweetie” or “hon.” They may think I’m overly familiar, but at least they don’t realize I’ve forgotten their names. 😉

  4. Did I ever tell you about the time I got my boyfriend’s nuts caught in my braces?

    True story.

    We were at a crowded restaurant that had a dessert bar with about eight people. Due to the long line, we all agreed to make our own table-sized dessert bar so everyone headed to the long line and returned to the table with dishes of ice cream, toppings, brownies, and so on.

    As we indulged that first spoonful of ice cream sundae, one of my friend’s said, “Oh, I have your sprinkles caught in my teeth. I replied, “I have Fred’s nuts caught in my braces.”

    As in, actual nuts – not the testicular variety.

    The entire table choked with laughter. A passing waiter had to put down his tray. People at neighboring tables applauded. Worse, they had to EXPLAIN to me why it was so funny.

    I was 16. To this day, the story is told whenever ice cream is served.

      1. I can’t top that!!!! ROTFL!!! But when I was a kid, we had an old Tom cat who happened to walk up to my father’s rain goulashes by the front door and peed in them. I got up and school and told everyone how my cat peed in my dad’s rubbers. Hey, that’s what everyone called them. :o)

  5. Embarrassing? Me? Hahahahaha. Too many instances to count, I fear. This may be one of the reasons I never have dyed my hair. When I realize I’ve done one of my inevitable idiotic moves I put on my dizziest look, bat my baby blues, and just play up the blondeness.

  6. Great post, Linda and a big thank you for hauling out the shower picture, that I still say should have made it into your author photo post.

    Patty’s nutty story (along with the season) reminds me of a family dinner way back when I was really young and didn’t have any knowledge of worldly things. Well, I guess made up my own words sometimes, and right in the middle of a big family Seder, I yelled across the table, calling my brother a dildo. My mom and aunt did spit-takes, but it wasn’t until years later that I realized why.

  7. It doesn’t top nuts in braces but a few years ago, I used to teach software classes. I was in a large room that had a view screen built right into the wall. My presentation was projected directly on to it just by connecting to the podium – all quite simple.

    During the lunch break, I decided to work on my WIP, an adult contemporary romance with a very steamy love scene. I THOUGHT I had disconnected the laptop from the podium. I typed away, lost in the moment, when my students returned to the classroom. All were quiet, like library quiet, an unnatural quiet.

    When the hour was up, I ‘reconnected’ the laptop and was about to restart the class when one of my students said, “Oh no! Don’t leave us hanging! What happens to Sheri and Thomas?”

    Not only did I nearly faint, but I realized I’d stopped writing just before the ah… climax 🙂

  8. Since nothing can beat having Fred’s nuts caught in my teeth…

    Actually, where to start? Let’s see…there was the time I was doing a current events report in 5th grade and mixed up two stories which meant I announced the male flasher was cited for using a deadly weapon. Or the time I very nicely pushed all the shopping carts into the cart corral, however the rear gate was open and I sent a dozen carts careening into on-coming traffic. Or the time my front-closure padded bra burst open and caused me to look like ther was an X-Wing fighter beneath my sweater set…while teaching 9th graders…

    Oh, I could go on all day really…

    I must say though Linda, you look mighty good in a towel. 🙂

    1. *Snort!* Oh my, Kristina! Too funny. Especially the X-Wing fighter in front of (OMG!) ninth-graders! THAT must’ve been fun to live down.

      And thanks. 🙂

  9. I have a very high embarrassment threshold, a self-centred tendency to assume that everybody else enjoys unintentional double entendres as much as I do, and a lousy memory.

    So no, I can’t remember any embarrassing moments. Probably my friends and family could come up with a long list, though. 🙂

  10. Not that I haven’t DONE anything that was worthy of embarrassment lately, but I’m mostly impervious to it by now. Worst embarrassment on stage was when I was playing Laura in “Tea and Sympathy” and deliver my oh-so-dramatic line at the end about, “Years from now, when you remember this … and you will … be kind.” While delivering those words, I’m slowly unbuttoning my blouse, and the lights were SUPPOSED to be dimming, and then fading to black. Only trouble was, the schmuck running the lights kept the full spotlight on me the whole time. No fade. No black. Me, young, terrified and more than a little pissed, yelled, LIGHTS!” (Talk about ruining the scene.)

  11. Most of my embarrassing moments involve being tongue-tied at critical moments, actually stammering over my words, and occasionally hugging the wall and hiding out in the lady’s room at events where I’m supposed to be schmoozing and selling my book. The thing about wallflowers is that nobody notices them, so the only witness to my embarrassment is usually myself.

  12. I do so much that not much embarrasses me any more – although like your toaster ovens, it should. My most recent klutz attack was Tuesday when I somehow knocked an entire green bean casserole to the floor and broke the dish in the process…at a funeral reception.

  13. I adore that picture of you! It’s nice to know that you wear your glasses in the shower 🙂

    Whenever I’m getting a little self-impressed, St.Matt likes to remind me of the time I backed my car into our house…

    1. Aw, thanks. 🙂 Doesn’t everyone wear their glasses in the shower? I mean, how else could I read the plot notes I scribble on the tiles with a grease pencil?

      And you backed into your HOUSE? Heck, I thought I was doing pretty good when I knocked the side mirror off my car as I backed out of the garage, but yours is way better. 😉

  14. Or… As St.Matt just reminded me. I had a stellar moment last night when we were walking around town, which was crowded with teenagers since it was a warm Friday night during their spring break.

    St.Matt stopped to tie his shoe and said, ‘Hang on one sec.”

    Being an brat, and more than a little impatient (hey, the walk signal was flashing) I said LOUDLY. “No secs!”

    The crowd of teens went instantly quiet and the burst into laughter… and THAT was when I realized how it sounded. *cringe*

  15. YES! Enter me in that contest, please! 🙂

    I think I already told my embarrassing moment…on your blog, no less. Something about stepping onto a stage after the band’s last song, then turning to leave and misjudging the weight of the speaker (which I was meant to gracefully hop off of) and landing on all fours amidst a crowd of, “OHHHHH!!!!” The worst part wasn’t my knees (they stayed bruised for a week), and it wasn’t even facing the band again. It was that everyone thought I was a beer-guzzling clutz, when I otherwise would’ve made it off that stage fine if only I hadn’t stepped on the darn speaker! Le sigh…

    1. Hi Jessica – the contest starts today and we’re taking the entries from this week’s six posts (April 9 – 14 inclusive) so please make sure you comment on one of those posts, indicating that you’d like to be entered. Thanks and good luck!

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