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 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!