“The (acclaimed) director said he isn’t going to turn the music down, he said he paid for the theater space and tonight’s our tech.”
It’s 6:30pm on Thursday evening, an hour before my audience is due to start arriving and 90 minutes before the start of A Superior Type of Girl in the studio space of the Salvage Vanguard theater. The Stage Manager for the Foot & Mouth* company’s production going on in the main stage looks a bit apologetic and embarrassed but reassures me that there’s absolutely nothing else she can do.
Suppressing my urge to be a complete dick about it I politely tell the Stage Manager that I’ll call Zach, the theater manager. Right after I’ve been a bit of a dick about it on the phone to Zach, she comes back. They’re not going to play their music at full blast while my show is going on after all. The acclaimed director has apparently changed up a lot of their blocking so they’re going to focus on that and keep the music down.
I resist the urge to ask what kind of fuckwit makes huge changes the night before you open. I already know who he is. Plus all this urge-resisting is good for my marriage.
I can tell Erik is a bit impressed (turned on?) by my restraint but I was semi-prepared for something to go wrong. Part of it comes from being an eternal pessimist/Brit. Actually nearly of it can be attributed to this. But I’ve had enough weird experiences right before an important performance to come to expect them. The one time I made the quarter-finals of the Funniest Person in Austin (not me) Contest I’d gone into the loos with a friend to put on some make-up. I left my make-up bag by the sink while I went for a wee and when I came out it had gone. There was only one other loo being used so after a bit of a kerfuffle over this I said to my friend in a very loud voice, ‘my make-up bag has gone, I’m going to have to call security’.
Fortunately the bog bag thief was too stupid to know that calling security would have been the biggest laugh of the evening. I left, but stood at the bar where I could still see the loo door and I watched the bog bag thief leave. And of course when I went back in my make-up bag was back at the sink. Disappointingly, nothing had been taken, though I did later get conjunctivitis from my Rimmel eyeliner so the joke was on me. And I didn’t make the semifinals.
Then there was my 2009 solo show at the Salvage Vanguard, this time on the mainstage. This was the Fronterafest Long Fringe and the height of my battle with my nemesis, Gemma Wilcox. This battle, admittedly unknown to her, culminated with her trying to poach my audience members with the lure of her ability to perform as multiple animal characters. Including thieving toad. She also stole my M&Ms. You can read more about that here.
So you see these things just happen to me. I think it is the universe trying to distract me from the fact that I am not as off-book with my lines as I would like to be. But the universe is an idiot because my time spent dealing with the acclaimed director’s stage manager would have been better employed doing another run-through. But no-one wants to call the universe an idiot in case something bad happens. You fools, have you not read The Secret? The universe can read your mind.
Where was I?
Ah, the Thursday night show. I do believe I’m procrastinating. Why does that word sound so much like masturbating? Is it just the ‘ing’? Or the context in which it is used? ‘I love to procrastinate’, ‘we spent the afternoon procrastinating’, ‘I procrastinated over the report I was writing’, etc.
I’ll quickly jump to the end to help those of you with a short attention span. We got back home and I was closing the garage door while also opening the door into the house. Stupidly I forgot the old prison saying ‘when one door closes, another one opens’ and instead opted for the lesser known ‘when one door isn’t quite shut and the other one is open, the dog will escape and chase a cat down the alley’. It probably looked funny (if you were a cold unfeeling bastard) as I raced after Riley screaming her name and waving my hands at the car pulling out of the driveway as the cat darted back and forth with Riley chasing. It would have been funny if Benny Hill music had been playing in the background.
Riley stopped long enough for Erik to pick her up in a sheep carry (he has a lot of experience**) and she was ingloriously taken into the house.
And in between my opening and closing story there was a show. And like god said when reflecting on what he had made, it was pretty good. Although it took me longer than 6 days to create. I am a brilliant bible scholar.
Thanks for being there.
* Not actually the Foot & Mouth company. Calling them this to prevent possible confusion with the Tongue & Groove theater company.
** Not with sheep