I had to go "on" tonight!!!!

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Callum, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Callum

    Callum New Member

    Got a call last night from the stage manager of the show I've been understudying, notifying me that one of the actors I cover has been hospitalized. So, with with a one-hour "put-in" rehearsal, I went on as a character I had NEVER rehearsed as!!!! ARGHH!!! Oh, how stressed I was. I even spent ten minutes between the put-in rehearsal and the performance (there is an hour break) crying a bit...("Why, oh why does some one with CFS put himself through this!!! I'm going to STINK!!!")

    Well, thanks to an incredibly supportive cast, it went VERY WELL!!!! I got laughs in the right places, I didn't trip over any furniture, and I came offstage wondering what all my fuss was about.

    But, OH, the cost!!! My legs are like lead, and I can feel the flare coming on. But I think it was worth it.

    Thanks for those of you who encouraged me to take the plunge!

  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Good for you, Callum! I am so happy to hear that everything went well. What a great way to end
    the year. The only thing that would make me happier is if I had been in the audience.

    Yes, it's important not to trip over the furniture. Jerry Hadley wrote a hilarious article
    about his debut with the New York City Opera. He was singing the second tenor part
    in Lucia di Lammermoore. Somehow got his sword tangled up in his chair and dragged it
    across the stage. Capped this by setting his wig on fire.

    Another thing to avoid is knocking over the scenery. In 1968 I saw Donald O'Connor
    in Las Vegas. He was so exuberant he kicked a screen which fell on him and Yvonne De

    But no harm done. Did you notice the theme in the names? Yvonne and Lucia both have a
    "Dee" in the middle. On the other hand, Scarlet O'Hara had twice as many with "Fiddle-dee-dee."

    I hope we see more of you in the new year, Callum. As countless, thoughtful stars have observed
    over the years: I owe it to my fans.

  3. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    how thrilling! Had you had more time it probably would have been more time to fret and doubt and suffer. As it was you only had time enough to panic and then be astonishingly good. How you managed it I do not know but what a thrill that you did!

    You are AMAZING don't you think? Yeah, you are!

  4. jole

    jole Member

    And what a talented actor you are! I too wish I could be there for one of your performances. You deserve all things good! Best wishes for a great year ahead.....

    PS I think you should hire Rock on as your personal representative! LOL***Jole***
  5. Callum

    Callum New Member

    Linda, Rock, Cate, Rafiki, Jole and Julie,

    Thank you for the incredibly kind words of support. It truly amazes me how much encouragement and empathy I have received on this board for the past couple of years from people I have not even had the honor of meeting! Such a source of strength it is!

    I just found out that the man I covered for last night is more sick than originally thought, and I will be going on for him for the rest of the run. He is a dear, dear man, an incredible actor, and I ask that all of you that are inclined to dialogue with God/the universe/fill in the blank, that you include positive thoughts for him.

    Jole - LOL - I would put Rock on the payroll just to have him around!!! That wealth of trivia/experience, plus the amazing sense of humor... that alone would be worth more than I could afford!

    Rock - The Jerry Hadley story dragging the chair behind him brought to mind an experience I had while doing "Deathtrap." I was playing the older writer, and at the end of the play, the younger writer handcuffs me with my arms through a chair, then goes upstairs. The handcuffs are trick handcuffs, and I release myself, grab a crossbow from the wall, and shoot him the chest with an arrow (of course, it is staged where he is safely hidden away, and I'm shooting in to a rather large mattress that even Dick Cheney couldn't miss.)

    The problem arose when he gave me the WRONG PAIR OF HANDCUFFS! The props master, who had a drinking problem, had put the fake handcuffs on the other side of the stage, and a REAL pair in its place. So instead of an easy release, I had to drag a chair over to the wall, try to reach the cross bow (which was above my head) while lifting a 75 pound chair, and then try and load and shoot a crossbow while still handcuffed.

    I managed to load it, but when I shot it, the arrow flipped backwards instead of going up the stairs, where the other actor was hidden. He heard the sound of the crossbow fire, thought it was safe, and whipped out of his hiding place with another arrow in the center of his chest.

    I like getting big laughs, but not at the climatic moment of a murder mystery....

  6. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member


    So happy for you that it went well and sorry that you had to go through with all your worrying. Hope your flare doesn't last to long for you. Just try and rest a bit and TRY not to worry so. I know that is not an easy thing to do BUT you did a good job, better than you expected .

    Congratulations for doing so well , and sorry to hear about the guy you had to understudy for. Now, the hardest part should be over and you know you CAN do it. Maybe now with a little more time and preparation you can relax a little and go over it (your part) some just to make you feel better. You probably will also get a little nervous before hand but that is so normal. You probably already know your part well anyway !!

    God bless you, and continued good luck in your show !!

    Bravo !!!! Callum

    [This Message was Edited on 01/01/2009]
  7. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I'm so glad it went well for you -- all that nervous tension kept you razor sharp during the performance (if rattled and wiped out after!). There's definitely a reason why I always preferred back-stage work to acting!

    No doubt you have lots of fun stories to share, but the most nervous I have been before I performance was when I wasn't even supposed to BE in the performance...it was community theatre, and I was assistant to the director (I was supposed to be the Assistant Director, but the director was just 'too big' to 'need' or allow an AD). The actors had all reported, and it was an ensemble piece, but the actress with the most lines had laryngitis. The director decided that, since I'd been to all the rehearsals and there were no understudies, that I should sit with the sound guy and lip sync all her lines. It happened just like it was supposed to (and I even caught when her partner dropped lines). But I was a mess after. UGH!

    Not to mention that this actress was no-one's favorites. She was dating a board member (and director of the previous play -- you know how community theatre is), and we were informed that she did not WANT to be given any type of timing instructions from the stage manager (me). So she had missed a big cue one night (she was supposed to walk in on a couple kissing....turned into the longest kissing scene in creation tee hee!), and for some reason lived in fear of us filling her prop suitcase with bricks. That part was especially funny as she really thought it WAS the last night, and picked it up with extra gusto, only to find it completely empty (as usual). (Funny how that lowly stage hand who placed the suitcase onstage managed to find it so 'heavy'!)

    Enjoy the continuation of your show...wish I could be there. I sure do miss the fun!
  8. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    It certainly sounds like it was worth it to me - what a feeling, worth the pain.

    I'm glad you got the chance and that it went so well for you.

    Well done!!

    Just read your other post Callum, so sorry about this poor man, I hope he recovers and good luck to you.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/03/2009]
  9. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    How exciting!! Pat yourself on the back and get lots of rest between shows.

    I live about two hours south of Chicago and would love to see the play.

    My one stint of acting was in seventh grade in A Midsummer's Night Dream". The curtain rose and I froze I don't even remember who I played. I don't think it was Hamlet. However, the audience of 7th graders probably didn't understand Shakespeare, anyway.

    My daughter is an actress and my grandparents were in vaudeville. They also used to do the piano playing during silent films and I think (?) even some of the words. My mother was on stage one time when she was six. We always said she killed Vaudeville!!

    I love these stories about stage "mishappenings", however do not want to take away from your glory. I would love to hear more.

    We will be rooting for you.


    Who the heck mentioned Yvonne DeCarlo? I do remember a few movies she was in before the TV series but they were reruns on TV. Now I feel old and can't get the themesong of the Munster's out of my head. Smiley face here!!

    [This Message was Edited on 01/03/2009]