A recent tag on Twitter by my friend Vashti asked me to reveal something personal about myself. I shared the fact that I had once taken acting classes. That memory caused me to shudder and laugh simultaneously. Are you gonna ask me why?
(Whew … for a minute there I didn’t think you were gonna cooperate.)
So … the acting classes led to a few forgettable amateur performances with a group of like-minded but otherwise normal people.
Trust me Laurence Olivier’s reputation wasn’t in any danger of being outshone.
But, hell … we were a dedicated bunch. In a group like that you soon learn to put your hand up for anything remotely connected to a production, which meant we all worked scenery, props, backstage and front of house when we weren’t actually selected to be up on that stage ourselves. Like I said dedicated. Or maybe certifiable.
Anyways … I was chosen for a part in the next production. It was a great part. I got to be shot and die on stage as the final curtain came down and everything! Seriously! I mean let’s face it that was probably the greatest challenge ever handed an aspiring actor. I rehearsed the hell out of that final scene. I perfected pitching forward as I’m shot from behind and landing face down on the floorboards, but with a side view so the audience could get a clear view of my dead face as my shocked lover comes forward and kneels over me in an agony of loss. My assassin still stands with his gun in his hand and a shocked look on his face.
Are you with me so far?
That was the pivotal curtain moment.
Meanwhile back on the floorboards I lay, unmoving. I held it, I had that sucker under perfect control, until my dead nose came in contact with a pile of dust that one of us hadn’t quite swept off stage before the curtain came up.
I felt the dust reaction hit my senses and I began willing that damned curtain down. But my mourning lover was milking the hell out of his big scene and I knew I was in trouble.
I thought my head was about to explode.
At last my lover moaned out his last effort and the silence just before the curtain drops permeated the theatre … and I let loose the sneeze from hell.
I was mortified. Especially when I heard that first snicker, you know that embarrassed snicker you make just before you double up laughing? Yeah … that’s the one. Multiply that by about thirty folks still sitting in our audience. Uh-huh. Yep. And then I heard it … A voice in the crowd that carried well called out ‘Bless You’ and the whole place erupted. To make matters worse my lover collapsed in gales of hysteria over my no longer dead body which had his boyfriend off stage wishing me dead all over again.
My assassin barely managed to put the gun prop down before she cracked up completely.
Need I say that the only stage I was ever welcomed back on was the first one outta town.
True story. Seriously it is … even I couldn’t come up with this one.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope that my sharing a memorable moment has helped you to smile.
Have you ever had an oddly pivotal moment like that?
I’d love you to share it.