Friday, February 13, 2009

Well, I missed it...

I had quite been looking forward to reaching my 100th post. Excited even.

Then I hit a busy week, and there were bushfires down south, and floods up north, and the novelty of hitting my first century was entirely forgotten.

So welcome to my 102nd post. Triple figures. Fancy this blogging phase lasting this long!

To celebrate I'm going to describe one of my more embarrassing moments. Now, technically this would be much more fun if all of you described one of your embarrassing moments - that would seem like more of a celebration from where I'm standing. But I can't make you do that, and it would be quite unfair of me to describe my friends' embarrassing moments without their consent (yes, Benita, the massage table story is safe for a little while longer).

So here it is:-

My Beloved and I used to be part of the local Choral Society when we lived up north. Each year there would be a musical in the middle of the year followed by a concert in November that raised money for a local charity.

A few years back it was a big anniversary for Mr Rogers (of Rogers and Hammerstein/ Rogers and Hart fame) so the concert was excerpts from various things he had written. So far, so good. There's plenty to choose from: Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific and many, many others that I can't remember off the top of my head.

I was selected to play a role in an excerpt from Carousel. For anyone who knows Carousel, it was the only amusing scene in it, where the young girl is skilfully manipulated to allow the villain of the piece to embrace her as he apparently teaches her the art of self-defence. The bloke playing the villain had to lift me up in a fireman's lift, in which compromising situation my 'fiancee' was to find me and then repudiate me as I bawled loudly (but in tune) for the whole of the duet by the two men.

There were a few issues with the selection. For example, my broad American accent was enthusiastic, but possibly not quite authentic.

Then there was the fireman's lift.

Firstly, the villain was played by a man who was having trouble with one shoulder at the time. We had to be a bit careful.

Secondly, I'd been married for about 18 months and had started to gain a little weight.

Thirdly, one night at rehearsal I was wearing my work uniform which had a long, lined skirt. Unfortunately the skirt fabric stuck to the villain's shirt and the lining stuck to me and then the fabric and the lining decided to slide all over the place. No one was seriously injured, but it did give some idea of the precarious nature of what we were attempting.

But we eventually had it down pat. For the dress rehearsal I donned a very attractive gingham number, long skirt and button up top that I believe had been made for a production of Oklahoma some years previously. I had gloves, ankle boots, pretty ribbons in my hair and the whole bit.

But because costumes are often made for people to be able to change quickly, the buttons were actually fake and it was fastened down the front with press studs. Which were entirely adequate for the task, unless you were to subject them to extraordinary shear pressure. Like the weight of my body as I was lifted up onto a man's shoulders.

I heard/felt them go as I went up, but there was not much I could do about it (dress rehearsal stops for no-one). As we continued to play on I tried surreptitiously to do up the clips, but I couldn't do it while wearing gloves, so had no option but to cross my arms over my blouse, pretend to be crying into my hankie, and hope that I nothing that should be covered was too obvious.

The pianist, prompter and musical director were howling with laughter at my predicament. The cast was entirely professional.

Until we got to the end of the scene and went onto the next song on the programme - "June is busting out all over".

Chances that I didn't wear another blouse under my costume top for the performance?

... Approximately None.

Oh, and was it coincidence that Choral Society started doing two full dress rehearsals not long after this?


Givinya De Elba said...

Oh boy, great story! Glad you wore something else underneath for the performance!!

Femina said...

Great story! And I had no idea Rogers/Hammerstein and Rogers/Hart was the same Mr Rogers. I have learned something; the day has not been wasted.

Hippomanic Jen said...

I'd also forgotten the two nappy pins I used to reinforce the press studs. Fancy forgetting those!