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The Tom Cherry Experience

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The View from Backstage

Ok, here's what happened during Friday's performance of Into the Woods...

Left the Group Home to go the theatre. I had to use a different route to get there since all the roads surrounding the fairgrounds were full of traffic. The high school band contest seems to be drawing in a big crowd.

I'm downstairs in the basement green room. It's deserted since everyone is using the other green room upstairs. I have been hanging out down here during the show. I consider it The Mysterious Man's hidden inner sanctum. Some puddles are on the floor due to some minor flooding that occurred earlier in the week. Time to get dressed!

I just got finished dressing. I have a love/hate relationship with safety pins. I love them because they keep my costume together yet I hate them because I keep jabbing myself with them as I pin things down. Can you get tetanus from safety pins? Geesh, I hope not!

For my costume, I wear three layers of clothing. I look very raggedy and disheveled. The costume is basically falling apart each time I wear it. I have discovered during my short stint in theatre that I'm very rough on my costumes. They slowly become potential dishrags during the show's run.

Wearing three layers of clothing can get hot at times, but things were slightly less comfortable when I had a layer of hemp rope attached to me. The rope looked great on me, but it proved to be impractical. Every time I moved, the rope would slip off and I would have to keep pinning it back in place. Fortunately for me, the rope was permanently dropped from my garb.

Argh! I flicked myself in the eye with one of my long sleeves and dislodged my contact lens! Okay, I'm better now. Theatre can be dangerous!

Moved upstairs to say hello to some of my fellow actors and the crew.

The house is now open.

I grab some spirit gum from a makeup kit and my one and only prop, a small bag of gold.

The show is going to begin in a matter of minutes! Time to put on my long, white beard and wig! I start to spread the spirit gum around my mouth and then I do the same thing to the mustache of the beard. Let's hope everything sticks together!

All set! The show should be starting any second!

Yow! While leaping about on stage, I landed wrong and twisted my ankle. Down I went! Of course, the show must go on so I jumped up and wobbled my way through the rest of the scene. Damn, the theatre is dangerous!

Jack (played by the very talented Corey Mills) is singing "Giants in the Sky". That's my cue to get ready for my next scene. My ankle feels okay, I think.

Have to reapply some spirit gum. I got the beard wet as I attempted to drink some water and now it is slipping off.

The beard is back in place. I'm hoping it stays up during the rest of the act.

Act I is now over! I pulled my beard and wig off right after my big death scene. Being under all that hair has been hotter than usual for some reason tonight. I'm glad it is off for the moment.

The show is going very strong tonight despite my tumble. I'm working with such a wonderfully talented cast and crew. Everyone is doing remarkably well. The audience seems to be enjoying the performance. Let's hope they stick around for Act II!

Down in the green room, Judy Malone and Jerry Cole, the show's musical accompanists and my friends, offer me some French roasted peanuts. They're such decent folk! Thanks, Judy and Jerry!

I'm now walking like Fred Sanford. Elizabeth, I'm coming to join you, honey!

Upstairs the giant (The kind and generous Carol Casazza) is killing off some of the cast while I make sure I remember the lyrics to my musical number, "No More".

Okay, I need to reassemble myself.

I'm back to my Mysterious Man self. On stage, The Baker's Wife (The lovely Lisa Etchison) is about to meet her end. This show shares a bit with slasher films: Once you have sex, you end up dead. At least, that's The Baker's Wife's fate.

I'm heading up for a confrontation with my son, The Baker (Hello, Marty Grubbs!). I hope it goes well.

It did go well. Marty is such a good actor. He's so heavily invested in his role that it's not hard to feel his anger and grief when I'm on stage with him. I think our last scene together always works well.

Okay, I'm tempted to take off the beard and wig again, but I must wait until we take our final bows. 

While waiting for the finale, here's a list of things that is currently in my beard: A crumbled up chocolate bar, Hawaiian Punch, Aim toothpaste, maple syrup, shaving cream, black spray paint, a raspberry Danish, dirt, twigs, Taco Bell hot sauce, ketchup, some things I'm sure I'm forgetting, and some dried up flowers I found in the green room that was for the cast of Honk! (According to the card, the Muncie Civic Theatre board sent them. Tomorrow night I'm planning on putting the card in my beard).

The giant is dead! Time to wrap things up.

And we did wrap things up, successfully I think. My ankle is currently bruised and swelled up a bit though. I've been hobbling about since Friday, but it's getting better. Oh, and thanks to Tim, Brad, Eric, and Emily for coming to see the show!


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