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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I couldn't help it

    It's amazing how the busy part of my day doesn't usually start until about 6:30 p.m. It's at that point that I make it to the theater, joke around get ready with my friends, and put on a show.

    And on lucky days like this, I then hop on over to The Universal City Walk to have a late dinner with my brother Josh. We talk over shrimp and connect with our waiter as we discuss with him everything from football to Mel Brooks to the suite in Cinderella's Castle.

    I get home at one o' clock, crawl into bed and ice my knee (gotta up the hamburger intake again, I guess!), but am not nearly ready to put an end to the good times quite yet. And really, can you blame me? 

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     But let me tell you about the worst time I cracked on stage. It's pretty fresh in my mind, seeing as it just happened this past Sunday. 

       Those of you who know ACL will recall the most poignant part of the show. It's when Paul falls down and hurts himself, catalyzing an intense discussion among the remaining actors which encompasses the risks of our business as well as the looming question for every dancer, 

      What would you do if you couldn't dance anymore? 

        So there is the back story, and now let me tell you my recent...um...unanticipated choice for my character in this scene. 

        Right, so Paul had just gotten hurt and we were mournfully watching him get carried off stage. Well, everyone was except for me and Colt, that is...

         Colt and I had been embracing, and as soon as we stopped I happened to glance at another actor on stage I will call "Pat."  Pat was standing there, looking very concerned over poor injured Paul, with hands demurely clasped behind her back. The audience could only see Pat's front, as she was facing squarely forward. 

         Being further upstage than Pat, I, however, could see what was going on behind her.

          Or more appropriately, what was going on in her behind.

         As I mentioned, Pat had her hands clasped behind her, but her thumbs pointing downward.  Well, not downward, exactly, as they were literally digging deep into her crack, for lack of a better term.

         Slowly and methodically, she was moving those thumbs up and down, so as to reach the entire length of the crack--all while keeping her face arranged in a manner as to look very concerned for Paul and give away nothing of the virtual butt-scratching marathon that was going on. Seriously, you could barely even see her hands anymore, she was that far in.

           Well, I saw this in the blink of an eye. The next moment Colt happened to look over and see the exact same thing. Our dreadful mistake was meeting eyes.  

            We absolutely lost it. 

             We both hunched over and made the kinds of noises that one makes when either spewing out an undesirable drink or simply trying to suppress a laugh.

             We tried and lost. Miserably.

             So while Paul was being carried off stage because he just sustained a career-ending injury, Kristine and Al were laughing. Like I said, it was a choice. I never said it was a good one.

              The next moment we were all supposed to be looking towards the upstage right wing, where Paul had just left, frozen and sad. I couldn't even look there, since the audience would see my profile and the jig would be up; I had to turn my head completely upstage while I made tiny and not so tiny snorting noises and tried to quell the involuntary shaking of my shoulders.   
            Colt and I couldn't even touch or meet eyes for the next five minutes of the scene. If we did, we'd lose it all over again. The poor guy had lines coming up--sooner than my one line towards the end--and he, at least, needed to get control of himself.  

             I started thinking very hard about the saddest events I could conjure up--my parents' dying, my family's new puppy dying--As soon as I got sufficiently sad and thought I was okay, the image of Pat, wrist deep in her you-know-where, came back to mind and I started the horrible snorting sounds all over again. 

              At one point Colt even whispered, You. Have. To. Stop. 

              As if I didn't know that; as if all of my energy and might wasn't going towards that exact thing.  

              It was bad, very bad. Not my most professional moment, I should say. However, I will maintain that digging into one's crack on stage while showing this sympathetic look might not be the epitome of professionalism either. So for the record, it wasn't all me, is all I'm saying. 

10 comments:

kathiek said...

First of all, EWW!! Thankfully, you didn't have any scenes where you had to shake hands with her or anything!

I empathize, Jess...I know I would have lost it, too, and probably started that crazy, uncontrollable silent laughing-that-turns-into-crying that happens to me sometimes!! Oh my gracious!! "Pat" doesn't read this blog, does she?!

Nina said...

I wouldn't have been able to keep myself from losing it either. That's hilarious -- and anything is funnier when you're not supposed to laugh. Why is that?

Emily said...

oh, that is hysterical, and also very graphic... my mind can't seem to shake the image! wow.

peaj said...

I thought all dancers did that.

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Did your threatre bosses notice? "Crack"-ed me up too as you told it...

jessica said...

Not that I know of-but the cast sure noticed and wanted to know what the heck so was soooooo funny...:)

silk said...

Ya know, laughing uproariously while the rest of the family is asleep in their beds just a few feet away including one who has to get up for an hour and a half commute to work in a couple of hours isn't the best choice either. You might have warned us at the beginning of the blog. Really, I need to go get some tissues now to wipe up the keyboard.

Maybe she was looking for her gerbil.

I think you should do a column for a trade journal. Perhaps an etiquette column. Lordy that was funny.

semi anonymous said...

I'm sorry Jess, that was me, I sometimes forget where I am commenting.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Yes, I suppose I should have started with a disclaimer--but then where would have been the element of surprise...?:-)

Michele said...

First of all - Kathie, really! Second of all - HILARIOUS!!!! You have a gift Jessica :)