Sunday, October 21, 2012

Giggles and other stuff (storytime, children)

Last night The Denton Affair had a show at the Rave theater in Florence, KY. We only do those quarterly, so I had never been to one until I was cast last-minute in last night's show, as Brad.

Rave theaters are weird. The seats are stadium-style and super-plush, and up high are the most expensive ones that are like couches. This particular theater had 364 seats and we filled maybe 50 of them. The audience had a surprising amount of older people in it--I've gotten used to the crowds of giggly 15-year-olds who watched the Glee episode.

The show went smoothly, for the most part. Until the end. Riffraff and Magenta come in brandishing what's supposed to be a laser gun thing and with it they threaten, then kill, Frank. (The link will take you to a recording of one of the RKO Army's performances of that scene.) Except Jake, our Riff for the night, had forgotten to bring the one from the Esquire. So he grabbed one of those tinsel table centerpieces out of the party room that the Rave had offered us as a dressing room. It was pink and glittery, with little paper balloons on it. It was ridiculous. I had mentioned to Chris (who played Dr. Scott) earlier in the show that as the night wore on, everything seemed to be getting more and more absurd. He thought I mean absurdly funny, but I meant it in a more Camus' "The Stranger" sort of way. But also, I suppose, funny.

And now Riffraff was marching toward us with a grim angry look on his face, brandishing this ridiculous object at us. I started to giggle but tried to control myself. I can usually hold it together until I get out of the spotlight. It got worse as I kept looking at this thing that Jake was shoving in Chris' face. I hid in Janet's (Hannah's) hair and tried to get a grip. I couldn't stop laughing. My stomach muscles were starting to cramp. Hannah was smiling too, probably because I was laughing in her ear.

The line of dialogue that sends Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott off stage is Riffraff's imperious, vaguely threatening, "go. Now."

Jake said instead, "Happy. Birthday."

I wheeled Dr. Scott across the stage and collapsed on the other side, wheezing. I couldn't stop until it was time for Superheroes. It was one of those silent, crippling laugh-attacks, where all you can do is curl up in a ball and wheeze and your face looks like you might even be in pain but really you just cannot stop laughing so hard you feel you might pass out. I pulled it together long enough to do Superheroes straight-faced, barely.

I will say in my defense that I was very tired and I woke up this morning with a head cold, so I wasn't entirely well, either. But that was one of the most egregious breaks in character I've ever had, in over two years of playing Brad.

Like this, but with balloons instead of baseballs.

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