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Okay, here's the "falling off the stage" story :-)


We were doing a play at the church where I was Music Minister, and at one point I had about 20 seconds of black-out to make it from the front of the (very small) church out the back door and out of sight.  In order to do this, I carried a small flashlight in my pocket which I would squeeze to make it light up.  On opening night, I started moving towards the two steps at the front of the "stage" area, squeezing the flashlight as I went, only to realize I was holding the flashlight backwards, so it only lit up the palm of my hand.  Still moving, I turned the flashlight around, just in time to illuminate my foot stepping off into empty space!  I rolled down the steps, bounced up, and ran up the aisle to the back door.  Once I was outside the sanctuary, I just kept running in circles, mumbling, "Ow, ow, ow, ow!" while one of the other cast members ran in circles behind me, asking, "Are you okay?  Are you okay?  Are you okay?"  I was okay, just a little shook up!


Then, to top it off, when I came to the church the next night, two other cast members were there before me.  They were sitting in the make-up room, watching the video of the previous night's play and laughing hysterically.  "Oh, good," they said when I entered.  "Come here - watch this!"  I saw the end of my scene, then the screen went black; after a few seconds, there was a loud and prolonged crashing noise, and a few seconds later the lights came up and the play continued.  I wish I had been able to get a copy of that video - it WAS pretty funny :-)


Basically, I'm a big ham who will do almost anything on stage to get a laugh, and I've managed to build a career performing as a pianist/music director/choir director.  Not always to get a laugh, but sometimes the opportunity's there (whether intentional or accidental), so why not go with it?  I mean, having a job where you get to entertain people and hear them laugh at your jokes?  Is that great or what!?!  (If I had to choose to be someone else, I would be Victor Borge!)



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"Like the time I fell off the stage in the middle of a play...I've gotten a lot of mileage out of that one :-)"


Spike Milligan once tripped and fell flat on his face when making a dramatic exit in "Son of Oblomov" (if what remains of my memory is correct).  Rather than trying to recover, hie just looked up at the other cast members and say "you carry on, I'm just going to chat to these midgets down here".  Then launched into a hilarious impromptu 15-minute monologue with the imaginary midgets, and had the audience and the cast doubled up in laughter.


So you are in very good company!

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