Must Be A Very Artsy Play

, , , , | Working | July 26, 2018

(I work in a theater. Before the show, a bunch of us are in the production office. One of the administrators comes by. They’re doing readings of plays in the theatre this week.)

Assistant Stage Manager: “What play are they reading tonight?”

Administrator:Discharge.

(Everyone looks uncomfortable.)

Me: *jacked up on coffee* “That’s… unpleasant.”

Administrator: “Oh! No, it’s about military discharge.”

Coworker #1: “Oh! Yeah, that’s where my mind went, too.”

Coworker #2: “Same.”

Coworker #3: *nods*

Administrator: “I can see why you would think that, now that I think about it. I just have more context than you guys do.”

Bat On The Roof

, , , , , , | Learning | July 21, 2018

(In my high school, the musical theater program is incredible, and their performances are almost as popular as football games. This year’s “Fiddler On The Roof” makes its way onto the local news with a 30-second snippet from one of the songs before it shows for three nights. Between students, parents, and people who saw it on the news, the theater is packed. This theater also has bats and mice; the bats usually aren’t a problem as they are nocturnal, but the play is at night. A bat switches from flying over the audience to hiding in the rafters continuously as people are being seated. It causes quite a stir in the audience. Note: There is a snack bar outside but people are expected to eat in the lobby — because of the mice there is a very strict no-eating policy in the theater. Most people do it, anyway, including me.)

Student Announcer: *over mic* “Hello, and welcome to Fiddler On The Roof. Before we begin our show, we have a few rules to go over. First, there is no eating in the theater; please take any of the food from the snack bar you stuffed in your bags, thinking we wouldn’t notice, out to the lobby to eat .”

(She waits a moment.)

Student Announcer: “All right. As nobody has gotten up, I can only assume you all are the most perfect audience we have ever had, or you all ignored me and will continue to eat. This is against the rules for everybody except for the bat; he is a VIP guest. Secondly, please do not shout individual actors’ names during the performance; this takes the actors and the other audience members out of the performance. If you see the bat, please do not shout his name, either; he’s not an actor, but he is very sad he does not have a name. Do not worry; he will take his seat when we dim the lights.”

(The audience is dying of laughter as she talks. She goes over a few more rules.)

Student Announcer: “All right. I think that’s it. The bat has his seat? He has a water bottle and a brownie. Okay, now that the bat is settled in, we will begin our show momentarily.”

(The show went on amazingly; the actors were incredible and never broke character, and everybody was fully immersed in the show. Although we could see the bat flying around the audience and in front of the stage, we assumed with people moving around it wouldn’t fly onto the stage. Lo and behold, when two characters were “frozen in time” facing each other as the main character walked around giving his deep inner monologue, the bat began to fly around on stage. The actor ignored it, but the audience was dying of laughter during this very serious monologue. When the characters were “unfrozen,” the girl began proclaiming her love for the guy standing in front of her. It was supposed to be a serious moment, and despite the actress giving an amazing performance, the bat returned. As the bat flew around behind her, the guy across from her slightly broke character, and his eyes began following the bat. Eventually, the bat flew past directly behind the girl, a wing hit her hair, and then the bat flew directly into a curtain with an audible noise. The two other actors on stage tried to control their laughter and the actress tried to continue her performance while dealing with the fact that a bat just hit her. It was the funniest thing to happen out of such a serious performance.)

Using Your Actual Name Is The Ticket

, , | Right | May 8, 2018

(I work in a local theatre that has a lot of repeat customers. We keep their information on file for future bookings and our system prints their tickets with the last name we have on file. As such, we get a lot of people who get confused about which name the tickets are under if they’ve since changed their name or booked under a larger group. One night, a group comes up to the box office looking mightily pissed off and dragging our house manager behind them.)

House Manager: “Can you help find these people’s tickets? They aren’t at the theatre doors.”

Me: *to guest* “Okay, what last name were they booked under?”

Guest #1: “Yeah, we’ve already been up there and they didn’t have our tickets.”

Me: “I understand, ma’am, but which last name were they booked under? Or were they booked under a larger group?”

Guest #2: “No way. I already paid for my tickets and they should be under my name.”

Me: “So you made the reservation?”

Guest #1: “No, I did.”

Me: “All right, so what’s your last name?”

Guest #1: “It’s probably under [Last Name #1] or [Last Name #2].”

Me: “Did you try both those last names at the theatre doors already?”

Guest #1: “I told you; they didn’t have our tickets!”

(I look through our system, but as both last name are extremely common, I get too many results to narrow it down.)

Me: “What was the first name?”

Guest #2: “Mine or hers?”

Me: “The full name the tickets would’ve been booked under.”

Guest #1: “[First Name] [Last Name #1].”

(I look through the system and find the proper amount of tickets under that name with an icon saying they’ve already been printed.)

Me: “Okay, so the tickets have already been printed and they should be waiting at the theatre doors.”

Guest #1: “We already tried that! They didn’t have our tickets!”

Me: “Did you try both last names, [Last Name #1] and [Last Name #2]? They should be under the last name, [Last Name #1].”

Guest #1: “You go over there and ask; we’ve already been!”

Guest #2: “Fine, I’ll go check!”

([Guest #1] stayed behind to fume while [Guest #2] went to ask at the doors. Not ten seconds later, she called over that they had the tickets under [Last Name #1]. [Guest #1] stormed off in a huff back to the doors without another word. Guess they didn’t think to try their own last name.)

You Have Goth To Be Kidding

, , , , , | Friendly | May 5, 2018

(We just finished auditioning for “High School Musical” and are making small talk with the director, who knows most of us pretty well. The audition dealt a lot with the different cliques in the show and how they would be portrayed, so our conversation inevitably drifts to that.)

Actor: “I asked [Musical Director] if we could have an emo clique, but he said emos can’t be in musicals.”

Director: “Well, actually, I’m thinking there will be a group of… I think I’ll call them, ‘Utility Students’… who will play different things in different scenes. Like, sometimes if I need two extra brainiacs, they’ll be brainiacs. So they’ll probably be emos and goths for at least one scene.”

Actor: *extremely cheerful and upbeat* “Yes! I am amazing at being emo! Like, seriously, I know I’m wearing a colorful sweater right now, but my entire wardrobe is black and blacker. I’m the most emo person you’ve ever met!”

(They didn’t seem to catch the irony.)

One Is About Nuts, And One Isn’t

, , , | Right | May 1, 2018

(I’m setting up for a stand-up comedy show one afternoon at the theatre on campus. It’s late morning, and I’m the only one in the building. I’m sweeping the stage when a middle-aged woman walks into the house, and the following exchange occurs.)

Woman:The Nutcracker isn’t here, is it?”

Me: “No.”

Woman: “It’s at [Other Theatre], isn’t it?”

Me: “Possibly, but I’m not sure.”

(I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the show here was called “D**k Loss Prevention”!)

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