Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 2-25-13
February 25, 2013
Putting on a variety, comedy show and chili supper in a small town means you get to be Playwright, Director, Props, Costuming and Sound Manager as well as Den Mother to Performers.
You know you're a Performer Den Mother if …
■ Performer A needs a hobby horse for his act; and would Den Mother provide a Paint horse?
■ Performer B, C, and D, a singing trio, picked three songs, each one nine minutes long, all of them dirges you could hear at Uncle Jeeves' funeral.
Performer K has a family emergency and has to resign from the show thus creating a re-write for Den Mother for the third time, or is it the fourth?
■ Performer E always arrives late for rehearsal. He/she couldn't find his/her socks, his/her car keys, the dog, cat, calf, cow, gerbil, hamster got loose and he/she had to institute a search.
■ Performer F can't keep his/her script papers in the three-ring binder (provided by Den Mother). Does Den Mother have more copies?
■ Performer G wants changes in his/her song lyrics; would Den Mother make new rhymes?
■ Performer H and Performer I never make it to rehearsal and bow out, thus creating a re-write task for Den Mother — twice.
■ Performer J can't make rehearsal because it's her/his bowling night, poker night, book club night, star-gazing night, nose-picking night.
■ Performer K has a family emergency and has to resign from the show thus creating a re-write for Den Mother for the third time, or is it the fourth?
■ Performer L claims lyrics to group song have the wrong beat to match the tune, thus creating a re-write for Den Mother — again.
■ Performer M, one of a musical duo, has no concept of counting, pitch or key. Whole notes, especially if tied to a following quarter note, may be ignored.
■ Performer N (Performer M's partner) quits. Performer M takes his place, thus creating another script re-write for Den Mother.
■ Performer O is a brand new member of the troupe. Den Mother does another rewrite of script.
■ Performer P wants a fan to billow the skirts of her costume as she prances across the stage. Does Den Mother have such?
■ Performer Q wants to wave flags representing an over-seas country during his/her number. He/she suggests Den Mother call the embassy or take a red-eye plane to obtain said flags. Q is serious.
■ Performer R wants photos shown on a screen while he/she sings a ballad. Den Mother is expected to do is come up with screen, projector and choice photos.
■ Performers S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z claim they forgot rehearsal time, their e-mail reminders didn't arrive, their internet access was down, they don't own a computer, they had a hangnail that hurt, they might be pregnant, their old college buddy called, their pet skunk died, the moon ebbed, they didn't want to miss their favorite TV show and anyway, and besides, there's still two rehearsals left … no problem.
Others glitches imposed on a Performer Den Mother:
The stage is in the old high-school gymnasium. Which means basketball practice, volleyball practice and soccer practice compete for use of the place which means sometimes soccer and show practice go on concurrently. Show folks on stage behind the closed curtains. Soccer skirmishers on the gym floor. Occasionally a wild soccer ball attacks the stage bouncing off the curtains.
Never mind: Den Mother will take care of things. ❖