I’m always preaching about how i find beauty in imperfections, and there were three distinct beauty marks on my part in the show. Two of them were ugly and misplaced, but one of them was shining and perfect – it reminded me of that mole on Cindy Crawford’s lip.
The first mess-up that mars my memory of the show is my classic blunder on opening night, where i totally forget the second verse of my solo song. Normally i love to make mistakes while solo on the stage, because then it’s solely my job to fix them, but in this situation i was trapped because my accompaniment was a taped piano. Even though i made up a whole verse on the spot, and even though i hardly ever broke character in the process, i felt trapped by the piano pounded forward while i was still spinning my mental wheels in the mud.
The second blunder was totally the opposite. In our sneak preview Laurel started a scene with the wrong monologue … one that came later in the scene after i made a crucial entrance where my hand would be injured for the whole of the play. With half the cast on the stage, we were sent into a panic. The intelligent thing to do would be to wait Laurel’s monologue out, and then replay the part of the scene that came beforehand, but with so many people present we could hardly communicate our intention. As it was the scene just blundered along without me, and i was left to my own devices to get my hand injured onstage and then get my ass to center to talk to Laurel. Everything got done, but it was sloppy and could have been pulled off without a hitch if everyone had thought it through better.
My favourite mistake was with Laurel, and it happened twice. There are a handful of scenes … three or four short exchanges … that hinged solely on Laurel and I. We would have total control of the stage on which no one else could intrude until we resolved our lines. In one instance i dropped a line, and in another she dropped hers, but both times we maintained eye contact and fixed things. Once i had to go back and redo a line so the audience would hear it, and Laurel stood ready with her response. The other time the ball was in Laurel’s court and i let her know that i wouldn’t say a thing until she gave a line to let me know where the scene stood. Both times the transition from lines to mistake to fix to lines was so smooth that the rest of the cast had to ask what happened afterwards.
Laurel never loses control of the stage; it’s a skill i could stand to learn a bit better.