A Bad Hair Day (or: A Little Sleight of Beard)

 

(Once again, lifted from Associate Artist Jim Carpenter’s blog.)

OK. Something is weird in my Universe.

The past 3 nights I’ve gone to bed very tired and very late. This morning I awoke, moaned quietly, rolled over, looked at the clock and saw its little beady LED eyes blinking exactly the same time as it has the previous two mornings.

7:49 AM

I’ve also had some, shall we say alarmingly vivid, erotic dreams and, while I am not opposed to erotic dreaming in any fashion, these seem rather Chekhovian in nature …. actually life in general seems to bear a faint tint of Chekhov for me these days; a sort of double vision, everything seems quite serious and somehow farcical at the same time. I won’t go into the details of my dream eroticism but suffice it to say, it’s fairly ridiculous …

We finished the tech process Tuesday evening, had our first two previews Wednesday and Thursday and will have our 3rd tonight. The first show was largely uneventful with laughs in unexpected places and last night we had a full house with a lovely audience … BUT … my beard came off.

Yep, right at the beginning of my big scene in the 3rd act–the one that has the speech that still gives me that “deer in the headlights” kind of feeling. I’m the deer. The deer with the beard. A magnificent Patriarchal full beard built for me (I couldn’t grow one like this without a good head start) and glued on with the old standby Spirit Gum, applied and aligned by yours truly.

Now I thought that sucker was on. I even gave a cursory inspection–seemed fine, but no sooner had I gotten 5 lines out of my mouth than I got a sudden and distinct sensation of non-adhesion. This was not a good thing–I had a major speech coming up and an argument with Vanya (the inestimable Dan Hyatt) and the last thing I wanted was the audience to be staring at my beard and taking bets on when my little furry would at last topple from my face instead of listening to what was being said.

So I changed my blocking, or rather wound up keeping my right bearded side facing the audience as much as possible, and when I absolutely had to face stage right would do so while scratching my temple and holding my beard pressed in place with my palm to mask it.

Clever, no? A little sleight of beard.

I was met on my brief exit by Howard Swain with spirit gum in hand, tacked the damn thing down again, blotted the glue and walked back on.

Ta-Da!

Coming up: Will Jim wake at 7:49 again? Stay tuned.

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