Author Topic: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!  (Read 2982 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Tempest

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • Gender: Female
  • Learn to love chaos, then tame it.
    • View Profile
  • Current Gig: The Center For Puppetry Arts
  • Experience: Professional
Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« on: Sep 01, 2010, 02:59 pm »
Some of you love working kids shows, and some hate it, some don't mind, but I'm pretty sure you can't stay in this career long without working with at least one person who has "not yet reached majority."  What is something a kid has done or said on one of your productions that has just left you blinking in shock and astonishment?

I was hired as an ASM by a producer who didn't know the difference between ASM and child wrangler, and that you need both.  I found myself exhausted, trying to fill both shoes.  It was a Christmas show with 16 kids, ager 7-16 in the cast and I had my hands full.  Opening night, I'm in the SR wing, breathing a sigh of relief because all the kids have just made their first entrance on time, in the right costumes, and are standing in the right places.  Then I see it.  One 8 year old little boy is standing there, quite calmly, pulling pennies out of his pocket, putting them in his mouth and swallowing.  Pennies.  As in the smallest denomination of U.S. currency.  Eating them.  Like candy.  About one every 15 seconds.

At this point, I was so fed up with the kids, and exhausted (it was also my senior year of college, and fall semester finals had coincided with tech week) that I would have just let him go on with giving himself copper poisoning, or whatever, except it was distracting the other kids and I could hear the audience start to murmmur.  It was a long scene, about 8 minutes, and I had no idea how many pennies this kid had.  To make a surreal sitation stranger, passing truckers on the highway kept picking up our wireless coms on their CBs and hitting on the SM, so communications were shot.  Hissing at the kid and waving franticaly from off-stage wasn't getting his attention, so I finally grabbed a nearby yard stick, slid it along the stage floor and poked him in the foot with it.  Impromptu sign language (during which he ate another two pennies) finally got across the fact that you don't eat on stage, which I reinforced with a lecture as soon as he exited.  Because it was just too weird for me, I didn't mention the penny thing, just stressed that you don't eat anything on stage unless the stage directions call for it.
Jessica: "Of course I have a metric size 4 dinglehopper in my kit!  Who do you think I am?"

babens

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 320
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA/AGMA/SMA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« Reply #1 on: Sep 01, 2010, 04:38 pm »
I worked a production of The Sound of Music where we had to hire two child wranglers.  We started with one, but quickly discovered that if you turned your back on the Gretel for a second she would find a way to get that one single grain of sugar into her body that would turn her into a bouncing molecule of non-stop energy.  This child mastered the art of swiping her finger along the table that the coffee station was set up on as she passed it to make an entrance, gathering up those few sugar granules that had spilled or been left behind.  Her wrangler ended up with such specific directions regarding this child that it was kind of insane, including an entrance and exit plot that had details such as "during this cross-over make sure she is on your left, as that puts you between her and the coffee station when you pass it."

The other child wrangler had her hands full keeping our 14 year old Friedrich from exploring his new found sexuality with the 12 year old playing Kurt.

It was an interesting show and one I was very glad to say goodbye to.

missliz

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 569
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Personal Site
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« Reply #2 on: Sep 01, 2010, 05:17 pm »
During a production of Peter Pan, the cast would typically ask questions of the kids in the audience and let them yell out a response. One afternoon, after Peter had caught Captain Hook, he asked the kids "What should I do with mean ol' Captain Hook?" expecting the typical "Throw him overboard! Feed him to the crocodiles!" etc. But one voice, clear as day, yells out "CUT OFF HIS PENIS!" We all lost it, including the cast!

Once during a production of Aesop's Fables, the actor playing the fox was trying to push a big rock to get to the grapes. He pretended to have great difficulity...so much so that a little girl in the front row jumped onstage to help him push!
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

BeccaTheSM

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 153
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Becca Pickett
  • Affiliations: AEA, CAEA, SMA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« Reply #3 on: Sep 01, 2010, 05:27 pm »
This wasn't a personal experience I witnessed, but I have heard the story from the people there.

The theatre I'm working at now has a children's theatre program. We were doing "Jack and the Beanstalk," and in the very first scene, Jack and his mother hide under the kitchen table to avoid paying rent to the landlord. Because the table was so small, and these were two 20 year-olds, Jack's mom couldn't really fit underneath. So her butt was sticking out the side. And the kids in the audience had been prompted to tell the landlord to "go away", "they're not home", etc. It always made an amusing bit as the landlord walks right past Jack's mom's butt without noticing a thing.

After the show, the cast always met with the audience. And one little girl (who happened to be British) came up to the girl playing Jack's mom and said "How come the landlord couldn't see you and Jack under the table? Your big fat bum was sticking out the whole time!" When Jack's mom was too stunned to speak, the little girl ran over to the landlord and asked him instead.
Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos. - Stephen Sondheim

sgoldsbo

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 21
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Rogue Artists Ensemble
  • Affiliations: Rogue Artists Ensemble, UC Irvine
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« Reply #4 on: Sep 01, 2010, 06:51 pm »
To make a surreal sitation stranger, passing truckers on the highway kept picking up our wireless coms on their CBs and hitting on the SM

I think this is the funniest part of this story! I've called whole shoes with my com picking up Mexican radio but never had anyone but my crew respond on com! Hilarious!

Post Merge: Sep 01, 2010, 06:53 pm
We've had to change lines in our kids show because the kids get too upset about the antigonist hiding onstage when the hero enters. They'd shout at the hero about the hiding antigonist until he'd have to make them be quiet.

Also have had a little girl (maybe 5?) walk ONSTAGE during a show to ask a rat puppet if he was an elephant. I guess his nose was a little too long for her to understand what was going on.

Gotta love live theater!
« Last Edit: Sep 01, 2010, 06:53 pm by sgoldsbo »

MarcieA

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Lake George Dinner Theatre/Tri Cities Opera
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« Reply #5 on: Sep 01, 2010, 07:41 pm »
I was the house manager one summer for a summer stock that did a kids show every morning, where about 100 of the kids sat on stage. Many, many times kids would stand up and announce during the show that "They didn't like this movie and wanted to go to McDonalds."
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

loebtmc

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SMA
  • Current Gig: Caroling, caroling now we go — and looking for my next gig!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« Reply #6 on: Sep 01, 2010, 10:50 pm »
Quote
I've called whole shoes

this made me laugh - and I assume you meant whole SHOWS?

kiwitechgirl

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 200
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« Reply #7 on: Sep 02, 2010, 06:09 am »
We do four kids' shows a year (every school holidays) and usually they involve some audience interaction.  During one show, one child - probably about the age of five - got so enthusiastic while yelling "he's behind you" and jumping up and down, that he managed to go head over heels mid-jump and land in the lap of the guy sitting in the row in front - not sure who got the bigger fright!

missliz

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 569
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Personal Site
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« Reply #8 on: Sep 02, 2010, 11:01 am »
I was doing Wizard of Oz and our Dorothy was a very...independent little girl. She was always convinced her idea was the best solution to anything. During one performance, she was supposed to skip over to the proscenium and sit down next to it, where the wicked witch was going to go get her. Instead, Dorothy decides to skip down to the front of the stage and sit with her legs dangling off the end. (Her explanation later: If I'm closer to the front, more people can see me.) Except that it was dark and she missed the lip of the stage entirely and went rolling down a set of stairs between the stage and the audience! All I could see in the booth was a set of ruby slippers. The wicked witch came running out, scooped her up, and brought her back onstage and all was well. Luckily she wasn't hurt, but she did learn the reason you stick to the blocking!
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

sgoldsbo

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 21
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Rogue Artists Ensemble
  • Affiliations: Rogue Artists Ensemble, UC Irvine
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Kids say (and do) the darndest things!
« Reply #9 on: Sep 07, 2010, 12:16 pm »
Quote
I've called whole shoes

this made me laugh - and I assume you meant whole SHOWS?

haha, opps! yes, yes. I meant shows!

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
24 Replies
17715 Views
Last post Jun 11, 2013, 12:19 pm
by Caroline Naveen
0 Replies
2912 Views
Last post Sep 25, 2007, 08:59 am
by PSMKay
5 Replies
4805 Views
Last post Apr 25, 2008, 12:57 pm
by jwl_868

riotous