Author Topic: Prop: Drugs on stage  (Read 18529 times)

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cbksm

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Prop: Drugs on stage
« on: Feb 03, 2010, 09:00 pm »
In the play I am currently working on there is a lot of drugs involved. I need help figuring out what we can use for marijuana and cocaine. The marijuana needs to smoked and rolled on stage. The cocaine is snort on stage. What we are looking at for marijuana is using some sort of herb and for cocaine we looked at using powder sugar. The director did not like the powder sugar. If y'all have any suggestion it would be great to hear from y'all.

Thanks
CBKSM

missliz

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #1 on: Feb 03, 2010, 09:41 pm »
I did Fifth of July recently, which has an awful lot of drug use. We ended up using herbal cigarettes that we emptied and re-rolled for pot, and powdered baby formula for cocaine. Neither are going to severely harm your actors or impede their performance.
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

Britney

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #2 on: Feb 03, 2010, 11:52 pm »
During a production of HAIR we used a combo of dried sage and rosemary for the joints. The actors did not complain about it irritating their throats.

BeccaTheSM

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #3 on: Feb 04, 2010, 12:07 am »
I did a production of Sexual Perversity in Chicago, where we had a dimebag of 'coke.' We used a combination of baking soda and granulated sugar. However, it wasn't ingested at all, just waved about.

If it's going to be ingested, I would suggest adding some granulated sugar to the powdered sugar. It might look a bit better.

As for pot, the flavored tobacco is a great idea.
Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos. - Stephen Sondheim

missliz

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #4 on: Feb 04, 2010, 05:20 pm »
I would NOT recommend sugar, esp granulated sugar. It can get sticky, clog noses, etc. Nothing incredibly damaging, but definitely uncomfortable and obnoxious onstage. Not to mention a quick sugar buzz! I was recommended powdered baby formula because it dissolves easily and won't gunk up your actors' noses...I have also heard that vitamin b powder works well.
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

ScooterSM

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #5 on: Feb 04, 2010, 05:43 pm »
I would HIGHLY recommend NOT snorting any foreign substances.  Besides just being icky, it is a big health hazard to put any kind of powder in the nasal passages.  Many of the things that have been mentioned are just tiny crystals, which cut up the delicate tissue on the inside of the nose.  This can lead to nose bleeds or more seriously, infections in the nasal cavity or lungs.  Anything other than air that goes into the lungs can also cause very serious infections and other health risks.

What I have done successfully many times is use whatever powder looks best to you (my favorite is Splenda or other sugar replacement mixed with non-dairy creamer), and then after it is cut into small lines onstage, just push the straw or rolled paper/bill through the line.  It moves enough of the powder out of the way that the audience gets the impression that it was inhaled.  If the actor can inhale just after they remove the straw from the line it will help sell it.

As for marijuana, the first question to ask is are you allowed to have fire of any kind onstage in your venue (although we don't usually think about it, this does usually include matches, lighters, and cigarettes of any kind).  If you do have the appropriate permits, etc, ask your actors what they would prefer, either regular tobacco or something herbal.  You can then buy either loose tobacco or herbal cigarettes and rolling papers and use those.  If you need to see the bag of marijuana, you can use a double bag with the tobacco/herbal cigarette filling on the inside bag, and some sort of herb like oregano in the outside of the bag.  It will look like the bag is full with just marijuana, but when the actors open it, they can take out the stuff that is easier on their lungs.  The chemical compounds in tobacco aside, the smoke is frequently easier to handle than smoking something herbal, according to the actors I have worked with.

Hope this helps!
“I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.” Tony Church

NomieRae

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #6 on: Feb 04, 2010, 06:06 pm »
I can vouch for the herbal cigarettes, as well as baby formula/crushed vitamins for cocaine.

However, I also recommend as ScooterSM did not to allow the actual snorting to occur. It just opens the door to so many medical issues--not worth it!
--Naomi
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick

klcurrie

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #7 on: Feb 04, 2010, 08:42 pm »
we've successfully also used a mixture of sage and mint for pot.  the smell is accurate.  It tastes nasty (or so it was reported to me) but in small doses works well.

dallas10086

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #8 on: Feb 04, 2010, 11:48 pm »
Sage is good for the pot, we did it for "Hair" and none of the actors had an issue with it. Or if they're smokers anyway you could use real tobacco.

Do NOT use powdered sugar for snorting. At his prompting I had an actor snort two thick lines in front of me while doing his lines and it jacked up his sinuses to the point where I thought he might have to go to the doctor. I would look for an alternative substance or trick snorting device (do they make dollar bills with a tiny vacuum on the other end?).

VSM

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #9 on: Feb 05, 2010, 05:39 am »
Yep, sage and mint.
Rolled over 2,00 joints once for a long production of HAIR.
Back in the day, ya know...
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loebtmc

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #10 on: Mar 11, 2010, 06:18 pm »
Inviting ideas/ suggestions (speaking of weed) for a show where the smoker is a 10-year-old (well, he's 12 playing 10) - any ideas to make it look legit in a tiny space where they WILL roll the joint onstage before lighting up, without making the child actually smoke whatever we build the joint from...

Thank you in advance for suggestions/ideas

push comes to shove, I will suggest they use the fake cigarettes w glowing tips and prewrap a serious doobie around it, but open to anything you all might suggest -

Kelasaurus

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #11 on: Apr 09, 2012, 01:50 am »
I recommend loose peppermint tea for pot.  It worked and looked great in our 50 seat black box, and even smells like pot (whether or not that's a good thing is up to you).
‎"We keep moving forward, opening new doors... because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
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loebtmc

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #12 on: Apr 09, 2012, 01:57 am »
Thanks....we solved it by making a mix of herbs that smells like pot (tho most assuredly is not) and the adult actor actually lit it up and they both smoked it (directorial preference - sigh)

and yes, sage and mint mixed makes a most excellent pot aroma....
« Last Edit: Apr 09, 2012, 02:08 am by loebtmc »

MatthewShiner

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #13 on: Apr 12, 2012, 02:51 pm »
I always worry about having actors smoking on stage ... I started a 15 year habit smoking for a role onstage.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

loebtmc

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Re: Prop: Drugs on stage
« Reply #14 on: Apr 12, 2012, 04:07 pm »
My "Stanley" in Streetcar did the same, but he has an addictive behavior and follows a modified version of the method so it makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that he is still smoking some 15 years later....

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