Author Topic: Do you have your g-string on? and other tales from backstage...  (Read 1832 times)

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... is going to be the title of my eventual memoir of life in the theatre. I once worked on a production of The Full Monty, and one of the five actors who was about to go onstage and tear his trousers off came running up to me in a panic.

"I can't remember if I put my g-string on!"

Because the five leads are on stage for so much of the second act, we had each of them under-dressing their g-strings (which were not entirely comfortable to wear, given as they were covered in sequins) and tear-away trousers at whatever point in the show they were offstage for long enough to change. For this one gentleman, it was about halfway through the act, so we ended up two minutes from the strip number and he couldn't remember if he'd changed or not. So he unbuttoned his trousers in the wings and I pulled out my flashlight.

"I can see sequins, you're good to go!"

But then, once a thing has been missed (or nearly missed) once, I will check that thing every show until the end of the run. So every night, before he went out to strip, it was my job to go up to him in the wings and ask, "Do you have your g-string on?"

I ran The Full Monty for two months five years ago, and it's still the source of all my best theatre stories. Possibly because I don't often work in musicals. I used to joke that I got into theatre specifically to work on musicals, but I've been doing Shakespeare ever since. I work primarily in classical repertory theatre, although recently I've done a slew of new works - something I want to talk more about once I get more familiar with the boards.

I consider myself a professional ASM, by which I mean that I love running the deck and working directly with the actors and prefer not to move on to the SM position where I would be calling the show instead. I've been lucky recently to work at theatres large enough that there's more than one person on the stage management team and that option is actually available to me.

I look forward to poking through the archives learning all sorts of new ways to do things.



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I like that you consider yourself a professional ASM. Running the deck is something I enjoy as well and it's cool to see other people that want to stick with that too!

Maggie K

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The Full Monty has some of the best story material!  The production I did had pleather g-strings which started to stretch over time.  One day our actor who played the stripper character paused for a moment before making his entrance.  When I asked if he had a problem, he told me that a certain part of his anatomy had "popped out" and he needed a second to adjust himself.    As the g-strings stretched this started to happen with a number of the guys rather frequently.  The code on headset was "actor x is having a testicular issue today".  That show is a lot of fun to be backstage for.
I like the ephemeral thing about theatre, every performance is like a ghost - it's there and then it's gone. -Maggie Smith


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I adore running decks, so I absolutely agree. Welcome!