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The Glamour! The Glitz! The…ow! June 7, 2010

Posted by darpop in Uncategorized.

Ah show business! The glamour! The glitz!…The pain! The bruises! The frigid weather blowing up my…well, perhaps I should explain.

I’ve been beating the bushes auditioning, working on two shows and doing one-nighters. No, not THAT kind of one-nighters, these are one-night gigs for corporations, clubs, benefits etc. Usually, the organizations celebrating making tons of assets while a large percentage of the rest of us “eat cake,” so to speak.

A couple of weeks ago, I was hired to perform in a corporate show in Carmel, California’s shi shi Spanish Bay golf club. Yes, the one at Pebble Beach where golfers drool over various holes in the middle of a patch of uber-pampered grass. Ok, I’m not much of a golfer. Chasing a little ball around a big lawn….hey, whatever floats yer putter.

So, I’m supposed to sing 3 songs, one very clever, funny song about San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge while wearing this extraordinary costume that LOOKS like the bridge! No kidding this thing includes cables, fog and a 3-foot high tower as a headdress. The 100-plus corporate executives were all decked out in black tie, expensive gowns with jewelry to match. They had been golfing all day as well as wined and dined, and during our show wined and dined some more as well as being entertained during the 4-hour dinner. Every course had a wine pairing, after all they were black tied and gowned, I mean really, pairings are a must. Right before every course we performers would do our stuff, let them eat and then perform before the next course. The room’s décor was a fantasyland complete with special effects throughout and a huge screen for more special effects. The tables were beautifully decorated and every place sitting had many wine glasses. No expense was spared for this one, the company must’ve really made a haul.

Ok, the show is moving right along towards dessert and my wearing of the glitzy Golden Gate Bridge costume. Much to my surprise the costume had been “re-designed”…huh? Wha? This I did not know. I also did not know what measurements they used. Turned out they used measurements that would’ve fit me when I was 10…when I weighed about 80 pounds. This is many years later – I’m not an 80 pounder. Well, that dang thing HAD to go on me! So, I was “helped” into it by the fella who owned the entertainment company. There was much grunting, pulling and pounding. I must admit our sound-effects would’ve been fun at some other time and in some other place but right then and there nothing was happening. The thing just DID NOT want to wear me! But the show MUST go on, right? So we just kept pulling and pounding!! The 3-foot tower was made with a backpack thing in which I had to be strapped – more pounding, pulling and snapping! Plus I wore a helmet that constricted my movement about 2 inches in each direction. After about 20 minutes of grunting, I was finally in the thing.

Now I’ve worn many a costume, but in this one I couldn’t sit down, I could barely move my head and let’s not even TALK about going to the bathroom! So I stood there for about 30 minutes waiting for my cue. After a while, I felt something begin to happen…it was weird… Oh holy mother of all the Gods…never had this sensation before…I suddenly had an overwhelming feeling that I wanted OUT! OUT of this thing!! Get this bridge OFF ME!!! Then I heard my cue…ok, I’m a professional, I can overcome this devil suit. So out I go to sing the song.

Song is going fine, crowd’s loving the song, loving the costume…the backpack starts digging into my shoulders, breathing is becoming more and more difficult, or is it psychosomatic…I dunno…but I’m a professional, I kept saying, I can overcome this. Finally – FINALLY end of song, and end of show. The cast members join me on stage to say goodnight. OH BUT WAIT!! Mr. Big! The corporate’s head honcho, the OWNER of the company and the boss of everyone in the room, including us, comes up on stage to “say a few words.” A FEW WORDS!! I’M DYING HERE! But the big boss is the boss, right?

Ok, I spent 30 years in the corporate world when the boss wants to say a “few words” – everyone lets him. Ah, but not just a few words will do, he wants to hand out awards! There’s an award for the guy who “got closest to the pin”…huh? An award to the guy who had the longest drive – what? Was he from out-of-state? No! He hit the ball the farthest – ok, whatever, I WANT THIS BRIDGE OFF ME I’m thinking to myself as I’m standing there smiling, applauding as best I can, for some reason I can’t get my hands to work very well…then I realized the backpack was cutting off my circulation and my arms were going to sleep. Oh swell!

Mr. Boss gives out awards to who sold the most, who did this better, who did that best, all the while we cast members were standing behind him on the stage. I’m sure it made for a lovely picture in the company’s annual report.

So, I’m thinking how does a bridge leave a stage gracefully? Do I just say what I wanted to say “Sorry folks, but I’m dying in this costume – keep hitting those balls and making money!” No, I just stood there thinking he’s going to stop any minute now….but NOOOOO! 20 minutes later – he calls his wife to the stage!!! OH MY GAWD!!! Now she’s speech-a-fying!!! Telling everyone how wonderful they are!!! I’m TRAPPED! I look at the audience and they’re all doing that “We absolutely adore you” thing that all corporate people do when the boss speaks. And when it’s wifey, you look even MORE adoringly! After all the wine they consumed, looking adoring and awake was not easy! Steady, I tell myself. I can overcome this. I don’t want to embarrass either myself, or our company, because it would jeopardize our getting hired next year…hey, maybe I can come dressed as the Tower of London! I’m beginning to hallucinate, thinking of things like having an earthquake, well, I’m a frigging California bridge, after all. Keep smiling….keep smiling…can’t…feel… my…arms…think of something else…..there’s noooooo businesssss like showwwww bussinesssss, like nooooo businesss I knowwwwwww…..

In my next blog I’ll tell you about the ” The frigid weather blowing up my….” Stay tuned!


1. bettina Devin - June 12, 2010

omg!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven’t laughed that hard in a while! U ar ehilarious1 and a great writer… and crazy not to put this kind of writing into a one-woman show really Dar!!!!!!!!!! u’ve got it all gooin’ on. DO IT! I am dying to take a class with Charlie Varon (when he’s back to offering it) on utting together one-person shows. let’s go together. I have a student I want to do it too. She’s hilarious in her own way. And I have already started making notes on my show about me and my SD (spasmodic dysphonia) You ARE A RIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. darpop - June 12, 2010

Aw shucks…it was…ah…my pleasure – getting some comedy material that is. It’s ALWAYS funny – after! HA!

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