Pot Breaker (klutz)

June 9, 2009
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It was the premiere night of the school play “The Importance of Being Earnest”, and I was backstage help, or ‘prop mistress’; I was the only freshman in the entire cast and crew. Being the only freshman wasn’t the best of all things, seeing how everyone else was mostly juniors and seniors. They all thought that they could boss me around and tell me what I could and could not do. So they decided to give me the job of putting a pot outside of the curtain between the first and second acts during the furniture change. The pot was part of the scenery for the props.

When I ran onstage to put the pot out, I got a little worried because the lights were coming back on. Thankfully, I didn’t make a total fool out of myself, I had made perfect timing. After I had put the pot out, they were all telling me I was stupid for almost missing my cue.

When the second act was over and we were changing the furniture for the third act, they were telling me to go right now, before the audience noticed. The theatre was dark, pitch black dark, and I could barley see where the pot was on the stage, but I could see it none the less. I grabbed it, and headed for backstage; when I had turned around, it was like a black sheet went right over my face. The pot was big, and I could barley see over it. I tried to visualize the shape of the stage and where the entrance to backstage was in my head. When I thought I had had it down, I walked straight, only to run into a big obstacle.

I didn’t hear anything, but the theatre was instantly roaring with clapping and laughter. It took me a minute to realize what I had done, and when I realized, I couldn’t stop from laughing. I placed the pot down in-front of a junior, Josh, and he looked at me and started cracking up. Mr. Whewell didn’t watch my klutz moment, and asked me what I did. When I finished telling him, he was shaking his head and placing his hand over his eyes, maybe trying to feel sympathetic for me for a minute, but only laughing instead.

As I walked back over to where I placed the pot down and Josh walked up to me and said, “You broke it… in the most bizarre way…” he laughed for a minute then continued, while circling his hands to convey what he was saying. “How do you break a pot this way, you’re supposed to break it this way!!” I had broken the pot horizontally, instead of vertically.

Just before the play ended, Mr. Whewell came up to me and said, “If what you did tonight was the worst thing that happened, then that’s pretty good… so don’t worry. Everyone got a good laugh out of it.” When it came time for curtain call, the audience was in a routine of clapping the same volume for every actor that went on stage. Each time someone walked out, a different part of the theatre would clap slightly louder. However, when the crew and techies walked out, the clapping went down to a minimum, until, I stepped out. The audience clapped louder and harder, laughing so hard their eyes might’ve been yellow if I could’ve seen them. I bowed, trying not to laugh so hard myself, and walked back to backstage hearing the laughing and clapping, trying to subside.

The seniors of the crew were very upset about the freshman stealing the entire spotlight. Or at least, that’s what I think. And kept threatening me that they would hang me on the grid; I had been on the grid, and it was high, too high; I had almost fallen through one of the cracks when I was up there. The threats continued all night, and through the next night.

Unfortunately, they didn’t trust me enough to let me handle the new pot the next night of performance. When I told all my friends, they laughed until their stomachs hurt, they know I’m a klutz, but I guess they didn’t think I’d ‘ruin’ a performance due to my klutziness. To this day –it hasn’t been four months- I still have some of the crew saying “The grid freshman, the gird!” and “Handled any pots lately?” I am currently in the play this semester, and all of my friends say “Don’t go touching any pots!” Even if I did go touching the pots, no one would let me carry them anywhere.





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