My First Play Rehearsal “Flub” and Other Theater Adventures

Anyone who knows me knows that I am somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to fulfilling expectations others may have of me. This pressure is completely self-inflicted. I believe that if I set out to do something that it must be perfect and I will stop at nothing to see that it is.

When I finally agreed to play the part of Sam Wainwright in Perry Players’ upcoming It’s a Wonderful Life theater production, I spent the next 3 days practicing my lines to death. They are short but I wanted to nail it. I did not want to face the embarrassment of searching for my lines in the middle of trying to perform my part. Also if I did not do it just right I would feel that I had let the others down (yes, I know it sounds silly). So during the next week’s practice I nailed it every time. This past week was no different. Then this past Thursday evening….I flubbed. I remembered the words (because I have drilled them into my head), but I goofed on the timing and the rhythm of how I spoke the lines sounded really awkward and then I got a little tongue-tied on account of that. Thankfully we did the scene because of some other issues and I was able to redeem myself. But I still went away thinking to myself “you dolt”. However I was still able to laugh about it so it is not as if I were down on myself or anything. But it was sort of nice and strangely refreshing to go ahead and goof up. It’s almost as if some kind of tension was broken for me and as if the theater muses were reassuring me that “it’s ok to still be human.” What a nice feeling.

In other theater news, I had the pleasure of cursing in front of a bunch of folks tonight. The part of Mr. Welch is played by a gentlemen who was absent tonight. For those who are unfamiliar with It’s a Wonderful Life, Mr. Welch is a man whose wife teaches George Bailey’s kids. George gets angry and upsets Mrs. Welch and so when Mr. Welch sees him later, it comes to fistecuffs. Then Mr. Welch angrily leaves the scene stating “Aw the hell with it. I’m going home!” Well I had never noticed that line said because, as I found out later, the person who plays Mr. Welch does not use the h-word when he says the line. Since Mr. Welch was not present at tonight’s rehearsal I was asked to fill in so that the other actors in the scene would have someone to play off of. So I preceded into the scene, script in hand so I could read Mr. Welch’s lines. I think you see where this is going. After I punch George’s lights out and the others get mad at me for doing so, I, reading the script, said something to the effect of:

“Aw, the hell wi..er..oh, I didn’t know that was there…uh good night! I’m going home!”

Exit stage left and the scene is complete. I am now turning a few shades of red back stage wondering just how loudly I had said the dreaded H-E-double hockey sticks. Lyndsay got a huge laugh out of it. I was just a tad embarrassed to say the least. Way to be a Christian witness there, Joshy boy.

So needless to say the fun never stops at ye olde Perry Players theater. I think I’m really getting into this whole acting thing. It’s fun to pretend again.

Josh H.

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