Stories (episode 2) Posted: 10 Dec 2012 08:14 AM PST
Stories By Katherine Schreiber
What’s the worst that could happen in a creative
career that cultivates self-expansion, empathy, and in-the-moment awareness?
Unfortunately, that list is a bit too long for one blog post. So we’ve culled a
few of our favorite stories from local actors. Hopefully readers can learn the
lessons gleaned from these less than ideal circumstances without re-experiencing
the unscripted drama.
Actor and comedian Josiah Correll was just getting his start
on the stage when, in his junior year of college, he was invited to portray an
historical figure for a small gig in Kentucky. Since the venue — Fort Harrod —
was a few hours away from his home town of Lexington (and, well, because it paid
about $300 an hour), Correll signed up immediately.
Unbeknownst to him, there was no script for this ordeal. A few weeks before the event was
scheduled, he caught wind that he’d been required to write a monologue for Jim
Harrod, the famed man he was slated to portray in front of a group of elementary
school students. Rather than offloading the task to another willing actor,
Correll assured the event staff he’d be all over it, no problem.
The day of the performance, Correll ended up getting lost en route to the venue. He
showed up about 15 minutes late and stepped out of his car to the warm welcome
of a very unhappy event manager — who had also been expecting an entire
production team, not one lone college guy.
Correll rushed backstage to change into costume, then stumbled out to deliver a
20-minute speech to an audience of seven-, eight-, and nine-year olds. He
noticed some giggles as he spoke but chalked it up to kids just being kids. But
once the question and answer part of the gig arose, more audience members began
raising their hands and pointing at him.
“I didn’t know what they were pointing at,” Correll recalls. “I would say
sorry, you have to speak up. They wouldn’t say anything, so I’d move on
to the next hand. But then this little girl finally stands up and goes ‘yer
barn dawr is open.’ And I look down and I see I’ve literally ripped my
pants — my entire crotch was out of my pants.”
Unfortunately for everyone, Correll was also “going through a phase in life where I thought
underwear was unnecessary.”
An eruption from laughter trailed Correll as he sauntered off the stage. And he
kept his head low when he re-emerged in his regular clothes, outside the
performance area. The event manager wasn’t exactly inclined to give him his
paycheck, but a brief agreement that he’d promise not to come back settled the
matter and he ended up walking away with a fair enough cut.
I now have a pretty ridiculous fear of accidentally exposing myself on stage,”
Correll laments. Though he remarks that, by now, he’s learned to laugh at his
unintentional anatomy lesson.
The takeaway? Plan in advance, ask what’s required of you, and please, if you don’t
think you’ll be able to keep your pants from ripping, remember to wear your