Let me be the first to admit that I am not perfect, no ASM is. Even then, some days are worse than others. The stage management team may be the backbone of the show, but we have off days and sometimes we have mental relapses too. On this aforementioned list, I have “place 1/4th piece of apple strudel on the china plate with red napkin on upstage left chair” before house is open. This is not a very complicated procedure nor does it require a lot of prep or particular instructions. Well let’s just say that during one of the previews I was ready, everything was preset and the curtain went up…only to hear everyone on headset and onstage freak out that there was no apple strudel in it’s normal place. SHOOT! It was indeed still sitting on the prop shelf backstage. Of course, this sent me into the panic ‘do or die’ mentality in which the ASM runs around and tries to remedy the situation as quickly and calmly as possible. In this instance, I handed the Doctor the plated pastry to give to the voluptuous director of health. This caused for a hilarious and complicated situation as this doctor was meant to stop the politician from eating sweets – good thing he only speaks German!
This of course was never going to happen again. I instantly wrote STRUDEL several times in my notebook, underlining, circling, and highlighting the word as to never live through that embarrassment again. Once an assistant stage manager messes up once, everyone is on his or her tail, but if that same mistake happens a second time – you will never be trusted again. Well this might have happened to myself during the actual show. I had set the delightful pastry on it’s correct platter ready for placement, but the actor’s were still warming up onstage so I had set it on the prop shelf so that I could come back and take it before the curtain closed. But as before, this was the wrong choice. See, I had already crossed off “strudel” from my list as I had already cut and plated it.
The bad news is that I will never live these moments down as the stage manager and actors constantly harass me about this horrible deed, but the good news is that it will NEVER happen again because the stage manager and actors constantly harass me about this horrible deed. Thankfully, despite the seriousness of the situation they have not lost hope in me yet. I will overcome this strudel mishap! Now if only I could get the curtain right.
This has been the confessions of the Undercover Tech.