Man-Made Natural Disaster Show Biz Story

After my play, BOTANICAL GARDENS, was cancelled I sent out an email blast encouraging people to read my blog, ‘Theater Camp Sucked.’ In that email I also offered a six-pack of beer to the best career or show biz disaster story. I was recently reminded by the only entrant that I hadn’t announced a winner. For this I sincerely apologize not only to our winner, ‘Norma Rae,’ (gee, how original), I also apologize to all of you who’ve also been waiting anxiously. While Norma Rae’s tale doesn’t top ‘Theater Camp Sucked,’ it is prize-worthy.

Norma Rae writes:

Todd, here is my “Man-Made Natural Disaster Show Biz Story”:
I wish they would cancel the show I am currently “in rehearsal” for. Now, mind you, there is nothing I enjoy more than embodying a fully-realized character in a very well-written play. And this play won the Pulitzer Prize. But, the performance space is currently under water. Which also means the rehearsal space is currently under water (and untreated sewage). The director took an acting job – in Rockford! and so he won’t “be around very much, and won’t be able to attend the performances…” – but “assured” the other actor and myself that a stage manager may be able to attend one of the rehearsals – at one of the actor’s homes, maybe? – when he is not there. The play is scheduled to open in two weeks. Did I mention that the performance space is very precariously near (in) the Des Plaines River? Did I also mention that my rain dance should also win the Pulitzer Prize (if there is such a thing for dance choreography?) There should be. The river crests at nine feet. I never would have known that before this “process”. I also never thought it would be possible to fill out an Actors Equity Association Application WHILE performing a rain dance. It is.

Pretty good, don’t you think?

There are three postscripts to this story. The first is Norma Rae’s play was cancelled. For this she’s extremely grateful. The second is Norma Rae has decided to take a break from acting. The tipping point wasn’t her torrential tale of woe; rather it was the insulting experience of a director not casting her in the role of ‘the wife,’ because in ‘real’ life she’s never been married. Can they do that, you wonder? They can do any damn thing they want. Finally, Norma Rae is thrilled to have won the contest. Just one problem, she wants to swap the six-pack for a Starbuck’s cappuccino, grande, two-percent, extra foam. Yeah, Norma Rae, good luck with that!

One Response to “Man-Made Natural Disaster Show Biz Story”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    God, i was going to post my own sob story, but it wouldn’t have touched Norma Rae’s sad and soggy drama. kinda does make me feel better about my own life, though, so, thanks ‘Norma Rae.’

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