Monday, July 27, 2009


It’s over. After over 2 months of rehearsals and 15 shows we are done. For nearly 3 months I have spent more time with the cast and crew of Beauty and the Beast than I have spent with my own family.

We had a great final show. During ‘Be Our Guest’ our entrances and exits were as precise as a drill team. There were no traffic jams, bottle-necks or enchanted objects hanging out of the wings. When did we get so good at that?

All the wigs stayed on all the heads during the show. Lumiere’s hands remained intact. The goose landed where it was supposed to when Lefeu ran onto the stage. There were no mic issues.

The castle moved when and where it was supposed to. When Gaston died, he didn’t have to dive over a 3 foot cavern to land on the mattress for his final AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…. splat moment.

The audience got a good show.

When I took my spoon off for the last time I marveled at how easily it slipped off. I recall receiving brush burns every time I tried to struggle out of the contraption. I would often hit someone with the spoon or knock something off the table as I was shrugging out of it. When did I get so smooth?

There were more of us huddled in the wings watching the show yesterday (a no-no), to see it one last time. There were a lot of tears, both off-stage and on.

It will be odd for me to come home from work on Wednesday and not have to rush back down town for a show. But I will miss it. I’ll miss all the goofiness in the green room. I’ll miss whispering with my cast mates and crew back stage. And whenever I hear ‘Be Our Guest’ I’ll most certainly giggle at the memory of Alison (the other spoon) and I tap dancing wildly backstage, while the ‘napkins’ were dancing onstage.

We took props down to the prop room as we were done yesterday- dozens of mugs from Gaston’s bar, tons (literally, it seemed) of books from the Belle scene. Costumes were returned to the costume room. Before everyone had left for the cast party the set was coming down.

Danny (the Technical Director) had constructed a miniature version of the set for ‘The King and I’ on his desk. As soon as the B&B set is down, he and his crew of volunteers will get started building this next one. And a new cast will come together. There will once again be drama on stage and back stage.

What will I do with all my free time?

I better start preparing for my next audition!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Let's Make a Deal!

When I began this blog, it was my intention to write about interesting facts or consumer trends I encounter in my life as a nerdling. But as I review my blogs to date I must take note of the fact that all my stories are about my own experiences. Grant it, my life has provided plenty of material over the past few weeks, but it’s time to get back to my original intent.

A couple months ago, one of my co-nerdlings came into my office with a puzzle. Here’s the gist of what he said.

Say you’re on the game show Let’s Make a Deal and Monty Hall asks you to pick 1 of 3 doors. Behind one door is a car; behind the other 2 cars are goats. After you make your pick Monty opens up one of the doors you didn’t pick and there’s a goat behind it. He then asks you if you would like to change your door or stick with your 1st choice. What should you do?

My immediate answer was: "It doesn’t matter. There’s a 50-50 chance that the car is behind the door I picked.”

Jeff said, “Are you sure?”

I said, “Of course I’m sure! It’s either the one I picked or the other one. That’s 50-50!”

Jeff: “Are you positive?”

Lou: “Yes!”

Jeff: “Want to make a wager?”

Self doubt begins to set in, considering Jeff is a complete genius. So I decided to draw all the possible scenarios and corresponding outcomes on a sheet of paper.

Assume that the car is behind door A. There are 3 possible scenarios:

1. I correctly choose door A and Monty opens one of the other doors (B or C)
2. I incorrectly choose door B and Monty opens door C (he’d never open door A)
3. I incorrectly choose door C and Monty opens door B

If I stuck with my original guess I would have a 1/3 chance of being correct (scenario 1). If I changed my original guess, I would have a 2/3 chance of being correct (I would chose door A in both scenarios 2 and 3.)

So, by switching I’d actually increase my odds to 2 out of 3.

Man! I guess I failed that test!

There is a name for this brain twister – it’s the Monte Hall problem. Even PhD mathematicians get the problem wrong (which makes me feel a bit better).

Now all I have to do is get on Let’s Make a Deal so I can win a car. But with my luck I’ll come home with a goat.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Red Eye

My eyes are redLobster red.  Road map red.  

Like I just left 'My Sister's Keeper' red. 

Let me explain. I'll start by saying that although my distance vision is 20-20, I need reading glasses for everything from reading menus to doing Soduku puzzles. And I definitely need them for putting glue on the edges of false eyelashes.

I love false eyelashes... that is, when they're on my eyes properly. It's very challenging to put on false eyelashes, period. But when you need reading glasses for Soduku, it's near impossible. 

Reading glasses work quite well for the first step in the false eyelash process: squeezing the glue from the tiny white glue bottle onto the edges of the false eyelashes. But, that's the easy part.

Using my reading glasses to place the eyelashes on my eyelids? Now, that's a challenge.

I tried putting my glasses on sideways (vertically) so that I could see out of the opposite eye. The problem is that I need 2 hands to put the eyelashes on the eyelid and my reading glasses either fell off my head or angled into a prism making my vision even cloudier. So I'm resigned to the fact that I need help from my 14-year old daughter to place the glued lashes onto my eyelids.

Last night I decided to live dangerously. Linda was not there to help and I felt this irrational sense of confidence in my abilities to maneuver the glued eyelashes to my eye. Just 3 steps:
  1. Put glue along the edge of false eyelashes - check!
  2. Place eyelashes on eyelid - check!
  3. Eyelashes adhere to eyelid - No
Not only did the eyelashes not adhere to my eyelid, they seemed to slide all over the eyelid. I know... not enough glue! 
  1. Put LOTS of glue along the edge of false eyelashes - check!
  2. Place eyelashes on eyelid - check!
  3. Eyelashes adhere to eyelid - No
Again, they slid all over my eyelid.

Okay, I know the problem. It's because the false eyelashes were wet. (I'd washed off the glue from the previous night before starting.) I carefully dried the other false eyelash piece and decided to try the other eye
  1. Put glue along edge of completely dried false eyelashes - check!
  2. Place eyelashes on eyelid - check!
  3. Eyelashes adhere to eyelid - No
Crap! Completely resigned, I decided to pack up my little false eyelash kit and take it to the theatre. Somebody there would help me.

As I was packing up I realized that the little white glue bottle was already in the false eyelash kit.

Uh - oh.

What was in the white bottle I was putting on my eyelashes. Some kind of lotion?

No time to look. Off to the show. When I got home I decided to put on my reading glasses and see exactly what I had mistaken for the glue bottle. Before I looked I said a little prayer...please don't let it be vaginal cream....

It was simply facial lotion.

Whew. But thankfully I had my reading glasses on and could read the fine print.

"Avoid contact with the eyes."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lesson Learned

We got a great review for the Beauty and the Beast. I decided to call George (who plays Lumiere) from the car last night, and congratulate him on his mention. Being the safe driver that I am, I handed my blackberry to Linda and asked her to dial George for me.

Here’s the conversation:

Lou: Hi George, This is Lou

George: Hey Lou

Lou: Yay! Congratulations on the review!

George: What?

Lou: The review! It was awesome! And they mentioned you! Yay George!

George: What review?

Lou: For the show! It came out today- have you seen it?

George: What?

Lou: Uh-Oh… Do I have the wrong number? Is this George?

George: Yes

Lou: Oh, come on George! Haven’t you seen the review? It mentions your fantastic treo!

George: Step back for a minute. What’s this about?

Lou (looking at Blackberry- safely- while driving) –Uh oh. Is this George XXXXXX (the president of our Georgia subsidiary)?

George: Yes!

Lou begins to babble

There is a major lesson learned. Do not use your 14-year old daughter as your administrative assistant. Especially if you have your company executives' phone numbers programmed into your Blackberry.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The winter Olympics are just around the corner. But have you ever considered the ‘sports’ that are included in these games? Besides the obvious skiing, bobsledding, hockey, and skating there’s an Olympic competition called the “Biathalon”, a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.

How did they ever come up with that? Do you know anyone who has ever gone cross country skiing with their rifle?

But what is even odder is the Curling competition. And no… Curling has nothing to do with hair.

Think of shuffleboard on ice. Teams of 2 players take turns sliding 42-pound polished granite stones down a sheet of ice towards a bulls eye while 3 other team members sweep the ice with brooms to make the stone speed up or change direction. I am not making this up. I fact, I played (or attempted to play) this once when I was in grad school in Bowling Green. (I was not sober).

It’s time for me to get on my soapbox. If they are going to include such lame sports as Biathalon and Curling, the Olympic Committee should consider a real sport: Quick Change Dressing (QCD). Here’s how it could work- The athletes would be on a team of ..say 61. When the gun goes off, the athlete must race in the dark through an obstacle course of people lined up in large, clunky costumes (some of whom should really not be there) to a location where 1 or more individuals remove the athlete’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and wig and replace it with completely different clothing, shoes, jewelry, and wig. The race is over when the athlete returns to the stage…err, starting block.

Teams would be penalized as follows:
· Costume not zipped up properly – 10-second penalty
· Wig Malfunctions (on backward, or incorrect wig, or no wig) -15 second penalty
· Knocking over teammates in obstacle course – 20 seconds per teammate
· Panting –(penalties equal to the duration of the panting).

The team with the fastest time would win the gold.

Quick Change Dressing. Now THAT’S a sport. And the only broom involved is in the wings…err, obstacle course.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Oreos in the Green Room

One of the cardinal rules of theatre is ‘No eating, no drinking and no smoking’ in your costumes. But does it really apply to Oreos?

My friend Becca brought Oreos to my rehearsal yesterday. Knowing the rule ('No eating, no drinking, and no smoking in your costumes’), I snuck them up to the Green Room in a cleverly disguised Publix shopping bag.

It took about 7 seconds for someone to see the Oreo box through the shopping bag and say, ‘Hey! Lou’s got Oreos!’.

Now, in an ordinary show I would stand firmly and say, ‘You know, we can’t eat, drink or smoke in our costumes!’ But this is no ordinary show. The costumes in this show include large pieces of cake, slices of cheese and sugar cubes that do nothing but stimulate your appetite for Oreos.

And in such a situation, we have no choice but to eat Oreos in our costumes.

The tricky part is to keep the crumbs out of your teeth. The evidence can be overwhelming.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Creating the Monster

It's my own fault. I feel manipulated. Used. And I have nobody to blame but myself.

Let me explain.

We have a wonderful dog named Sabbie. He's an American Eskimo, getting up there in years. In people years he'd get free coffee at McDonalds.

About a year ago the vet put Sabbie on a prescription diet for dogs with kidney disease. Although the food looked and smelled pretty nasty to me, Sabbie didn't seem to mind it. That is, until a couple months ago, when he abruptly stopped eating it. For a while I could get him to eat from my hand (yuck), but after a while he just stuck up his nose and walked away.

I wondered why we couldn't feed Sabbie people food. I mean people with kidney diseases have special diets, right? Why don't we 'just' feed him people food?

I did a search on the itnernet and found a recipe that included ground beef, bread, rice, eggs, and (not kidding) tums. The vet approved and so did Sabbie. He gobbled it up like there was no tomorrow.

After a couple weeks, he stopped eating again. The vet found nothing physically wrong with him, and said we could feed him whatever he wants.

Enter the monster. Let's just say that Sabbie eats better than the rest of us. This morning he woke me up for breakfast and I prepared him a delightful meal of chicken strips and bread. He has requested chicken parmisan for dinner, with a side of noodles. (I'm drawing the line at lobster!)

Dave came home from Food Lion the other day and showed me some special frozen fahita chicken that he purchased for Sabbie. When I commented that it looked pretty tasty, he warned me that it was for Sabbie, and not me.

It may have been my imagination, but I think I heard Sabbie snickering at me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fitting into a spoon

We got our costumes last night for Beauty and the Beast. I have 2 costumes: villager and spoon. Now, the villager costume is awesome. Even has a snappy looking hat that looks very vintage. I love it.

The spoon is another story.

The spoon costume is basically a black tuxedo with the spoon growing out of the back of the shirt. The spoon fastens to the body kind of like a back-pack with a very thick piece of foam rubber between your back and the handle of the spoon. (At the risk of getting ahead of myself, the foam rubber acts like a sponge, absorbing sweat as the body releases it, thus increasing in weight.) (OH NO! THE AFOREMENTIONED CASTMATE WITH B.O. IS A KNIFE!)

So the spoon must be threaded though a hole in the back of the tuxedo shirt... prior to putting it on (learned that the hard way). And, it is no small feat to feed the spoon through the said hole in the tuxedo shirt. Did I mention that the spoon is very tall? I go from about 5'5" to about 6'5" when I have my spoon costume on.

This led to the first problem I had with the costume. Actually, the 1st problem was getting into the costume. The second problem I had with the costume was forgetting that I was now 6'5" tall and could not walk through the same doors that I was able to earler in the evening. In order to get from the back stage to the wings of the stage, I had to bow at the waist. Being that there were 3 pieces of flatware going on stage in succession, I had to make sure I don't harm the knife while bowing.

The next challenge I had was the 'metronome' effect of the spoon. This is a particular problem when you're dancing on stage. In one particular movement, I must lean to the right and salute to Belle. The spoon's momentum in that lean nearly caused me to fall over. (I'm told that adjustments can be made to the back-pack to minimize this phenomonon.)

The final challange to the spoon costume, as mentioned previously, is its (ever increasing) weight. I'm not exactly large in frame, so the costume is winning the scrimmage.

Despite all of these issues, rehearsal was a blast. Allison, one of my co-flatware - in fact the show's other spoon, were doubled over in laughter at times. All we had to do was look at each other and the giggles would start.

I'm sure I'll get used to this new appendage.

And maybe when the show closes I'll miss it. It will be just like amputees with phantom itches. I'll find myself bowing down when I enter a room. People will think I've gone mad.