We have a decidedly odd tradition here @ NSHS theatre in that every show seems to require a blood sacrifice. This means that at some point during rehearsals or builds, someone typically either gets a cut, stubs a toe, stumbles on a set piece, or does something to require some of that red stuff to appear. This show is no exception, however it was a doozy!
“Dorothy and Alice” is a ten minute play that starts the second act of our Spring Shows. Our stage manager, Jasmine, had already called places and was up in the booth when stage tech Armand runs up to me and says, “Rillingale, there’s been an accident.” I ran off to follow him only to see Mariella sporting a huge gash on her left leg. It was bleeding quite a bit, yet when I asked if she needed a some time or wanted to take a break, she said no, she wanted to do the play. Armed with some red napkins, she hobbled off to make her entrance.
The audience members all watched the blood drip, drip, drip down her leg. I could see those thought bubbles: Would it make it to her white sock? Would she pass out? I grabbed a few more napkins and gingerly walked backstage trying not to move the curtains as I breezed past to find Jonathan, another actor in the play. I instructed him to waltz onstage with serious attitude and hand her another napkin, which he promptly did. Mariella dabbed at the blood, and we all breathed a sigh of relief when the blood trail had been halted mere centimeters above her pristine white sock.
Now, Mariella had a choice: halt the show or head out onstage bleeding. Any choice would be appropriate here, because an actor’s safety is incredibly important! The cast was suitably impressed when she said she was okay to go on–and I was impressed as well. After the show, we figured how to make sure this didn’t happen again [needed more glow tape…] and the rest of the show has been accident and blood free. Oh, and she didn’t need stitches.
So has there ever been a time where you were quite suddenly unprepared to do an important task due to some force of nature or accident? Did you get to do that thing? How did you cope? Did you bleed? Tell us your story!