Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Kirk and the kids came to the show tonight, and afterward, each boy (including Kirk) gave me a tulip.  This one was my favorite, because it was mangled by chubby little hands and reluctantly relinquished.  My favorite part of the night was showing off my adorable crew to all my new friends.  I never tire of hearing, "Your boys are so cute!"  

But even less expected than the flowers was what went on backstage tonight.  

"Andrea," Luke said, in a tone just loud enough for me to hear, "Brett is lying on the floor of the men's dressing room, and he's not responding, and he's bleeding."  He lead me back to the men's dressing room, and as I walked in, sure enough our "Carnes," a middle-aged actor named Brett, was lying face down and twitching.

"Brett," I said.  He didn't respond.  I left him with a couple teenagers while I went to find the director.  After sending a street-clothed stranger in to find our director, I sent someone to find a cast list and call Brett's family.  When I got back to the dressing room and once again said his name, he finally responded with a breathy, "Yeah?"

"Do you know what happened?" I asked him.  

"I hit my head," he said, and gestured toward the lower ceiling where the costumes hang.  He'd apparently bent over to pick up a pair of shoes and misjudged the ceiling height standing up.  There was a blood stain where he'd smacked his head.  As I looked around I noticed he'd also knocked a table over, and a mirror had fallen off the wall.  We estimated he'd been unresponsive for at least 5 minutes, but no one is sure how long he'd been down before Luke found him.

"Would you like a blessing?" I asked.  "My husband is in the audience."

He responded affirmatively, and just then the director walked in.  She was able to go find Kirk in the audience, and I sent Kirk to go get our friend Chris Kennedy who I'd seen on the other side of the audience.  When Kirk walked into the dressing room, Brett looked up at him and said, "I know you."

I was really worried then, because to my knowledge they'd never met.  Turns out I was wrong about that, since Kirk and Brett apparently reffed a young men's region basketball game together the night I totaled the truck.

Kirk and Chris gave Brett a blessing, during which I was silently praying for words like "that you'll be able to go on with the show," but none of that was said.  Instead, Brett was counselled to "listen to his body."  We sent Kirk and Chris back to enjoy the show and started treating Brett for shock.

He began to quickly improve and was starting to speak in complete and coherent sentences.  When he overheard people talking about how they'd cover his song in an upcoming scene, he said, "Well, I'd better just get up and get out there, because I don't want Jeremy butchering my song."  He was sitting up and joking when his wife arrived.  I caught her up to speed, then had to go back on stage.

As I came off stage, I received word that the second act would be cancelled because Brett just couldn't go on.  I changed into my saloon girl costume and headed back on to finish out the act.  By the time I came back off, the decision had been reversed with both Brett and his wife giving the okay for him to go back on stage.

He had to hold onto the fence and poles for support and even sit on a stool in some places, but somehow Brett was able to push through it.  There were times when I swore he was going down, when his eyelids would flutter, or he'd take an awkward breath.  But he didn't faint on stage, and we finished out the show.

I know someday it will be one of those horror stories told as we sit around in a circle backstage for some show.  "Yeah, well once, we had a cast member faint and we almost had to cancel the show..."  But for tonight, I'm just grateful he is okay and that the tough old guy gave everything he had to let the show go on.