The summer after my freshman year of college I worked at a small summer stock theatre. It was a theatre in the round, which means that the audience sits on all sides, and the stage is only about two-and-a-half feet high. One of the shows I did that summer was Barnum, which is about the life of circus legend P.T. Barnum. We did some crazy things in that show.
I learned how to do stationary trapeze. They tried to teach me to do a cartwheel, but since I almost cried when they tried me on a somersault they gave up on that concept. And the juggling thing didn’t work out so well either. A week with a juggling trainer, and I still can’t catch a ball. I got kicked out of the brick tossing number, too. But in my defense foam bricks are even harder to catch than balls, and they hurt when they peg you in the nose. Really hurt. But I could twirl a ribbon like a fiend, so I was in the front row for the parade number.
I stood in front in my satin leotard twirling my ribbon and singing soprano while the flag twirlers danced behind me. Well, one fateful night one of the flag twirlers was a little off and nailed me in the butt with his flag, which wouldn’t have been such a problem if I hadn’t been standing on the very edge of the stage. I fell into the audience and landed right in the lap of an old man with my boobs halfway up his nose.
His wife helped me up and handed me my ribbon. “Get back up there sweetie. You’re doing a great job!” she said before patting my pink tulle covered butt and shoving me back on the stage. I finished the number and tried not to be embarrassed about forcing an old man to motor boat me. That could have been the last thrill that man ever had. And he sure got his money’s worth that night.