Just a few months ago I was doing a kids’ show that I had a lot of fun working on. Not because the script was brilliant or I had a great part, but because I was working on the show with some of my really great friends and we had a blast. Probably more fun than we should have had since we tend to think that just about everything every thing we do is hysterically funny.
But there were a few times that were undeniably, sit-com worthy hysterical.
There was this damn number in the show about trying to get a locked box of money open so the kids, which my friends and I were playing, could use the money to buy peanut butter and save the day. Yes, that was a real plot line.
So this one performance, a bird had fallen off someone’s head, and the imaginary friend had nearly missed his cue, so we were all barely clinging onto whatever sense of professionalism we had left.
We got to the three-minute-long song about opening up this locked box, and in the song we kicked, tossed, and shook the box. We got fifteen seconds into the song on that fateful day, the box got thrown across the stage, and it opened in mid-air, scattering the money across the stage.
For a split second we all stared at the money drifting gracefully to the ground, then half of us cheered because the box was open, and the other half tried to sing through their giggles as they tried to discreetly grab the money that was covering the stage.
And we all had these weird solo lines about opening the already open box. I think I made a sound on my line, not like words or anything, but a sound. I just looked desperately at the sound booth, silently begging the sound guy to turn off the music and end our suffering! But nice though his is, I think he was rather enjoying six professional actors trying to collect fake money into a duct taped Tupperware while children screamed from the audience that the box was already open.
With about a minute left in the song, two of the guys managed to reclose the box with all the money in it. At which point the rest of us gave up on lyrics to shout “Why did you do that?” and the like at them. I think we might have managed to sing a few more notes before throwing the box down a giant slide so it could burst open (for the second time that day.) I think I shouted something like, “Don’t close it this time!” as soon as the music ended.
And then the kids clapped, and we were supposed to go on with the show like Murphy hadn’t just taken a giant poop on our fake moneybox. So, giggling like the children we were playing, we soldiered on to buy some peanut butter or whatever it was so we could finish the show.
To this day, I still giggle if anyone asks me to open a box.
And that was not the last time the box thwarted our professionalism.
The story of the opening box will continue.