Tag Archives: Arts

Lil’ Disasters! Occurring In: Theaters

Jana: Here’s something new for the cheap seats in the back: A segment called “Lil’ Disasters”! In these posts, Cath and I will tell mini stories of times that we have embarrassed ourselves horrifically, but in small ways. Today, enjoy some individual moments in my life when I’ve walked away from a situation thinking “Jesus I wish I were dead.” 

In the inaugural edition, let’s talk about my acting career, shall we?

1993, The Beginning

In the third grade, my class did a play for the first time. As soon as the activity was announced, I felt something stirring in me and knew that this was my destiny. Then, I got the lead! The play was called “Daniel, Servant of the Lord,” and I was playing DANIEL. Yesss. I didn’t even notice that this was customarily a part for a boy! When the time for dress rehearsal finally arrived, I donned my tunic and tights with nervous excitement.

During that rehearsal, I was feeling PRETTY great about myself and my future as a gender-ambiguous actress. I had to go to the bathroom, though, so I left the auditorium in costume and headed downstairs. As I rushed down the top step, I saw the school receptionist heading up the stairs towards me.

“How are rehearsals going?” She asked, catching me off guard.

“Oh, great!” I managed to choke out.

Then, my tight-clad feet slipped out from under me, and I fell down the ENTIRE flight of stairs. Aside from sheer, body-wracking embarrassment, I don’t actually remember what happened next; all I know is that I avoided that receptionist at all costs for the entirety of my 5 remaining years at the school.

2005, The College Years

During one of the first rehearsals for the musical “Hair” that Cathy and I both had minor roles in our sophomore year of college, we were rehearsing a racy dance number, “Hashish”. The intimidating director was teaching us some choreography, and he placed me in contact with my crush, Peter. Peter was a junior, and I believed him to maybe BE the funniest person I’d ever met. I was thrilled that he’d have to touch me, which I expressed by looking at the floor and scratching the back of my neck. 

Unfortunately, on the day of this rehearsal I had chosen to wear my favorite workout pants. Like all of my favorite things, they were 90s-esque, with an elastic waist. During one dance move, Peter had to lift me up (YES!). BUT. The pants were so loose! Peter grabbed my waist. BOYFRIEND!, I thought. One second later, I felt my pants slide down. Like, all the way down, so that my underwear was exposed to not only Peter, but the entire cast of people I was hoping to impress. THE CLINCHER: My underwear had been purchased at American Eagle, and it was decorated with “school” phrases, like “To do: Homework!”, and little lists that read: “Field Hockey Practice, Math, TV!” 

Everyone laughed at me, I tried to be like “Ha, who doesn’t love American Eagle?”, and rehearsal continued. Shockingly, Peter never became my boyfriend.

This is what I ended up looking like in the real production of “Hair”. HELP THESE PANTS DON’T FIT ME, I wish I had been screaming. As I mentioned, Peter and I never dated.

2009, On The Downslide

Right after college, no longer an actress but still “wanting to be involved,” I worked as a House Manager at a local theater. One morning, I got dressed in what I deemed to be a classy, adult outfit – consisting of a strapless black top and a cardigan – and headed to work, where it was my job to instruct the volunteer ushers.

The ushers who showed up on this particular day were a man and woman in their late sixties. I gave them some little job to do, like picking up trash in the empty auditorium, and headed to the supply room to get the box of Kit Kits we’d sell at intermission. I leaned down and hoisted the box up into my arms. Easy breezy! Then I returned to the ushers. Like a professional, I instructed them to do another task. As I talked, I noticed they were looking at me with pained faces, as if they were being tortured but had yelled at to be cool about it. What a weird couple! I thought, but I didn’t let it get to me. I made some generic joke like, “Don’t get lost now!”, and sent them on their way. I was KILLIN IT. 

Confidently, I went to check in with the box office attendant. “Jana, oh my god,” she said. “Jana. Your shirt is off! I can see your whole bra! Oh my god!” She gestured wildly towards my chest. I looked down: BOOBS. The strapless black tank top was now just hovering underneath my completely exposed bra. The fucking Kit Kats! The strapless top hadn’t been able to maintain its position under the weight of the concessions! AHH NOO THE USHERRRS.

To my credit, I shimmied my shirt back into position and continued instructing the ushers as if they hadn’t just almost gotten to second base with me. To their credit, they didn’t complain to the theater that their House Manager had exposed herself while on the job. It was a win-win, if you think about it some way other than the way I think about it.

That’s all for today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of “Lil’ Disasters”! Don’t worry, there are more to come – lil’ disasters happen in my life every day.

Catherine: JANA YOU ARE A DELIGHTFUL TREASURE TROVE OF HUMILIATIONS. I love the image of your “tight-clad feet” giving way under you, sending you tumbling down the stairs, your bobby pins breaking free and dispersing wildly.

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Happy Birthday To Me: I Wasn’t Cool in Middle School

Catherine: It’s my birthday! Happy birthday to me, specifically. Before I get going, may I suggest liking our facebook page as a special birthday gift to yours truly? Or perhaps, if you wanted to get craycray, putting us in your status? Think about it.

In middle school, I was cast as the lead in “Guys in Dolls.” This may have been pre-type casting, because there was a scene where my character gets  drunk and sings weird shit like “if I were a salad, I KNOW I’d be splashing my dressing” and “boy, if I were a duck I’d quack!” I’ve probably said those things under the influence before.

Well, I thought getting the lead in the school musical would make me cool, because that’s what I wanted – you wanted it too, even if you won’t admit it. It uh, it didn’t make that wish come true.

I will forever remember this event:

It was tech day of our show, a weekend day, and it was my birthday. I had left the auditorium, and as I headed back, three popular boys who were doing lights or stage crew were hanging by the entrance. One of them, Greg (real name, I ain’t protectin’ his sorry ass), said, “Hey, it’s your bithday, right?” To which I was like, “Yeah!” (Inner dialogue: “Greg is talking to me – I’VE MADE IT!”) Greg then goes on to say, “Happy Birthday!” (Pause) “To a LOSER.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

THIS SHIT HAPPENS. And it RUINED my whole birthday, and I STILL think of that moment in my life with regret. I wasn’t cool enough to have a comeback. But I am going to take that chance now.

Here goes.

Me: “I’m a loser? I know you are… BUT WHAT AM I?” (Inner dialogue: “Nailed it!”)

Greg: “No, you are a loser. I am not a loser. You are, and I specified that.”

Me: “… oh.”

So. That is an amended version of what could have happened on that fateful day, as I walked into the auditorium fighting back tears.

Greg, wherever you are, I hope you aren’t still a total asshole. And also that you grew out the Mario Lopez haircut.

Jana: This story hurts my heart, especially because I can actually picture it, entirely. All I can say is that, had I been there, I’m sure I would have been crying for one reason or another (I QUITE often cried during weekend rehearsals for musicals), and maybe we both would have been sitting alone, you mentally repeating the Greg incident and me crying either because the love of my life didn’t love me back, or because I hadn’t gotten into college (both things that I openly cried about during Saturday rehearsals). Maybe we would have decided to sit in the hallway together and, each taking an earbud, listen to the “Dashboard Confessional” CD playing in my discman. Maybe it would have brought us comfort.

I retro-actively offer you that solace as my birthday gift. Welcome to 26! It’s mostly just as devastating as 16.

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