Catherine: Jana and I met, rather fatefully, in the UVM production of “Hair.” (SIDE NOTE: Jana had actually first seen me in a summer production of “Ragtime.” Upon seeing that I was going to UVM in my bio, Jana’s mother, Mary, very smartly suggested that perhaps we might be friends? Jana’s response, in retelling the tale is something like, “Yea, SURE!” (sarcastically.) Mary, as it turns out, was 100% right and Jana was once again reminded of the fact that mothers do, often, have a tendency to know what’s what.)
SO ANYWAYS. There was one particular performance of “Hair” that sticks out but for the terribly humiliating moments it had in store for me. Before I get into it, I should state, briefly, my addiction to Chapstick. I always have it on me, as does Jana, so we are both addicts. It’s real, it’s an addiction, now let’s move on. Since I had a costume with no good pockets to use, I was keeping the chapstick in my bra strap, where it would be warm, and safe (what could possibly go wrong?) In the most dance heavy and choreographed number of the entire show, where the entire cast of 20 or so was in very rigid lines moving completely in sync, I spy out of the corner of my eye, a red cherry chapstick on the ground a few rows of people ahead of me. Not. Period. I had to pick it up because a) I needed it and b) If I didn’t, it might be onstage for the whole show where it would surely be seen. And so I ruined the entire dance as I rather scrambled to get it off the ground and back into its formerly safe haven. And I never wore chapstick onstage again, but rather hid one of both sides of backstage.
Later in that same show, I had to ride my bicycle across the U-shaped stage (we call that a THRUST, now you’ve learned something!). It was a dramatic moment, don’t let me dissuade you from thinking otherwise. Well, as I completed my second turn, I realized that I had not left myself enough room to clear the audience (the front row of which was at the same level as the stage). So I crashed. I crashed into a big pile of boxes and, subsequently, some audience members. Was it loud? OF COURSE IT WAS. IT WAS LOUDER THAN A SONIC BOOM, I AM PRETTY SURE. The bike landed on me and I played it off like, “what? oh yeah, oh yeah that was supposed to happen!” while inside I was all like, “My body hurts and I hope I am not bleeding on my costume and maybe nobody noticed?” Cautiously, I spied into the crowd where, not shockingly, all eyes were on me. I walked my bike offstage, where those in the wings had heard a SONIC BOOM and wanted to know what had happened? I told them and was met with pity, shock, shame, and bemusement. I wish to conclude by saying that I continued to have to ride my bike in 7 or so more shows. WHY I didn’t get taken off bike duty, I cannot say.
This was taken backstage. I can only assume it was before the bicycle incident, as I seem in generally good spirits.
Jana: I have a lot to say about this post. I choose the following: It is true that I first laid eyes on Cathy in a production of Ragtime, the summer before we were to attend the same university. It is also true that I was very disdainful of the idea that this random girl might one day be a friend of mine, because I was sure that I would not make ANY friends and that I would fail at college and probably have to drop out and live in my parent’s basement (these fears are really well-documented in the plot of a short story I wrote for my 12th grade creative writing final – I named the main character “Jane”).
Secondly, the chapstick addiction is real, it’s true. Unfortunately, since our “Hair” days Catherine has become much less diligent about keeping it nearby, whereas I have become more so. The result is that she relies on me to provide her with chapstick when we are together, which breeds resentment. Catherine – how do you even survive in LA without me?
And finally, IT’S TRUE THAT SHE FELL OFF HER BIKE DURING THE PERFORMANCE, and that it was really, really embarrassing. I was really embarrassed for her, even as I danced around in the tight pink pants I had been assigned as a costume. It did ruin the scene and it was insane. Testify.