Worst things that ever happened to me as a performer

  1. When I walked up my skirt and fell into the first violinist’s music stand (see previous article on performance anxiety).
  2. When I had violent abdominal cramps while wearing spandex in A Cudahy Carolers Christmas and wound up going up on a line and breaking character for the first and only time in my life;
  3. When I pierced my finger with a spindle during a production of Flying Dutchman at Washington Opera.
  4. When I was thrown off someone’s back while on tour with Pirates of Penzance and crashed into the stage, dislocating my knee and, as I found out much later, cracking my coccyx. (Didn’t know that until I lost weight and no longer had padding on it.)
  5. When I came home from a Friday luncheon and decided to take a nap, only to sleep through a wedding I was supposed to sing that day – although I woke up deathly ill and wound up being so sick I couldn’t sing or teach for two full weeks.
  6. When I drooled on someone’s head on stage …. I was in Rosina at the Skylight, playing Pilar, the slutty landlady, and at one point, the soprano ties a scarf in my mouth and leads me across the stage to a blindfolded man singing a love song (he’s singing to the soprano, but I think he’s singing to me). Well, the scarf hit my tongue in just the right way to make me salivate. So I’m sucking back this mouthful of drool the whole time, trying frantically to keep it in my mouth – and just as I get on top of the baritone – I failed. Fortunately, he was wigged (and still blindfolded) and wasn’t aware of it. I was totally humiliated!! 
The good far outweighs the bad, but those things do stick out in my mind!

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