Injuries Sustained While Wig-Diving

It's the first preview performance of the evil quick change show.

What do I mean by evil quick change? I mean 42 quick changes, most happening in 30 seconds or less, often turning a man into a woman. Heels, wigs, evening gowns, the works.
So, we have some pretty crazy changes. Lots of running from one side of the stage to the other.
When you're doing these kinds of changes, you'll find yourself basically tearing off a costume, chucking it behind you, and throwing the next one on an actor as fast and as neatly as possible.

So it's the first preview. Half the costumes aren't completed or need the quick change rigging altered. Everything is being moved from snaps to velcro, and we're working with four dressers in a very tight space for almost every change.

So we're moving along at a rapid pace and we've just changed a male actor from his female maid character (Jane), to his male character (Edgar). When the actor comes off as Jane, we pull off his dress and wig, and then put pants and a shirt on him and chuck him back out of the door. As this is the first preview, we don't quite have the rhythm down yet. We know we have to change him back to Jane on a different side of the stage so we head on over there for his next exit.

While we're over there, we realize that we don't have his wig. We can't find it. Three of us run back over to the other side of the stage and start frantically searching. We're running out of time, his change in coming up.

I grab my flashlight from my pocket and get down on my hands and knees and start searching under the stage in case it got kicked off in the frenzy. Success! I see the wig, toss it up to another dresser and abruptly stand up.

Crash! My head feels like its been split by a hammer and I see stars. There was a vertical bell chime hanging right above my head left over from a previous show, and when I stood up, I pushed it up and it hit the beam above, turning the whole thing into a very large vertical pole which head slams into. I'm standing at a very fast pace so I'm rushing and it seriously hurts.

The other dressers ask me if I'm okay and I keep going, being dizzy through the next three changes. I have a bump on the top of my head the size of Nebraska.

The moral of the story? If you're under a stage and you stand up quickly, look up first.

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The life of a backstage theatre worker is often filled with insane stories, divas, injuries, freak outs, stage blood, quick changes, disasters and epic tales of success.
I get to live this life, moving from theatre to theatre, show to show. This is my diary.