Sunday, October 24, 2010

Station Street the Blooper Reel

I thought our performance at Station Street Fiesta last Sunday was one of our best ever; nothing like being on the main stage to give you that extra edge!  However, we've all heard the adage never work with children or animals, and as there were a lot of children, there was bound to be a few funny moments.  So I am presenting for you the Out-Takes from our show - made possible because Fixit took 583 photos (true!) which meant that all these little moments were captured.

First off, bloopers from the grown-ups; aka me and Miss Kaye. Most performers would agree that apart from kids and critters, the other tricky thing to work with on stage is props.  Kaye and I have been dancing with The Hats for a long time, but we still managed two hat malfunctions on the day.  I distinctly recall looking down at some stage in this dance and thinking that's funny Kaye seems to be holding her hat differently to me but of course, in the middle of a dance you can't do much about it.  And it doesn't really matter which way up the hats are when we're both just holding them...

see how the purple knot is up top on my hat, and down the bottom on Kaye's?

... but when you put in on your head, you can see it does matter which way you hold it because really, you don't want the short end of the hat and knot in the hatband to be at the front, do you?


Still never mind, at least Kaye didn't drop her hat right at the final moment when a big hat-pose is required to finish the routine.


The other prop-related disaster came at the end of The Wombles routine, when I decided in my wisdom that a good way to end a routine about creatures who pick up rubbish was to have them throw their picked-up rubbish in the air on the finishing chord.  I know, I know, the logic part of my brain was over-ridden by the showbiz side. Anyway,  the weather was rainy and windy that day, and here you see what my face looked like when a piece of rubbish went sailing off the stage into the audience. Not sure ezzackly who threw the offending rubbish, but I look at this shot and think the little girl in pink, second from the right, is looking slightly mortified.  Luckily, no-one was hurt.


Okay, so that was pretty much it for prop malfunctions, now we come to working with children. We had started this routine with the Tiny Tappers, the very young group, when I suddenly heard a couple of Mums from the audience calling their daughters' names very loudly, accompanied by wild gesturing. Yes, two little girls had completely forgotten to join in with their own routine and here you see one of their Mums running forward to attract her daughter's attention.  Meanwhile, I had not noticed that half my class were missing AT ALL.  Good on me.


Once I became aware of the commotion I called the two no-shows forward, and below, you can see us dancing as a happy troupe. But I want you to remember these two little misses on the right, because they'll be back in this blooper reel, oh yes.


Now, this little class, the babies, are dancing to You've Got A Friend In Me from Toy Story.  And when I'd thought about doing this routine up on stage, I thought a nice way to end it would be for us to have a big cuddle at the end (because of being friends, you know).  And we did have one class rehearsal where I'd flagged this but it wasn't by any means set in stone, and anyway, these kids are so little that basically they just do exactly what I do.  So when I knelt down and held out my arms to them so we could have a hug, this is what happened...


Yes.  They ALL knelt down and held out their hands!  Nobody got a cuddle.  And as they sat there in that awkward looking pose, do you think they, or indeed the audience, were thinking Gee this is an odd way to end this routine, why did Miss Caroline choreograph this weird looking squat?

All right.  Remember those two little misses from before?  This is where they re-appear.  By now they'd been sitting onstage for quite a long time, watching the routines from the middle-sized beginners and the middle-sized intermediates.  Then it was down to the last 2 routines, the clever big kids, who began their performance with an a'capella routine (ie no music) which required a fair degree of concentration.  So there I was on stage, concentrating on remembering the steps, when those two little girls start having a rather noisy disagreement behind me. And there's no music to drown them out either.  So here's a picture of me looking round at them hoping to catch their eye so I can tell them to knock it off, but there's no catching their eyes, they are locked into a death-ray stare and glare, the little girl on the far left with the purple shirt and the one in the red shirt, third from the left.


Here's a close-up of the deathray glare, hilarious.


Eventually we got to the end of the a'capella and I was able to wander back to them and ask them (nicely) to cease and desist, which has far as I know they did, although the next routine had music so I'll never know for sure.

As you can see, I was aware that these bloopers were going on, but it wasn't until I was going through the photos 3 days later that I happened on this last little incident.  The big kids do a bit of arm-choreography in this number, and one day when they'd been learning it Climber and Pea had had their left/right arms at cross purposes and Climber accidentally biffed Pea (not hard, but we joked how he'd have to be careful because she's so little he could send her flying) which we'd all found quite funny.  But from then on, they'd always had their eye on each other when the arm bit came up and more often than not they'd try for sneaky surprise attacks on each other.  Of course I've mainly got my back to them when we run the routine so I don't think I really knew just how often this went on, and so I guess I never paid a lot of attention to it.

So I did NOT expect that they'd do it on stage.

But look!!!

Here's Climber, obviously watching me and concentrating when he is suddenly hit by a SURPRISE ATTACK from Pea.


Which makes them both crack up, and is also amusing Squeaky next to them and C in pink at the other end of the line.  I SAW NOTHING!!!  No idea that was going on.  Cheeky monkeys.


And just in case you're concerned about poor Climber being attacked by that outrageous little girl, don't you worry about that.  When that chorus came up again...


Shove! Climber Surprise Attack!  So he got his own back.  Then the two of them immediately resumed normal operations; this is the very next shot, taken a second later.


I guess it just goes to show how relaxed those kids are up onstage. Which is a good thing, right?


  1. Is it some sort of bad reflection on one's personality, to always, ALWAYS appreciate the blooper bit the most?

  2. Love bloopers, love em! I don't feel so inadequate when I see them.

  3. More than 500 photos! He loves you and he's so very proud of what you do.

  4. Love it! Gotta look out for those surprise attacks on stage, and try not to get a fit of the giggles when they happen.

    I saw West Side Story today and am all nostalgic for the stage. Sigh.

  5. OMG we cant wait to enrol our two boys in tap together - I reckon Thom and Max would totally love it. They are two now so a bit little yet. You look like a a really lovely teacher. Maybe Beck and I should do some grown up tap together! RAMONA

  6. that is hilarious! you all look like you're having so much fun :)


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