Elvis is in the building… unfortunately.

One of the coolest things about working with community theater types is that “Can Do” attitude.  You know – “hey, everybody!  let’s turn that old grocery store* into a theater!  we can put on a show!”  OK.  “Can Do” with a super-sized side order of drama, whining and lack of organizational skills…

Such was my Saturday night.

There is a local Elvis tribute artist and bank vice president impersonator who offered to do a benefit event if we’d split the profits.  We did one of these in January, it sold out, and we made a few hundred dollars for running ticket sales, having ushers, doing lights and sound for one evening.

When he asked again?  Our Community Theater Prez said “sure”, and was working logistics.  Seemed to be pretty well taken care of, so none of us were paying much attention.  What we didn’t know?  Theater Prez was going to be out of town for the event.  Oops.  Didn’t find that out til Wednesday, so we had to scramble to get the event covered.

My amazing friend DK – who is the utility infielder, relief pitcher, designated hitter and savior of all things fucked up – pulled a box-office miracle, and re-set seating on the fly while dealing with a nearly sold out show.  i offered to usher.  “Elvis” brought his own sound system and staff, since we apparently screwed it up last time.  Lights?  Hmmm…

Our available light tech has extensive experience running the light board.  She’s 12 years old.  Her Mom asked if i would be able to work with her to identify “fast” or “slow” songs.  She’s bright, for sure, but at the ripe ol’ age of 12, she doesn’t know Elvis’ music and needed to know which light settings to use.

My plan was to usher, do the introduction, and run away**.  But we also needed someone to run spotlight.  So, in classic “Waiting for Guffman”*** style, i served as usher, did the curtain speech/introduction, then raced back to the tech booth to cue the little light goddess while chasing Elvis’ pleather-clad ass all over the stage with a spotlight.

Upon further consideration?  i should have just donated the damn $500 we made from the show…

* That’s exactly what we did.  The facility we are using – shared with the senior citizens center – was once a grocery store.  Our stage sits where the Produce section used to be…  “Lettuce” entertain you?

** Final exam for my professional development course was today – and i had to study all weekend.  Wanted to get home to keep studying, rather than listen to an Elvis.   Oh – I PASSED WITH A 92% !  Hot Fucking Damn!

*** From the people who brought us “Spinal Tap” and “A Mighty Wind”, there is the lesser known “Waiting for Guffman”, which rips small town theater people.  My favorite scene is a shot of the “orchestra pit”, where the drummer is also playing trumpet with one hand…  But there’s also this

17 thoughts on “Elvis is in the building… unfortunately.

  1. Yeah, should have just donated it. In other news, the name of the town in that You Tube clip is the same as the name of the border crossing into Canada I used to take way back when it was easy. But I don’t think they made stools there.

  2. imeantno (aka “DK”) – used to shop there, so here’s how i remember it. checkout area is now the lobby. front lobby desk? pharmacy (appropriate). backstage area is fruits & vegetables. stage area was two or three aisles with cereal, household goods and dog food. senior center dining room was frozen foods… i’d stick with your story (although c’mon “lettuce entertain you” should be our new slogan!)

    silverstar – it was “Blaine, Minnesota” in the movie. no idea if it’s a real place, but it’s a classic Christopher Guest mockumentary so who knows… it’s a great movie, and worth checking out from the library (probably not worth renting… it’s pretty goofy!)

    alex – about 100 people in this part of town. he has an absolutely beautiful voice (classical training, opera), and does a good job with the vocals. can’t dance. isn’t thin enough to be “hot elvis” and isn’t fat enough to be a funny “old elvis”. so he’s “medium-sized, mediocre elvis”…

    archie – you should start your OWN theater company! convert that old barn into a stage, get some puppets or train a dingo to be your sidekick for a variety show… c’mon! you know you wanna do it!

    kyknoord – we’d be “hand tools” or “loose screws” for sure… and the seniors? would “shovels” be too morbid?

    tNb – Thanks! instead of reading (or feeling guilty about NOT reading) 100 pages of dry material a night, i can now READ FOR PLEASURE (heraldic music goes here). such. a. relief.

    nm – it’s like a huge weight has been lifted from my brain/body… we burned through it in 8 months (usually takes about 13 months) – terrified that we’d get bogged down over the holidays and lose momentum! now? i’ve even got halloween! woo-diddly-hoo!

  3. i’m sure you don’t put on any lemons in that theater… patrons put down too much cabbage to put up with corn. but, daisyfae, you are quite the cool cucumber and one hot potato, that’s for sure. you’re the apple of my eye.

  4. *eyes thegnukid* well hellfire, chief, that there is a WEEK’s worth of roughage…. 92?? well done, oh goddess of geek. Do remember the answer is always “NO I can’t do that THANKS FOR ASKING!”

    from one who finally learned.


  5. uncle keith – i thought i felt someone grabbing my ass! mystery solved!

    Bb – all in all? i would have preferred studying bone dry course material while listening to the co-mingled drone of headline news on TV and dog snores… An Elvis impersonator? [shudder]

    gnu kid – Did i say “Produce”? i meant “Meat”. As in “ham”, “weiners” and “Bologna”…

    awalkabout – i’m going to practice that answer. over and over. and then just lounge around in my jammies until Spring!

  6. dolce – no, i did not love every minute. i was amused from time to time, got a kick out of the little tech booth goddess, and was glad to be of use, but i’d have rather been putting cigarettes out in my eyeballs…

    alex – yeah. clowns are proof that evil exists….

    stank – no, it was little Mercedes! She’s all grown up and working the new computerized light board… Yeah. We be fuc’ed…

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