Brian wrote last week about how his first experience with live theatre involved hot dogs, so I thought I would share with you my first stage experience that also involved a delicious food (which makes sense that these defining moments would lead us to start a theatre company that involves food and drink!).
We’ll pause for a moment so I can share this tidbit about me: I love pie. Like seriously, really, truly, madly and deeply love pie. My mother does not particularly care for pie, and never baked any when I was growing up, so pies were a special treat for me. Emily and I actually go on ‘pie dates’ where we go to The Little Pie Company on 43rd Street and indulge in the bliss of homemade mini-pies. My new favorite combo has to be hot cherry pie paired with a cool lemon meringue. I highly recommend it.
Unpause. My first play was in fifth-grade. There were only six of us in drama club. We were going to perform the timeless classic “Binky and the Space Pandas”, but Ryan Walsh, who was cast as Binky, left the show to join some sports team (I think it was hockey...?) So we had to switch to the equally as epic drama: “The Planet of the Perfectly Awful People”. I was cast as the ruler of the said planet Meanus, Queen Groucho. Clearly, I was typecast as she was not a happy person. She didn’t smile ever. She didn’t laugh ever. She was just mean. Anyone who has ever met me can attest that this was a perfect fit.
However, Queen Groucho changed her ways after a young girl named Addie accidentally arrives at Meanus (she was trying to go to Venus and got a little sidetracked). Addie decides to try to help the people of Meanus. She’s able to convince Queen Groucho’s cohorts, Lady Grumble and Sir Groan, that laughter and happiness is really the way to go, but Groucho is a tad harder to convince. So, clearly, the only thing to do is throw a pie in Queen Groucho’s face.
Pause again. This “pie” was not an actual pie, but a pie tin filled with whipped cream that had melted under the stage lights. Yeah.
Unpause. My proud parents recorded the performance and of course got a lovely close-up of the pinnacle moment while I stood centerstage, covered in dripping, slightly soured, melted whipped cream, waiting for the laughter to die away from the audience so I could speak my next line. And what’s amazing about this specific moment, in hindsight, is that this was the moment that I was hooked. Because good God, having to hold for a laugh for at least an entire minute, to stand on a stage basking in the joy of live theatre for that prolonged moment--there’s no topping it. All past dreams of becoming a marine biologist or doctor had vanished. I was done for. There was no turning back. I was destined for the stage. And for pie.
So pie and hot dogs led two of our company members to the arts. How about you? Was it food? Or perhaps more importantly: what kind of pie would you most like thrown in your face onstage? Comment and let us know!
Oh, Addie’s plan worked: Queen Groucho did finally break down and laugh after the pie incident. All is right with the world.
See you next week! Patricia