I got a Tweet from a friend who went to UGA with me and remembers seeing me in The Mikado in 1983! Wow, he has a good memory.
I think that was the show where I was told to basically stand in the back and sing OUT. Well, I have a huge voice, so I could've stood in the parking lot and been heard, but I still was a bit ticked off to hear that.
I don't look Japanese, duh, not many of them have auburn hair and blue eyes. But the show's not really about Japan. The show consists of [usually] white people made up to look Japanese. It's a spoof of English society and has nothing to do with Japan except the costumes and names.
Yes, I know that sounds weird, but when it was written it was very popular.
This is a video of one of the best-known songs, Three Little Maids from School. The wigs and costumes look like those we wore at UGA:
I was working in the costume shop that semester, and I remember making a bunch of "wigs" out of black silk which were a huge pain in the butt to get to look right. The costumes were basically like bathrobes, and we rented them from somewhere, so no big sewing there.
So I was in the weird position of hanging out with both the actors and the backstage folks on that show. Usually, I just worked backstage in some capacity. I only did a couple of shows at UGA where I was onstage acting and singing.
My aunt and uncle drove over from Marietta to Athens [about a 2 hour drive] to see me in the matinee performance of The Mikado. I somehow talked them into going out to lunch with me beforehand at a Mexican restaurant I liked, because the food was cheap and tasty. I always got a big plate of refried beans.
Well, all afternoon I was onstage singing and dancing, and.... dealing with flatulence. Let's just say I was very glad there were a lot of percussion instruments in the orchestra and I knew all the music really well...
I was also glad my butt was encased in a heavy kimono.
The next day, I think, after the last performance of the show, a bunch of us went to a bar in Athens called The Dawg House. Cheap beer, and no fancy bar type decorations. The bathrooms were two side by side stalls, one marked Women and one marked Men. You couldn't be modest in that situation. (It prepared me well for going to Europe a few years later.)
I decided to leave on the clown white makeup all over my face and get totally hammered drunk. I was still reeling from the refried beans humiliation of the day before.
I was also Young and Stupid.
The white makeup started running off my face and into my shirt. I get sweaty when I drink beer. I must've looked like a haint. Everyone else was hammered too, thank God, because nobody [I hope] could have a very clear memory of that evening.
I do recall the bricks we threw at other bar patrons.
The most fun people in any Drama department are usully the techies - the folks backstage who make the production run right. I knew and liked all the Techies at UGA, despite the fact that they generally looked down their noses at actors, viewing us as intellectual inferiors - which is true of many actors, I'm afraid.
Anyway, some of the techies took styrofoam bricks to the bar. They looked VERY realistic. When one is thrown at your face and you're too drunk to respond quickly, it's a frightening experience... until it bounces off your nose. And then it's an inordinately funny experience.
You'll have to take my word for that.
I don't think we got thrown out, but we should have. I lived very close to the bar so I walked home.
Anyway, any time I hear the word "Mikado" I have a flashback to wigs, beans, anxiety, and throwing bricks.
All to the tune of "Three Little Maids from School."