Friday, February 7

Nun's Leggings, Cowboy Chaps, Donkey Cock, and Sperm

One of the challenging, and exciting, aspects of putting on a live sketch comedy show is managing your quick-changes.  Sometimes you have scant little time to change from, say, a punk-cowboy into, say, an old nun.  Often, you barely make it, and are literally are running from the dressing room to get on stage, pulling up pants and adjusting a wig and grabbing the necessary hand-prop even as your cue-line to enter onto the stage is being said.

At the beginning of a run, especially during dress rehearsal, you are positive that at least one of your quick-changes cannot possibly be done - there simply isn't enough time to make that change.  Rather than alter the running order or rewrite something to give you the necessary time, you simply have to find a way to make it work.  You figure it out.  "If I already wear my nun's leggings underneath my cowboy denims and chaps, then that'll save a few seconds" - that sort of thing.  And by the end of the run of shows, usually, you are so adept at making those seemingly-impossible changes that you probably fit a pee break in there too.

After performing 7 years in Annekenstein sketch shows and 7 years in Sketch-22 sketch shows, I have a pretty good grasp of what is possible and not possible when it comes to quick-changes.  In the last few years, I've taken to writing up a list - explaining out exactly how my costume changes need to happen, and where my various costume pieces and my props are supposed to be back stage.

I just found the list I used for the latest sketch show I was involved in, A Very Sketch Christmas. There were a few very quick changes for me (for all of us), but all were manageable.  In the second act, in order to make it work, I had to wear pajama pants under a heavy pair of donkey leggings underneath a shepherd's robe. It got pretty warm up in there.

Anyway, I get a kick out of a couple of items on this list and so that's the main reason for this post.