We all know that despite however many dress rehearsals we might plough through, there is a certain reality to performing on stage that means gaffs and slip ups are always going to dent our prides somewhat. Below are some of the most bizarre and somehow wonderful stories selected by performers across the board.
I play musical saw. One time, I was performing in a live radio programme and there was a particular ceiling fan above. When I play, I sometimes raise the arm that holds the bow up. When I did that, the bow got caught on the string hanging down from the fan, and the bow was whisked away from my hand and was circling above me. Luckily this happened at an end of a musical phrase, so that became the end of the song!
Contributor: Natalia 'Saw Lady' Paruz from SawLady.com
I was performing at a piano bar in Boston when a (very intoxicated) woman walked out of the bathroom, started yelling something at me about not cleaning up the mess and threw a wad of wet, dirty toilet paper at me...in the middle of a song. I was so confused by the incident that I didn't really process what had happened until she stormed out moments later. The audience was equally confused and shocked at the episode.
Contributor: Alissa Musto from alissamusto.com
The craziest on-stage moment happened at a Toronto club called The Bovine Sex Club - it's kind of an underground grunge/punk rock club where everyone dresses up in their sexiest fringe outfits, and alternative lifestyle attire. So we had our full band on stage and I had these huge platform shoes and bell bottom tight pants. I went to hit my guitar tuner on my pedal board and whooosshhh! Feet in the air, ass to the stage! My guitar landed safely on top of me but I knocked my guitarist Ben Healey's guitar almost out of his hands. I couldn't get up as I was pinned by my mic stand and an amp. So Ben helped me to my feet, I grabbed my guitar and the mic and screamed "rock and roll!" And we played on to a fantastic screaming crowd!
Contributor: Michael Stover from MTS Records
A financier with the Royal Bank of Canada called me up and asked me if I could have lunch with his wife and him. I met them at a nice restaurant on the Upper East side, and they asked me if I would be interested in performing at a party to celebrate their 45th anniversary, at the Donald Trump golf course in Palm Beach, Florida.
You can imagine my utter shock when, about 15 minutes into my act, Mr. Trump himself and his wife Melania came and sat down at the back of the room. When I saw them, I was probably the most nervous I have ever been as a comedian, even more than when I performed for President Obama. But instead of showing my nervousness, I kept going without batting an eyelid. The typical comedian would have picked on Mr. and Mrs. Trump, but being a professional I didn't even consider it. They were polite enough to stay until the end, about 10 or 15 minutes, without getting up in the middle of my show. I thought that showed true class.
Contributor: Dan Nainan from danielnainan.com
While performing my one-woman show, “Confessions of a Peri-Menopausal Novice Backpacker,” I had to erect a tent onstage while performing a monologue. This one night, I accidentally put one pole of the tent in the wrong hole, making it impossible to pitch. I struggled with it, still reciting the monologue and throwing in every line I’d ever edited out, just to cover my struggles.
After several minutes of this, I ran out of things to say and, on the verge of tears at trying to force the pole end into the proper hole, started storming offstage. Then I got mad and just turned around and attacked the thing, ripping out all the poles I’d previously inserted (it was the third of three poles that was giving me the problem) and started from scratch, having to improvise about the so-called “joys” of camping so people would think it was all part of the show. After what felt like forever, I finally got it together… and received a huge round of applause.
Contributor: Libbe HaLevy
My name is Mitch Williams, and I'm an international award winning magician and sleight of hand artist.I was presenting my revue show act in the mainstage room, the Palace of Mystery in Los Angeles. In this act I have several segments that are done silent, all choreographed to engaging music.
At one point in the floating ball routine, as the ball was pulling me forward on the stage rather forcefully, my feet went completely out from under me, flying up in the air so that my entire body was horizontal in midair at about chest level, and I fell with a huge bang, flat on my back. Unfortunately, this particular routine is about as far as you can get in tone from slapstick comedy, so this was completely out of place. The audience was shocked, to say the least--as was I!
Contributor: Mitch Williams from illinoismagician.com
When I was in high school, a very alive mouse ran out on stage while I was performing. It was definitely the CRAZIEST thing that's ever happened to me on stage. Thankfully we were performing in a black box theater and the mouse was all the way downstage, so the audience couldn't see it because it was hidden by the way the depth of the stage worked and the lip of where the first row was positioned. We went on with the show without acknowledging it because the audience couldn't see! The cast had a very fun laugh/breakdown during intermission, as you could imagine hahaha.
Contributor: Bianca Roses from biancaroses.com
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