Jim's Richard III Blog

What had started as a blog of Richard III rehearsal process at Cal Shakes has now evolved or devolved into a small novella. The author is petrified to change the name for fear it'll disappear, and wouldn't know what to call it anyway. Many stories are included and questions are even answered sometimes!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Things I've Been Hurt With

I've been hurt with a lot of odd things when I think about it. Onstage? Lemme think, here; Broadswords, court swords, daggers, icepicks, shields, door frames, nooses, other actors........I'm think I'm leaving something out.

The off stage grouping is more mundane and includes, BB guns, hatchets, baseball bats, and cactus.....How does one hurt oneself with a cactus, you ask? You sit on it! I've also sat on daggers. How does one sit on a dagger, you ask? Unintentionally! Things I've ALMOST been hurt by include baby elephants and tigers.

It's SO easy to get hurt onstage......What's that Timmy? Would Uncle Jim tell you his dagger story? Sure kid, but only because I like you, see? I was doing a fight from Romeo and Juliet for the Ashland school tours, see? Sword fighting at 8:30 in the morning. I mean, what was I thinking!? I died at the end of the fight by getting "run through" with the sword; I'd drop the sword in my right hand, then drop the dagger (which was a cut off and blunted epee blade about pencil width) and fall on to my right knee, and expire dramatically.

This particular show I did all of the above correctly, but when the dagger fell it apparently hit point first and bounced upright, hilt on floor point in air as I was falling to my knee......Another one of those moments that's hard to describe. It felt like...what? A cattle prod? Something cold and electric and very sudden. My fight partner said my eyes grew to the size of dinner plates. We were in a gymnasium filled with about 800 teenagers and I was run through with my back to them, so everyone saw the whole event and when I reached down and pulled out the point (which had gone very, very deep indeed into the back of your Uncle Jim's upper thigh) They. Went. NUTS. They screamed, they hollered, they laughed, they begged for more; they wanted my blood......Shades of Rome. And yes I finished the performance (a very long hour that was), went to the doctor, and got a tetanus shot.

And that, mister, is the story of How Your Uncle Sat on His Dagger. You go to sleep now, OK kid?



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