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Forest Grove, Oregon
310 Posts

Profile of mplegare
... from where the stage tried to fall on me this Sunday.

The weekend shows at the Marin Heart of the Forest Renaissance Faire were going pretty well - generous crowds and the like, and Sunday was, well, no real exception. I was tired - we all were, and maybe putting a bit more effort into the show than was necessary, but things were going well.

Then, early in the 4:00 show, as I was beginning the usual speil, I heard wood creaking, and the audience, as one, adopted the traditional "AIIIEEE! GODZILLA!" pose, pointing behind me.

I turned just in time to see the entire back wall of the stage, made of "Hollywood" style 2x4 and 1/4" plywood flats, come unmoored and fall *at* me.

This was, to put it mildly, an Event. Since I'm a guy, the first thing I thought was (holds out hands) "I got it..." And then the small, rational part of my brain said "... no." (steps back).

The top of the wall scuffed the heel of my right hand, causing some bleeding, and the entire wall - all 16 feet by 8 feet - landed just beyond my toes with a very solid CRASH.

According to reports, I then wheeled around, grinned manically at the audience and said

"My Lords and Ladies... truly I have BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN!"

Wild cheering. The kind of cheering that says "Yay! No one died!" George (Our Lord Mayor) had rushed over from the Green Man Inn, as had a number of other folks, so I asked him, in character, "Shall we continue with the show?" He covered being put on the spot well, said yes, and we did.

The show... went well. I had a built-in sight gag to use at any point during the show, the crowd lapped it up, and I got a good hat. It was only afterwards that it began to sink in just how fortuante I was... But, I needed to get through the last show of the day, which I did, and then do all the Responsable Adult things like packing and so forth. I drove home after loading up on caffiene and sugar to keep me more or less upright during the drive, called my wife, got home, she took me out to dinner, and then put me to bed where I passed out after trembling a lot.

What have we learned?

Professionalism is key.
People are impressed when you can improv your way out of potential disaster.
I am a f'n unstoppable force of nature.

(now I'm asking if anyone who was there has any footage or pictures of the event Smile )
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - - you know you want to.
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Profile of Vick
Glad to hear you weren't injured worse than you were

Certainly an experience and a great lesson
Thanks for sharing it
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James Luff
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Eastbourne, UK
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Profile of James Luff
Hopefully you have also learnt to make sure that professional riggers have constructed the stage / set before you perform. You can be competent in your job, but that means nothing if the person before you didn't do his / hers correctly! Clearly those flats were not secured properly. Being a stage manager myself I am always very aware of rigging etc.. When I enter other venues I am often appalled by the standards I see.

I hope you follow up this incident with the organisers and find out why and how this was allowed to happen. Someone didn't do their job properly, and if nothing else that person should be made aware of their failure. I'm not suggesting you sue or anything like that, but it shouldn't just be left because this could happen again and the next person may not be so lucky!

James Luff
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

- Arthur C. Clarke

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

- Gregory Benford
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