Metro-Detroit actor/director and one of my closest friends, Casey S. Hibbert, has always described 'Mandy Moments' as the instant I realize whatever I just said or did was a) not at all what I
intended and b) beyond my personal ability to correct unnoticed by others. So when Angie approached me with the idea of writing a blog about my experiences in the theatre world and calling
it, Mandy's Moments, the first thing I thought of took place at a rehearsal about a year and a half ago.
We were working on a short ten minute play to be performed as part of the 2014 Detroit Fringe Festival. I was really looking forward to working with Casey again, supporting
Emilio and getting to meet a bunch of new people. 2014 was the year that I started getting work outside of The Box in Mt. Clemens. And I allowed everyone and everything to intimidate
me, including a ten minute short and Paige Vanzo who is just one of the nicest, giving and talented people I know. So to say I was already on high alert at this rehearsal is a bit of an
Now, I have zero stage combat training and what that means for me is, if I need to be thrown to the floor by my scene partner I just throw myself to the floor. I was, however,
concerned that there may be a problem if we ran the scene again because my stomach had been gurgling for about thirty minutes at this point and I was worried what the impact of the floor would do
to my wavering bowel control. But I am part of an ensemble and we have limited rehearsal time, so I didn't say anything.
We reset and run the scene. Eric throws me to the floor in the usual fashion, we end the scene and I stay seated on the ground. Don't worry, I am not hurt, I am simply
accessing the situation at hand. My cast mates have moved off stage right discussing the flowers or some other prop thing. Casey is looking down at his script and I think, 'this is my
As I start to stand Casey looks over at me and begins to ask a question. I audibly fart, just a toot, just enough to make me stop mid squat. We lock eyes as I slump back
to the ground and after a beat I confess, "I farted, excuse me."
I sat there, waiting for a reaction, my face hot and turning seven shades of red when finally he cracks and falls to the floor laughing hysterically. As I begin to loose it
myself I can just barely make out him saying, "your face! Oh my God, the look on your face."
Well, for the last few years that has been consistently what a 'Mandy Moment' is. That look on my face as I accidently let one slip, or trailing off into a mumble as I realize
the joke I started with such bravado isn't funny at all or isn't really making any sense. But as I sit here writing this I wonder, shouldn't I also share how I was feeling last night.
I was pacing in my best friend Mitchell's kitchen, crying about how much longer I can keep this, chasing my dream of being a working actor, up.
"Mitchell, you don't understand. I don't know what to do. I'm trying to have faith, but all I see is that I drove two hours in the snow yesterday to what I thought was a
four hour Improv Workshop. I'm on 94 and my windshield wiper just flys off of my car. Just one minute it's there, and the next it's just gone and we only did an hour and a half of
Improv. Then, on the drive home, every time the single wiper blade swooshes across my windshield I think how grateful I am it was the passenger side that flew off and not my side because I
can't afford to buy a new one until payday. Not to mention that if I read one more Facebook comment about how if I cannot afford to live I should work harder and get a new job that pays
better I am going to pull my hair out. I work very hard."
"Yes, you do honey. And you are very talented."
"Well, if I am so talented why doesn't someone pay me? The part I auditioned for last week, standard $200 stipend, I am looking at about 28 rehearsals, plus shows That
money will cover 10 trips to rehearsal if I am lucky. I mean, I already accepted the part, it's better to be onstage working than not at all right? Plus I love doing it, there's nothing
else I want to do, but I'm broke and my windshield wiper is just laying on the side of westbound 94!"
I went on for another forty minutes or so, crying to my best friend out of fear and despair. As he walked me to his door he said, "in five years we will look back at this
conversation and just laugh, trust me." He is right, everything will be ok. It will all turn out the way it is supposed to no matter how much I worry about money, my looks or my
So which is it? What are Mandy's Moments? The goofy, stupid accidents that happen, or the maudlin temper tantrums? I assume it's both, plus everything in
between. But, the truth is I have no idea. What I do know is I am going to keep plugging on and I look forward to figuring it out along the way. And I am really looking forward
to buying new windshield wipers on Thursday.
Until Next Time.