Monday, December 01, 2008

Creepy/Cratchit/Christmas Carol

Greetings, Blogging World.

I have been long absent from you, and for that, I apologize. (Unless you don't really care that I've been absent, in which case I do NOT apologize.)

I'm enjoying a rare evening at home; an evening with no rehearsal to race to or lines to memorize (Christmas Carol is currently in previews, and opens this Saturday!), so I've been pondering what I could share with you on this first eve of December. And I've decided there really is no deciding, for it's fairly obvious that I must tell you about the Creepy Prop Baby.

Early in the rehearsal process last month, it was determined that a prop baby was needed for one of the scenes. In my prior prop baby experience, I've observed that most are merely bundles of fabric formed into a baby-like shape. Either that, or they are fairly cute, innocuous looking dolls such as this one, held by a rather anemic looking Mary Fielding on the set of the Joseph Smith film:

**Photo courtesy of the famous C Jane's Chup, who loses a stick-pulling contest to Joseph Smith in the film. (It was totally rigged.)
**Doll later replaced with actual live baby.

Anyway, because of my fairly pleasant past experience with prop babies, I was in no way prepared for what appeared on the prop table several weeks ago. This particular baby, with its wispy, toupée-like hair, meaty hands, one eye slightly larger than the other, and overall unpleasant demeanor; this baby we had no other choice but to dub the Creepy Prop Baby.

Soon, Creepy Prop Baby began to have a life all his own. Sometimes, when I wasn't looking, a cast member would perch it on the edge of the prop table with its legs crossed and hands outstretched, thus frightening the next unsuspecting passerby. (Me.) Sometimes a cigarette would mysteriously appear in its mouth. Other times, it would be wearing Tiny Tim's hat. And sometimes, it would be writing with Bob Cratchit's pen:




What's that you say? You don't really think it looks all that creepy? Maybe you just have to experience it in person. Either that, or see what it looks like backstage:





Want to know what else is creepy? The Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come hanging from a hook on the other side of the stage.



The side view:


The puppet is worn on the shoulders of an actor, and stands over 10 feet tall. It's delightfully creepy.

Things are decidedly less creepy downstairs, where all the actors get ready for the show. For instance, here are my wigs all lined up in a row (but is that pile of hair-filled bobby pins creepy?)



And here I am as Mrs. Cratchit; a photo snapped in haste as I was running upstairs after my fourth quick costume change of the evening:



And, finally, another photo I snapped before racing to the stage after my eighth and final costume change:



Okay, so maybe it's a little creepy that I'm such a bad photographer. But not nearly as creepy as Creepy Prop Baby.

12 comments:

Thayerclan said...

Emmie, Yikes. The picture of the creepy prop baby with the one oversized eye peering out sent Jilly into one of her goofy laughing fits. I think she laughed to mask her agonizing fear.
You wanna know something weird? I was looking through this post and realized "my sister is one of those people who has like a dressing room, and wears wigs, and memorizes lines." You're one of those actress types you hear about and probably have droves of oddly eccentric friends. You could show up as a witch in The Legend of the Seeker or as the person you think is the guilty party and ends up being innocent in Law and Order. I mean I always knew that, but I guess I never realized it.
I just always kind of assumed that since you were my sister and that you were like me, you must do some of the same things that I do. I guess up until now I just thought that you were a project engineer for a large petroleum company who liked to play Halo 3 on the weekends and enjoy the occasional pick up game of flag football. After reading this post though, I'm beginning to think that you don't like Halo 3 at all.
What a difference a blog post can make.
-Mike

p.s. You're not the only actor in the family. I was recently on the news for tagging along with my buddy who won a Best Buy Black Friday contest. We got to go into Best Buy 30 min before everyone else. When the news lady asked me how I had prepared for this moment I just looked her dead in the eye and said "Have you ever seen Supermarket Sweep? Well I have. And I'm ready." She was confused. I thought it was brilliant. (Hope you liked my blog post inside your blog post)

~j. said...

Blech! Creepy Prop Baby reminds me of my niece's doll, Old Man Baby. I hated Old Man Baby, so I replaced him/her with New Soft Baby.

I hope you don't have nightmares.

Azúcar said...

Meaty hands...MEATY HANDS.

Annette Lyon said...

The only thing that could make it worse would be putting the doll inside the ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come.

(Glad you're back . . . finally!)

Blondie said...

Why in the world is that doll so weird looking!? Seriously, who designs such a thing!

Jannah said...

Oh come now, I think he's a lovely little Cratchit, it's not his fault he was born in a Dickens' tradgedy- oh I mean heartwarming holiday tale.

Noelle said...

I can't wait to see the creepy baby, the eight costume changes and YOU THIS WEEKEND!!

TnD said...

I keep thinking, what if my new little child looks like prop baby?

Stephen said...

I think I yelped like a puppy when I saw the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-come on stage. That thing was huge! He's haunted my dreams ever since. . . . and that baby will now haunt them from now on.

Katie said...

That creepy prop baby is really creeping me out! Someone had to actually plan to make a doll look that way. I think that fact creeps me out more that anything. Who's going to buy a doll for their little girl that has one crazy eye bigger than the other, toupée hair, and big meaty hands? yikes.

samiam said...

Okay, I read this post at work (when I was supposedly working). A co-worker was in my office and I suddenly burst out in uncontrolled starts of laughter. You are dang funny--but you are going to get me in trouble!

thedoodlegirl said...

"Creepy Prop Baby??" Bwahahahahaha!