Monday, July 23, 2012

Embarassing Moments

I do so many ridiculous embarrassing things. Probably one of my favorite embarrassing stories to tell is the one time I fainted. I have since learned that I am hypoglycemic. In college I was part of a student theatre group called Cult Classics. We staged reenactments/tributes to cult films. In my time with the group, we did staged versions/tributes to The Princess Bride, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Ferris Bueller's Day OffPump Up the Volume, The Breakfast Club, and Full Metal JacketIn our production of FMJ, I was cast as the Vietnamese Hooker.

Kubrick's words, not mine.
Now before anyone cries racial insensitivity on me, the role was originally offered to one of the girls in our theatre department who actually was of Asian descent, but she turned it down. Since I could do the Saigon accent justice, I was cast instead.

So, since I'm white as sin, being Irish and all, we had to make me look darker without making me look like a caricature and without putting me in "black face." We decided that me getting a professional spray tan would look the best/least offensive. Now, professional spray tans were a fairly new thing at this time, the bottled junk was available but just made you look like an oompa-loompa. Since we went to college in a po' dunk cow town, our director had to drive me to the next town over because they were the only place within 100 miles that had a tan salon that did spray tan. It turned out to just be a lady in a dressing room with an airbrush, not a shower that mists it over your body for 30 seconds.

Yeah, this wasn't a thing yet.
Let me set the scene for you: The morning of my spray tan was also the morning of our opening night. I guess I was nervous or something, because I did not eat anything. My director drove me and my boyfriend at the time (The Imp) in her car without air conditioning 30 minutes to the town with the tan salon. We get there, thinking it would not take that long. Since it was a lady with an airbrush gun, they estimated it would take 45 minutes to do my whole body at the shade of "tan" that we wanted.  Super. Well, my director and The Imp decided they didn't want to sit in the salon for that whole time, so they said they would go get lunch while I got tanned.

I stripped down and put on the weird paper underwear they had, and stood still in this hot dressing room/closet with no air ventilation while this strange lady airbrushed my entire body by hand. Again, there was no air ventilation in this room, and the lady is wearing a paper doctor mask, but I am not, since my face needed tanning too. The mixture of the hot not-ventilated room, the cold airbrush on my skin, the fumes from said airbrush and the fact that I had not eaten became too much for my poor little 18-year old body.  As the lady was spraying the back of my legs, I started to feel light-headed and told her so.  Suddenly, it was dark and the Yip Yips from Sesame Street were singing, but no sound was coming from their mouths.
The next thing I was conscious of was the spray tan lady slapping me in the face as I was lying on my back on the floor of the dressing room. Naked. Now, if you've never fainted before, it's not too bad, except for the waking up part, that sucks. It's like waking up with the worst hangover of your life. I felt nauseated, my head tingled and the light hurt my eyes. I thought I would throw up had there been anything in my stomach at the time. I asked for some water as I slowly sat up -my head felt like it weighed 1,000 pounds.  Only after sitting up did I realize I was almost completely naked aside from the paper under-roos that were now askew and tangled up practically inside my butt. Have you ever had a paper under-roo wedgie? It's quite unpleasant, to say the least.

I called my director and told her what happened and asked if they could bring me some food and water. The Imp showed up eventually and begrudgingly fed me some of his food as I sat shaking, still naked, on the floor of the dressing room. Eventually, the lady was able to finish up the spray tan and I apologized for fainting on top of her while I was naked. She just laughed at me. I'm sure she still tells people the story about the time the naked girl fainted on her.

Once I got back to my dorm, I ate some more and made sure to drink lots of water until the dining hall opened and I had a decent dinner. We made sure to regale the rest of the cast with my harrowing tale and we all had a great laugh.  Either in spite of or because of my nakedly fainting on top of a total stranger, opening night went well.

Totally worth it.
What do you mean I don't look even remotely Vietnamese?! 
I think I nailed it.

My Asian friends tell me this is laughable vs offensive.

1 comment:

  1. The crazy things we've done for theater... That's great that it went well!


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