The Mad Hatter and Pinocchio

I was in two children's theater productions in the mid seventies while growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado. Alice in Wonderland where I played the Mad Hatter and Pinocchio where I played Pinocchio. My good friends Phoebe and Chris were also in these productions. One of the funniest stories was when I was forced to where a wax nose that the makeup person insisted wouldn't fall off. Not only did it fall off within minutes of my first big scene at the tea table, but it traveled to places all over the stage before I was finally able to rid myself of it completely. When it first detached itself at the bottom, close to my upper lip, I knew I was going to have to remove it all together, so I quickly took a swipe at it and knocked it to the floor with the intention of discarding it later, when I knew I was going to slam into the March Hare and disappear behind the table. Meanwhile I spent a good portion of the scene trying to rub the spirit gum off of my real nose and blend my makeup so that I didn't look too ridiculous. Soon I was able to retrieve the thing and I deposited it into my front pocket where my fan was. When Alice arrived and the party needed to prepare her for the Queens court, it unfortunately reappeared stuck to the fan when I presented it to the Doormouse who in turn passed it to the March Hare who handed it to the White Rabbit and then whipped around to give it to Alice. At that point it flew across the stage and hit a painted canvas wall with a thud. I swear the entire audience wondered what it was that flew across the stage. Then it fell to the floor and laid there until a big set piece was moved onto the stage that smeared the thing all over the floor. Needless to say, I didn't have to build up my nose after that. 

When I played Pinocchio I had a couple of other mishaps to memorialize here. One involved an over stuffed gun powder contraption commonly know as a flash pot. When Pinocchio turns from a log into a fully carved boy puppet, I was supposed to roll out of a trap door under a bench that was placed on stage.  The log was to disappear in the dark And the flash pot blew up as planned but the hot ashes fell down between the cracks of the bench and landed on my face. I thought I was on fire so I started to yell and got out from under that bench really fast. 

At the end of the run someone decided to pull a prank on me by placing a jock strap among the clothing that I was supposed to put on in front of the audience as a sort of learning experience for the little kids. "This is a sock, it goes on your foot. This is a hat it goes on your head". So when it came to the jockstrap I turned to Gepetto and said "this must be yours dad" and just handed it to him.