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Theatrical Darwin Award

I saw this posted already, but since my hairstylist was kind enough to share it with me...

ASPEN, Colo. — Julius Caesar lay dead and Brutus was talking to his co-conspirators about swords and blood when he paused and excused himself, saying "I seem to have stabbed myself."

Aspen actor/director Kent Hudson Reed accidently cut his leg open with the knife he was using in an outdoor performance of "Scenes From Shakespeare's Julius Caesar" on Wednesday.

He tried to carry on, "but my boot was filling up with blood and I was flubbing my lines, wondering if I was going to pass out, wondering if the audience could see the blood."

Portia (Susan Mauntel) took Brutus to a hospital for stitches and play narrator Tyson Young announced the performance was canceled.

"That's what you get for trying to kill Caesar," he said.

Reed said actors normally don't use real knives, but the scene was set up so none of the performers were close enough to hurt each other.

"But I hadn't thought an actor might stab himself," he said.

Reed said the show would go on, although Brutus might be limping for a while.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 3rd, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
Reed said actors normally don't use real knives, but the scene was set up so none of the performers were close enough to hurt each other.

::shakes head::
Sep. 4th, 2007 02:08 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
Re: here via Angevin2
Sep. 4th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
What kind of idiot puts real knives in the hands of actors.


I mean, honestly, they're ACTORS.

Of course they will stab themselves!
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC)
Hubby, reading over my shoulder, says "Hey!"

Sep. 4th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
"Hey," indeed. Does he disagree?
Sep. 4th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC)
He says he respects the work techies do, but he won't take shit from them.

Besides - who's idea was it to give ANYBODY sharp knives, he adds. You give any eight people actually knives and tell them to go do a job,I guarantee someone is going to go cut themselves.
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:03 pm (UTC)
I know I don’t have to tell you this, but please pass it on to our favorite actor. Everyone has a role to play. Our role as technicians is to make the space as safe as possible, and as evocative as possible; in that order if we are doing our job well. The job of an actor is to evoke the scene as safely as possible and as well as possible; in that order. The nature of what they do is such that it is unfortunately easy for them to tend to loose sight of the safety because ultimately, it’s there invocation of “other” that brings us all to the theater in the first place, and so their work will sometimes overshadow their safety.

A good technician is ALWAYS going to be looking to how an actor who is absent minded for any reason may be able to hurt themselves specifically because if we do our job well, they should not have to think unduly about their physical safety. It is no disrespect to the actor if we tend to go over the set and props and think “could a 4 ear old hurt themselves,” it is out of respect for the occupation of acting that we do so.

Unless we know otherwise, we need to assume that some director is going to ask some actor to lean on this, run through that, or jump off the other. The last think we want (although it is sometimes unavoidable) is for the actor to always be second-guessing where they are going to twist a leg, or where they could cut themselves. It’s not a matter of giving or taking shit; it’s our job. We will do our best to keep you safe, and if you ever are on a set and don’t feel safe, raise hell until we do. You can’t do your job as well without us, but no one would WANT to do our job without you.

This is from someone who worked for a dance troupe, keeping dancers safe on a budget. Everything I said about actors is even more so for dancers, because they are always in motion. I am in awe with what they can do on stage, but it’s also pretty awe inspiring how many ways they can hurt themselves on stage, and how willingly they will do so. We talk about safe and “dancer safe,” but it’s not really a slam at dancers as much as it is an acknowledgment of what they, by profession, do, and how easy it is for us, by profession, to really do them harm.
Sep. 9th, 2007 06:34 am (UTC)
Amen, brother.
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
My boyfriend was in a production of Romeo and Juliet where Juliet accidentally stabbed herself at the end. She was fine, it was just a fairly bad scratch.
Sep. 4th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )