Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Captain and Terena

Rick and I were asked to perform at a friend's wedding. The theme: 1920's circus. And what a circus it was! Beautiful costumes, talented dancers and singers, and the grand-finale: the wedding vows performed as if the bride and groom were in a 1920's silent film.

Also performing was... The Captain and Terena (pun intended)!

My hubby was an acrobat in a San Francisco circus when he was in his 20's, and is still a talented juggler and performer. So when our friends asked us to perform, he dusted off a classic knife throwing act he'd done back then and asked me to assist. Of course I said yes. Who wouldn't want their husband to throw knives at them?

We were asked in the fall, so we had plenty of time to practice for a March wedding. We should have had enough time, but Rick picked up two big work projects that lasted through January. And there were the holidays, a couple of illnesses ran through the house and my shoulder started acting up again, making physical activity painful. Suddenly it was the end of February and we'd just finished the script.

It's never a good idea to do a knife throwing act without practicing a lot, so I called a good friend to help. Isn't it great we have the kind of friends who will agree to assist with a knife throwing act? We ran the act with him and discovered the hand cuffs were too small, the rubber glove wouldn't pop unless blown up fully, and some of our jokes fell flat. But we also discovered new jokes and problem solved the technical issues. With the wedding only two days away, we were ready.

On the day of the wedding, we got a call from the bride. The theater they had rented for the event wouldn't allow us to throw knives. How the hell do you do a knife throwing act without throwing knives? I met with the theater manager and explained how the routine worked, but they were still insistent that we couldn't throw the knives. OK, no problem.

Seriously, it wasn't that big of deal because our knife throwing act is a gag; no actual knives are thrown at a person. I don't want to give it all away, but lets just say we give the victim... I mean volunteer from the audience... a major fear-factor. There's a little risk because we were using real knives, so practice is imperative. No one could be killed,  just nicked if we missed the balloon. Luckily for our volunteer, we didn't miss.

Our performance was a smash! We picked a random name from a list of people the bride thought would be good for the act, and he was perfect. He was nervous as hell, but funny and willing to do what we asked, even being handcuffed to a wooden target, blindfolded, and then asked to hold onto balloons Rick would pop with his knives. The audience was in on the gag and laughed loudly. At the end of the act, Rick and I traded places, so I got to "throw" the last knife at the rubber glove the volunteer held between his legs. Rick handed me his hat and jacket and then stripped off the rest of his suit, revealing a red sparkly dress and hose. He was adorable.

I loved performing with him, but I admit it was a little stressful too. Any time you perform with someone, you have to navigate each other's fears and insecurities: try doing that with your spouse. But standing on stage next to my husband while the audience laughed and cheered our performance was exhilarating.

Plus, it felt mighty fine wearing a slinky red dress and jacket and still be able to turn a few heads at age 45.  It helped that my mini-cleavage was smashed together by the dress. Hiding the wireless mic was a challenge, though.

Alas, I don't have any photos from the act yet, but when I get some from the bride, I'll share them here. You've got to see my hubby in his dress. 


J.Caledonis said...

You Guys were awesome! It took a day before Allison and I were able to watch a video of the performance, But when we finally did...we were so impressed. The routine was a resounding success! as far as I am aware no one has spoiled it for the volunteer and he still things his life was imperiled.

dlefler said...

Oh my goodness, you guys are so awesome! I can't wait to see the pictures. Anything involving juggling knives at a wedding is just too cool for words!