Yesterday, we had the pleasure of performing at a private residence for the owners and a few of their friends. They have animals...and it was hard to stay in character and not watch the critters. One of the cats started playing with a straw hat when we set it out. It's the cheap Hawaii-type hat so the cat was chewing on the straw that sticks out. Then the poor young Doberman was whining to be let out of the bedroom when there was a party going on. The obedient dog was told to lie down on the floor. Several of my husband's lines are "Oh, come on, Maggie. It'll be fun." trying to convince his assistant (me) to lead the group in a song or entertain everyone with a hula. That well trained Doberman came when Chris called. What else does "come" mean, right? So halfway through the show, Maggie is ripping into Jake (played by my husband) and the dog is starting to get a little hyper, so I'm toning it down slightly. Then Jake is supposed to collapse because someone poisoned the pineapple (This is one of our murder mysteries, titled "Pigs, Pineapple and Poison." Jake's character is so obnoxious, some audiences cheer when he keels over). Luckily, Chris had the presence of mind to collapse, not on the floor as per usual, but on a chair, realizing that on the floor, the dog might consider him fair game. Then as Maggie, I'm supposed to scream. I toned that down, too.
We did make it through the play without coming out of character until the end then laughed with everyone else about the animals. We managed to survive feline attacks and trying to be rescued by a Doberman.
(We happen to like animals. Even as I type this, Big Oh is curled up between my arms, snoozing. If there are typos, blame Big Oh.)