fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Friday, April 18, 2008

Show business stinks.

I've seen enough episodes of Entourage to understand that the talent agent schmoozes and fishes for acting jobs for his client. When that work is found, it is the job of the talent manager to make the actor do his job. The manager has to encourage, rationalize, flatter, monger fear, argue, manipulate, justify, soft-soap, clear obstacles, plead, prate, cajole, coax, coordinate, cater to whims and foster idiosyncrasies and stroke ever so gently that fragile artist's ego (remember that, because I'm going to need your help there) ... all so that the show can go on. In other words, a talent manager is a mother.

My client recently got some work. I'm happy for her. The First Grade play could be a big opportunity. It's a chance for her to grow artistically. To stretch her creative wings.

If she had wings, that is. Like the butterflies ("Butterflies." Say that like Seinfeld says "Newman").

Thing is, my girl has been cast as the Stinkbug.

The Stinkbug. 

The Stinkbug, whom the other bugs make fun of. 

The Stinkbug, whom the other bugs don't want at the picnic. 

The Stinkbug, who is to appear on stage in front of the entire school adorned in dirty socks, onions and garlic cloves in a stage metaphor for a certain aggressive odiferousness.


At this casting decision, my client was, true to form, in a bit of a stink. Considering there were Labybug and Butterfly roles to be had, I hardly expected different from my client. You know my girl: Stinkbug? Now that Ryan kid: That Ryan kid has that rugged vulnerability that will elicit the audience response we want for the Stinkbug, right? Or Maddie. Sweet Maddie. Maddie with those heartbreaking doe-eyes. Now she charts very well with the primary school girls aged 5 to 11 demographic. That's good Stinkbug casting. But my girl?  Cricket, Gypsy Moth, Army Ant. My girl has broad range: She can do Army Ant. But Stinkbug?

Imagine now that I am talking to a locked dressing trailer door to muffled sobs (really, it's the slammed bedroom door, but in my mind, I'm on the Paramount back lot with Best Boys flirting with the Third Assistants to the Second Assistant and Gaffers and Key Grips impatiently swilling Fiji water).

"Darling, the Stinkbug is the most important role! It is the cathartic catalyst. It is the character that forces the other characters on their journey of self-realization! Without the Stinkbug, this is just a story about eating crumbs. You are the story. The Stinkbug lifts this to art. You, as the Stinkbug, could do for body odor what Dustin Hoffman in Rainman did for autism."

Okay: I didn't really say that.

What I said was, "Baby, you don't have to wear dirty socks. You can wear whatever you want. We'll go through all the fabrics and you pick out what you want. Stink as you might, you will be the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history."

This is a real indy, bring-your-own-wardrobe kind of production. And I'll take some heat on the whole what-part-of-dirty-socks-costume-didn't-you-understand?-thing. But I have to protect my client's interests.

I don't care what you really think about this concoction of felt and craft glue, because my heart wasn't in making this. Not for me, but (and this is where you come in) for the First Grade play, for the love of all that is good and holy, write in the comments that this is the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history.

For your cut-and-paste convenience:
This is the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history. 

Credits (in order of appearance): Bug appliqué handcrafted by Creabine. ANTONIA mix & match shirt from Farbenmix. Fabrics available from BanberryPlace and FabricBliss.


Clara said...

That is the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history!!!! It really, really is!

AND, this is my hands down FAVORITE post of yours, Nancy! I loved it and darn it if my eyes didn't well up...that was some very good hearty soup for the soul...

Miss K.P.-Ness said...

This is the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history.

You are an amazing Mommy and a wonderful person and a special friend. I love miss Anna, the cutest stinkbug in the history of the south bay or the world.

Peace, Love and Fluffy stinkbug stuff!

Dibabo said...

Who in hell wants to see a butterfly?
Pitiful butterfly.
A dead duck...

THIS is the stinkypinkysweety


Nic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic said...

applause, applause!

applause for the cutest little stinkbug ever! no nose- but a heart experience... :o)))

hugs for the sweetest stinky of the world and her mom!

:o* nic

Eva said...

Say, isn't the stinkbug something like a scarab? The holy and worshiped symbol of eternal life to ancient Egypt? Beautiful sculptured from precious gems???
(Ever heard of a holy butterfly, have you???)

So: this is the cutest Stinkbug ever, just like his holy, beautiful sisters and brothers of ancient egypt...

And now you go out and show them! ...:)


Sanna said...

Das ist der schönste Käfer auf ganz Erden.


anjana said...

Hi Anna,

I must say:This is the bestest STINKBUG i have ever layed my eyes on. And I can tell you right now that you'll have the bestest costume in the world. Ans just thin k about if somebody else would have gotten the part, you will definitely pull off the job as nobody else could. I am confident you will get the biggest applause. Anybody can be a butterfly, but to be a STINKBUG, now that is not an easy thing to accomplish. So have fun acting and HURRAY for ANNA!!!!


Fledgling said...

Thank you, guys!

Anna is stoked. She's up for it. She's refusing to take a bath, even. Getting into character.

Love you ALL!!


stinkypeteandcompany said...

Well, we here in Stink's country have a sort of affinity for those things odiforous.
Smelly dog, stinkish gal, backed up sewage in the yard; these are trials that make us stronger, and in Miss Anna's case - ever so much cuter than any sticnkbug in theatre history! ;)
(on a side note, I was cast, in the fourth grade, as Drizella, Cinderella's evil stepsister - and I think I'm alright *twitch*scratch* snort*)
These photos are priceless; I would have your stinkling one at any picnic we might throw.

Anonymous said...

This is the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history.
Beyond a doubt and without compare!!!
Nancy, you did an amazing job of turning lemons to lemonade!
Honestly! Do they really know who they are dealing with here!
I'll be she put those butterflies to shame!!!!

Nic said...

This is the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history. And in all of theater future, I'm quite sure.

Do get her autograph for me, please.

erin said...

This is the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history.

I'm clapping in the 5th row, believing in the stinkbug and doing my part as the audience to will that bug to life and brilliance. I believe!

Move over tinkerbell. Here comes stinkbug!!

Lisa said...

This is the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history. No, it's more like "This is the cutest Stinkbug in all of THE WORLD!!! You're incredible design has inspired me to decide that this Mia will follow in the steps of the newest IT insect and be a stinkbug for Halloween.

carina said...

And still she is the cutest Stinkbug in all of theater history :-)


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