Not figuratively…literally. I said, “Thank you, goodnight!” and fell off the stage.
I guess it was bound to happen. I’ve been doing comedy for a billion years and the odds were stacking up against me. I named my first CD “Dignity Under Duress” for a reason…I have, eh-hem, mishaps.
The scene of the incident: The Improv at Harrah’s in Las Vegas. My favorite club in the country. I love the club, the staff and especially, the manager Carl. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be a Mom…but I digress. I’ve played on that stage hundreds of times over the years with nary a mishap. (There was that one time, I had to go to the bathroom so bad I almost peed my pants on stage…but again, I digress.)
The audience is split in half down the middle with an isle from the stage. There are four steps down from the stage that takes you down that isle, through the crowd. They are well marked with reflective tape and covered with non-skid carpet. I usually walk down the steps to get off the stage and walk through the crowd to get to the front of the theater to meet the crowd as they leave. Easy-peasy.
I get chills just looking at them now.
Flash back to me sitting in the green room, talking with Carl:
“Hey, Carl…do you have any lotion? I’m feeling extra Vegas-y.” (Which means we’re in a freaking desert, so all the moisture has been sucked out of my skin, leaving me feeling/looking like a velociraptor.
“Sure…here ya go.” as he pulls a big jug of lotion out of his magic sound booth.
I load up my hands with the lotion and can actually hear the sound of my skin sucking it in. Now hindsight is 20/20…I SHOULD HAVE put some of the lotion on my feet. I know that sounds weird and inappropriate but believe me that would have been the LEAST inappropriate thing that’s been done in that greenroom. It is Vegas after all.
I hear the MC introduce me, so I ignore my dry feet and head out onto the stage. This is probably where I should mention my shoes. Very tame shoes by Vegas standards. In fact, I think they’re the approved shoes for Vegas nuns. Low heels, slide-on, comfy shoes:
Certainly not shoes I would ever have to worry falling off of. You would think.
I had a great set. The crowd was responsive and fun. I talked with several of them from on stage. I especially remember the doctor. He was in town on “business”. Yeah, isn’t everyone? (wink, wink)
I finished my show, picked up my cup of water, bowed to the thunderous applause (eh-hem) and handed off the mike to the MC. As I took my first step off the stage…
My cozy, Vegas-nun shoe slipped halfway off my Vegas-dry velociraptor foot. My ankle buckled and made me fly (head-first) down the stairs! I heard a collective GASP! from the audience…then complete silence. I think they were wondering if it was part of my show. “I meant to do that!” I yelled from the bottom of the stairs. They all laughed. I was still face-down in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. Well, technically my face was at the bottom of the stairs and my legs and feet were still at the top of the stairs which made it impossible for me to get up. I AM proud to say I still had my cup of water in my hand.
The woman sitting in the chair 6 inches from where I was sprawled said, “Hey, you broke your leg.” Thanks for your diagnosis, crowd member. Here’s the crazy part…NO ONE GOT UP TO HELP ME! Only Maria, the sweetest Maitre d’ in the world, came running to my assistance.
“Hey, Maria…I think I fell down the stairs.”
“Yes you did, Baby.”
“Everyone is just staring at us, huh?”
“Yes they are, Baby.”
“Thank you for coming to get me, Maria…I notice the DOCTOR didn’t come see if I was OK…he’s busy with his ‘business’ trip I guess.”
Maria pulled me up to my feet, which is an amazing feat since she only comes up to my bellybutton.
“You’re freakishly strong, Maria.”
The crowd cheered when I was back on my feet.
“I’m OK…NO THANKS TO ANY OF YOU!” I screamed at them. They all just laughed again.
Thank goodness I’m a comic, I just made a joke and brushed it off. That would have gone WAAAAY different if I were a vasectomologist.