Memory Monday – Wizard of Oz Part 2

Let’s see, where was I in recollecting my first experiences as Toto. Ah, yes, we had just met my now Auntie Jen.

Auntie Jen and cousin Piper

Auntie Jen and cousin Piper

In theater, there is something called a green room. It is where the cast can sit and rest between scenes, but most especially between the first and second act. I usually showed up about 15 minutes before the show started since I didn’t need makeup or wardrobe. It would be just in time to warm up my voice with everyone, as I previously posted. Besides, it was fun to see the stage manager sigh with relief every time I walked tore through the back stage door. One evening as I ran toward the warm-up room I smelled, then saw, someone walk in with baked goods and place them in the green room. During the entire play I couldn’t stop thinking about that. Now let me mention that as unlikely as it may seem, there are a few scenes that I am simply not supposed to be in, such as when Uncle Henry and Auntie Em can’t find me or My Dorothy after the tornado. It was during one such scene that I could no longer control my urge to eat those baked goods. Unfortunately, they were on the far side of the stage. Sure, I could have taken the long way around behind the back curtain. Bwahahaha! Who are we kidding? Even I know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and that line took me straight across the stage. Like a good quarterback (my peeps brother Andrew watches a lot of football so I understand a bit of it), I made it through the first line of defense as I exited the stage, intent on my goal. The second line of defense closed in on me just before I could round the corner and devour what was calling me to it like a siren song. So I didn’t get my baked goods and Auntie Em was mad at me. 😦 Mom wasn’t very happy with me either, but gave me points for speed and determination. Points? She could have just given me baked goods.

I ran so fast everything became blurry.

I ran so fast everything became blurry. (reenaction)

In June I posted some Memory Mondays about my time as Toto. If you missed them, you can read them here. I was going to tell you all about winning my Annie Award, but that is included in the June post, too. I guess Mommy’s name is also on the award because she was my stage director.Annie Award

Mom actually made a schedule of when I was supposed to be on stage with cues and stage sides to enter and exit. If you are interested, you can see it here.

2nd Production of the Wizard of Oz (WOZ):

Early in 2010 I got called to star once again as Toto in a WOZ production at a convention center called the Colonnade in a town called Fort Oglethorpe in North Georgia.  I blogged about it at the time, also. Go ahead, click the link, it is safe. I got left out of the playbill, if you can believe that! I mean, who leaves the star out of the program? I wasn’t too happy about it, but Mom was steamed!

This time the director didn’t have a plan for what scenes I could be in or how much I could be on stage. Having had some experience at this, Mom called the shots for me. She let me go on stage a lot more, but not when it would have hurt the story line. She still had my playbook all marked up with when and where I was to enter and exit. Apparently, direction and routine appeal to her as much as they do to me.

I didn’t understand why there were long gaps between each scene as the sets were changed. At one such time I was with Kandis the Dorothy behind the curtain, bored with waiting and peeking out to see what I could see. Suddenly I spotted my Auntie Jen in the audience! I glanced back at Kandis, who was distracted with texting, and made my break. For the first and last time in my career I forgot the stage actor rules and tore down the stairs and into the middle of the audience, leaping right into Auntie Jen’s lap. I was wiggling all over, wagging my tail and even gave her a hug. She was beaming. I could feel the happiness radiating off of her. People in the seats near her were asking if I was her dog. “No,” she replied, “this is my niece.” ❤

We went to the Star Awards ceremony, which was held at the Colonnade. I fully expected to get another award, but those people forgot all about me – again. I made my point by running up on stage while Kandis (Dorothy) was singing Over the Rainbow. Would you believe she had her eyes closed and didn’t even see me! So I trotted backstage, lickity split, where they were setting up the food for after the awards. If I wasn’t going to get an award, I sure was going to get something out of being there. I came back out as she was finishing the song and this time I know she had to have seen me because people were chuckling. When she looked down, I slipped her and went back to the food. She came after me, though, and acted so very glad I was there. We went to the lobby and she wanted me to run with her and play with her, but I just wasn’t into it.  I was a bit bummed, no award and all, and I just wanted to get back to the food.

When the play was over, I did a final blog about it.

“Stay tuned” as they say, “for my final Oz blog the first Monday is January!” Great story! Great pictures! It is all about me!”

I (still) am LexiToto.

Memory Monday: Lexi-Toto

I have had three sessions of acupuncture and B12 shots for my hip. Since my last visit, I have been running around like a puppy, up and down stairs and all over the place. Until today. I woke up hurting. Mom called the vet and Dad is taking me Wednesday morning for another treatment. I don’t mind going to this vet. They are super nice to me and feed me so many treats I don’t even notice what they are doing. In the meantime, I got another hydrotherapy (bath in the jetted tub) and a buffered aspirin. Mom sat in the tub with me and said she was very proud because I didn’t even shake this time. I just have tomorrow to get through until I get some more relief with the acupuncture.

Now, about Memory Monday. Since several of you expressed your delight in reading about my times as Lexi-Toto, and since I never tire of thinking about it, I have decided to share more stories of those years. My career spanned three productions over the period of eight years.

As I’ve mention, the first production – the one in Chattanooga at the Theatre Centre – was my favorite. Here are some of my first thoughts about the experience, posted during that time.

A local bakery donated biscuits in the shape of hot dogs with a hole in the center so that a stick could be put through them. You know, so it would look like a hot dog being roasted over a campfire. Mr. Marvel would lower the stick while he was talking with My Dorothy and I would run and pull the hot dog biscuit off the stick. The audience loved it. Then Mr. Marvel always chuckled and said, “What’s a sausage between two friends?” Or something like that. One time I was still chewing when My Dorothy grabbed me up into her arms and swung sharply around to try to head back home before the tornado. That was right when I was opening my mouth to chew, and pieces sprayed all over stage. In a subsequent scene I made sure to clean the stage!

It wasn’t all fun and games and treats. There were those dreaded flying monkeys. When they started screeching and flying – yes flying – at me I would run as fast as I could across the stage, heading for my kennel dressing room. Most of the time Mom would catch me and hand me over. Traitor! Didn’t she know those monkeys were terrifying? At least I was compensated each time with an extra treat from the head monkey, who had to run back out on the stage with me when the scene changed. That’s when everyone found out I wasn’t a water breed. When the wicked witch told him to take me and throw me in the river, he would always fumble and I would leap from his arms and, this time, make it straight into my kennel dressing room.

Sunday afternoons were fun shows. There were always lots of little people and they adored me. After the show, folks were allowed to come up and have their picture taken with some of the cast. They could ask for who they wanted in the picture with them, such as Toto, or Dorothy and Toto, or the Lion and Toto or the Tin Man and Toto or the Scarecrow and Toto or Glenda and Toto. They usually asked for My Dorothy and Toto. Even then I loved having my picture taken! That’s how we met my Auntie Jen. The story goes something like this: Jen saw my picture in the newspaper and said, “How did Piper’s picture get in the paper?” When she read the article she found out that my cousin Piper and I came from the same breeder. She e-mailed the breeder and got my Mom’s e-mail address. They started corresponding like that until my almost Auntie Jen came to see me perform. It was an instant friendship between us all, and we are now all family. Isn’t that super neat? I don’t know why people think you have to be born into a family to BE family. After all, both my Mom and I were adopted and we couldn’t be more family! Same with my Auntie Jen…I love my Auntie Jen.

I think that’s all I can tell you for now. My hip is starting to hurt again and I need to rest. Next time I will tell you about receiving the Annie Award, about attending other plays at the theater, and maybe even about my second time playing Toto, two years later. I’ll have some pictures to show you, too. In the meantime, if you get lost, just remember to follow the yellow brick road.

My all-time favorite thing…the stage. And this is a montage, so it counts as one picture, as Noodle said!

Love,

Lexi, the Toto

Memory Monday with Lexi and Friends

Lexi with annieToday is Memory Monday and I was thinking about my first performances as Toto in the Wizard of Oz. Mom had gotten down my Annie award and my head shot and I got so excited when I saw them again. I poked at the Annie and wiggled all over. I remember winning it! Me and Mom and Dad were sitting in the audience. I was wearing a strand of Mom’s good pearls, so I know I looked extra-good. I had already run down the aisle and up the stairs to the stage to help My Dorothy present an award. So we were just sitting there politely waiting for the awards to end when the director, Geoffrey, announced that the Director’s Choice award went to….wait for it….Lexi!!!!! I jumped out of my seat and ran back down the aisle so fast that I left Mom in my wind. The audience was cheering and clapping for me as Mom mounted the stairs to the stage and picked me up. I leaned into the microphone to give my acceptance speech, and everyone laughed. I decided to leave it at that and let Mom talk for me. I worked very hard for that award and am still proud of it.

After reminiscing a bit about my award, I poked at my head shot picture with my nose until it almost fell over. Mom knew I was saying, ‘That’s me!” I asked Mom to share some of my memoirs from that time.

Lexi with headshotMemory Monday

October 2, 2006
I am the star. That’s what everyone says. They say I steal the show, but honest, I didn’t steal anything. I just run out on the stage (at least most of the time) when Mom says, and get treats, and run off, back to Mom who is always there waiting for me. Now I have found that I can go down the front stairs and off the stage into the audience. That’ a hoot. Mom seems kinda freaked out when I get back, though. She says she can’t see me and isn’t sure if I am coming back. I know when I have to be back for when the good witch points at me and says, “Is that the witch?” Silly Mommy! I haven’t missed my cue yet. And those monkeys – oooooh I don’t like those monkeys. I run as fast as I can when I see them coming and Mom picks me up. But then she hands me to one of the monkeys! So, the last time they came after me, I ran into my kennel off-stage where I would be safe. When I came out of my kennel, thinking they were all gone, Mom picked me up and handed me to one of them again. I don’t know how I am going to stop her from doing this. Doesn’t she know they are scary?? I am Lexi the star.

October 5, 2006
I keep adding things to my part as Toto, as the audience notices and responds. I have, however, decided to leave one thing out, and Mom has finally stopped trying to make me do it, because I am not going to do it anymore. Period. End of discussion. Those trees scared me. They walk around and dance and act entirely not like trees. Well, they got in my way after I skipped – well I try to skip – with Dorothy and the Lion and the Tin Man and the Scarecrow across the stage. It is the third time I sort of skip down the proverbial yellow brick road during the play. The first two times went fine. Then that third time those trees, oh those nasty moving trees, got in my way and it scared me and I will not do that again when they are on the stage. Absolutely, positively not. I am LexiToto.

October 12, 2006
So there I was near the front of the stage close to all my adoring fans, and I was getting a bit bored just standing there with my good pals – no one was feeding me or petting me or singing to me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the wicked witch sneaking across the back of the stage. Thinking it would be great fun, I turned and ran after her, barking as loudly as I could. She kept stopping and motioning with big waves of her arm to go away. I glanced over at Mom in the wings (isn’t that a funny name for part of a building that can’t fly!) and she was making big waving motions at me too. She must have been really enjoying my impromptu performance. Then my good pals, the lion and the scarecrow and Dorothy all started looking from side to side and saying, “What can Toto be barking at?” Silly people, I was right behind them!  The audience started laughing so of course I kept it up until the witch was clear off the stage. What a great time that was! I tried it again the next night to see if people still thought it was funny, and they did, so I am just going to add it to my part. Won’t the wicked witch be surprised!

Now, for more Memory Mondays from some of my friends:

Here is Ziva the Blackberry Bully Monster last summer. (Ziva is my newest friend!) Check out her blackberry memories.Ziva the pit

 

 

 

Memory Monday by Noodle the Schnoodle (my boyfriend). Check out his peanut butter memoryNoodle

Hmmm, do you detect a theme starting? Well, we are dogs!

https://noodle4president.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/memory-monday-2/

The Temperamental Thespian Schnauzer

Weekend two of the play is over. Friday night my people brothers and Jentry and the boy came to watch me perform. I wish Riley had come too. He could have seen how it is done – not that he could ever do it.  Nobody told me I was going to have to perform two times on Saturday. That’s just too much. At the second show I got through the first two scenes – my favorites – where I run out onto the stage to Grayson. Then I wanted to go home. I was tired and hungry and the treats weren’t coming fast enough. Mom was trying to make one cheese stick last through two performances. That’s not right, it’s a cheat. And it is me who is being cheated. So I ran off the stage every chance I got. Mom got mad at me, but I don’t care. What are they going to do, fire me? I don’t think so. They will never find another Toto as good as me, especially on such short notice – or ever! I have rested and am ready now to be on stage again this weekend. I am Lexi, the temperamental thespian schnauzer.

Wizard Weekend

Rehearsals are over. Every night for a week we didn’t get home and in bed until eleven o’clock. Mom and I were exhausted. We were barely getting to work the next day.  And there was too much to do for us to sleep at work. Our schedule was get up, eat breakfast (me), go to work, eat lunch (Mom),  starve the schnauzer, go to the theater, rehearse and get treats (me), go home, get a treat (me) and go to bed. Over and over again. I lost a whole pound.

 The first weekend of the Wizard of Oz is history. I am a star. Of course. Again.  On opening night, those munchkins kept getting in my way. They started dancing as I was entering from stage right and almost danced me right off the front of the stage. Now that would have been an opening night to remember! It shook me up. I wasn’t myself the rest of the night. The next night Mom adjusted my entrance to be from stage left. It is working much better.

After  my bows, I greeted the audience in the lobby. No one brought me any treats. Saturday night my Dad was there and he held me while everyone pet me and asked if I was his dog. He had the honor of saying yes. I was really tired from my performance so I laid quietly in his arms. However, when he put me down, I tried to go down the hall to where I could smell the Mexican food from some other event that was happening there. I am never too tired for food.

I am Lexi, the Thespian Schnauzer.

Off to See the Wizard

August 2, 2014

            I’m off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz. It is official…I am Toto again! It is at the same place as last time, the Colonnade in a city called Ft. Oglethorpe in a state called Georgia. I have been practicing vocalizing since I found out I am Toto again. Even my people brother Andrew came running up the stairs to “see what all the noise was about.” Mom said I was just telling her about my day, since it was one of those two days I stay home with Dad. I didn’t correct her, mostly because she hadn’t given me my supper yet, but she was wrong. I was working on my voice and expression for on stage.

I love being on stage. I have been practicing a lot of things on my own. Mostly barking. And projecting my bark. And acting like I haven’t been fed. And acting like I have to go out, then running to the kitchen when Mom gets up off the couch. That last thing is improv. Mom has started teaching me how to bow down for when the play is over. I keep thinking she wants me to lay down. She needs to be clearer with her signals. Sometimes Riley hears us working and comes in the kitchen and performs a perfect bow. Show-off dufus. Then he gets one of my treats. He is not in the play and does not need to intrude on our practice time.

I hope you can come see me. The play starts September 12th, so this is a limited time offer. I hear that all the time when the TV is on, and it always sounds good. I am once again Lexi-Toto.