November 12, 2012

Funky Hen Down

This isn't natural 
While all us hens on ice may seem perfect on the surface, we all take a tumble from time to time during our live performances. Besides, we're only hens, right? But the falls add flavor to our show, a little spice of laughter or gasp when the audience least expects it, reminding us that no hen is perfect.

As a competing hen, I touted myself as being a consistent skater, usually saving most of my crashing and burning for practice sessions. Now as a show hen, I feel the same way. But that confidence in rarely falling during a show makes my falls that much more spectacular, since they also come with a facial reaction and or sound effect.

Some of my better falls include sliding over the edge of the ice full speed after simply trying to step forward, as well as my tumble off an oversized set of drawers. Another popular fall was my full-speed belly flop and cackle when my blade caught my pants in an army-style cadence, but that was only seen in the rehearsal roost. But last week's final show clucked up another tumble for the list.

One of my staring roles in Hens on Ice is playing Funky Hen, a sassed up hen in vintage-ware clucking around to "Play That Funky Music."I have now done this number hundreds of times. I've fallen on my go-to jump, the double axel, a few times and my final butt spin has gone awry more times than that double axel. This final Sunday show started no different. I bolted out from behind the curtain, boombox prob on my shoulder, bell bottoms shining. Just two struts onto the ice, my blade got caught in one bell bottom and the struts halted as I went down beak first before I'd even clucked any of my lines. Instead of bracing my fall, as I expected my reflexes to do, I just held onto the foam boombox prop as choreographed and hit the ice wing, hip and belly first. Barbie Hen turned to greet my usual entrance and instead, greeted me confused from afar, as I was still peeling my feathers off the ice. Unlike other times when I fell in this little solo, I still had the whole thing to do. I cackled out my lines to Barbie as my wing started bleeding and I chucked her the boombox. Now I actually had to skate, feathers ruffled, pant leg now partially unzipped and wing bleeding - perfect for flinging myself into the air a few times. As I skated, I thought, "Should I even jump or do something easier at this point?" Then I quickly realized I had nothing to lose since I'd already made an ass of myself falling on my entrance. The double axel, blood and all, was my best of the week, and the spin...well, it was better than my entrance.

Still funky

My exit went smoothly, and I bandaged my wounds by the water cooler. We all had lots of good laughs about my tragic Funky Hen after the show and it was on to the next city. While that Funky Hen performance was far from a highlight in my skating career, I was proud of my battered body and bruised ego for carrying on and staying funky. It reminds me of that old adage: When life puts you in an ice show, makes you wear baggy pants while holding a prop, and you trip on those pants and fall and bloody yourself because you're still holding the prop, you have to get up and stay funky because there's a live audience watching who paid decent money for their seats.

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