In 2006, I was on a multiple show contract with a group of people who liked to have a lot of fun. When you work in the sticks there is nothing to do, so people get into trouble.
It was after an opening night if I recall correctly, and a friend and I decided at 1:00 am that it would be a great idea to take one of the golf carts on property and drive it down the huge hill. It was so thrilling, that when we got to the bottom we took a right and drove the cart all the way across property back to the top of the hill to do it again. We must have done this 4 or 5 times, screaming and laughing, but on the last run the tiny key to the cart fell out of the ignition and was lost somewhere on property.
My friend and I realized this on our way to the top of the hill, so we decided we were going to ride the cart down the hill one more time to find it. As we drove towards the top of the hill we saw a man in his tighty whities running towards us. It was the producer of the theater.
He yelled, “Get out of the cart now!”, and we got out and watched him drive it away in his underwear. “That’s it!”, I thought. Pink slips were definitely in our future.
In the dark we ran down to the meadow to find the key. It was so dark and difficult that we gave up. We agreed to meet first thing in the morning to continue our search.
When I got back to my room, I wrote an apology letter to the producer and went to bed. I tossed and turned all night as I knew it would be my last night on property. I had really screwed up this time.
Early the next morning, I met my friend and we were both a hot mess. We marched down to the meadow and after 30 minutes of looking for a needle in a haystack, one of us finds the key. We headed up the hill, found the golf cart, and slipped the key into the ignition before anyone knew it was missing. Then I delivered the note to the producer, and waited in fear.
Well it happens that on the list of stupid things done by actors since the theater opened in 1949, our offense wasn’t a big deal. We received a strong talking to, but we were never fired.
I did find out that I addressed my apology note to the wrong owner. It hadn’t been the producer at all who stopped us in his underwear, it was his brother. I guess I was just so shocked that a man in his underwear was running after us, that I didn’t really take a good look at his face.
It was a relief to not be fired, but every time I went back to work at that theater, I had to sit through a company meeting where this story was used as a cautionary tale when going over company rules. I would laugh inside as the stage manager told the story, but having to hear it over and over was punishment enough.
However, my friend and I became golf cart legends.