Adapted from Maria Howes' Peeing Beauty
My nickname? You mean P Beauty? Here's the origin story.
I had landed the lead in the school's production of "Sleeping Beauty". I was so proud. The cast had been rehearsing for two months and we were more than pumped and ready to get onstage and perform it! After months of stress and laughter at rehearsal, we had finally reached opening night. Our hands were sweaty and we shook with anticipation and nervousness backstage. As the lights dimmed and the audience hushed, we took our places behind the curtain. Everything was off to a great start. Choreography solid. Lines on pace. Chemistry high. I even hit the high F on my solo!
It was time for my big scene where I was going to kiss Rick, the handsome prince. No stage kiss for us tonight. We were going to let the moment take us - to be authentic as possible. I rushed backstage and changed into my a beautiful, white lace gown with sequin trim that surprisingly, didn't look like a wedding dress from the 80s. The wedding chorale music began to play, I made my entrance, and a hush fell over the crowd. I smiled and predicted a loud and cheery applause. Instead, the audience burst out into laughter! Bewildered and confused, Rick whispered into my ear, "let's just hurry and finish the show". With hardy laughter still echoing throughout the audience, the scene finished with a rushed stage kiss. The curtain went down and I ran off the stage, bursting into tears. My company members tried to stop me but I couldn't face them. My performance was so horrible that the audience laughed. Laughed! All that work, for what? To be the joke. I quickly ran into the dressing room,took off my costume, gathered my bags, dried my tears and sneaked out the back door.
As I walked towards my car, I tried to figure out what in my performance had caused the sudden outburst from the audience. Then I heard snickering coming from two audience members walking down the sidewalk about twenty feet from me. I tried to ignore them but couldn't.
The tall one pointed at me, and then yelled: "That's the girl who peed onstage! As she was about to get married, peed on stage!"
I wanted to be swallowed up the concrete. Confused and embarrassed, all I could do was look down as they passed me by.
And then it came to me.
Wait, what? Peed?
I ran inside to the dressing room and grabbed my dress from the rack. I turned it slowly to the backside and noticed a very obvious large yellow stain. I know it seems kind of gross, but I wasn't sure what it was, so naturally, I cautiously smelled it! Relieved, but still upset, I realized that it was Mountain Dew! I looked around the dressing room and saw, right next to my chair, a plastic cup, tipped over sideways, still dripping the curious yellow liquid.
I walked out of the dressing room with my dress and a piece of paper that read, "another victim of food and drink in the change room." And, the next night, we did the play again and everything was perfect. I stopped worrying about what people thought and played the scene.
To this day, I'm known as P Beauty. The lesson is this is obviously, don't have open soda in a crowded dressing room. AND to figure out what truly happened before jumping to conclusions.
Peeing Beauty originally written by Maria Howes and published on Scenes for High School Drama Students, 1998.