The Blueberry Muffin
I repair flutes, and one of my most memorable repairs was the flute that got stolen by the toddler in the house. The headjoint was bashed and scraped along the edge of the coffee table, and was a mess. We all thought the rest of the flute was unscathed, so I put it on the shelf. When I got to it a few days later, I gave it a more thorough look and discovered a that the precious tyke had also shoved most of a blueberry muffin up inside the body of the flute...and now it was nice and green and moldy. - Sarah Stockton, Boundless Flute (Website)
The Noisy Mascot
It’s a habit of mine to bring a mascot to each show. Sometimes they have direct meaning, sometimes it’s whatever dog toy I find lying on the floor on my way to the gig. In the case of The Drowsy Chaperone with the Little Theater of Manchester, my clarinet colleague brought one of his kid’s old toys that, at one point, made noise when you squeezed it. A minimum of ten years had passed since this toy had been used so none of us thought much of it.
The show’s trombone player, a good friend and colleague, isn’t particularly superstitious but he was having a tough go at it for a few days. He decided the creepy mascot was killing his mojo, so he grabbed it off the sill and humorously slammed it on the floor in the middle of the show, cursing it’s every characteristic.
Unfortunately for us, the damn thing started to make a sound that combined a muted duck, with a high pitch chirping, and fuzzy broken record...oh and it didn’t stop. In a panic the other reed player threw his suit jacket on the mascot to muffle the sound, while the rest of us attempted to keep our embouchures focused on the notes even though our fits of laughter did momentarily make the pit dip in intonation and clarity. I have not, however, ceased bringing mascots to gigs…I just make sure they aren’t battery operated. - Erin Vivero, Flute (Website)
The Mute Drop (Not cool like a mic drop.)
The show was Fiddler on the Roof and there was a rather tricky mute change that I never really attempted. But, this one night I decided to attempt the change and did, successfully...or so I thought. The mute started to fall out. Not so bad of a situation, but a stone lined mute dropping on a hard floor does not make for a very musical sound. So, I went to catch the mute and in doing so, I did something that I haven't done since first learning to play.....I dropped the slide. Completely. Earned the name: "Slide and Mute Dropper" - Paul Gerst, Trombone