Everyone in the business of live performing has embarrassing on stage stories, from Broadway legends to Ariana Grande to kids in local dance recitals. We asked our audience to share their most embarrassing on stage moments with us. From costume calamities to total wipeouts, your answers had us both cringing and crying with laughter. We’ll save our fellow theatre friends the further embarrassment of divulging their identities, but you know who you are.
“Once I fell doing choreography and fell flat on my back, legs splayed to the audience.”
Have you tripped over your own feet on stage or lost your balance during a live performance? Missteps are a common occurrence on stage, especially when you’re climbing over set pieces or trying to remember choreography. But unless you’re starring as Velma Kelly in “Chicago,” a spread eagle to the audience is any performer’s worst nightmare.
“My pants fell down during a tap dance but luckily I had another costume underneath.”
Wardrobe malfunctions are one of the most common culprits of embarrassing on stage moments. From split plants to Janet Jackson Super Bowl XXXVIII-level debacles, a lot can go wrong when it comes to costumes. An emergency layer under costumes provides live performers with peace of mind that no matter what happens, no one will be receiving THAT kind of show.
“I passed out onstage once.”
While most on stage mishaps are simply comical, this unpleasant moment is downright scary. Whether due to exhaustion, illness or any combination of factors, passing out on stage is frighteningly common for live performers.
“I went to back flip over a cart, instead the cart fell over too and landed on my head.”
As mentioned, some embarrassing moments can be scary and dangerous. We laughed at this one after the fact, knowing this performer was okay, but during the live show several audience and cast members were surely concerned for the performer’s safety.