Humans of FHC: Robbin DeMeester


“Out of all my years in theater, one opening night stands out. It was in 2005, and we were doing Peter Pan. Peter has a big entrance where he flies into the nursery window while the kids are sleeping. On opening night it was time to fly him in, but the fly crew misjudged and flew her into a wall. The wall started shaking, and all the props on the wall started falling off so we had to have crew steady the wall. So I get on the headset really mad that it happened because we practiced it a lot, and now I’m thinking, “It’s opening night; that’s the worst thing that could happen.a�� No. The musical goes on to a song sung by the Lost Boys for Wendy while they’re building her a new house to be their mother. The choreography is them putting together this house that latched together on the inside. She emerges at the end of the song through the front door. Apparently, one kid didn’t latch something right inside the house. The actress for Wendy comes out and goes to perform her solo and as she’s singing, the set starts falling down on top of her. So she is stuck singing with her arms and legs spread out to hold up the house. Eventually, I see two Lost Boys sneaking around the back of the scene, trying to hold up the house so Wendy could continue to do all of her dancing. At this point, I am livid that all this has happened on opening night. I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh, nobody is going to come to the show this weekend because we’ve been a hot mess.a�� The next night, we were packed out– couldn’t even buy a seat. I walked up to the student section and said, “I’m so happy everybody is here, but why are we so packed out tonight?’ They told me, ‘We heard that last night the set was falling down, and you were flying Peter into walls.’ So, we ended up making fantastic ticket sales because everyone wanted to see our mistakes. In our defense, we didn’t make those mistakes for the rest of the shows. It makes me wonder now though, should I hope [this year’s] first night is a hot mess? Because everybody loves a hot mess.”

[Teacher & Theater Director]