Adventures in Prop-Making: Cake and Cake Topper for The Wedding Singer

Adventures in Prop-Making: Cake and Cake Topper for The Wedding Singer

Sometimes you’ll find that when working on a production, the script will call for something impractical or difficult to have as “real” onstage. Case in point in The Wedding Singer (we open in less than a week — EEK!) — obviously a show with “wedding” in the title will at some point require a cake!

For a while I was considering having a real cake onstage, but ended up vetoing it for a few reasons – first, it would be potentially messy (especially if it got dropped or smeared on a costume); second, it would be expensive and/or time-consuming to have a fresh cake onstage each show; and third, my musical director reminded me that real cake would be a bad idea onstage because the cast would inevitably eat it, and eating cake right before trying to sing isn’t good! (FYI – it coats your throat, making it that much harder to get those gorgeous notes out!)

So, a prop cake would have to be built. And this cake was surprisingly easy! The bottom tier was already made from a previous production — it’s a round piece of foam covered with tape, and then painted white, and sitting on a piece of cardboard. The whole thing had to be re-painted, as it was originally trimmed with blue and white and said “Happy Birthday” on the top!

PRO TIP: Always be sure to ask the company props master/mistress before altering a prop from stock! Tweet: PRO TIP: Always be sure to ask the company props master/mistress before altering a prop from stock!

The middle and top tier are round decorative boxes purchased from Dollarama. The top tier had to be painted first as it was brown, but the middle tier I just kept as-is. Remove the lids, flip upside down, add some hot glue and presto! The flowers, pink ribbon trim and pearl decorations were also Dollarama finds. The pearls are fantastic, as they’re self-adhesive and come pre-attached and in long strips. The flowers were found in the bridal section and ripped off the original green ring. Overall I think the whole project took about two hours to complete (and actually less for me, as our OKTC co-op student did the initial painting!).

We also sliced a slit in the back of the cake, so the bride and groom could “cut” the cake onstage. Once the show is over, the slice can be easily repaired with more tape and repainted if the next production wants it whole.

Adventures in Prop-Making: Cake and Cake Topper for The Wedding Singer

I also had to create a cake topper that looked like the bride, “Only much, much smaller!” (as Robbie Hart says in a fit of despair). This was super-easy to create — I found a Barbie Happy Meal toy in the OKTC props storage and fashioned her a dress and veil out of some lace trim and hot glue, as well as little “shoes” from the aforementioned pearl stickers from the cake. If you look closely, you can see her purple dress through the lace, but it’s really not going to matter, since she’s going to be held by an actor and the audience won’t be that close up to notice!

Have you made any interesting or unusual props for a show? Share your stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!

Further Reading: Funny/Strange/Scary Props Stories and Theatre Etiquette: Concerning Props

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A Grand Time at Shrek the Musical!

A Grand Time at Shrek the Musical!

Last night everything was looking at little green at the Grand Theatre here in London, as it was opening night for Shrek the Musical! Shawn and I were fortunate enough to get to attend (thanks to Art Fidler!) and it was a wonderful show! Shrek the Musical is based upon the first Shrek movie, and it is hilarious and fun for the whole family. In fact, I saw a number of Original Kid families in the audience last night!

It was so much fun to see all the wonderful Shrek characters come to life onstage — Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Gingy, Pinocchio, and even the dastardly Lord Farquaad. The cast is chock-full of amazingly talented singers and dancers, and you will laugh yourself silly throughout the show!

Demand for tickets is so high that the Grand has extended performances until January 3. So you’ll definitely want to get your tickets quickly! As you can see below, Shawn and I definitely got into the spirit of things!

A Grand Time at Shrek the Musical!

Wednesday Words of Wisdom – Sara Ramirez

Wednesday Words of Wisdom - Sara Ramirez

“Theatre feeds my heart and soul.”

Sara Ramirez, singer/songwriter & Tony Award-winning actress (Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Monty Python’s Spamalot)

When You’ve Pushed Yourself Too Hard

When You've Pushed Too Hard

It feels funny to be writing this particular post after my 400th post on Sunday, but I’ve reached a point where I have to just sit down and get real.

In the past, I’ve been asked by friends how I “do it all.” How I can pursue my career, keep up my blog, spend time with my family and friends, be there for my Original Kids, travel, and do all the hobbies that I enjoy.

Confession time: I don’t do it all. And I can’t.

How do I spend so much time at the theatre and do so many shows?
By being away from my husband and family for days and sometimes weeks on end. I have had family and friends volunteer or visit me at my theatre specifically to spend time with me. That’s how busy I frequently pack my schedule.

How do I keep up my blog?
Often by staying up until 2 am to get posts done.

Being there for the Original Kids?
I love my actor peeps. But they frequently tell me, “You’re still here? Seriously Kerry, go home.”

I’m not sharing this to gain sympathy. Believe me, I know how hard I push myself. I frequently push myself so hard that I don’t sleep and end up in a panic the next day because I’m so exhausted that I can’t think. I want to do it all, and I can’t. There are only so many hours in the day. And it gets to the point where something’s got to give.

Which brings me to the point I’m at now. Things are insane in my life right now. The Wedding Singer opens next week (get your tickets!), A Charlie Brown Christmas runs the week after, I’m trying to get my OKTC spring show edited, I have sorority meetings that I’ve been neglecting, my apartment is a wreck, and I haven’t started Christmas shopping.

After The Blogcademy, I was so fired up and excited about my blog that I was posting five times a week. Once November rolled around, I upped my posting schedule to seven days a week. Which I’m slowly realizing is slightly insane, especially due to all my other commitments.

So I’m not going to be finishing November Blogging Bonanza this year. I need to ease back on my blogging schedule for the next few weeks. I’d rather post less frequently and deliver awesome-quality, useful posts, than to just throw something up on the blog for the sake of posting. I’m certainly not giving up blogging (no way could I do that!), but I do need to ease back at this time.

I’m so grateful to my friends, family, and wonderful readers for supporting me and this blog — you are all amazing.

Further Reading: Gala Darling – In Praise Of Calling It Quits: What To Do When You’re Burned Out, & How To Get Your Spark Back

Photo Credit: Malcolm Miller

Inspiration For When You Feel Like Giving Up

Inspiration For When You Feel Like Giving Up

There are days when I’m feeling absolutely useless. I can’t write, I can’t think, I question my abilities… all I want to do is hibernate or run away. I’m sure I’m not alone in these feelings! On those days that I’m feeling this way, I turn to some of my favourite writers and artists for inspiration and to help me push through these gross feelings. I hope they help you too.

Remember — you are not alone. You are amazing, and the world needs you and your art. Reach out. Push through, keep fighting, and never, never give up.

I’d love to read your most inspiring work, and your favourite inspiring artists.
Share them with me on FacebookTwitter, or in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Richard Gilmore

PS: This is my 400th blog post. I am so thankful to my friends, family and co-conspirators who have supported me and pushed me to keep going and to never give up!