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A slip in fake blood sparks 'sanguine' topic

The other afternoon, I slipped and fell. This, in itself, is not a rare occurrence for me: I slip and fall often. I'm also quite accustomed to tripping, walking into doorframes, banging my hips on jutting countertops and veering into people as I attempt to walk beside them.

Naturally, these incidents only happen when I'm near people who will definitely notice and certainly comment.

The strange part of this particular slip-and-fall was that it involved high heels, a pool of blood and a very, very large batch of people watching as I fell to my knees and stood up, pants soaked in the sticky sanguine substance.

That's right. I'm in theatre.

(P.S. 'Sanguine' is my word of the day because my boyfriend and I recently became fixated on its meaning and uses. If you aren't familiar, look it up and take the sentence-usage challenge -- yippee!)

Last weekend was the opening -- and subsequent closing -- of "Slasher," the first show of Concordia's theatre season. It is, to quote from the school's Web site, "a funny and frightening look at the horror film industry." I find it, to quote myself, "A play mocking sexual violence and feminism in horror movies, with a dash of anti-religious sentiment thrown in to taste, that douses the first few rows of the audience in sticky sweet blood."

But remember, I urge you: never trust a critic.

There are several different routes I could take with this theatre-related column, and as I sat down to write it, I gave some deep thought to which one I could best do justice while keeping you, O Faithful Reader, at least moderately amused.

I could write about how hard it is to conceal secret pal gifts when your secret pal is your roommate and you share a very small refrigerator space, and how I subsequently hid orange juice in Jake's fridge for a week in hopes that his housemates wouldn't get thirsty or vitamin C-deprived.

But that would require an explanation that the Concordia equivalent of a secret pal is a FUB, which stands for "fire-up buddy" and is a very silly syllable to try and talk about seriously.

I could write about how to make fake wounds for slit wrists and severed heads, or the alchemy of turning chocolate milk into imitation blood...but that could negatively affect readers' calcium intake, and apparently I'm very concerned with adequate nutrition this week.

I could write about the juxtaposition of college theatre and high school theater -- a contrast deeper than a mere change of spelling. But what if someone were offended by my mention of "F-bomb night," during which there was evidently an obscene need for profanity during director's notes (coincidentally, it was during the rehearsal attended by the show's playwright -- I'm sure we made a terrific impression)?

I could write about how the theatre is a terrific location for the study of relationships, because you can watch people both analyzing and carrying out relationships onstage, as well as viewing their real-life interactions offstage. But I remember writing a previous column about how a play is a great place for character study, and I'm too lazy to check the archives and make sure I'm not repeating myself.

I could write about how bizarre it felt to act in a show without a director who knows me and a cast that I've seen in every variety of role. But that would lead to writing about feeling the sort of detachment that allowed me to go until the second performance without realizing there's fake fog in "Slasher," and the nostalgia for DLHS theater has a very sad potential attached. There's already enough tragedy in newspapers.

So I sat, topic-scanning.

And that's when I noticed the array of Spiderman band-aids on my feet, covering the holes that my high-heeled character shoes had delved.

This, in turn, made me remember that shortly after I slumped backstage following my less-than-graceful and certainly-not-scripted blood bath, I found my own blood oozing from a fresh cut on my hand. That, then, allowed me to conclude that: art imitates life imitates art.

And that kind of cryptic, backwards, statement-that-doesn't-offer-any-readily-accessible-meaning is what theatre, college, and, I hypothesize, life are all about.

Thressa Johnson attends Concordia College in Moorhead.