Every night as two talented actors step on stage and bring the citizens of Tuna, Texas to life from little Jody Buemiller and Vera Carp to Bertha Buemiller and the Rev. Spikes, the stories are played out to the delight of the audience. However the audience is not aware of the show behind the show. The people behind the curtains that transform the actors into 20 characters using 45 costume changes. We are the Tuna Helpers.
In an often fast paced 2 hours the transformations occur in as little as 15 seconds to a leisurely 2 minutes. Working together with the actors in what can best be describe as a dance, or at times controlled chaos, we the Tuna Helpers have learned the following things through trial and error.
’s sandals are forgotten in the dressing room it is not humanly possible to run upstairs to the 3rd floor dressing room and back in the time it takes Vera Carp and Aunt Pearl Burris to say goodbye to Judge Roscoe Buckner. It’s close, but as they say close only counts in horse shoes. Stanley
- A sandal is just a sandal. Let
Stanleywear ’s shoes….knowledge that would have been useful to us before attempting to set the land speed record up the back stairs of the Hanover Tavern. Lastly and most importantly….do not hit sweet Aunt Peal in the head with said flying sandals. Chad
- Necessity is indeed the mother of all invention. A tube of lipstick can double as a hair curler when needed. We have to keep our LGBT (Ladies Gathered for Better Tuna) looking their best.
- The true power of double stick tape is in its ability to hold together Bertha Buemiller’s earring better than hot glue. 5 weeks and counting. Now if we could just get it to stay on Rev Spikes’ upper lip.
- Don’t let the actors see you panic….it might be contagious.
- Laughter makes everything okay.
I think it can be safely said that without the highly talented dressing skills of the Tuna Helpers, the good citizens of Tuna, Texas would still be there to entertain you…but they would probably be naked!
So come on y’all…come enjoy the show and as they say in The Wizard of Oz…..pay no attention to those people behind the curtain.
- Dexter Ramey, Shannon McCallester and Eric Evans