Mark’s Note: This is the second in a series of posts written by our 4-month-old Shetland Sheepdog puppy, Riley.
After acing my audition for the role of Sandy in the latest production of Annie, I spent the week before rehearsals memorizing my lines. This was an easy task considering I don’t have any, so there was plenty of time for me to get into trouble.
On Saturday, I decided to allow my human sister Casey and human dad Mark (who I will, from now on, refer to collectively as my entourage) to take me to the park. I had never been to the park before. I didn’t even know what a park was. But they asked me if I wanted to go there in that high-pitched voice they usually reserve for pleasant things, so I acquiesced.
Mark’s Note: See my recent post for my version of the disaster Riley is about to describe.
The park was huge! It was all trees and grass and bird poop! There were lots of dogs there, too, and I prepared myself to be mobbed by my admirers. After all, how often do these poor mutts see a star in their midst?
As it turned out, though, these were polite, sophisticated pooches who respected my privacy, except for one Labrador retriever who very much invaded my privacy, if you get my drift. He also drooled on my back. I would have to tell my entourage to draw me a bath later.
Anyway, we were pretty much left alone. Even the pupperazzi stayed away! I did meet a fan who was about my age, and we greeted each other by sticking our asses in the air. He was congratulating me on my big break; a high ass is our version of a high five.
As we continued our stroll, I looked for sticks because I really like sticks. But then I found something even better: a little rolled up piece of paper with some stuff in it. It smelled funny, so I ate it.
A couple of hours later, I began to feel a bit woozy. By that I mean I couldn’t sit up straight without leaning against the side of my crate. And when my human mom Barbara tried to take me outside, I took a few wobbly steps and keeled over.
It was far out, man!
In short order, my entourage had me back in the car and I was headed off to rehab.
Did I know that rolled up piece of paper was the remnant of a joint? Hey, I’m in the theater, dude! What do you think?
Anyway, rehab was pretty cool. I just chillaxed overnight, hung with my fellow rehabbers Lindsay Afghan, Shih Tzu LaBeouf and Robert Doggie, Jr., and got a small tattoo on my leg. (Mark’s note: No he didn’t; they had to shave it a bit for the IV.)
I was good as new the next day, and ready to start rehearsals on Monday.
All the adults at the production had a good laugh when Casey told them about my weekend adventures (after all, what actor doesn’t have a wild escapade after landing his first role?), but Casey did a bit of spin doctoring for the kids because it wouldn’t do for their parents to know they were in a show with a cast member that had a history of drug abuse.
Before rehearsal began, the choreographer let me into her studio where there were dozens of other dogs who looked just like me! We all did high asses; they were so happy for me.
I was totally professional during rehearsal! I ran out to the girl playing Annie and stood by her as she sang that horrible, horrible song. You may wonder how a little puppy can run across a stage by himself to a girl he barely knows.
(And, also, she had treats in her pocket.)
The cast photographer was at the second rehearsal, and he said I was as good as any dog he’d seen on Broadway, although, to be honest, I don’t know if he meant on a stage or in the alley next to Sardi’s.
But as I went to sleep that night, I did know one thing: I was ready for opening night, or, since this is a middle school production, opening morning. Casey wanted like me to learn to bow before then, but I figured it’ll be good enough to just give the audience a high ass.
To be continued…