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ActorQuest - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Bway 4

This November, Kristin Huffman made her Broadway debut as Sarah (flute, piccolo and sax) in John Doyle's production of Company.  The actress continues her collection of stories about a 15-year career that has led her to the door of the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

 As with any new show that comes to Broadway, COMPANY has had tons of publicity and photo shoots. Most of the time they are pretty fun. This next story is about a photo shoot I did for a regional company that I just had to write about and share with you all.  


Today I had to do a photo shoot for a theatre company that does BABES IN TOYLAND every year. It was for the poster that will advertise it and I was posing as Bo Peep.  Let the laughing commence......annnnnnnnnnd now let it stop.

I got paid well and it was only for about an hour of work so I figured I could "Bo Peep it" for that kinda cash.  Huge Blonde Dolly Parton wig, sheep herding staff, and a big hot sweaty costume later...I wasn't so sure.  I actually auditioned for this role two years ago and was told that I was too old for Bo Peep and too young for Mother Goose.  Now the director, who hired me for something else later, told me they wanted to 'sex up' Bo Peep and so they called me. Seriously. So me and my boob enhancers...and my false eyelashes went to the shoot.  We all met the Tin Soldier, a cute nubile dancer girl, and Peter Piper. Or he might have been Tom Tom the Piper's son. At any rate, he was some cute boy in green tights. 

My costume was the typical pink with fluffy sleeves thing that went down to about my knees. Not real 'sexed up' in my opinion.  Obviously not in theirs either, because the minute I came out of the dressing room, the lady consultant unzipped the back of it and pulled it down off my shoulders.  I then stuffed my cutlets into the bra and did what my mom calls "pinching up your boobies." We shot a few frames and as I was seemingly not 'sexed up enough,' I was asked to lean forward and peer around the Tin Soldier with a "OH" on my face. These people were REALLY intense about the whole thing too.  If I wasn't showing enough shoulder they would stop and adjust me and converse about it for about five minutes while I held some incredibly uncomfortable position...while still trying to look sexy. 

Next, it was decided that I wasn't tall enough to match up to Peter or the Soldier so I had to put on some sassy ankle straps ...and bend down more...and pull up the boobies more...and smile ...or not....and lift an eyebrow... and tongue please... no joking obviously. And then for some reason this whole thing started to make me giggle. Here we've got Peter Piper, looking like one of the American Idol guys, and a cute nubile 17 year old girl as the Tin Soldier...and Too old for the innocent Bo Peep with sheep...but not sexy ENOUGH for the X-rated version. So I decided to try to use a little fairy tale 'dirty talk' to spice things up and get us all into the right mood.   

As the photographer was getting ready to click his shutter...sounds dirty already doesn't it?...I said "Are you happy to see me or is that a shepherd's crook in your pocket (click) ..and a little chuckle from the soldier.  Which only egged me on.  So I tried, "Let me tell you what ELSE sheep are good for" (click).  A snort from "American Idol"'s Peter Piper.  Which only led to, "Peter? I got yer peter right here" (click).  Actually, that one was a tad blurry because even the photographer laughed at the inappropriateness of that ad lib.

We finally got the shot that seemed to make everyone happy.  An innocently sexy "OH" with a LOT of cutlet cleavage and shoulders.  And who really cares what Peter Piper and the Stinkin' Soldier were doing anyway? I have a feeling they are going to have to change the title of the show now though to BABES IN TOYLAND ....GONE WILD.

Photo - Heather Laws (Amy in COMPANY), Kristin Huffman and COMPANY musical supervisor and orchestrator Mary-Mitchell Campbell

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