I'm not sure whether I mentioned the one blunder I made when I was sound operator on "Roots" at Ipswich Theatre. I had not set up the tape properly for one cue, and I think I wound the tape on to the wrong cue at one point and instead of music coming out of a record player which the actress Jenny Quayle is supposed to put on. She got the sound of rain instead of Bizet's L'Arlesienne Suite. I was totally embarrassed by the mistake I had made and had to rush down to the stage and apologise profusely. Unfortunately if you don't concentrate hard on what you're doing on something like that it's easy to made that sort of mistake, particularly on a show when there are so many cues coming thick and fast and not keeping an eye on which cue is lined up on which tape machine (there were two on the sound-deck at Ipswich Theatre.)
On rare occasions members of Stage Management had to appear on stage. I was what was called a Technical A.S.M. which meant I was supposed to be wholly a stage management member, but you could be called upon to fill up the stage in some productions. Acting A.S.M's were so-called because they did stage management duties but could also be expected to take on minor speaking parts. One of the ways someone who wanted to become an actor could get into the business. I hadn't been at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham for very many months before I was called upon to be a walk-on in A Winter's Tale (no doubt one of the many 'Gentleman' or 'Courtiers' that there are in Shakespeare's plays.) During this I had to be costumed in doublet and hose, including very uncomfortable shoes and at one point during he show myself and another A.S.M. had to kneel on really uncomfortable sort of duck boards on stage, which really hurt my knees, I think in such a position that I had one knee in contact with the floor and the other bent ( a one-knee bend? Is that the right term?) and it was very difficult to keep still without moving so as to 'upstage' the other actors. No speaking or noise came from us during this scene, but I think I got a permanent impression on one or other of the knees which came into contact with the floor! Later in the season they did a production of 'Romeo and Juliet' and myself and this other A.S.M. were on stage during the opening scene which had a fight going on between the Montages and the Capulets and we were fighting with staves, which meant actually having to use what were in all intents and purposes sort off broom handles and we were supposed to fight with these staves.