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I Found Out Why People Tell Performers to "Break a Leg"
#3061206 09/04/20 09:24 PM
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I never knew where this came from! But Jonathan Lipp at Full Compass is putting together a glossary that includes theater terms, and asked me to look it over. Well, it's full of terms I never knew, and now the veil of ignorance has been lifted from my eyes:

A good luck saying from Vaudeville where "breaking the leg" (the narrow curtain at the side of the stage) meant getting on stage, which meant getting paid.

Okay, so y'all knew that. I didn't. I didn't know what BFL stood for, either...and I found out "Send in the clowns" comes from sending in clowns when something went wrong in a circus or rodeo, to keep the audience engaged.

Always new things to learn...!

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Re: I Found Out Why People Tell Performers to "Break a Leg"
Anderton #3061209 09/04/20 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Always new things to learn...!

indeed thu


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Re: I Found Out Why People Tell Performers to "Break a Leg"
Anderton #3061236 09/05/20 01:36 AM
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BFL is new to me, a quick search and I still don't know what you mean smile

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Re: I Found Out Why People Tell Performers to "Break a Leg"
Anderton #3061242 09/05/20 03:18 AM
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I didn't know that was the origin of 'break a leg', very interesting. I'd always been told it was a funny way of wishing luck by stating one of the worst things that could happen to you whilst performing. Which given what a cynical bunch creative types could be, didn't surprise me smile


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Re: I Found Out Why People Tell Performers to "Break a Leg"
Notes_Norton #3061245 09/05/20 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
BFL is new to me, a quick search and I still don't know what you mean smile

Well given that it's a theatrical term, it stands for "Big F****** Light." FYI - F****** does NOT stand for "fishing."

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Re: I Found Out Why People Tell Performers to "Break a Leg"
Anderton #3061334 09/05/20 10:36 PM
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and the equivalent in French "Merde"

"The history of "merde" begins in 19th-century Paris, when patrons of the Paris Opéra Ballet would arrive at the Palais Garnier in horse-drawn carriages. If there was a full house, there was sure to be a lot of horse manure in front of the theater. Saying "merde" became a way to tell your fellow dancers to have a good show for the packed audience. According to Rhodes-Stevens, "When dancers say 'merde' to one another, they are wishing each other a full and approving audience.""

Re: I Found Out Why People Tell Performers to "Break a Leg"
sysexguy #3061381 09/06/20 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by sysexguy
"When dancers say 'merde' to one another, they are wishing each other a full and approving audience.""

No sh*t!

Re: I Found Out Why People Tell Performers to "Break a Leg"
Anderton #3061417 09/06/20 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by sysexguy
"When dancers say 'merde' to one another, they are wishing each other a full and approving audience.""

No sh*t!

grin


that was then and this is now
Re: I Found Out Why People Tell Performers to "Break a Leg"
Anderton #3061845 09/09/20 06:57 PM
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Completely unrelated to this thread (it's how my brain works).....

Seeing Send In The Clowns reference above reminds me of the "Six By Sondheim" DVD. I probably watch that movie at least twice annually. Never gets old.


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