Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Chicken Mortician

I embalmed a chicken last night.

Now, I don't want to offend anyone, so right up front I should point out that this was not a live chicken. Nor was it some kind of freaky ritual. Nope, I was just trying to make a stage prop.

>> I should note that at this very point, the animal rights folks are more than likely relieved. But -- and this is in no way insignificant -- I might still have angered some of my vegetarian demographic. So, before I continue my little post, allow me make an offer: Next time, maybe I'll try to do this with tofu or something. [But no promises!]

So, why the heck was I embalming a chicken? Well, one scene in Bat Boy - The Musical calls for a cooked chicken. A woman tries to feed the captured Bat Boy. And she gives him a whole roasted chicken on a plate -- not a bucket of KFC ... not a plate of wings .... not a few slices of chicken breast covered in gravy ... not a drum stick or two ... the WHOLE THING.

It's not like we can cook a chicken for every one of these performances. OK, actually we could. We have the technology, and maybe even the time. But it's not an effective use of time and resources. Particularly where my own resources of time are concerned.

So I thought I could embalm it.

I purchased a roaster from a local GIANT supermarket -- the one in North Wales just off of Route 309. That sounds like a plug, but it isn't. That store is on my route from the office to the Montgomery Theater. Plus, that particular GIANT has the distinction of being in the same shopping center as Michaels. And I needed a can of Clear Coat Matte Spray.

So I pretty much spent my evening spraying a coat of the sealer on the chicken, waiting for said coat to dry, and then repeating the process. A coat would take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to dry. Actually, I probably should have waited longer between coats, but I wanted to finish it tonight. And it didn't have to be perfect.

Oh, and by the way ... if you decide to do this yourself, make certain you are in a well-ventilated room. The fumes can really get you, and you don't want to breathe this stuff in any quantity. Also, I highly recommend storing the finished chicken in the freezer until it is going to be used -- and MARK IT so that no one tries to eat the fool thing.

[Date more or less reflects when I originally posted this entry at my Local Theater blog with Phillyblog.com.]


ORIGINAL COMMENTS:
  • I've heard of breaking a leg for the theater, but sealcoating a chicken for the theater? Wow.... that's dedication to one's craft!!!
    Posted by: Peg at September 10, 2004 01:40 PM
  • That chicken is the coolest Brian! But after four weeks now, it's getting gross. Do you think we can have a funeral service for it at the cast party on Saturday? =P
    Posted by: Jennifer at October 8, 2004 01:15 PM
  • Jen, that's not a bad idea. Heidi and Bill Murphy and I are all ordained ministers in the Universal Life Church. And you, yourself, have now played a minister. We should easily be able to put together a little something for Saturday!
    Posted by: Dramaturge at October 8, 2004 10:15 PM

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