31 January 2005

Program typos I didn't make

I do the programs for most of the shows at the Stage and VLOC and I've had my fair share of typos. I ask people to proofread for me and, as far as I can tell, they read their own bios and then say the entire program is fine. Then, on opening night, they bring me the program and point out typos. This drives me nuts. I hate having typos in my programs. On the other hand, typos in other people's programs cheer me right up.

If you do enough programs, you can head a few typos off early. For instance, I get bios that say the actor recently performed in The Sea Gull or Sea Gull. Correct title? The Seagull. When Dave turned in his bio for "Art" he misspelled his own character's name, Marc, substituting a "k" for a "c". Easy to fix. Lots of folks puts a "the" or an "a" in titles that don't actually contain them, or leave them out of titles that do. According to French's Mr. Stoppard's play is correctly titled Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I get lots of variations on that one.

And if a bio is dictated over the phone, the typist may hear something something different from what the speaker said. For instance, the speaker said "Son and heir" and the typist types "sun and air" (Anyone besides Larry recognize where I got that example?). There's a name for this, which I'll look up when I get home.

So anyway, I'm sitting in Elden Street's theater last night, leafing through the program, randomly reading bios and I come across this: "Michael .... has been performing in this area for the past 14 years having appeared last at ESP as Yvonne in Art." Two typos for the price of one. The correct title for "Art" contains quote marks. Easy to miss. But the character's name is Yvan. Because he's, you know, a guy. So now I'm going to think of that show and think of tall and bearded Mike playing that role in drag. Perked up my whole evening.


Anonymous said...

Yvan? or Ivan? Other, similar pairs: Erin/Aaron, Michelle/Michel.

Pairs like son/sun and heir/air are homonyms, I think.

I think my colleagues hate it when I edit their work (we all get 2 other pairs of eyes on our writing - you'd be amazed what obvious mistakes miss those first two pairs). I tend to pick on typos, especially punctuation. In one previous job, one person would write a daily summary and give all of us copies to proof. I *always* caught the hyphenation mistakes, to the point where he dubbed me The Hyphenator. And my husband has gotten tired of teasing me about reading books with a pencil ready for corrections. Yeah, I notice typos in programs, too.

David Gorsline said...

Actually, the title of the play is approximately "Chaika," depending on your transliteration rules. Project Gutenberg's edition renders it "The Sea-Gull."