Thursday, February 12, 2009

What I have done for FUN! - Pt. II - February 12, 2009 ***Now with Pictures!***

How I have Fun, and my first day off.... continues here!

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Now don't let my whining fool you, we DO have days off, and during my rehearsal period I was given quite a few extra days, thanks to various circumstances, such as the inauguration. (I was already happy that Obama was elected, but this sealed the deal- a day off thanks to him! wooo!) During these select days (usually Monday, but during rehearsal I sometimes had Tuesday too!) I would take the chance to TRAVEL! (Since once I started the show, I wouldn't be able to have more than one day off at a time any longer!)

My first Monday off I was invited to a lovely brunch with Kendra and her roommates, Ian and Michael. Trista was there as well as Electra and her mom and Kendra's parents too. It was SO nice- it felt like a really nice restaurant or hotel or something! We went out on the boat their rental house came with (a tiny little battery powered boat, which actually ran out of juice on the way back! We had to paddle back in! Classic...)

Photobucket Yummy Brunch!

Photobucket Kendra and her Dad

Photobucket Kendra's mom, Michael and Trista

Photobucket Electra and her mom

Photobucket A toast!

Photobucket Ian Cruising...

Photobucket Me and Electra

Photobucket Nice houses!

Photobucket Duckies!

Photobucket Paddling back!

Then I set off for my own adventure.

I decided to go up to Sedona and Arcosanti for the day and a half I had off. Arcosanti is a huge urban design experiment out here in the desert. Paolo Solari was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, who has a school out here called Taliesen. Solari wanted to explore if humans could live harmoniously with nature, and is a pioneer in urban planning in that he wanted to have as many people living in as little a space as was comfortable, all the while still living in harmony with the land and utilizing it's natural resources in a responsible way.

The architecture itself is striking, and the purpose of the experiment is a vein of environmentalism that I regard very highly, so I was really looking forward to visiting this place. But since I had just had a lovely, lazy brunch followed by a boat ride, I got on the road a little later than expected and found myself outside of Arcosanti around 8 pm, well after they closed for tours, obviously! So I had to find somewhere to stay. (If I had gotten there earlier, I could have stayed in Arcosanti, which would have been fun, but it was not meant to be. Besides, it wouldn't make half as interesting a story as it was!)

So just outside the gates of Arcostanti is Cortes Junction, which basically consists of a truck stop-like gas station, as far as I could see. But I had spotted a motel among the Mac trucks, so I set off in my tiny rental to find it. It was behind the gas station, and the only way to get to it was a dirt road... but there was more than one. The first one I explored was the wrong one, and ended near an abandoned structure straight out of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Flustered, I turned around, headed down another steep, dusty road and found myself in front of a little motel.

I checked in with a skeptical motel manager ("Just you?" he said with one eyebrow raised…) and checked out my room. Fluorescent lighting and painted cinderblock walls greeted me in a room straight out of... well another horror movie that takes place in a motel. To make matters worse, there was no deadbolt on the door. So... I improvised. (I think MacGuiver would be proud.) I dragged the little fridge in front of the door, and then put a chair on top. Therefore, if anyone decided to 'check in' on me, the fridge would slow them down, and the chair balanced precariously on top would make some sort of alerting racket.

Photobucket My High Tech Security System

(I know, when I told everyone this story they all had the same reaction you're probably having now. -As in "What were you THINKING??" haha. I'm used to it.)

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Coming up, after these messages.... More blogs of FUN!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The final installment of "A (rehearsal) day in the life of Me!" AND "...for Fun, Pt. 1!"

So here’s the final part of my average day in rehearsals…. followed by what I've been doing for FUN!

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7:30 pm- SHOWTIME! I catch a ride from my hotel shuttle to the show every night, since it’s already dark by then. Of course, I’ve talked to at the front desk and knew them all by first name by the second week! Haha! (Well I figure they’re kind of like roommates, they just ‘live’ in the lobby and answer to my every need! Great roomies!)

So my friend Patrick gives me a ride and I watch the show usually from the sound booth or somewhere interesting like that EVERY NIGHT. (I just recently found out I don’t even need to watch every night, but it is really such an amazing show, that even though I’ve seen it over 10 times now, I still see something new every time. I love it!)

I sometime watch from the audience, but I mostly sit in really interesting places most people can’t sit in. I really love sitting in the sound booth! Kevin, one of the sound guys, found out my music background (I was a DJ for three years in college and mixed lots of live sound.) so he lets me do little things like open the second act and close the second act. Oh, and the all-important act of rolling fabric over the sound boards after a show. (Really tough stuff, I know!)

By the end of my rehearsals I had sat in EVERY place there is to sit in the theater, for real! I watched the show from the sound booth, as mentioned, lighting booth, rigging platform (30 feet in the air!), the stage manager booth (also 30 feet in the air!), auto fly platform (a whopping 50 feet in the air!). Everyone teased me that soon I would have other jobs in the tech realm! Haha! But for those of you who know me, this is very typical. But I’m used to having 8 different jobs at home, so I really liked learning the show inside AND out! I learned SO much about how much goes into running this show. There are SO many people involved in making it run and run smoothly that you’ll never see. It’s truly amazing.

Everyone in the show should have to see all these people working as hard as they are behind the scenes. Dressers, makeup artists, stage techs, lighting techs, sound techs, puppet masters, electricians, stage managers… and that’s the short list! It really made me have such a respect for the immensity of the show and it’s sheer scale!

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So now that you've been through the typical rehearsal day with me, I can finish updating you on the LIFE I've had OUTSIDE of work.

Oh wait.

I didn't really have one during rehearsal.

Four hours a day doesn't sound like a time-consuming beast, but combine that with the lack of a car (which meant lots of time hoofing it to and fro) and watching shows every night (which meant getting home and to bed sometimes north of midnight) you find yourself with little time FOR yourself or anyone else for that matter!

Everyone was really awesome my first few weeks though. And even though I whine (see paragraph above) I had SOME fun...

During my first week a few people were on their way out, such as one of our Hair ladies, Cheryl, who was making the move to Mary Poppins on Broadway, and Celise, our Dance Supervisor, who was making the move to Vegas, so we had some awesome going away parties. Cheryl's was kind of low key but emotional at a really nice hotel bar called Mission Palms. People made speeches, toasts were had- heck, it was my first week, I had JUST met the lady, and even I was in tears! (But those of you who know me know that it doesn't take much more than a Hallmark commercial to put me there... haha)

Celise's going away party was a much more raucous affair, complete with impromptu singing and all! We were at Bocca, a local wine bar, and we were having ourselves our usual good time, when suddenly you heard a beat.... a beat emanating from someone rapping on a turned-about chair. Then, rising out of the amazingly talented throats of the singers surrounding me, a chant/song, beautiful and rhythmic. Before I knew what was going on, people were on their feet, stomping, clapping, singing, dancing and generally having a fantastic time. It was like a scene out of a movie! It was amazing, pretty much my dream come true. I've always wanted to burst randomly into song and dance with a group of talented people!!!

(Needless to say after our scene died down people approached the table for autographs. I kid you not. It's pretty obvious after hearing these people sing that they knew what they were doing.... and with our theater not two blocks down the street, the people of Tempe were SO onto us...)

So during the week we would sporadically go out for drinks to celebrate someone's birthday, a going away party, and lately, my very first bachelorette party! (I would blog about that, but we were all sworn to the all-powerful "What Happens at the Bachelorette Party, STAYS at the Bachlorette Party" oath... sorry!) I will say it, and all the other times I've gotten to hang out with the cast, have been 100% fun!

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As always, to be continued!!