Friday, November 30, 2007
After the show, we headed off to Jackson, TN, getting lost on our way out of the city, crossing into Illinois, back into Missouri, and then on the right road to Tennessee, passing by the St. Louis arch twice. (I've included a picture.) It was pretty cold when we got to Jackson, and then I won a game of Settlers of Catan that we played passing the time for the night. After the show in Jackson, we'll get to drive to Nashville, TN for the weekend. I'm looking forward to heading back to Nashville, but I think it's going to be strange to be in the city with a different group of people.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
This is a photo of the Anne Frank statue at the memorial, and there are also stone monuments carved with excerpts from her diary, as well as inspirational quotes about freedom and injustice from people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Dr. Seuss. It was a very simple memorial, but a very touching one as well. It looks like a quiet night in for me, although I might crack into some recently arrived baked goods....
These are the hard choices in the life of an actor. It's always hard to turn down the offer of work, but sometimes the work you're offered isn't always the best thing for you to do. I wish some days that I had a nice steady job, fixed hours, a scale for raises, benefits, and the knowledge that I would have the same job in a year. As much fun as this "professional vagabond" life is, there are days I wish it could be something else. There is no other job I'd rather do, though, and that is what is going to keep me slugging away. But when I find that other job....
Monday, November 19, 2007
In the music side of the building, there was so much information about Seattle and rock and roll it was crazy. Lots of musicians got their start up here, including Quincy Jones and Ray Charles. They also had about six different recordings of "Louie Louie," and an entire exhibit about the Battle of the Bands between two different versions of the song, one by the Kingsmen and one by Paul Revere and the Raiders. The Kingsmen ultimately won the battle, but apparently for a while the competition was fierce. Then the upstairs section had a room where you could play instruments, mix demos, sing along, etc. I didn't get a whole lot of time to look in that room, but Molly, Tim, and I did get the chance to do their "On Stage" program, in which we pretend to be a rock band and sing a song. We chose Twist and Shout by the Beatles, and then we rocked it out. We had a great time, and we bought the poster they were selling of our appearance. It was a lot of fun.
Then we went for a seafood dinner on the waterfront, and then played a few arcade games before heading back to the hotel. These last two days have been the best days on tour yet. Yes, I spent a lot of money over these last two days, but I finally feel as if I've been seeing some of the country! We're not racing through or running pass cool sights, but now we've actually had the chance to explore a bit. Made me feel ready to get back on the road and do our show tomorrow morning.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Also, as an entirely shameless plug for a friend, I've also attached a new blog, written by NYC based actor Susan Atwood, blogging as a part of Backstage.com. They have several actors who write about the career, but since I know Susan, she's the one that gets the free press. Maybe she'll link me....
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I’m writing this as I sit in the second bench in our van, driving on I-10 toward Mesa, Arizona. We have the day off tomorrow, and then we have a show in Phoenix on Tuesday before we saddle up again and head off to California. For the past 600 miles, we’ve been driving through some amazing country. Mountains and rocks rise out of nowhere and then disappear, and at other times you can look to the horizon and see nothing to disturb the plains. It truly is a pretty wild west out here, but the scenery is incredible. This morning, we stopped at a rest stop in Arizona, which advertised itself as the home of The Thing (the mystery of the desert.) We paid our dollar to get into the museum, and it proved to be a private collection of various historical oddities. There were some amazing old cars to start off, including a 1939 Rolls Royce that is rumored to have been used by Adolf Hitler. We then moved into the wine press, telegraph machine, scales, dating from the 18th century, Chinese artifacts from even earlier, and what the signs claimed is the only example of a “Matchlock,” a type of rifle that seemed to be mounted for use on a fort. Then there was The Thing itself, what appeared to be a mummified Native American, placed inside a wooden coffin with a child. The trading post also had souvenirs and such, but we passed on them and got back into the van to continue our travels.
As we pulled out of the lot, we were discussing whether or not everything we had seen was real. It was a strange collection to be located in desolate Arizona and not in a museum somewhere, but we started talking about “collectors” who buy and find pieces like that and put them on display. Ultimately, I think we decided that all of the artifacts we saw were real and authentic, but the truth on them could have been stretched a little. I don’t doubt that we saw a real fringe-topped carriage from the 1860s, but I question whether or not it was the one used in Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration parade as the sign claimed.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I did not take this picture, but it still looks like that. The rest of the trip was a little stressful, as most of us had something to drink at dinner, and so the trek through the wildnerness of Texas was peppered with drunken actors, pee breaks, and long patches of stress where there was nothing to be seen. Tempers were running high as we got into our hotel, and now I'm playing online as I wait for my laundry to finish. (I had no more socks.) I'm suddenly getting sleepy, but I wanted to get it out of the way tonight instead of dealing with it in the morning.
We have another eight hour drive tomorrow, so I'll also probably spend some of the laundry wait composing a playlist for the few hours I'll do. It's important to have goals and such.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
This was a very long day, and tensions were starting to run high. I was seated very firmly in the second bench in the van, headphones in my ears, ipod playing away, determined to either sleep, ignore, or detach myself from everything that was happening around me. As the stage manager, I have a lot of responsibility from 7am until 1pm, and then after that I want to just sit there and disengage. Some of our company are very "touchy," and it's making me cranky. We had a big discussion about saying "please" and "thank you" before we left, but I'll confess that I can't think of any stage managers who routinely throw those words into things like "Quiet in the house" or "10 minutes!" I've done this kind of thing before, I've stage managed before, and I know the tone of professionalism. So it irritates me when people want to treat this as anything other than what it is - a job. And a job that I know how to do well.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I was asleep almost as soon as I got into the van, and we drove right across the state line into Oklahoma. As soon as we got to our first rest stop, I looked out at the horizon to see nothing rising from the plains. As we're moving farther west, the areas are starting to look less and less like rural Pennsylvania and more and more like Arizona. I travelled the east coast last year, and I am really looking forward to seeing the west and the west coast this year. And yes, yes, I will try to post some pictures up here. Anyone want to buy me a camera?
And in case anyone is wondering, in Oklahoma, the wind does in fact come sweeping down the plains.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
But until then, I'm a little nervous. It's not about the technical aspect of the show - I know that will go well. I just hope there is someone there to open the doors for us at 8am on Monday. I've left messages on every number I can find, and I even emailed the tech directors based on the online technical packet for the theatre. I think we'll be okay, but I know that I am very easy and flexible when it comes to hitches in plans. And while I think that makes me a great manager because I'm not easily fazed by changes of plans, it also makes me an inconsistent manager because I don't relay that information to the people on my crew. I like flying by the seat of my pants, because it always works out for me. Maybe that's something to adjust about my managing style...
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
We also heard some great cover bands, two of our boys danced in a cage together, two of our girls danced in the same cage together, one of our boys made very good friends with several girls in a bar called "Boondock Saint," we went to a place called The Gumbo Shop (Yum!), I did some Christmas shopping, and then my roomie and I sat up into the night drinking cheap whiskey and wearing the deluxe bathrobes from our five star hotel. All in all, it was a wonderful night. Some pictures might be coming, but I had no camera with me, so I have to rely on the pictures and the kindness of others.
Then, after this wonderful night last night, we got into our van at 6:30 am for an hour drive across the lake to perform two, count them TWO, shows in Covington, LA. I think we were all a little scared about having a double day so soon after a late night, but we pulled through very well. Then we drove another four hours to reach Alexandria, LA, where we are spending two nights in a row. How luxurious... From here, we mosey on up to Conway, Arkansas, and then we head out into Texas. I'm really glad we have a weekend coming up, I'll tell you that much.