Tour is done...so GoGloop is not going to be added to anymore! But wipe away those tears...and come visit me at my NEW blog:
....ok.......I'll wait while you pick up your jaw off the floor or table or desk. I'll wait a few more seconds while you compose yourself. I'll continue to wait as you deal with the SHOCK that has just hit your body.....
I know. I know. I've heard it from many of you. From those of you I haven't heard it DIRECTLY from, I've heard it from your Wonkerer. I've heard it over the phone - I've heard it over email - I've heard it through the US Postal Service. I kind of feel like I'm writing a Dr. Seuss novel to Sam, I am.
it's almost like a connect the dots....just start at the circle marked A, which is Sylvania and follow through the alphabet to...um...whatever the last letter is on there. I think it's H - and H is actually where we are driving to on Saturday. But look at it this way: NOW, thanks to the blog, you're actually a head of us! Instead of behind. Brilliant. I know.
I decided I HAD to blog today because we had the craziest experience here in Elizabethtown today. It's something that has NEVER happened to me before with the Wonka on the road. And it was both awesome....and not awesome. So today was our first show scheduled in E-town. It was at noon - which we all thought was a great time! Turns out that the venue we are performing at, the Hardin County Performing Arts Center, is attached to the local high school. So we roll up, go through our regular routine and get ready for the show. There were a few differences from other stops....mainly dealing with the school bells ringing and the large amounts of high school students walking down the same halls we were walking from our dressing room to the stage in. But regardless...we were there and ready to perform.
The show started and was rolling along nicely. I am here to report that about 34 seconds after stepping on stage for the first time, I realized how HOT and muggy it was on stage. It was a nice spring day outside...but MAN it was heating up on stage. Felicia and I noted to each other numerous times during the first half of the show how hot it was, and how positive we were that one of us was going to faint. Yeah folks...THAT hot. But we plugged along...because we're pre-fessionals and we do it for the children.
First half is rolling along smoothly....and we get right to where all the children have arrived at the gates....the big REVEAL of Wonka and the factory doors swinging open...and as we're all standing there and getting ready to turn to see Rachel open the gates......THE POWER GOES OUT! Completely out. Sound. Lights. Music. EVERYTHING. We're talking PITCH DARK. But people....never you fear....because as previously stated, we are PRE-FESSIONALS. Not one to miss a beat, from behind the factory gate doors and in the dark of the theater, we hear Rachel, after a brief pause decide to soldier ON! The children are here...and we will not disappoint. So from the darkness we hear Rachel's booming voice declare: "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! (beat) (beat) (beat) WE WILL NOW.......PAUSE."
WELL....forget it folks. I was already giggling at this point (it was ok - my mic wasn't going to pick it up....because THE POWER WAS OUT!) but that sent us all WAY over the edge. And then as Rachel opened the gates and continued with the scene, the flood-lights in the theater came on....and Rachel continued her monologue...approaching each child, collecting tickets, speaking of the 'Chocolate Genius', punching Jonny in the chest....well, the chest-punch is not NORMALLY part of the show...but hey...today? ANYTHING goes! And as soon as Rachel was done, Steve carried on. We were all bewildered...giggly....and extremely confused as to WHAT we would do next. (My thought was just to have Wonka announce at this moment that Charlie wins! We'd bow - head out - call it a day. It totally worked in MY head!)
At this point, a representative from the venue stepped on to the stage to announce that we were going to hold...and asked the students to stay in their seats and the cast to step off stage until we could resume the show. He didn't have to ask us twice. We were off and laughing about it even before his annoucement was done! I mean.....POWER-OUTTAGE? RACHEL'S ANNOUNCEMENT? FLOOD LIGHTS? THE THOUGHT OF HOW WE'D FINISH THE SHOW WITH NO MUSIC OR LIGHTS? Adding it all up in our minds, it was pretty hysterical.
The next few minutes were spent laughing about it and waiting for updates...until finally, the representative from the theater received word that the maintenance workers who would have to work on the outtage were on the NORTH end of the county and unable to make it back. So their plan was to call the show - almost exactly halfway through - send the students home and call it a day. BUT - to make up for some of the loss, they asked us if we would be willing to go into the lobby in costume to say GOOD BYE to the children as they left. All of us agreed it was the least we could do.
I'm hear to report that what started out as a great idea of going to the lobby turned into a pretty heart-breaking scene. I'm guessing the classes that came today were grades K-3. And as they passed us, heading out, we saw a LOT of sad kids (whether they were sad the show ended or sad to be heading back to class, we shall never know...but we like to think it was for the show!) and not only kids that we thought were sad - kids we KNEW were sad...because of the TEARS FALLING DOWN THEIR FACES. That's right folks...long story short...we came, we performed, we brought the children to tears....I'd say our work is done here. But seriously...it was a little bit tragic for all of us, seeing how sad some of these kids were on their way out. It also reaffirmed to me how MUCH kids love the experience of seeing this show! And what a cool job we have ....with the opportunity to affect kids lives like we do. GRANTED today...we probably scarred a few...but I mean on the whole....we're doing a good thing here.
The craziest part of the whole experience was as we were standing there, saying good-bye, as the LAST class started to head out the doors....THE POWER CAME BACK ON! HAHAHAHA! How messed up is THAT? Of course by this time it was too late to STOP all the classes that had already left and bring them back and start up again. But MAN...it sure was bad timing! Hopefully, since we have 2 school shows tomorrow, they will be able to fit a few of the classes back in to see the show. I'm a firm believer that these students lives won't be complete until they see Augustus go IN to the chocolate bin. It will shape their little lives.
So here we are at the end of another WACKY day on the road with Wonka. It was definitely a FIRST...and will definitely go down in the books as being the time we broke the children's hearts. But, like life, it's just one of those things you experience, you learn from and then you move on from. And WHAT exactly did we learn? We learned how much seeing this show means to kids. We learned to push on...even when the power is out and it seems like we shouldn't. And most of all, we learned that if at all possible, we should schedule POWER OUTTAGES on days with 3 shows...like tomorrow...because wasting it on a one-show day is like...like....asking for a fresh fruit cup at Coldstone Creamery. I KNOW! KIND of a waste...but still kind of good for you....but still...kind of a waste......
Coming soon...some pictures to catch you up on the past 2 weeks...which is good, since I know most of you come for the pictures anyway! Hopefully, today, a story will do! Happy Friday!
WELL....since today was a day off in Sylvania, there is little to report. A little shopping - a little sleeping in - a little movie. (Zodiac....long, but very interesting.)
*Jodi, Felicia, Rachel and Jonny all decked out for a night with Chita.
*Felicia practices KICKIN' with Chita at the Palace Theatre.
*MORE from the Christmas Story House! L: The cast and crew gather round the Christmas tree for a 'Family Picture.' R: Me enjoying my alone-time with the cast...
*A couple of not-to-be-missed pieces from the museum....which I missed. BUT, Felicia got! L: some of the costumes from the movie...including Randy's SNOW SUIT! ("I can't put my arms down!") R: The Red Rider BB Gun. Need I say more?
*Felicia celebrates our time at Clowes Hall on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, IN.
*Roe, Felicia and Jonny backstage in Wabash! So WHAT'S the big deal about WABASH?
YEP! You read it right. In the WORLD. THE WORLD!
So this was from some random drive day...in some random podunk city...somewhere in the middle of nowhere. We stopped to get gas and across the street from the gas station was this little building with this sad little door and wreath - and a sign over the door that says "CITY HALL." We found it entertaining.
So my friend, Darren, sent me a Dwight Bobblehead...from the HIT NBC sitcom, The Office! And since every Thursday, Felicia, Jodi and I have a standing OFFICE/EARL PARTY...we all wanted our chance to welcome Dwight into our tour lives.
And welcome him we did!
Bobblehead Dwight has gotten pretty used to life on the road so far. He REALLY likes it when I end up getting a DOUBLE - instead of a KING. When it's a KING, I make him stand on the desk for the night. But when I am dealt a double, Bobblehead Dwight gets his own bed...and look how happy it makes him. So happy.
So I introduced Felicia to the magic of Pei Wei restaurants while we were in Clinton, MI. (Pei Wei = PF Changs 'fast food' restaurant...and delicious.) At the end of the meal, felicia cracked open her fortune....
...and was told she needed to eat more, evidently. HONESTLY? This isn't a fortune, Fortune Writing People! Please make a note of it.
Clinton, MI was a big stop NOT just because we got Pei Wei...but Felicia got to see her MOM, too! (In the center, next to Felicia!) She lives in the Ypsilanti area...and came over for the show! Felicia's aunt and her 2 cousins, and a friend of Felicia's mother and her 2 sons came to the show, as well! Needless to say, Wonka was a HUGE hit in Michigan!
The venue in Michigan has a little 'tradition' to have the shows that come through decorate a ceiling tile...and then hang it up! It's pretty fun....to walk down the halls and see all the different shows and art creations! Here is Katie with the WONKA TILE she made! HUGE props to Katie for her awesome work on the time! It looked awesome and we all got to sign it! THANKS, KATIE!
Katie in the process of hanging the tile!
A couple of other shows tiles...which I took for a couple of friends with ties to these shows. You know who you are! I lay on the GROUND for these...so you better LOVE THEM! ha. Or not. It's cool either way.
Jonny watches all the ceiling-tile-excitement from his STAR dressing room. Which (he won't tell you) he had to share with ME. And it was pimped OUT! Sort of.
Hey look everyone! It's Rose and Marie...our Siamese Twins! Rarely seen...but really good girls. With fierce high kicks...and gas.
The Ritz Theatre marquee in Tiffin, OH.
Jonny and a couple of well-dressed squirrels. Hanging out...enjoying the weather...in Tiffin.
Mr. Squirrel Dude even has a bushy moustache AND eyebrows. I'm going to call CREEPY...just a little bit.
And finally...today, after our shows in Tiffin, we had the rare....treat...of helping with LOAD OUT! A good time was had by all! The pictures tell it all.