Tuesday, May 30, 2006


LET'S take a look at what the Cast and Crew of Willy Wonka 2005-2006 is up to this summer.


Chris Schardin: working at a theater camp somewhere in the Northeast. (Mass.? maybe.)

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Todd Hendricks: Playing bass in the orchestra at a summer stock in New York State.

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Emily Steger: working at a summer theater in Alaska.

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Travis McHale: designing at a summer theater in Vermont.

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Elisa Rupert: Taking the summer off to spend time with her mother who has been living in Australia.

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Matt Anderson: Receptionist at old job and bored.

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Eric Thompson: Visited DC this past weekend and ran out of money buying hot dogs at the National Memorial Day Concert.

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Jackie Lamptey: Still lost somewhere in Southwest DC, looking for an address in Nortwest DC for an audition.

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Jill Shelly: Returning to Six Flags in Maryland for her 9th consecutive visit since returning...as she has vowed that she will attend EVERYDAY until they hire her to sell the gigantic turkey legs.

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Chris Sizemore: Still at a customer service desk somewhere at Best Buy in Maryland, arguing with them about his computer.

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Jen Morris: Lost in a pile of unclaimed furniture in the apartment she was trying vacate over the weekend.

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Andrew Frace: Still walking around his new apartment in NYC, trying to figure out how to hook up all of his gadgets and gizmos, in accordance with his OCD-Room-Policy.

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it JUST doesn't get any more impressive than THAT...

more updates to come.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Additional Information

Do you NEED your GLOOP-FIX as we head into summer? WELL...I'm happy to report that NOW you have 2 DIFFERENT options! That is RIGHT!!! I decided today that I just couldn't disappear on you all like that. It's like going cold-turkey with cigarettes. A great idea, in theory, but tough to do!
SO NOW, I offer you 2 options to get your fix. Choose one or two...or combine them BOTH for more blog-reading fun!

check back here at GoGloop.blogspot all summer, as I will do my best to post updates on where everyone is and what everyone is up to! (And if you are part of Wonka, please remember to send me WHAT you are doing so I can post it!)
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check out my NEW blog page. It's at NoGloop.blogspot - and it's entited 'Life Outside The Green Van'. Just click HERE to check it out! I plan to fill this space with the zany happenings of my life in DC this summer as I search for the answer to the big question - WHAT is next?
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GoGloop and NoGloop
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A Few Final Words

Happy Monday, Readers!

Thanks for checking back in for the 'wrap up' session of the Wonka tour! We made it to Wilkes-Barre, PA on Friday, from the Atlantic City area...and it was all pretty un-eventful. (I feel like I said that a LOT this 2nd half...and yet...we got in wrecks and saw alligators and performed in arenas and stuff like that. I might have to re-evaluate my use of that word.) Anyway...we made it and on Friday night, we had a nice dinner out with the ENTIRE 12-person group. We went to celebrate the end of tour AND the 30th birthday of Jill! And it was a great night.

Our last show was on Saturday afternoon and it wasn't anything that out-of-the-ordinary. We did have an intermission (like in Staten Island), so the show was two 30 minutes halfs, but we didn't mind. And then we were done. While we stood there, in the finale, I looked over at Jill, got a little emotional at that, and then remembered that I wanted to look at EVERYONE on stage and remember what they looked like. So I glanced around and watched the rest of the cast singing the end of the show. I tried to sort out the feelings that I had as I watched...and I think tonight, I finally found a way to explain it to you.As I stood there watching everyone, I was overcome with a sense of PRIDE for everything that this tour was. I didn't feel overly sad that it ended...and I wasn't overtly happy to have it done. But I did find myself very PROUD of what we, as a mighty group of 12, had accomplished over the past 9 months.

Let me lay it out for you:

-The Willy Wonka tour was the longest tour in the Kennedy Center's Imagination Celebration long history. Clocking in at 9 months, we spanned an entire school year as we traveled the Midwest and East Coast.

-Our group ended up performing the show 215+ times in 78 cities and 26 states. And I didn't even take the time to sit down and calculate the hours or miles we drove or the actual numbers of students and/or families who saw the show.

-We covered the 9 months with the least amount of loss and/or injury that we could. Aside from some sore legs, sore bodies, a few lost voices, a lost iPod and a lost white van, we all made it through.

-We tackled every obstacle that was hurled at us. From last minute show changes to constant schedule changes and updates, we all took the news in stride, and continued on doing what we were doing.

-We survived a major car accident, the China Delite Hotel, the Queens Hotel, Sioux Falls and Detroit Lakes in winter, Van Gas, the Blizzard of 2006, the Staten Island Venue 'experience', Jersey, losing Torg and Tara, adding Jill and Travis, the LLC Extended Stay, the little red cooler, the football and a number of 3-show days.

-We took a show that had been previously produced at the Kennedy Center, and made it our own. With the support of our production staff and our touring technical staff, we ended up sharing a show with the country that excited kids and touched hearts young and old. And as I've said before, there is no telling what effect our show had on the numbers of children who saw it.
(Don't make me REMIND you of the 14,000 children in Orlando ALONE who saw it!)

-And finally, we came into this experience as 7 actors, a stage manager and 4 technicians here to do a job, and we leave as friends. I think the most impressive thing to me over this time has been how each of us, regardless of any differences we may have with each other, has put those aside and focused on making this experience the most for each other. As cheesy as it may sound, I think each of us, at one time or another, rose above ourselves to make sure that we were contributing to the experience as a whole. And what I love about it most is that people NOT with our group noticed...and commented on how WELL it seemed we got along as a group.

I thought for sure I would be weepy and a mess as this all drew to an end. I have been surprised the past 24-48 hours how when I thought I would have tears, they have been replaced with an immense feeling of love, friendship and respect for the Family of Wonka that I said good-bye to last night and today. We each brought ourselves to the table, we each committed to the experience and to being true to ourselves, and we all left today with a little piece of each other. My life has been improved, enriched and bettered because in the summer of 2005, we all said yes to a silly little children's show.

Excuse me for a dip in the pool of sentimentality, but like the witches of Wicked, because I came to know Elisa, Jackie, Jill, Jen, Tara, Emily, Andrew, Eric, Chris, Chris, Travis, Todd and Torg, 'I have been changed for good.' And I wouldn't change it for the world!

With deepest respect and love -
I am humbly your Gussy

The THOMPSON'S officially gain the title of MOST DEVOTED WONKA GROUPIES! They saw the show in 3 different states! Talk about DEDICATION! And Eric got to show off his newest nephew and fan, Jonathan!

IMMEDIATELY post-show, Andrew got to get rid of his facial hair and return to baby-face-Frace.

And Jill got to get a sassy new do, too!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Random Pictures To Entertain

So it's Friday. Our LAST Friday of tour. Normally you would've logged on and expected to read an entertaining story or hilarious anecdote from the follies of tour life. This time, it's a little different. Because I am busy preparing for my PARTING WORDS - that I will be posting on Sunday night...for all of you to read on Monday morning. And I am PRETTY SURE they are going to be pretty dern profound.
So in the meantime....I've gone back over the past few weeks and decided to include some crazy-fun pictures from our adventures that didn't quite make it onto the blog. Not because they weren't worthy....not at all. I like to think of it as that they just weren't READY. But now...after some maturation....they are.
So you sit back, relax and enjoy a mish-mash collection of these un-reported memories, while I pull my thoughts together to bid our days with Wonka a fond farewell. How weird is that?!?!?!
I thought we just got started........
Happy Friday, friends!

OH! And P.S. BE SURE and check back on MONDAY...when you will find out what my NEW blog address will be while we're not doing Wonka. Now that you're in, you gotta keep up. And don't worry...crazy things happen to me on AND off tour...SO I'll still be able to bring you bloggable stories and pictures from life back in DC...or where ever I end up this summer....

Chris Schardin. POSTER BOY for Memphis BBQ!

What is WRONG with me? I can take the time to report on Barbie in Memphis...but I TOTALLY skip over Jill saving a baby bird, somewhere between Dalton, GA and Memphis? PRIORITIES MATT! Here Jill is in action. Bird just appeared at the gas station...and like the mother bird that she is, Jill swooped in and carried the bird to safety. And as we drove off, we looked back...and saw it carried off by a hawk. JUST KIDDING.

Chris and Eric take some time out on Beale Street in Memphis for some shopping fun.

The view out our window in Leesburg, FL. Pretty much awesome. Don't be jealous.

A couple of 'LOST SHOTS' from backstage in West Palm Beach. L: Jill and Eric kickin' it in the dressing rooms. R: Kirsten, from the KC, and her friend...um...Esmerelda. Just kidding. I can't remember the friends name, though. Sorry, friend.

These are a couple of shots from the BBQ at Torg's place in Boca Raton. I'm not sure WHY I didn't include them in my original post...because looking back at them, they DELIGHT ME. Jackie and Travis...up close and personal.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Barbie LIVE! In Memphistopia

So this blog entry is also very late. With my computer problems, and some traveling this weekend and hotel internet troubles, it just has been pushed aside and pushed aside and pushed aside. But now - it's time to report the truth of what we did in Memphis when we WEREN'T at Graceland.
Chris, Andrew and Jill used to work at a magical little place called TOBY'S DINNER THEATER. And when they worked there, they worked with a magical little theater pixie named Felicia Curry. Felicia recently was cast in a national tour of the amazing little showed called "BARBIE LIVE! IN FAIRYTOPIA" Felicia is playing the pivotal role of Topaz. Well, the stars aligned and paths crossed, and it turned out that Barbie and Wonka were BOTH booked in to Memphis at the same time. (We won't go in to who was playing the hot Orpheum Theatre downtown and who was playing the ghetto-fabulous Mitchell High School in the bad part of town....because it's not important. And because it's embarassing to admit that Wonka was in da' hood.)
So Friday morning, some of the Barbie cast came to see our show, on the wrong side of the tracks, and then a group of us went to lunch at Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street. And then Friday night, we went to see THEIR show. People, that show is NOT a joke! NOT A JOKE! Probably one of the most fun nights I've had at the theater in a long time. And our Barbie Friends, Felicia, Becca, Ashley and Jonathan were AWESOME! (Felicia...I really believed you were tied up in the evil ladies lair. You were THAT good! Jonathan - you can PULSE IT, man. Becca...you made flying look easy! Ashley - the singing snake voice? UNTOUCHABLE! loved it!)
Then afterwards, it was ALL Wonka-Barbie, ALL night on Beale Street...eating, drinking, music, dancing and fun!
The PROOF? It's in the pictures....

Here is the gang, POST-Wonka on Friday morning. L-R: Chris (Bald Barbie), Ashley (Sunday Barbie), Felicia (Black Barbie), Eric (Charlie Barbie), Becca (Asian Barbie), Jonathan (Ken), Jill (Veruca Barbie)

The girls of Barbie get one of those temporary tattoos on Beale Street.

Becca, Ashley and Felicia show off the finished products. You'll have to figure out what it says on your own.

The Felicia Curry Collection: Felicia and Chris, Felicia and Andrew, Felicia and Matt.

Sporadically, during lunch at Hard Rock, the girls would JUMP UP and show off their tattoo's.

L: Felicia shows off Beale Street mid-afternoon. R: The Barbie Cast with us show off their show poster in a bar window. I found it a strange location to be advertising Barbie LIVE! In Fairytopia. But then I found out it was a gay bar...so not that strange. HAHA! Just kidding. It wasn't. But wouldn't that be classic if it WAS? Ironical is what I would've called that.

The Orpheum Theatre...where the Barbie magic happened. PLEASE NOTE: This was NOT a high school in the ghetto. And the show poster. As seen earlier in a bar window.

The cast leaving the stage door after the performance.

Best Friends FOREVER!

Jackie and Felicia after the show. Rumor has it that these 2 are actually sisters.

The DEBAUCHERY begins on Beale Street...

...and continues throughout the night. I think Asian Barbie just said, 'Me love you long time.' Hmmmmm.......

Chris gets friendly with a member of the band, THE DEMPSEYS, who we listened to that night. They were GREAT! Very VERY high energy. Very fun to watch. And non-stop action. This gentleman ended up with his shirt off and standing on his base throughout the evening. (The band guy. Not Chris.) It just doesn't get any more entertaining than that.

Here they are folks, THE DEMPSEYS!

HAHAHAHA! I LOVE this picture. Jackie, her friend Jen, and our friend Jen pose at Blues City Cafe while The Dempsey's play. Liquor played a big part in this evening for most everyone.

Jill and Travis get caught moving to the funky beat.

The last shots of the night. L: Elisa and Felicia bid the camera adieu! R: Tough to call here...you vote. WHO LOOKS HOTTER? Matt or Felicia. Don't worry - be honest. She can take it.

Don't miss Barbie in a city near you! They have some KILLER dance moves at the end of the show!
Peace -