Monday, December 31, 2007

drinking hurricanes brings tornadoes

oct 18th: mississippi state.
we arrived on campus at mississippi state to a beautiful student union type hotel, a nice treat after two nights at a "rape-motel" (doors leading directly outside, first floor, window, truck stop) in hammond. mississippi state was a big campus, with lots of fun things to do while walking around - like go to borders and junk like that. we were happy. we weren't happy, though, when the campus was struck with a tornado upon our arrival; we tucked in for a bit while alarms went off, then all cleared and we went to tech.

truth be told, i don't remember anything about this show, i only remember the aftermath. we met a college improv troupe - they were fun and joined us later to dart off and watch the red sox (win, josh beckett, game 5). i also remember that we had ridiculous chairs for this show at first, like, throne-like chairs that we had difficulty moving around during chair sets and were hesitantly switched by the staff to much easier to manage plastics. this show is also the show where we learned our beloved haskins was being offered a job with Current, a writing position in LA, just an hour before showtime. she was going to take it if it was offered, and then, it was.

jazz it up

the second half of oct brought much more travel, shows, and baseball - but most importantly, it bought us on a surprise trip to new orleans!

oct. 16th started our "southern renegade" tour, a tour we had no idea landed us so close to the city. we had a show in hammond coming up on the 17th, but hadn't really noticed that n'awlins was within 45 minutes, a delightful surprise as we rented our cars and headed directly in to the city. i had never been before and always wanted to go; i had not been in louisiana before except for during katrina at an evacuation hotel casino nearby (really something, another story for another time). needless to say, i was happy to be back. so many fun things came as a result of this trip:
*we drove straight to the thick of it, and had a "real" southern dinner - alligator soup, red beans and rice, stuff like that - at a place called frankie and johnny's. it was super fun, kind of a dive with real cooking from scratch. made our day.

*a carload of us (we had two cars) decided to drive right into the quarter instead of going straight to the hotel, since this was one of our rare travel days the day before the show started. i was jazzed to get to the city, so me, teal, chuck, shad, and sniffs all went in.

*this was a tuesday night, mind you, but things were pretty much still hopping. i was wasted within about an hour or so on hurricanes and juleps, as was the whole crew. sniffen slowed down and became our designated driver five hours later, and was amazed at how goofy we'd all become.

***when i say "wasted", i mean pretty much what i'm saying - i passed out in the car on the way back, but before that? i went to a live sex show with teal and the boys, and we paid 7 bucks for a miller lite to watch two girls not do things we all had. borrrrring. we took off from there and went to a strip club instead, at which i got more drunk, stuff some girls panties with dollas, and then proceeded to strip myself outside on a lightpost.

(there are not pictures of this, but should be.)

also, we went to a few gay bars then watched the red sox tank this night at the world's coolest old bar, a bar i don't remember the name of. (blue? help me out.)
the next day before the workshop i taught with shad back on site, aimee, sniffs, hasks, teal and i ventured back into the city to cafe beignet for - you guessed it - coffee and beignets. we stopped for a bit to check out an old mosoleum graveyard. it was pretty run down but still really charming; we couldn't decide what part was just weathered from time, and what had been hurt by 2005. in any case, it was a good time suck, walking around and seeing the graves of first-black-mayors and voo-doo priestesses. amazing.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

rocktober - the first half

now, october was a month of a lot for me, but
for the life of me-hee, i can not remember
(RIP, verve pipe)
much - and i think some of that is selective memory. a lot of tough heart-breaky things were starting to happen by the end of this month - and additionally, tourco life changed a TON almost overnight for our company. how's that for teasers?

in touring life, for the first two weeks, i only had one SC show in Naperville, IL - a major change from the month before two weeks in. this gave me lots of time for lunches with pals, csz, and a couple DelTones shows at iO, all of which were really fun. and sleep - i got to sleep some.

in the first two weeks and beyond, however, i watched a shit-ton of baseball - i mean like, a shit-ton - while my friend chrissy was in town to apply for a position in oak park. that was the greatest, that part. amy, tara, chrissy and i watched our loved cubbies take a major nose-dive, which ate one, but chrissy and i also rooted on our beloved sox*, which had a much more desirable outcome. uh ohhhh! spoiler alert! if you have a time machine!
*my family almost disowned me for this picture, even though they knew it was coming. sorry, defrans, cleveland is two hours away. give me a break.

the homestretch

september 29th: bloomington, IL.

our final stop on a full week of touring, which would bring our 10-states-in-one-month spree to a close. we performed in a big 3000 seat auditorium on our last night with an uber helpful tech staff, which really made the last night on the road much easier.

most of us also wanted to bone one of the stagehands, a guy who's name is escaping me now three months later. blue, if you're reading this, advise. the dudes wanted him too. jake? lars? sven?

the most lovely part of this evening, though, was when meghan (stage manager, friend) and chuck (musical director, period) (kidding!), did our scenes off book back to us best they could after watching the same show for almost a month. they were honestly not too shabby, and we all laughed at the imitations of us, both for the accuracy and for the sheer inaneness that they had memorized all of our facial expressions and idiosyncracies due to all the time we had.

from bloomington, we gunned it back to chicago the two hours, and got to sleep in our own beds very, very late. yes.

the day the music died

being on tour for 21 days in one month was amazing, but we had seen a lot of the motherfuckin' midwest for a while. because of this, you gotta stop here and there at interesting places to make it all distinguishable.

on the road into or outta iowa, we stopped at the Surf Ballroom, the site of the last concert of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens played before their ill-fated crash later that evening. the place was a relic, but not in a sad way - it was well-kept, with all the original wallpaper and flooring inside. when we walked in, the big 3-s music was piped through the speakers tucked in each corner, and some vets on a bus tour were watching a movie in the main dance hall about the artists that seemed to conjure some nostalgia. the place was itching for another sock-hop.

we bought t-shirts, hoodies, posters and stickers, and then went along our way, listening to buddy holly until we hit the next state.

so, where were we?

ah, yes.
pella, iowa : september 28th.

after a lovely stay in a strange town with a car for a bed, we moved on to pella iowa. pella was by far one of the more conservative places we had been, a town full of christians, windmills, tulips, and something called a "dutch letter". shad ran to the closest/best bakery nearby that had the town staples, and bought them for us. apparently they are only sold in a handful of towns across the US, those with a high amish constituency. sort of dense but flaky croissant-ish dough is shaped into a letter of the alphabet, and filled with a sort of chocolate spread inside. the spread is the consistency of something like nutella. the cast went apeshit over them; i only thought they were fine, but was adoring of their cuteness.

i took a little lap around town during our break and bought a lot of souvenirs for family and friends here. for some reason, this was the leg of our september tour that everything started weighing on my mind, and i needed a little alone time. it's probably the reason i haven't blogged about anything since this point - i can't remember it because some moderately personal stuff kinda fogged my brain up here, and honestly, probably for the remainder of fall months. still, touring is always fun.

our show was well received in a beautiful, old little theatre - something we didn't expect after the on-site contact warned us that the year before people had complained about some over-liberal content (read: a song about bush not caring about education). (racy!) during the intermission and monitoring crowd reaction, we all confirmed that we would indeed do our most terrifying number, Censor, in which i rap offensive bits with a partner and the FCC cleans it up. they liked it, and we were duly surprised. that was really something.

and here we go...

as a mini pre-resolution to myself, i wanted to wrap up my touring experience on here for the year before we start what is hopefully a great new one.

here come the updates...

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