Saturday, August 30, 2008

Drama, Load-in, Lawyers, and Inappropriate Behavior

The day started a bit on the wild side. 7:30 wake up call so that I could attend the venue by 9am. I arrived 10 minutes early to find our crates in our hallway, right where I expected them to be. I grabbed (a second) cup of coffee and headed back to the wardrobe room where I was greeted by 3 of our past local crew (who were requested by us to return for the following 2 shows). After genuine heartfelt greetings I noticed that they were all tense. I started moving roadboxes around while I was pondering what was happening. It was then the local president stepped into the room and asked when the boss was arriving. Our boss got a busy start to the day. I can't go into this situation in depth, but it concerned the person who was replaced when we were last here. This person showed up for the call and was huffy when she found she wasn't on the call. Letters were written, lawyers were called (on both sides) and evenutally it resolved itself to our satisfaction. Although this person continued to hang out in the hall of the venue and shoot frosty glares at us whenever we passed.

Inappropriate behavior is not tolerated nor rewarded. You reap what you sow.

The day progressed smoothly after the rough morning. Considering that I had 2 meal breaks of 15 minutes each, it went very well!

We walked away from the venue at 4 pm and the three of us did a little shopping together and then enjoyed (yet another) delicious dinner out together.

You are getting sick of hearing it, I know; but I really dig the people that I work with. My boss never runs out of interesting stories and we all have the same sense of humour and are constantly cracking each other up. At least they crack ME up, and that goes a Long way in our 12, 14, 16, 18 hour days.

Tour update. We are continuing to book dates in February 2009. It is going on and on. I still believe we are going to wrap early April though. Only time will tell!

Exciting news!! We are finally getting our tour buses!!! They will arrive here and take us back Stateside and to Buffalo early next week. Interesting tidbit, I keep telling you this tour is mega, right. There are no less than 7 tour buses (sleepers @ 12 bunks a bus)on this leg of the tour. Just saying. I'm going to get a firm semi count soon, they are still adding and moving equipment around, and we don't have the swag truck yet either. But we do have swag!!!

I'm off to bed early. Tomorrow begins the 2 days of close-up shots for the dvd. It's going to be a very busy day with extra people and cooks in the building, if you get my drift.

Cheers to my mates that are traveling to Europe with the Ballet. Continue kicking butt boys. I love you all and can't wait to see you again!

Love and Light to you all, even the crazy ones. (especially the crazy ones!) ;-)

Back in Montreal

Time to catch up here. I just didn't have the energy to type following the 2nd Toronto show. The audience was much better the 2nd night, we got great reviews from the opening night, but the audience was participating the second evening. Load out following the show went well and speedily, even if we did have to haul costumes a half mile back to the wardrobe room.

We departed Toronto this morning and headed back to Montreal on the train. VIA train (that's the name of the regional Canadian train company). We were greeted at the station and escorted to a club room (with coffee and breakfast) and then preboarded before the general seating commenced. We were upgraded on our trip back, it was first class, they fed us (decent) food, not as good as our own catering, it was still travel food, but they wined and dined us for the 6 hour trip back. The car was nicer and I was exhausted and sure I would sleep... but that didn't happen. Crappy florescent lighting that I couldn't get away from; it kept waking me up. So it was a fitful and uncomfortable ride back to Montreal. All good though, I made great progress in my book, in fact, an hour outside of Montreal, I had to put the book down, cause I didn't want to finish it on the train. I wanted to say it for tonight...

My boss and I wondered out into Montreal and went dining at a French restaurant that was recommended by her Friend. It was a bit on the pricey side, but that is what per diem is for, and I had a GREAT gaspatcho made from cucumber/avocado with little baby shrimp. Delicious. The scallops weren't bad either. We had a great french wine (my first booze of this tour believe it or not) although the name alludes me right now, and NO, I only had one glass. After dinner we wondered and wondered around, arriving back at the hotel much later than anticipated, almost 11pm.

A great finish to the day, although I will admit that now I'm a bit peck-ish and I'll have to see what treats I've secreted away in my travel bag for emergancy snacks.

Our crew was all surprised in the last 48 hours. We thought we had Saturday off this week but Nope, we are loading into the venue tomorrow. No show, just loadin and everyone out of the building at 5pm. I think they want everything set up and flawless for Sunday and Monday, as we are doing the final(?) close-ups for the tour dvd. Perhaps then we will level out a bit... HA good luck with that.

We get a new dancer in NYC to replace a gal who is retiring from the tour. I may have mentioned that, so again, new clothes, new people and new tracks. As well as all the insanity that goes along with it. Rolling with it, cause there isn't anything we can do but be fabulous and make it happen. Which we do with flair, in case you were wondering...

I'm looking forward to an easier day tomorrow. Hopefully my old crew is back and we can just breeze through the day. They have all done this repeatedly and should remember their jobs/tasks/assignments. They are a great crew so it should be painless, until the certain someone arrives with changes and gets in our hair about existing costumes... We have a couple of serious repairs and replacements to do. One of the band blew out the entire ass of their pants in Toronto. The runner will be buying a new pair because I don't think it's fixable without being noticable. I just hope he had on black underwear when he did it, cause he blew them out from scrotum to the back of the waistband. Wide Open!! He didn't tell anyone either, we 'discovered' it as we were packing out. Some people's kids.... Job security though!!!

I'm going to make it an early night and finish up my book this evening, if I stay awake long enough. It's only 80 pages so I should be done in an hour if I don't pass out on it first. hehehe

Say a special prayer for a dear friend of mine. He's been having health issues and I just found out he was back in the hospital again this week. I love him like my own brother and I don't know what I would do without him. It bothers me that I'm not home to be able to help look after him (not that he would allow much of that, but still...) Say a prayer if you will for his complete recovery. We've shared a lot of things since we met and he's very dear to me, and I'm worried.

Love and Light to you all!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


August 27, 2008

Load-in and Show #1

Today was our first Load-in and show day (in North America) all in one day. Certain crew members were arriving at the venue at 5am to commence Load-in. With so many people traveling with this show, the call times are staggered so we aren’t sitting around waiting. Staggered meaning while some people started at 5am, my call time was 8:30. Still early when you consider that wardrobe are the last peoples out of the venue (following laundry) at 1am. Still think show business is glamorous? Stick around and I’ll debase you of that idea. It’s hard Work putting on a pageant, especially one of this magnitude.

I don’t want to rant too much, (and while I firmly believe there is one in every group) I still would like to know WHY there is always someone on the crew who is a supposed professional (these are Union Houses) who manages to arrive for a load-in and show and is dressed inappropriately. WHY? Pink Croc’s are NOT acceptable footwear for theatre professionals. Nor is showing up in a tank top! I take personal offense to tank tops at work. I think it is completely inappropriate for ANYONE to show up to dress people when your personal arm pits are exposed. It’s wrong. PERIOD. Why would anyone show up to a showcall and not at least HAVE blacks with them. I’m ok if you don’t wear them in, but if you don’t know if you need blacks or not, you should Have a set to put on if you do. Period.

Those of you who know me, know I don’t suffer fools lightly nor silently.

AND if you have an hour for lunch and an hour for dinner, then I expect you will come back for show call with appropriate Dresser clothing, specially if you have been told repeatedly you will need it.

[end rant]

It was a difficult day for just about everyone today. Problems with the building, problems with electricity in the building, problem with deliveries; all tending to make this typically happy go lucky crew a bit cranky. Poor catering arrived at 5 am to discover that the kitchen was 4 flights away from the actual dining hall, and then discovered they didn’t have electricity. Big load in and show day and a cold breakfast (which catering took as a personal affront). We understood and were ok with it, but sorry for them that their day started off so difficult. They rallied and gave us a great lunch and dinner but I hear tell certain deliveries didn’t arrive which made the day even more difficult for them. They deserve much applause because they still kept us in the style to which we have grown accustomed. I state again, I am already gaining that 10 pounds I thought I would. (Even running 20 miles a day around and around the arena).

It was difficult set up today, we were allocated one of the club rooms (great, not a locker room) but there was just ambient lighting. I gotta sew and I need Light. Our room couldn’t handle any more power being used. Two steamers and the sewing machine blew the circuit. I couldn’t even route power in from the hall.. it was all the same circuit. [grumble]. Too late to relocate us, so we had to limp through the day until I moved a ceiling tile and found out where they powered in the tv’s on the wall. These were on a separate circuit (the house electrician swore no) but suddenly I was running steamers, machines, irons, fans, and table lights without blowing a fuse. I’m not as dump as my hair may lead you to believe SIR.

We had a lot of work to do today, coming in with dirty laundry and dry cleaning too. The house refused to let us use their industrial washers/dryers, and we had to wait a few hours for our set to be powered up. We got it all done, but it was close. I was smart in pulling dry cleaning and only sent out what I had (clean) doubles of, so we managed to get the show prepped and set and only had 5 items to insert (at the last minute) when dry cleaning finally arrived back at the venue. Again, a tight day.

I think I had a 15 minute lunch and a 35 minute dinner. Glamorous!! I’m not complaining mind you, I’m just stating how the day went. I may be spoiled but I am working my ass off, running my ass off, and even in 15 minutes, eating my ass off… hehehe

Todays set list was more like the American version of the show than the French. In fact, it was the American Version. Only 1 French song, so the whole order of the show was revamped again which brought on the costume quick changes again. The new dancer (Scottish, and I adore his accent when he gets nervous) is doing very well and did a few more numbers tonight. I think he has one more piece to learn and then he’s in completely. So things are still changing and evolving on that front.

I had a pretty good crew today (outside of inappropriate clothes) but they all stepped up and dressed tonight. We had a bit of a slowdown during strike and I’m going to figure out how to clearly explain what I require cause I can’t be 5 places at once and watch 5 people working. I have to trust them to do what I ask and do it correctly. If they don’t, then I tell them again and make sure they do it, but something needs to change and I’m doing to talk to people tomorrow. I don’t believe the old system is the most beneficial, but I want to have solid suggestions for change before I propose how to make it work (for me). Problem is, there are so many variables… and pondering it at 2am is not the time for critical thinking. Hehehe

I have a leisurely call time of 12:30 tomorrow (today) so it will only be a 12 hour day tomorrow for prep, show 2 and loadout.

I will say that HerSelf was working extra hard tonight to engage the audience. They weren’t very responsive throughout the concert and I felt bad for her. Working so hard and not really feeling anything coming back from the house (perhaps the Montreal audiences were just awesome). Toronto screamed their heads off when it was over , but were very quiet during the show. HerSelf gave a great performance though (as always).

Now I must go to bed. I’ll post this if I can find an internet connection, if not, I will come to you up on my return to Montreal.

Still having a great time and still working my ass off. Now THIS is Rock-n-Roll!!

Love and Light!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Travel Day

August 26, 2008

Montreal to Toronto

Travel Day

It is a beautiful ride from Montreal to Toronto on the train! Our group had one and a half cars reserved for our seating and they pre-boarded us prior to general seating. I was the emergency door operator, in case our attendant was disabled… Pull this lever, yank this cord, push this door, set the platform (after making sure there was no water, fire, or other trains). Once again the attendant started yammering at me in French, and I just smile and let them talk until they take a breath and then ‘Non parley-vous Frances.’ right back at them. I will admit I’ve started smirking a tad while doing it. (I’m tired, the novelty of hearing French has worn off, I’m afraid. Although I will say that I am actually starting to understand a bit of it, not to mention Merci rolls off my tongue at the drop of hat).

It is fantastic to be back in Toronto!! I haven’t been in this city in many years, and it is a delight to the senses to be here once more. I just wish we were going to be staying for longer than four days. The vibe is different here than in Montreal. The city is a bit grubbier; the homeless are a lot more aggressive than they were in Montreal or even in NYC. There are a lot of homeless here, or at least I see more of them here. Of course, we are staying in downtown east, in a very touristy area (just 2 blocks from the Eaton Centre) so perhaps they all congregate here, but damn are there a lot of them.

Toronto: home of The Worlds Biggest Bookstore. This is no joke, and I spent 2 hours wandering about inside. D, they have added a dvd section since I was here last. I didn’t buy anything today though. Half of my luggage is locked up in Montreal and I only packed for 4 days and two shows here in Toronto. Luggage restrictions on the train, you see. All good. I was not looking forward to dragging my entire baggage train along with me. I still have no idea when we are going to see our busses, but that is another story for another day. No purchases were made there, as I had gotten a new book that morning, and really don’t have the room to be traveling a library on top of everything else.

The crew is staying at a sweet Suite hotel. I have a mini kitchen and two widescreen HD tv’s in my suite. Again, I wish we were staying longer, or had more time to play but tonight is the only time we have free here in Toronto. Two shows in two days and then back to Montreal for another 2 or 3 shows. I suppose I should really look at my intinerary. It doesn’t matter though… I just know that I’ll be landing back in NYC on the 9th, and that’s really all I need to know before then. “Be where they tell me be and I’ll be with the group and everything else is pageantry.”

New Venue and New Local Crew tomorrow. We will see how they roll in Toronto. We’ve got an early call tomorrow, so I’m in for the evening. I just can’t gear up to go out. I wandered about for a couple of hours upon arrival, treating myself to Burger King (yah, I won’t eat McDonalds that often, but a whopper with onion rings? I’m down!). It was a treat too. I had two helpings of onion rings, one with bbq sauce dip. Hmmmm I’m sure to be regretting that in an hour or so, but it was so good (the first time).

I’ve got 100 channels of tv but I’m not watching anything. I made a mad dash to TWO bookstores this morning in Montreal before leaving for the depot. The Gypsy Morph by Terry Brooks was released today. The first store had to send their copies back (I’m told) due to misprinting. Evidently half the text was illegible. Melissa was very helpful though and called a competitors store 3 blocks away to check if they had it in stock, and then I went racing over there to purchase the book and then a mad dash back to the hotel to check out and make it to the train. The good news is I had something interesting to read on the train! The bad news is I lost my latte somewhere in transit, my first and only coffee today. As a result I slept most of the ride here, but that is also OK. I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night and it’s good to catch up. I’m already feeling tired and forecast an early evening tonight.

Which is all for the best, having to be ready to work at 8am tomorrow. I have a coffeepot in my room and cremer, so I’m ready to roll in the morning.

I’ll post this when I get around to it, I have no free internet at this site so I don’t know when I’ll get online to post. It’s been liberating to be mobile free the last 2 weeks. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to call me mid week next week, when I’m back in the States.

February is booking up, at least the 3rd set of Montreal shows is. BRRRRR I’m cold just thinking about it… We will see if I still love Montreal at 30 below 0…. Hehehe

It’s jammy time (that’s PJ’s) and then I’m going to curl up with a ginger ale and my book, and relax until I drift off to sleep and it’s time to Rock-n-Roll again!

Love and Light to you all!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Montreal, Part... whatever


Show number 5

Sigh! What a blessing to be sitting down for so long in a city, with the same crew. (ok, the same crew since we replaced Ms. Crazy). The process is easier when working with a crew who remembers their assigned tasks. Less questions, more efficient work getting done. This is extremely beneficial to us at the end of the night when we are moving racks, sorting clothes, doing laundry, et. Al.. I heard my boss say she is requesting the same crew upon our return here (even though it's just next week). This makes the process so much easier for all of us. Routine!!!

Show Number 5 was... (you guessed it) a smashing success. Once again, 20,000+ people screaming for their Diva. It puts a lot of things into perspective for moi; things which won't be discussed here for obvious reasons, but you get the idea, right? I must be getting older, do you know how LOUD 20,000+ people are on a Saturday night? Do you know how much beer was being flung around the venue. You couldn't pay me enough to do Security at a place like this. hehehe

Today we have a day off and then tomorrow is the final show (for this sitdown). We are getting this show back on the road this coming week. Toronto for two performances, and then we head back here to Montreal for a few more shows before heading back to the States, when this tour will actually start behaving like a real Rock-N-Roll Tour. It's been great to sit down for so long, and to have the same crew, but I keep reminding myself this isn't the way we typically roll. This is the calm before the storm, if you will.

Our Promoter (I'll detail this in a future blog, I can't do it right now) sponsored a cast n crew party last night after the show. We (wardrobe) got to attend the tail end of it; Laundry sweetie, Laundry must be done before we get to leave. It was at the Venue, in one of the club boxes/restaurants. Food, beverages (of the adult kind) and was very nice. You are going to get tired of reading it, but dammit, everyone is so freaking nice here. Perhaps I've just been in the City too long, I am suspicious of so many Nice people in one spot. Seriously though, it's refreshing to be surrounded by everyone in this state of mind. We all know who's paying the bills and are having a grand time doing our Thing. I've worked places like this before, but it is still astounding when everyone seems to be taking the same approach/attitude.

That being said, we have our issues, of course we do, it's not all sunshine this is Rock and Roll after all, and you got to be able to Roll in order to Rock. Last minute can be a theme and you just gotta roll and then figure out how to make it work.

I've got an early call tomorrow. It's load out day (twice) for us. The tour has been carrying around extra things, unused costumes and we are close to hometown here, so a bunch of stuff is getting packed and sent to the storage warehouse. This is going to be a big project, on top of just getting the show prepped and ready, and then loading out that evening/morning. Like I said, a two load out day for us. We are sitting pretty good though, and the early arrival will give us time to rally before the troops arrive and we are being pulled in several different directions at once. I'm looking forward to getting rid of some of the dead weight, and to actually have some room in the roadboxes. I have felt the compulsive need to reorganize things since I got here (it's well organized, but I can ALWAYS sort and improve). I'm hoping to get a bit more of Imp's logic in the dancers roadboxes, and once the dead clothes are gone, I will have space to hopefully make that happen.

Our new dancer went on for two numbers last night. Brilliant! We started the day fitting him in the entire lineup for his track. We still have a shoe issue or two (expected) but I think we have all the clothes we need for him, so that when he is ready to go on, the clothes are too. I spent most of yesterday in front of the sewing machine, doing alterations. That was a treat, to be Sitting down for a few hours and just doing alterations. It wasn't a difficult fit, but of course the clothes he needed for last night were the most time consuming alterations. Again, it was great to have a crew who knew what the routine was. It allowed me to work (relatively) undisturbed, and to process the work rapidly, all the while knowing that the regular show prep was being done.

Alright Kids, I've babbled enough this morning. It's time to take a shower and figure out what I'm going to do for lunch. Wardrobe has a plan (one of our seemingly favorite) of dinner and movie this evening. LOW KEY, as tomorrow is going to be a very long day for us. HA, I've been on this tour for over 2 weeks and we are just now getting to our second load-out! LMAO This too shall pass... soon!

Love and Light to you all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

in Mourning

SGA (that's Stargate Atlanis) will conclude after season 5. No sixth season has been approved. There will be a 2 hour tele-movie (then released to dvd) which will air on SciFi early next year. What a shame that we are losing SGA.

SciFi has greenlighted Stargate: Universe, which will be the third incarnation of the SG series. Let's hope they do it right...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's Official

I'm confused (shut up)! More confused than usual?! hehehe

I've just reach the point where I am not sure what day it is; not that this is a bad thing. I do know WHERE I am, and I know that I don't have to work for the next two days. Just imagine being in production every day of your life; that is where I am. After a while it all starts to blend together. It doesn't matter if it's Monday or Wednesday or Friday or Thuesday (made it up, thank you becki), it just matters that you are where you are supposed to be. But it is a little disconcerting at times.

I'm not complaining, oh no!! Just saying I've lost track of the days of the week. Thank goodness for the computer being able to tell me that today is Thursday!! That being said...

Last nights performance was intense!! Our new crew person is great, the job was done well, although I am going to have to speak to some set people who are now moving set peices in my change area earlier than they used to (by two songs). I have to figure out if this is now normal or just them jumping the gun. I don't think dancers should be climbing over/around set pieces to get to me, and we have to clear the entire path for them to get that unit through and back out (or else my clothes get rolled under the unit and lost).

The dvd filming continues and there are camera's everywhere, mainly where you least expect them. Many times in the last few shows I've come flying around a corner to have camera's right up in my face. You know I move at a nyc clip and had to slam on the brakes. Once again I'm on a gig that doesn't allow a lot of time to get from point A to point B. Of course, I have it all down now,until they change the set list again.

Our new dancer arrives today and we will be putting him in the show on Saturday, beginning on Saturday, one number at a time until he has all the choreography learned. Looking forward to having him totally in and us getting back to a full line of dancers (and relearning the show with him back in, long story but it screws my end of night count up when people are out).

I'm going to state for the record again how glad I am that I'm not famous. Infamous perhaps, but not famous. I like the fact that I can still walk down the street alone and not be mobbed. The price of fame is more apparent every day that I'm on this tour and I see how the 'other' side lives, and just what it takes to get from one place to another. I'm glad I just throw on clothes and go. No waiting for the entourage, bodyguards, et. al. Just walk out the door. I like that fact I can walk through the press and no one pays the least bit attention to me (once they get past my hair).

It was blissful to sleep in this morning and then have a leisurely cup of coffee. I'm hungry and am going to wander out and get lunch. Imp is feeling like a Reuben sandwitch, and I'll get one too, if I can only remember which street to turn on... I've seen the place twice, I should be able to find it again. If not, it will be something else. Low Key.

My co-workers and I saw the Dark Knight on our last day off. Perhaps i'll catch Handcock today or tomorrow. I loved the dark knight, specially the costumes and the makeup. No spoilers here, but I had a great time.

Now it is time for me to get out and keep my tour legs in shape. Time for a walk and lunch.

Love and Light to you all!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Swag Day

This will be short and sweet cause I had two days off and lost the momentum, and Effie I'm tired!! hehehe

Today was swag day, I got three official tour shirts (hehehe) and a dufflebag, which is marked Europe 2008. Ok, so I didn't get to go to Europe with the tour, but I got the bag... LMAO Sorry Sis, you just KNOW I'm keeping this swag for myself. But we will get you some in Detroit if you want it, I promise.

Great show tonight for the performers. They are all to be commended! Long story as short as possible:

The dancer that was injured is out of the show until the next leg launches(no pun intended). We have a replacement on the way. We are very sad to see him go, but he's in a leg cast and moving around and still has big smiles for everyone. (Again I say, damn, what a great group of people).

Costume drama today revamping the show for 7 dancers not 8. Many of the sets of 4 are 2 and 2 so there was a bit of refitting/redesigning the look. We pulled it together and then had it ready for the designer to make a decision. All went well there.

The local crew person who has been making me crazy is not coming back to finish the run. We had a great new guy show up just moments before HerSelf took stage and even running it cold, he was hands down better. I later found out he's also the local president. Unfortunately we don't get to keep him; he's got other commitments. There will be a brand new person in tomorrow, and I don't care that we will have to re-educate someone. Perhaps everyone will get more work done now, perhaps.

Our hard-copy itinerary was handed to us today. Along with another piece of (sweet!) swag. I got a program for the show. Delicious!!! Now... where shall I have HerSelf autograph it for me? Certainly not on the holographic cover... hehehe

Another show tomorrow and then again, 2 days off. I could get used to this but I had best not. In less than 3 weeks I shall hit the 'ugly' part of this trip, 3 shows, back to back in 3 days (real Rock-n-Roll), and then I hit NYC and have one day off before we start our week in the Metro area. Perhaps I'll see you all then. D, I'm looking forward to seeing you in Philly just prior to my week back in NYC.

Love and Light to you all!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

That was one long day

Today was a very long day friends. My teeth were on edge most of the afternoon because of a certain local crew person. Wacked goes beyond saying. After being asked not to wear open toed shoes for the show tonight (cause she did yesterday), she showed up in a short skirt. A) she's too old to be wearing something that short. B) we are working under a deck, and therefore a short skirt hinders mobility AND it just isn't prudent for what she KNEW the job to be.

She kept asking (ignorant) questions all day long and was a slug to boot. Although I will give her credit, she DID step up and actually do the show tonight, even if I did have to point out clothes laying on the ground a few times.

There was actually drama backstage tonight too... right before the 6 numbers with 4 costume changes, one of the dancers went down. We finished the show without him and I'm really really concerned about him. I honestly hope he is ok. The medic person who travels with us was on the scene almost immediately and he and HerSelfs' bouncers got him out from under the deck and back to the dressing room. Say a prayer for the boy if you will....

I'm on holiday and I'm going to celebrate by going to bed before 3am. I have lots of options of things to do tomorrow and I want to be well rested for my adventures.

Love and Light to you all.... I'm free until Tuesday!!!! A real 'weekend' if you will!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Get Smart

I got smart last night at 4am. I pulled the blinds and rolled over for a long summers nap. Wouldn't you know that I didn't see the outside of the eyelids until almost 11. Hurray for sleep in excess of 4.5 hours.

All I have to do is get through the next 14 hours and I am on two days holiday. Fun, Laughs, Good times!!!

I'm a hour away from my call time and not the least bit interested in dealing with a certain 4 local crew members today (but I am in a good place mentally). Time to take a quick shower, spike the hair, and pack up my laundry. It's time for some personal wash to get done, then I will be able to enjoy the next two days without guilt.

I adore chatting with my boss, I may have mentioned this a few times before. She's traveled the world, is a gemini, and has the best stories (and is not afraid to tell them, even the slightly off color ones). I adore honest people!!

A New Day has come, and it's time to jump in with both washers and wrap up this day and evening. I'm looking forward to uninterrupted wander time tomorrow!

Love and Light!

Montreal II

Show 1

Today was my first load-in and show here in HerSelf's hometown. Read that as a long day! There is nothing like doing a show in your hometown, and it's was really off the chart. Being in the frenchiest part of Canada, we were doing the french concert version. Just a little longer than the American version, and I got to hear HerSelf perform live versions of the french hits that I haven't gotten to hear anywhere else. WOW. The crowd was totally rejoicing in having their Diva home and the opening standing ovation seemed to last forever!!!

That being said, it was rather a difficult day. Our local crew (at least my department) was very excited to be included, but was more interested in the show than doing their job. A lot of babysitting happened today, including the wardrobe head (local) who had a tendency to wander away for close to an hour at a time. Difficult. Once we finally got to show time, I wondered why we spent so long going over the changes, as I seemed to be the only one on my side of the stage who was actually hanging up any clothes. It made the show a whole lot more difficult for me than it needed to be. At one point I was actually told, "You could do this all by yourself." "Not really, and tomorrow you both are going to step it up and participate more. I'm here to assist and to be free to handle emergencies." Sigh... We will see...

WOW, has it been a while since I have multi-tasked so much. A special shout out is going to PR and JR who will know exactly what I am talking about. I start working on one project, only to have to stop to supply info or projects to someone else, only to then start on another project, only to realize I already have something in process, only to find I have something more important that takes precedence over everything that I'm currently multi-tasking. It's all good, but the day sure FLIES by when you know you have to hustle to get everything done before curtain that evening. The closer you get to curtain time, the faster time flies, right?! Oh YEAH!!

I'm very glad we got the laundry washed and hung before we left the venue tonight. That means a much later call time tomorrow! Seeing as how it's now 3am, I'm very grateful that I am not reporting at 8am tomorrow (today).

Also, we do show #2 and then I am on holiday for 2 days. Unheard of in Rock-n-Roll!!! We are not traveling, we are just relaxing and free to entertain ourselves. I am very excited about exploring more of this city. Did I mention that Montreal Pride is this week? Parade on Sunday and I fully intend on taking full opportunity to see the Montreal Mo's turn it out for pride.

Over 20,000 people attending the concert tonight. Yes, they love the hometown Diva. It was a very special show for a lot of people. Most of the crew is based close to this city and so a lot of family was present this evening and everyone is in great moods, even with a hardcore load-in and performance.

I must put myself to bed now. I have reached my limit of consciousness for the day, and it's already tomorrow.

I am still having a grand time, even with the difficult moments, but that is why I love my job!

Love and Light!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Boston, MA to Montreal, Canada
Travel Day

The second (and last) Boston show went very well. The audience was really vibing and HerSelf was in fantastic voice!!! The load-out was pretty painless, in fact; I was out of the venue an hour earlier than I was on a non load-out evening. Go figure!

It's a fantastic show; I'm looking forward to the Montreal shows. We will have a different set list here in Canada (the french shows), which means different clothes... ok, perhaps not different clothes, but different orders, and other clothes that aren't used in the US, but different enough to be dangerous until I learn what it's all about.

We wrapped up Boston and headed back to the hotel last night. I was just too pooped to blog, or even to pack. This morning was a flurry of activity in the hotel room trying to make sure I
A) had everything
B) had the right clothes in the proper suitcase

OK, let's educate you on how I pack for tours. First of all, for bus and truck, I require 3 items of luggage (because I have shoes). First is the big suitcase, which contains the bulk of shoes, and extras like the one NICE outfit that I may need, and the overflow of socks, undies, jeans and other Misc. The 2nd suitcase (smaller than the first) contains what I need to live and work in for about 5 days. My show blacks and personal grooming items are a part of this pack, as well as my laundry bag for dirty clothes. Included in the 2nd suitcase is the empty duffle bag. On load out days, the duffle bag gets packed with the showering/personal items so that I can clean up/shower and put on my jammies at the venue before I get on the bus to head to the next city. The first suitcase (overflow) basically lives in the belly of the bus. The 2nd suitcase is what checks into the hotel with me, and the duffle bag travels between the hotel some days, but basically lives in the bus where I can access it while it is moving.

So it takes a bit of time to repack and get set up but operates flawlessly as long as I am sober and coherent when I pack. It also makes traveling easier cause I'm not hauling everything around every time I change cities/venues.

That being said, we are not on our tour buses yet, so I AM hauling everything around, for about another 3 weeks. We don't get our buses until later in the month, after we have trained from Montreal to Toronto and then back to Montreal.

For those of you who asked or where wondering: No, we don't have a jump-set. We are completely in and out of each venue, even when we are returning to a previous venue 3 days after we just played there.

We left Boston this morning on two charter buses for Montreal and I am in trouble!!! We arrived here about 5pm and I was starving. My co-workers and I went out and had a great greek meal (they had a great greek meal, I should have known better than to order steak at a greek place). I can't remember the name of the place right now, but it was in a great neighborhood and this is where I am in trouble. I've been here 6 hours, and I am totally falling in love with this city. It's beautiful and if everyone weren't trying to speak french to me it would be perfect!!! hehehe

Seriously though, I am much impressed with this city and am really looking forward to spending the next 12 days here (a luxury hardly ever afforded on Rock-n-Roll). I have a fantastic view of the cityscape from my 19th floor hotel room, and am currently looking into the huge glass windows of the Bell Center, 1 block away, where I will be loading in tomorrow (in about 7 hours).

That being said, it's time to bring this latest installment to a close and put myself down. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, and the DVD filming continues the entire time we are here.

Everyone is still super pleasant and nice and happy to be working. I'm looking forward to this new set list cause I will be able to hear HerSelf sing more than one song in french, and while I don't understand much of it, it is a beautiful language to her sung... or at least I should say I enjoy her french albums just as much as I do the english ones.

Ah, the rays of the full moon are piercing the clouds and lighting up the roof of the venue. Oh, the venue capacity tomorrow in our show configuration? 20,000+ people


Love and Light!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We are open

I need more sleep than 4 or 4 1/2 hours, when I am working a 16 hour day.

Short today, but we are OPEN... and it's great.

One more show and then we are heading to Montreal for a nice little sit-down. I still have piles of work to do, but at least we won't be loading in and out every day for a little while.

Yah, I got a lot more to say but no time right now. I'm too delirious and could easily say something that could be held against me... ;-)

Love and Light.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day Three


Day Three

It's going to be short tonight folks. I've got a lot of work and a 14+ hour day tomorrow. Dress rehearsal in the afternoon, and opening the concert tomorrow night.
HerSelf should be in town now, and tomorrow is CD day. LMAO

WILD day at work, a lot of which I can't really go into. Suffice to say that it was a rough start to the day, the newbie was the only one at work this morning when the local crew arrived and for many reasons beyond my control there wasn't much for them to do until certain things arrived. Which they did, eventually.

But it was a long, rough day which I survived. New clothes going into the show tomorrow (if we get them performance ready). A few re-designs, and our leader went to the hospital last night, where she remained throughout the day. Nothing serious, she will be with us tomorrow, but we were down a very important person today which made things difficult.

ALL GOOD though. We survived and we are going to open this puppy tomorrow!!!

Met and fit the dancers today. What a great group of people, seriously. They warmed my heart.

Early call tomorrow in the attempt to be fully prepared for dress rehearsal.

Still kicking as$ and loving life... even if I am a bit... well, this photo sums it up, sans the pint!!

It's an ironing board.... get it?

I discovered this awning mere blocks from the hotel.... Priceless!!!

Love and Light and good night!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day Two/ Load in

Day Two

Mega!!! But more on that later…
The day started leisurely with a stop at Panera Bread, which is right around the corner from the hotel. You all know I’m worthless (and even quite cranky) before my first cup of coffee. I could have (and probably should have) made coffee in my room. I do have a coffee pot and coffee mugs, but I was very excited about Panera, as we don’t have them in NYC.

I ordered a muffin and a latte and paid for my order. The cashier then headed over to the coffee bar, where I watched her open a manual. It was then I discovered she was wearing a pink shirt when everyone else was in black. Trainee? Anyhow… I watched her make the latte which included seeing her pull the milk out of the refrigerator. It was a little light on the milk by the time she completed it, but again, I wasn’t over the edge or anything. I’m actually in a very good place right now, and my patience is longer than is typical for me (especially before my first cup of coffee).

I took my latte and a muffin and proceeded to cross 3 major intersections which brought me to the wharf/docks. I sat down on a bench and enjoyed my morning java and muffin surrounded by water and major boats. It was a beautiful and sunny morning, and not too hot either. It was a lovely breakfast on the bay. Until…. My stomach revolted. I had barely made it back to my hotel room when I realized that my stomach was not having any of that latte. All the talk yesterday about vomiting? Well today, I did. Then felt perfectly ok after a 30 minute laydown.

I had a noon meeting with the wardrobe supervisor and my fellow co-worker. I had yet to actually meet either of them face to face. Our call time wasn’t until 3:30, and we decided to have lunch and get acquainted prior to load-in commencing for us at the venue. We strolled down to State Street and over to the Faneuil Hall area where the three of us finally decided that the Cheers bar/grill had the best menu of what we were looking for. It was an amazing couple of hours, and it’s very refreshing to come to realize that all three of us have similar tastes. “I think this menu is too limited.” We all agreed. “I would like something a little bit lighter than what’s offered here.” Agreed. What a lovely stroll and early afternoon it was. We have many friends and co-workers in common. I have stated to many of you that I have been working towards this gig the last 20 years of my life, and it’s true. If it weren’t for the friends we have in common, I wouldn’t be here on this tour right now.

Mega. You didn’t think I had forgotten I mentioned that, did you? Great Balls of Fire!! Yah, it’s MEGA. I mentioned yesterday that there were 50+ people at this hotel. What I didn’t mention is that there are another 50+ people at another hotel. There are over 100 people who travel with HerSelf to make this all happen. You want more statistics/logistics? Ok! In the European Legs of the tour there were 5 tour buses full of staff and no less than 17 semi trailers of equipment. This show is MEGA.

We arrive at the venue at 3:30. Load in had commenced at 6am this morning (I love not stage managing… showing up for a huge load in 9 hours after it starts). I step off the freight elevator to be surrounded with the typical load in insanity. The first thing that catches my eye is Herself’s autograph/logo. It’s painted on every single road box/crate/hamper in the joint. It was only THEN that I realized that I was not in fact being Punked, and that this was really happening. Now I’m like a kid in a candy store… (but still perfectly calm and collected because I know She isn’t anywhere in the building until Tuesday).

It took about 30 minutes to finally get to the actual wardrobe room, because people were stopping us every 2 steps to say hello to my co-workers and to be introduced to me. This is Very much a family atmosphere, the rumours were true. I, of course, blossom when surrounded by foreign accents (although I will point out that I Am the Foreigner here).

Oh, sports arenas. The smell of stale man scent and spilled booze. There is nothing like it. Let there be no doubt that place is huge and will be filled to capacity on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

I got my crash course in concert wear. It’s all very well organized and packed and we begin by unpacking the racks so that road boxes can be emptied. I start with the musicians and work my way into the dancers. Then I started to unpack and set up for the fittings that will be happening tomorrow. It’s not as bad as I initially thought, but we still have a lot of work to do, and get done as soon as possible; we need great looking clothes ASAP as the tour DVD begins filming long shots on Tuesday, our North American premier.

I am on top of the world… and we are not even to Sound Check or rehearsal yet!
Let’s chat for just a moment about how fat I am going to be at the end of this tour, shall we?! We are not fed by the local catering. Oh no, not us. HerSelf travels her own caterers, and I am here to tell you I am easily going to gain 10 pounds. I had a porkchop tonight that almost blew my mind. Everyone had been talking about how great the food was, but nobody did it justice. I am truly being spoiled rotten. I can only imagine eating 3 meals a day from these incredible people, all of whom greeted us by name when we arrived at the venue.

Let’s talk about Love. Let’s talk about life. Let’s talk about how I have admired the Voice. Let’s talk about how much Herself is spending to keep her crew spoiled and happy. Living life on the bus and working Rock-n-Roll is NOT an easy lifestyle, especially when you are at it for months at a time. My knowledge of the industry makes me very jaded sometimes, but this production team is going out of their way to do everything possible to keep us happy and healthy. My respect (and utter awe) has grown tremendously. Consider that … How many more hundreds of thousands of dollars a day could be going into their coffers, but instead, they are sharing the wealth, with all of us, down to the local people behind the scenes who are working to insure all of our welfare, well being, and success. MEGA!!

Now before you get all bent out of shape, thinking I’m being spoiled rotten (I am), I beg you to consider that even though I started ‘working’ today at 3:30, I also put in a 9 hour day. A short day, as tomorrow is going to be even longer, and Tuesday will consist of a rehearsal and a performance. When we really start to hit our stride on the road, I will be working from 6am to well after 1 or 2am. It’s Still Rock-n-Roll…

Oh my friends, I can’t express the joy I feel for the blessings I have received. I am working with a very talented and Great group of people, for an artist that I have loved for years. It’s more than I dreamed of, and again I remind you. I haven’t even met her yet.

Time for a shower and then off to bed. I’m excited for tomorrow morning, as I discovered a 7-11, three blocks from the hotel, that has my hazelnut cremer in a pump next to their coffee machine. Tomorrow I get to have my morning java my usual way!!!

Love and Light to you all!!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Travel Day/Day One

New York and Boston

Day One

I’m coming to you live from Boston peeps!!! That’s correct, I’ve finally reached the end of the travel day and am kicking back in my (swanky) hotel room, keeping my promise to keep a journal of sorts.

Ah, Day one. It was a rough start to the day. It won’t come as any surprise that I’m way psyched about this gig. To the point of being crazy nervous about it. Ok, I’m not the least bit worried about my skills, I am more than capable of the work; but it has been a hard haul getting here. I’m more nervous about going back on the road and leaving my house, and my ‘normal’ life (Not that I put any stock in normal). Several times this morning I was actually wondering if I just needed to go vomit and get it over with. Worked up!! Yes, I do get excited about my work on occasion, and if you are reading this entry then you know exactly how big this gig is for me.

I got everything all pulled together and packed, although I had started to think I was going to have to have my own personal (clothing) gondola. I had to keep reminding myself that the suitcases could not be Full upon departure. It was quite an agonizing experience, trying to decide how I was going to present myself for the next several weeks. It may surprise some of you that I no longer have a blue Mohawk. I still have a Mohawk, but the color has gone to the way side. Anyhow, finally got it all into suitcases and got into the car and headed for the airport.

I had an incredible flight to Boston on the Delta shuttle. Now I have had some really crappy Delta flights in my day, but taking the shuttle rocks!! It has its own separate terminal, and it was a breeze. Very efficient and non annoying. Even the people seemed more pleasant. Of course the flight from NYC to Boston is so fast you barely have time for a beverage service… right about the time you hit cruising altitude, you are starting your descent. I’ve raged about Delta in the past but today they were a great airline.

Upon arriving in Boston, I grabbed my luggage and started to wonder to a different terminal where my tour mates were arriving and the van was to take us to the hotel. The flight from Montreal was delayed slightly so I had plenty of time to make it. I found myself standing by their luggage claim (which was servicing 3 different flights) and just watching people. Shortly there after I turned my head to see this middle-aged gentleman checking me out (as I’m standing next to 2 suitcases and a laptop).

“Are you waiting for a group of people?” he asked.

“Not just any group of people…” I replied.

He broke into a big grin and introduced himself; I had just scored a few points with the business manager. Off to a good start with him anyhow. I had picked a few people out of the crowd at baggage claim, wondering if they were tour mates. I was right about a few of them (but how hard is it to guess that the young man with tattoos covering both arms does Rock-n-Roll?)

I was asked how my French was, on the way to the hotel. “Lousy” I replied. I’ve been assured that it’s going to get better over the next few months (Or else I’m going to be left out of a lot of conversation). All good though, it will happen or it won’t; and I have just started back up with my Italian lessons again, so that ought to confuse my mind even more! Perhaps Mr Montreal (with the tattoos) would like to tutor me. Perhaps I can teach him some Italian, or American English.

Upon checkin at the hotel, I get a list… there are 54 people staying at this hotel with our group. I’m just saying… perhaps this will decline once we get rolling again, perhaps not… but it seems like a large group of people to be traveling to each city (please note that tour buses only have 12 bunks per bus).

I took a walk along the river front here in Boston after I got checked in. It was already dark and the lights were reflecting off the water. Boston is a beautiful city at night. I stopped and got a couple bottles of water and a light dinner to bring back to the hotel.

My room is loaded. Not only do I have coffee maker and iron/ironing board, but I also have a bathrobe. Sigh. I love being pampered. The thing that Really amazed me though: There is a large umbrella in my room! Yes, it’s the hotels, I checked… That’s what I call service.

I must conclude now. It’s almost 2am and it’s been a very long day. I am having lunch with my boss and other co-worker tomorrow prior to heading to the arena for our portion of the load in tomorrow (today). Nice slow launch (?) for this one, our first rehearsal and show is on Tuesday. Of course, any of this could change at the drop of a Canadian nickel… hehehe

Imp is here, and ready to play!! Bring it on.

Love and Light to you all!