Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Theatre mishaps, Holidays and love

Here is the second go around with this blog.

I was nearly done with it a few days ago and then my browser shut down unexpectedly and all was lost...

It has been a while since my last blog and I will do my best to recap as much as possible.

So after I came down with the terrible 24hr bug on the Opening Day of Aladdin, I was able to rest all of Saturday on my day off. I felt loads better, but was still nervous about coming in on Sunday.

I woke up feeling much better and took extra time to hydrate and warm up in the morning. My throat was feeling a little rough, but I felt confident that I could go at about 90% physically. I got to the theatre and saw that I was going to be doing the last two shows of the day as Aladdin and the first two as my other role which was both good and bad. It was going to be nice to have the first two shows to really let my body get warmed up and since I tend to feel the sickest early in the morning and later at night, I figured I'd be in good shape to perform my shows. The downside was that when I do the last two shows, I have a hard time eating lunch on our break between shows 2/3 because I don't like coming back on a full stomach to go full out in the show. I was a bit concerned with NOT eating, because I still physically felt pretty weak. I ended up pulling through and ate just the right amount for lunch and closed my eyes to rest a bit. Next thing I knew, I was told that we had 25 minutes left till show and I was nowhere near ready, not to mention I had just come out of a deep sleep! I ran up and down the stairs a few times and did some sit-ups and pushups while warming up vocally and headed to the dressing room to throw on the costume. Because of my cold, I was freezing so I kept moving to stay warm until we received the, "Places!" call. I ran upstairs and then ran up the second set of stairs o my starting place and felt pretty good, the sleep had done had done wonders. I felt great for the show and popped some emergen-c and dayquil before the next show and felt even better for the last show. Before the first show, I will admit I started to get nervous because I was hoping that I would not get sick during the show like I did two days earlier. Once we started and the first number was done, I knew I'd be fine.

Monday was a fun day at the theatre. I had Katie, Laura and Kevin coming to see the show but found out that I was not going to be doing Aladdin that day so they were going to see me do all of the stunts, which they were fine with...who are you kidding, they got park-hoppers for free, of course they were fine! In the past the show did not perform on Mondays and this would be the first time it was not dark. The first show was on it's way and as my first stunt was in motion, I realized something was off. I could just tell the timing was off with where I was positioned and where the music normally is at that point. Sure enough, the time came when I was to fly across the stage and nothing happened. I instantly thought of the contingency- but quickly realized I had not been briefed on this situation! How could that slip through the cracks, they are sooooo thorough?!?! I had the common sense to stay put because I was still harnessed and attached to cables and could not just cover and run off stage. I figured that they would just be stopping the show and I would be experiencing my first--and then I was OFF! All of a sudden I was being flung across the stage, thankfully I wasn't hit by one of the swords that are usually slicing through the spot where I am not standing in. Right away, the techs and assistant stage manager are asking if I am OK after I land and I was alive, so I said yes. I was waiting for someone to tell me that I had jumped or anticipated the cue but no one said anything. As the rush calmed down, I started to feel a little pain in my lower back, no doubt coming from my sudden departure from stage. Turned out that the cue was running slightly behind and due to all of the cues in the show and each number, they couldn't bring it to current time without stopping the show since some of the cues are timed to the music...I survived and had a great rush to start my day, what more could I ask for?

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are kind of fuzzy right now. I know it was a mixture of work at Apple, unpacking, cleaning and decorating the apartment and nursing the poor dog who was recovering from his surgery. I think I also fit in some Christmas shopping too.

Friday, I was headed to Disney for some shopping and to give a good show cheer to Emily who was going to finally be going in as Jasmine in the show. She was booked to do the first three shows of the day, which was I'm sure exciting for her. I stopped in and said hello and then took off for the day. Shortly after leaving, I got a text from Carl saying that they had to stop the first show....TWICE...AND they almost had Dylan, one of our Genies, fall down a trap! Mind you, our show is only 40 minutes long and when they stop a show, they have to clear everyone in attendance from the 2,000+ theatre...so they did this once, then shortly after had to do it again. The second show of the day also was cancelled to fix whatever was the issue from the first show. The third show finally was fine and Emily was able to get through her show. Poor girl.

Saturday was work again at apple and I rocked my great elf ears, which everyone loved. We also watched The Wrestler that night, which was AMAZING. I grew up a wrestling fan and know that shit inside and out and it was all fresh for me. I felt like I was watching a documentary and even Erin and Casey enjoyed it, who are not quite into the world of Sports Entertainment. I've been a fan of Mickey Rourke ever since reading a touching article about him while I was in College. They mentioned his meteoric career and his quick downfall that left him shunned from the business and how he was working on his comeback. He went on to do, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico", "Spun" and, "Sin City" which begun to create a buzz around the man once hailed as the, "New Brando". I couldn't have been more in awe of a performance. It was edgy, raw, specific and unlike ANYTHING you have ever seen! Regardless of his past problems and troubles in the entertainment business, I can't see them denying him a nomination for an Oscar and although I haven't seen, "Milk" yet, I'm thinking he will take the crown.

Sunday was back at Aladdin and I was doing the last two shows again but we were told right away that we would have to use some of the contingencies due to some of the effects being out of order. LOL It doesn't make for the best show, but we have to move forward and that's the way it goes, better than no show I guess. That wasn't enough, the theatre gods were not through poking fun and when I get shackled near the end, the shackle broke right off, which was a bit awkward considering it is my main obstacle in the scene! But wait, the second show they said it was fixed and when they get put on me I usually move my wrists and thrash them to break out and this time it worked! I broke open the shackle so now one was just dangling there and thank god Monte who was playing one of the guards, saw and just grabbed me which lead Marc to do the same. Regardless of that, people enjoyed the show and apparently, I was proposed to during my first show when I was riding through the audience on the Elephant. I didn't hear it at the time, but I think they might have come back to the last show, because this set of girls kept screaming at me like I was a Backstreet boy. They had competition though and might have lost the cheering battle to Erin and Katie who came to the last show too. I must have been asked, "Do you know the two blondes in the front row?" at least 7 times from different cast members. They sat dead center and were screaming and laughing the whole time like giddy school girls LOL I waved to them during the curtain call and they lost it, probably because I can look pretty silly up there at the end dancing to the choreography LOL After the show we three went out to eat at Downtown Disney and had the BEST tram ride back to the car...and when I say BEST I mean ABSOLUTE worst LOL It was FREEZING and the conductor was singing every christmas tune under the sun, but replaced all the words to fit a disney theme! LOL Katie loved it!

Monday was a treat with Casey and her boyfriend coming in to see the show. I had told them beforehand that I was probably not going to be performing as Aladdin that day, but they still braved the weather and came out as it poured down in Anaheim. Good thing they did, because they ended up having me do the first two shows of the day as Aladdin so they were able to catch the first show...boy what a first show it was! Everything was going great until the quick change leading into the Prince Ali number. For some reason, I didn't make it. Everything felt like it was going smoothly and right on time and then all of a sudden I hear, "The Elephant is cut, he is going to have to walk!" I wasn't ready in time to get into position so it was time for the dreaded...WALK OF SHAME. If you've been anywhere on this planet, you've probably seen Aladdin at least once and know can probably remember the big number when he comes in on an elephant in a parade to propose to Jasmine. If you don't remember, we have a nice sound cue of an elephant loud as shit to remind you, so imagine the surprise when the music hits and out comes...the dancers and Aladdin walking through the crowd..OH! without the big Prince ALi turban, just his nappy, sweaty hair LOL Welcome to the walk of shame. So I hammed it up and shook hands, kissed babies, stopped for pictures and did everything I could to draw the focus and not get lost in the shuffle. It actually wouldn't have been that bad, had I had my turban. That was what I was most embarrassed about. Fast forward about 15 minutes towards the end of the show and we are back to the famous shackle part of the show...well this time once I got the shackles on and was thrown to the floor, I nearly broke my thumb. In fact, I was sure I did because of the excruciating pain I was in right away. I landed flat on my thumb and it bent all the way back. Thank god by that point I am huffing and puffing and sweat is pouring down my face, because I was able to just blend it all in together, but I thought I was done for! I just reached down and gave a little yank and felt something pop and waited it out. I of course had a meet and greet following and wanted to see my friends so I went down for a little, but by that point I knew it wasn't broken because I was able to move it a lot and the pain had gone down significantly. I finished, went down to the athletic trainer where he confirmed that it was not broken and then he wrapped it beautifully for the next show, but I was not able to move it the same which I was a little nervous about especially considering I did not make my quick change fast enough the last show. However, it worked out and actually ended up being my best performance to date!

I had some gifts to pick up after and shopped before coming back to pack, clean and exchange gifts with Erin. I got everything done that I needed to and thank god, because at one point I was dead tired and wanted to just wake up an hour earlier to finish and I'm glad I fought through it because I over slept a little and nearly missed the cut off time at the airport to check my bags!

So Tuesday was the flight back to the family in NJ which I was really excited about. I realized that I hadn't been back since the same time last year which was kind of sad and scary considering how fast I felt the year went by. It was great to see them and it was freezing back east! We ate pizza from the famous Scorntino's and rested at home...in sweaters and sweat pants...and a hat and scarf lol I was a little sad at night talking to Erin because that morning she also dropped off Wolfy to the trainer's house and he would be there for the next 3 weeks :(

Wednesday I picked up a few things from Walmart and then the rest of the family was coming to my house to hang out. It was great to see everyone and we ended up bugging out with Karaoke till like 1:30am lol everyone was all horse from singing, but we had a blast. Of course they wanted me to sing Whole New World, which I'm not going to lie, I did want to sing it too but it was the Peabo version which is a little whack and way to high for me. It was a true Karaoke moment LOL but was fun because I sang it with Alexis (my little sister). SPeaking of....she is sooo TALL! and smart! I also talked to the trainer earlier that day and she helped put my mind at ease when she told me how good Wolfy was and how he was getting along fine. I can understand how my parents probably felt at times.

Christmas Day we opened gifts and I was still waiting for a package to arrive that had one last gift for my parents, sister and Peter. We then went to eat at my grandma's and then hit up my aunts house for the remainder of the night. I was able to see all my aunt's and uncle this trip which isn't always the case, so it was great for me!

The day after Christmas I went to Peter's house to stay for the night and we pure bugged out. I brought my Red Pajama One Piece and my elf hat and before we sat down to play Rockband, we decided to hit up the liquor store. I decided I would go in full costume and Peter was beyond embarrassed but still allowed us to talk him into filming the whole thing. We pulled up and I was walking to the store and could see about 8 or 9 people standing near the door and I walked in and shouted, "Merry Christmas!" Mind you, we were at a place not far from a shady part of Trenton but I obviously didn't care...I left that to Peter who was saying that I was probably going to get shot by some Bloods or something. I told him that they would clearly see and understand that I was celebrating and bringing Christmas to everyone. We got some good footage and there were some people that were staring and it was priceless. Later that night, I was showing Peter how to import his video into iMovie and I quickly cut something together and added a song within 30 seconds to give him an example and it ended up being a happy accident because we were dying! We then added another little piece...and then another and then two hours later, we had a little short of our adventure and more that we uploaded on youtube. Of course a lot of people did not get the video, but everyone in it and involved loved it. Plus, if you know me well, you'd understand ;)

Saturday, I came back home and watched Valkerie with my family and Phil, my sisters bud. I enjoyed the film although I did doze off a few times in the middle. No disrespect to the movie, it's normal for me unfortunately. I think I'm constantly on the go, so when I sit down in a dark place in a comfortable chair, my body goes into sleep mode. Not always! But often enough. Everyone always jokes about it with me and says that I'll do it at my own premieres. I then picked up some groceries for the meal I was planning to cook for my family. They loved it and I ended up feeding 7 when Peter and Brooke came by. It felt nice to cook at home! Then it was off to see the UFC fight, which I could honestly dedicate a whole blog to. I won't and I'll just say that I'm happy for Frank Mir, worried for Wanderlei and indifferent towards Rashad and Forrest. I wanted Forrest to win, because I like his attitude and I wanted to see him defend, but wasn't disappointed with Rashad beating him. In fact for a while I was always defending Rashad because I thought he had great potential, but recently, I've grown to dislike his antics a bit.

Sunday was football and I sat down with my Dad to watch the Giant game and Peter came by too. It wasn't a game that mattered for us, but of course you always want to win. We were not looking so hot, and then came back and were winning the game. They obviously were not concerned and took out some of the starters to rest them and although the secondaries kept it up, a missed field goal ultimately ended up costing us the game. No matter, we did not need the win and there were other teams like the Patriots, who got screwed LOL I probably would have gotten yelled at by most NJ folks if they heard the way I was laughing and cheering for the Dolphins in the end, but oh well...I then went through boxes that my parents had stored away to make room for them. When I came home from college I never finished unpacking some boxes because of lack of space so my Dad had 5 big boxes sitting in his shed still. He also had 5 big boxes waiting to be shipped out to LA, but again I had no space originally. I decided to go through them because I obviously didn't need them for the past two years. I was able to get it down to 4 small boxes and one big box. They'll be joining me in LA soon :( LOL

Today I ran some errands and packed before it was time to head out to the airport. I had a great stay and loved seeing my parents. I found out that they are hoping to visit in March, which will be nice! I'm excited for them to visit LA and can't wait for them to meet my dog and see me in Aladdin. I am actually writing this while I am on the plane and will be touching down in nice weather in about 2 1/2 hours. I'm so excited to see Erin and be back, but I'm also missing the dog as is she from what I hear.

I'm glad I finished this thing. I was close to letting it go, since I didn't want to type it all over again, but here it is.

Now it is time to think out a resolution for what will no doubt be my best year yet!

TiLL NeXt TiMe!


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