Monday, April 1, 2013

Alaska Tour 2013

So I can finally sit down and write a bit about our week+ long tour of Alaska.

The load-in on the first day was probably the only mellow day we had, spending most of our time in the theater dealing with equipment and lighting.

The next three days had a total of six school shows, which started with an unpleasant surprise, but we managed to pull things together really well and adapted quickly.  Within those three days were four workshops: one at a local high school, one on fue, one on shime, and one on basics.  All the workshops went really well, but the stand out to me was the high school group.  There aren't a lot of HS taiko groups in the U.S. and this was the first one I'd ever worked with/met.  The kids were really appreciative and really took to trying what we were teaching.

The following day was our last school show (seven total) and our concert that night.  Before the show was a pre-show performance in the lobby from East High taiko followed by one from Tomodachi Daiko.  Our concert was really tight, one of the tightest we've done.  We had a crowd of just under 1200 and although the majority weren't taiko players, we felt like we had a "taiko audience".  It felt great!

The weekend was a whirlwind of activity, but most of it wasn't taiko!  A bunch of us went to the zoo Saturday, where I purchased an "Encounter" and got to play with the wolves behind-the-scenes.  There was also the newly-arrived polar bear cub, who was beyond cute.  Later that night was a benefit/gala/auction where we did our last performance of the tour.  We auctioned off a "part in a SJT song", which one of our biggest fans won that night.  It was a great way to end the official part of our tour.

Our last day, we went up to a local resort where I went skiing for the first time ever..  I am very good at gaining momentum, but horrible at slowing down.  Fun, though.  But I can cross the idea of "playing okedo while skiing" off my idea list...

Alaska was beautiful, our hosts were terrific, and who knew reindeer dogs could be so tasty?  :D

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