Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall Tour 2014, Part 2

So, you may have noticed I didn't post as much this tour!  That was my fault; a busier schedule, some unsecured Wi-Fi, and a new smartphone (distracting!) took me off my game a bit.

Where'd I leave off?  Ah, heading to KY.

We did two days with a split crew, four of us going to one location, four going to another.  The first day we each visited a school.  My team went to a Catholic school that hadn't had an assembly like this for several decades (if I recall correctly).  We were the first in hopefully much more artistic programming. The second day was different.  The other team visited an assisted living facility, where they found many of the audience eagerly awaiting the show!  My team visited a NECCO facility which housed boys with behavioral issues.  The staff had everything handled and the audience really enjoyed themselves.  The volunteers that came up got an experience they'll never forget!

We performed the third day of residency at the Paramount Arts Center which boasts its own friendly ghost.  Our shows by then were getting stronger as we were hitting our stride, as it were.

Our next stop was a smaller stage at the Fine Arts Center in Institute, WV.  We did an informal workshop on stage only two hours after we got there, then continued the tech.  The next day was a concert and we had plenty of time to prepare, but three of staff had to get up early to do a TV spot so they got to get some extra sleep after the interview.  In the morning we did another informal workshop on stage before a good seven hours on the road to get to Silver Springs, MD.

First day was mostly tech with one informal lecture/demonstration for students and teachers.  The next morning a few of us (including myself) went to the Mall in D.C. and visited various memorials and monuments: The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the WWII memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Memorial were the ones I can think of off the top of my head.  We had lunch at a farmer's market where I chatted up a kettle corn salesman and told him to try adding garlic to his kettle corn.  I got a free bag of popcorn for that, haha.

We made sure not to get too tired before the concert that night.  The next morning we had a school show in theater and the rest of the day off.  A couple of members went to the Mall while the rest of us had an early dinner + desert with a few members of Nen Daiko, some who had come to the show the previous night.

Another seven hours on the road the next day to Elmira, NY where we had dinner with two alumni from Yamatai Taiko out of Cornell University.  The following day we loaded into our last stage at the Gibson Theatre at Elmira College, for a shorter 75-minute show with no intermission.  It was also a smaller stage than previous concerts and we had to do some mental juggling to remember the changes required for each of us.

After the show, it was a whirlwind.  The show ended around 8:45, and we had to be on the road by 4:30 AM.  So we spent some time in the lobby with the audience, changed clothes, packed up everything for return freight, and drove back to the hotel.  Some of us (me, anyways) needed to eat dinner (leftovers from the massive lunch the College provided) and shower before bed.  A whole four hours of sleep later, I was packing up and getting ready to leave.

Three flights home with short lay-overs made for a very long morning, but everything went smoothly.  Eating a lot of food helped but by around 5:00 PM, I was pretty out of it, trying to keep awake until after dinner.

I regret not posting more frequently, because there were little things here and there that stood out.  Sometimes it was the comments from the audience after songs: "get out of here" was particularly memorable after one piece, said in impression and not actually wanting us to leave!  There was a post-concert review held in a laundromat because it was convenient.  And there were many, many games of Pirate Fluxx, where my natural ability to talk like a pirate actually came in useful for once!

March 2015 is our next tour, lasting longer at around four weeks so far.  Until then, back to regular posts and we'll see what I come up with!  Thanks for reading!

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