Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March 21-March 23: Brownsville, TX

3/21/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning I walked over to backstage to see how set up was going. Mario told me that they were almost done, so we could bring our props over whenever we wanted.

Ryan and I began unloading our props from the backs of our trailers, and then began the long haul over to backstage.
Besides being parked far from the tent, we are also facing the customer entrance, so we had to push and carry everything all the way to the back of the tent as well.
We got rid of big wheels on our props since we figured we'd have consistent flooring in the tent this year; we didn't stop to think about how those smaller wheels would make things more difficult for us when it came time to load our props in and out!

When we got everything backstage we found out that they were changing the layout a bit, so we left our stuff off to the side where it would be out of the way.

Ryan and I made a two hour round trip to McAllen, TX to visit a Green Beret store to look for jumpsuits for the vacuum gag.
Ryan recently decided that he'd rather we do the gag in jumpsuits instead of our agent suits. I was fine with the decision, it's just a shame that we didn't come to it when we were still in McAllen to save ourselves a long trip!
Luckily we found some great orange jumpsuits, so the trip wasn't a waste.

Back at the lot Ryan and I went backstage to get our props set up for the shows. The prop guys were nice enough to move all our props to the right location for us.
Backstage is dirt, except for the stages where the men's and ladies' dressing rooms are, but the prop guys put down some interlocking, octagonal pieces of plastic as a floor wherever props go.

David Zepeda, the famous Mexican film and telenovela actor, was back as a special guest for our opening night.
Luckily the audiences were there for more than just David; they were fantastic for the shows.

It was very hot and humid backstage, especially for the first show, and on top of that everything felt gross backstage from all the dirt and dust.

Ryan and I waited until after the shows to clean our two water mats in the ring. Like I said earlier, the backstage is all dirt, so there is no way we can clean the mats there like we did in Donna. Well, we wouldn't mind so much, but I'm sure the show would mind getting mud all over their ring carpet!

While we were cleaning the mats, the lighting guys were designing some new cues, so the lights were going on and off in different patterns.
When we were finished and getting ready to leave, the tent was dark except for a single spot of light where we were standing.
Ryan turned to the front of the tent and bowed deeply, which caused the lighting guys to laugh and clap.
It was a very Fellini-esque moment. I wish I had a photo.

After a shower to wash away the make up, sweat, and grime I collected over the evening, I went to pick up Teo so we could celebrate a successful opening night at Buffalo Wild Wings.

3/22/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning Ryan and I drove to Harlingen, TX to visit Hobby Lobby for ribbon to jazz up our vacuum jumpsuits.
We also went by Walmart where we thankfully found some more carafes for our water gag. We've been using the same kind of carafe for the water gag since we first did it in 2010, but now they are made from a thinner plastic, so we have already broken two of them this season.
We are trying to stock up, because one of the rules of the road is "If you don't buy something when you see it, you'll never be able to find it when you actually need it".

Ryan and Tatiana spent all afternoon adding ribbon to the cuffs and collars of the jumpsuits, and they look great! They're much less like prison jumpsuits now.

The air conditioning was on in the tent this evening, so it was much more comfortable backstage than it was last night.
Again we had two fantastic audiences, and everyone who came up to us after the show was very complimentary.
We met a lot of folks who used to see us on Kelly Miller and had missed us there this year; we had similar experiences in Donna. It's good to be remembered....favorably!

3/23/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

Since our trailers are so far from the backdoor, and since I want to cut down on the number of times I perform the "walk of shame" past the customers as I go to and from my trailer in make up, I have been keeping my make up case backstage for pre show application and in between show touch ups.
This afternoon, as I was about halfway through putting on my face for the first show, all the lights backstage turned off!
I went outside to finish, but it was beginning to drizzle. I settled for standing in the backstage entranceway, where I was covered but at least had some light to work by.

While we were waiting for opening to begin, one of the dancers was complaining to me about how difficult it was to put on her make up in the dark.
I pointed to my own painted face and exclaimed, "I don't want to hear it!"
Luckily lights were back on by the time we finished opening.

It was a dreary day, and it was drizzling rain on and off all throughout the shows. My mood matched the weather for the first two shows.
Luckily the motivational speech I give to the dancers (and whoever in the cast was around and listening) before the third show rubbed off on me as well, and I finished the day on a high note.
I gave an adaptation of the famous speech Mel Gibson gives to the army before they go into battle in the film, "Braveheart".
One of the Azzario sisters dubbed my performance Oscar worthy. I'd like to thank all the little people....especially Michu.

Back to the weather:
Unfortunately, rain plus dirt equals mud. Darn you, science!
Not only was it mud, it was that nasty, sticky mud that won't come off your boots...or anything else it gets on.
I was remarking to Ryan how sad it was that I was always looking forward to getting backstage where at least I could wipe my muddy boots off on the nice, clean dirt.

Luckily the prop guys do everything in their power to keep inside the tent as nice as possible. They mop the stages backstage every night or morning to keep them clean.
Also, sometime between the shows last night and the shows today, a trench was dug around the tent to keep water from getting inside.

While we are waiting to go out for the Intermission announcement, Ryan and I have a few minutes backstage where we chat with the dancers.
I was asking Emma what she and the girls had planned for the evening, and she said they were going to have a movie night and watch a film about the life of Princess Diana.
She went on to talk about Princess Di, and then what I thought she said was, "I'm related to the Royal Family."
I didn't have any time to follow up on what I thought I heard, because right then we had to go out for our cue.
Afterwards I asked if that was what she had said, and she let me know she had said, "I'm a big fan of the Royal Family."
We both laughed about it because we both had the same thought: why would she be here if she was related to royalty!?



Watergag; go to a restaurant supply store "ACE" their garaffes re pro grade

Steve Copeland said...

Thanks, Manny! Will do!