Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Sunday, May 31 & Monday, June 01: Salt Lake City, UT
5/31/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.
This morning I drove downtown to attend a 9:30 a.m. performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I arrived about twenty minutes early, but the Tabernacle was already close to full. I found a seat in the side balcony and settled in while a speaker told everyone about the history of the Choir and Mormons in Utah.
He also told us that 360 men and women would be singing in the choir and 96 musicians would be playing for this performance.
About five minutes before 9:30 the announcer for the program went over some simple rules. He told us that the performance would be broadcast live on television and radio, so he asked for us to please turn off our cell phones, refrain from talking, and get all of our coughing out of our system now. Of course that was followed by laughter and lots of coughing, both real and fake.
The performance began exactly on time, and about 10 seconds in I heard a crash followed by a woman's bloodcurdling scream.
I was only able to see the aftermath, but I pieced together what had happened. One of the cameramen for the service suddenly collapsed, dropped off the platform he was standing on, and fell into one of the pews.
Ushers immediately ran over to the hysterical woman to console her, and more ushers ran to the fallen man with a medical kit.
Meanwhile, the musicians played on and the choir continued singing, because nothing was going to stop the live performance.
I've been on shows where performers were injured and the show continued on around them, but seeing it from the audience viewpoint, it seemed so cold and uncaring.
Before too long a team of paramedics came in with a stretcher. I was anxious to see if the man was alright, but from where I was sitting I couldn't tell from all of the people gathered around him.
Finally the man was loaded onto the stretcher.
In a zipped up, black body bag.
Needless to say, the choir's performance was a blur to me after that. All I could think about was what had happened.
At the conclusion of the performance the announcer thanked everyone for their cooperation and added, "Something happened to one of our cameraman, and our thoughts are with him; we hope that he is going to be ok."
I'm guessing that he said that just to keep everyone calm, because I don't know how ok someone can be when they're taken out of a place in a body bag.
After leaving the Tabernacle I went for a walk to clear my head, and I had a great breakfast not too far from Temple Square.
It was very hot in the tent for the shows today, and perhaps because of that the audiences weren't nearly as responsive as they have been.
I gave today's third show motivational speech, and I thought about telling everyone the story of my morning and using it as an example to always live your life to the fullest, but I decided it might be a little too depressing and morbid.
Instead I stuck with my planned script. I wore a white, button down shirt with a black tie and told everyone about the Book of Vazquez. Using one of the show programs as a prop, I gave a false history of Circo Hermanos Vazquez and used different performers in the story as prophets and angels.
I made myself and Ryan lepers.
6/1/15- 7:30 p.m.
We had a big crowd for the show tonight, and they were a fantastic audience. Overall I'm loving the crowds here in Salt Lake City.
At the beginning of the vacuum gag Ryan and I were in the seats playing tag and fighting with each other, and as we were working a guy in the crowd randomly yelled out, "Where are you guys from?"
This struck me and Ryan as so funny that this man had such a burning question that he felt compelled to ask while we were running around like idiots.
Back in the dressing room we took it even further and joked about other funny things he could have said to us while we were performing:
"Do you come here often?"
"What are you drinking?"
"I think I'll have what you're having."
After the show Alexa and I went to see the remake of the horror movie "Poltergeist". I enjoyed the film, and it made me jump a couple of times.