North America Tour Log - Part II
April 8, 5:20am (Mountain Time)
Perhaps the only thing on tour that’s crazier than nonstop traveling is setting up and performing and performing again on the same day.
That means we need to load in, prepare the stage, get the costumes and props ready, have dance class somewhere in the middle, do sound checks for the vocalists and orchestra, and go over the dance spacing—all in the morning. That's followed by a show at 2pm and another at 7pm.
So here I am with the production team, about to depart for Calgary’s Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium around five in the morning. It's gonna be a looong day...
April 9, 10:59pm
We've completed three shows here in Calgary. We even found a moment to catch a glimpse of the distant Canadian Rockies through the lobby’s tall glass windows. We strike the stage, load the truck and head back to the hotel. But we can't relax too much just yet, because…
April 10, 4:00am
We’re already in the car, heading some 200 miles north to Edmonton to begin set up there. I hope there’s a Tim Horton’s nearby.
We arrive at the theater. There’s a Timmys and a Starbucks across the street.
This theater looks awfully similar to the last one. There's a rehearsal room upstairs and a barre room downstairs—just like the last theatre; all the dressing rooms are in the same locations, and even the layout of the rooms is exactly the same!
No, this isn't déjà vu—we're at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. If you haven't figured it out yet, it's the sister theater of Southern Alberta’s Jubilee. The stage, backstage, audience seats, and even the lobby are the same. It's as if we never left Calgary.
April 11, 11:46am
Yesterday’s opening night went well, with another full house, and so to curb the side effects of our intense schedule, we take some time off at the West Edmonton Mall.
It’s touted as the largest mall in North America. That's probably because it packs two amusement parks—one with rollercoasters and another with water slides—as well as an indoor skating rink and a pirate ship. Unfortunately, we don't have enough time to enjoy these attractions, as we still have a performance tonight. Most of us are content with the T&T Supermarket, where we stock up on Asian snacks not found in the mall.
April 12, 9:22am
We’re on the road again. Our last stop is nine hours away in Regina, where we'll have one show tomorrow night.
April 13, 10:50pm
The curtain falls on the final call at the Conexus Arts Centre, which concludes the (relatively short) Canadian part of our tour. What follows is a 1,918-mile, 38-hour trip back to New York. We'll get to spend TWO nights in a row on the bus.
Everyone is taking turns at the showers as we strike the stage. After loading the truck, I look forward to taking a nice, hot, relaxing shower. I end up taking a hasty shower in freezing cold water.
After thanking the local organizers for their hospitality, we board the bus at midnight and begin the long journey home.
April 14, 4:10am (Central Time)
We arrive at the U.S.-Canadian border, though not the same one as last time. An immigration officer begins collecting our passports, joking that, with so many people, we won't be out of here for hours.
I do my best to cooperate by trying to look like I didn’t just wake up after four hours of sleep. Fortunately, the immigration process is smooth, and we’re back in the U.S. an hour later.
We stop at a Walmart in North Dakota to wash up and change out of our suits into something more comfortable.
To ease our boredom and fatigue after 14+ hours, we're let loose at a shopping outlet in Albertville, Minnesota. It's hot and I have no desire to go on a shopping spree, so I take a walk around the whole place for some light exercise, enjoying the fresh air while I still can.
Yet another highway rest stop. The guys at the counter have probably never seen so many people making instant noodles.
April 15, 12:00am
Suddenly, we're attacked by torrential rain and bright flashes of white. As time passes the lightning intensifies, and soon we're being blinded by white light every few moments. It's at once awesome and terrifying. It's also preventing me from sleeping. Looks like I'll have to wait for the storm to pass.
I give up on waiting for the storm to pass and pass out myself.
7:38am (Eastern Time)
I've been stuck in the same position for too long. My back is sore, my neck is cramped (again), and my legs are incredibly stiff. I'll probably need a day or two to recover.
At long last, we arrive back in New York! Walking around in open spaces never felt so good. Now it's time for some rest and a return to a more normal tour schedule.
April 27, 2012