I guess it's been some time since I've told you where we've been and the places we've played.
One of the, I guess you could call it, "misconceptions" I had about touring was, that I would have a ton of free time to do with what I please and be able to get some important things done. ( Like the blog ) And there are hours on the bus to read and listen to music and enjoy some general tomfoolery, that is of course, when the cast is awake. For example, this morning, I did see a mischevious Michael Miller, who is engaged in an ongoing confetti war with Elizabeth Loos, dump a bunch of said celebratory paper bits on a sleeping Ms.Loos and procede to take pictures of the amusing scenario...I have to admit, I took some pictures myself..I'll throw them on my facebook page ASAP! Tee-Hee!
But I've found it difficult to get certain things done because of time, distance and transportation. For example, I have been trying to get to a post office the past couple of weeks for two reasons...1. I have a ever growing supply of post cards and packages to mail out and 2. I just like to go in and gloat whenever I get the chance...Actually, I feel sorry for those poor souls, I really do. In the words of my favorite comedic president, " I feel your pain."
So, let's talk about Texas. Let me just say that I was looking forward to Texas. As with most every place on this tour, I had never been and was hoping it would live up to the hype. Well.... I'm sure there are some wonderful places in Texas and being such a huge state it would take quite a while to see most of it, but I'm pretty sure we didn't find any of them. So, while there were certain aspects of Corpus Christi I really liked, I'd have to say the Lone Star State, as a whole, was not one of my favorites.
Let's start off with El Paso. Now in fairness, the city had a very nice theater, just recently renovated. ( and you know how much I like that stuff ) It had an interesting Western/Spanish flavor to it, with either real or very realistic plants and ivy on the walls to the left and right of the stage. Their dressing rooms for some bizarre, unknown reason were THREE flights upstairs, so if you wanted costume changes you needed to bring them down to the backstage area, otherwise you would be totally out of breath by the time you got back....and probably late for your entrance.
I suppose it was the noteriety of the whole illegal alien thing, but you combine that with the recent drug war spilling over the border and it makes for a very uneasy visit for a newbie traveler like me. Matt went so far as to put out a warning..."If you were entertaining the idea of taking a little jaunt south of the border, I strongly suggest that......... you don't." 'nuff said.
Next stop was Waco...yes, that Waco. Kind of unfair; the people who I talked to wish the rest of y'all would forget all about that nutbar. "We're a nice town, with nice folks." Well a couple of those nice folks caused a bit of controversy right off the bat. You see, most of the cast doubles up in the hotel rooms, except for yours truly, being one of the *ahem* stars of the show. Well apparently a person who worked at the hotel has a beef with someone at the theater, so when the cast went to their rooms, instead of two double beds there was just one king. Not a bad thing if you're a little cozy with your roomie, but I'm thinking that's not the case with most of the cast because I heard that a lot of them ended up right back at the front desk asking what the hell was going on. Well, after mucho apologies and a round of free drinks, most of the cast still ended up flipping a coin to see who was sleeping on the couch. I think the hotel got off cheap.
Oh, and the theater? Well, while it was an interesting old vaudville house,it was outdated, dirty, dusty and had this weird smell, kind of a combination of molasses and burnt plastic. Really? We were happy to leave.
Next stop was Corpus Christi and wow, after being in the dusty, dry western part of the state I was happy to be in some humidity. Corpus Christi has a beautiful waterfront and their theater complex is located right there on the boardwalk. It has a couple of theaters, convention center, museums...very nice. And the Selena Center where we were was gorgeous. A huge theater with plenty of space. We had a really good show there with a great crowd. I hated to leave.
But the next stop would prove to be interesting from the "I wonder how they're going to react" department because we would be playing in ( even though it's spelled differently ) Beaumont! Our fictional little hamlet is B-o-m-o-n-t. Very pretty little theater located in what was once the town hall/auditorium, kind of a Greek/ neo classical sort of style. And after the Waco experience, seemed immaculately clean. Well, initially when the crowd heard the name of the town shouted out for the first time they went absolutely bonkers, yelling and screaming and laughing. But the reaction later was like "Hey, they think we're all hicks!" Pretty funny actually.
And the last stop...Well, the last stop I'm afraid has the distinction of being THE worst gig on the tour....so far. Hate to kick a place when they're down but Mt Pleasant, was a tiny community college town with a theater barely bigger than your closet. I'm guessing they mostly do plays there. We couldn't use any of our stuff and worst of all, with a capacity of around 400 seats only half were filled. And it was a toss up as to who was making more noise, the seats with people in them or the empty ones.
So, all in all I'd have to say that Texas was a bit of a disappointment. It's nothing personal mind you, it's just that I've come to expect certain things from a state like... drinking water that actually is safe to drink or a border that doesn't necessarily let in members of a drug cartel that sprays AK-47 gunfire around mi casa....You know, basic stuff like that.
Well, time to head north. Better luck next time Texas.
Be back soon