Monday, January 08, 2018

The Show must go on...

The picture is of my dressing table at Hamer Hall.  I was restricted by weight traveling with this show, so the brass monkeys that have graced my dressing room table for years had to stay home. I was litterally weighing everything and finding ways to travel lighter. The monkeys were too heavy to have no purpose other than tradition.  I brought along a miniature 3D print of the Maltese falcon, Harry Anderson made for me, as a substitute.  “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of” after all.

Melbourne has been a great experience.  Opening night was great.  We weren’t told until the interval (intermission in the USA) that there would be drinks after.  Turned out it was a full on party at one of the Hamer Hall bars. The patrons and administrators were there all decked out in their finest and most of us were wearing the jeans we can to work in. Of course, the female dancers came prepared with alternate wardrobe, and looked stunning.  It made for sort of an odd mix of party goers.  But the food was good and the drinks were plentiful so after awhile it was unimportant who was wearing what.  However, I bought a new dinner jacket here in Melbourne that I would have loved showing off.  Perhaps there will be a chance in Perth.
The show has settled into a routine by now.  Today will be our 33rd and 34th performances. There have been a few technical problems.  The wench that hauls a couple of the aerialists aloft malfunctioned at a matinee two days ago.  The good news is it broke after Alex the beautiful acrobat was safely on the ground.  The bad news is it hangs directly in front of my stage mark with Darwin.  The order to “show stop” didn’t get to me in time so I was on stage before I knew what the situation was.  There was nothing to do but move me further down stage and secure the cable while Darwin was trying to make funny.  There is now an addition to the old stage chestnut, “never work with children or animals.”. Now I can say  never work with guys fixing a wench behind you.  

Unfortunately three days after opening in Sydney, Anna (from the Deadly Games Act) stumbled on one of the uneven walk ways that are a constant “Sydney threat” and fractured her ankle.  She has been unable to do the act since.  Deadly Games is just that... Alfredo throws knives and shoots arrows at and around Anna so it was not just a matter of getting someone else to do it, although that idea was bantered around. There was a joke going around that Bob would be asked to do is since it is necessary to stand very still.  When I reminded them that Bob does not actually stand on his own, the idea was dumped.  In reality there is a massive amount of paper work and red tape that goes with this type of dangerous act.  Australia is much more strict about weapons, like Alfredo’s crossbow and his throwing axes than other places.  There still hasn’t been a decision made about their rejoining the show yet, or even if Anna can do it.  For now they are bored and frustrated that they can’t do the show.   Bob and I are schedueled to follow Deadly Games on the run down, so until they make a decision we open the second act. I am not sure which is a more difficult position, following a jaw dropping act or trying to get the audience settled in after the interval.  

All in all I am having a great time and for a reason I’d never have anticipated.  I think I have written about this before, but not in the context of the show.  For some time, maybe a year or so, I have not been getting the “ventriloquial sound”  I am used to.  I thought it was because I was off my vocal exercises. I had gotten lazy since work had been scattered through the calendar.  But when I started “training” for this tour, I wasn’t able to get the vocal placement I wanted.  I was depressed thinking that the voice is after all, just a muscle. This might be just one of those things that age and time do to human muscles. It was not an option I was very comfortable talking about to anyone.  

During a routine physical exam before I left I mentioned a bad taste and sometimes a bad smell that I had been experiencing to my doctor.  This led to antibiotics and a Sinus CAT scan.  Turned out that my right sinus was completely filled with infection that had developed a resistance to most antibiotics. It was moving down the root of one of my back teeth, and up the nasal cavity toward my eye and brain.  It became a rush to get it taken care of before I flew to Sydney.  Eventually I had to loose a tooth in the very back of my mouth, and have sinus surgery to drain the infection and reshape the nasal passage swollen from the infection. They told me that the swelling from the surgery would take a couple of weeks to heal. I was still healing when we opened the show in Tamworth.  By the time we got to Sydney I was noticing a huge difference.  The placement that I have grown accustomed to feeling and hearing in my head was back.  I wasn’t having to push as hard and got a clearer and louder sound.  Suddenly I remembered how easy it used to be for me to do what I do and the thrill of enjoyment returned.  

There is no way to tell you how much better I feel.  Sure there was some minor symptoms I was experiencing like sneezing more than usual and drainage into my throat that I associated with allergies ( although I never had an allergy problem before).  So those symptoms are gone, but so is the blockage that was affecting my ability to perform my act. That was psychologically much more of a drag than I understood.  I have the Unbelievables to thank for my new lease on enjoyment.  I might have just gone on thinking that allergies and age had gotten me, until it was too late and the infection did some irreparable damage.  One back tooth was an easy price to pay.  Unfortunately for the rest of the cast and crew, no one can get Bob to shut up back stage now that he seems to have found his voice again.  As for me I love testing the acoustics of any place that might give me a bounce back with the loudest vocal tone I can muster.  The show must go on... and for me, so will the fun of going on.  
As you were,

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