Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On The Road With Sam Spade, Part 3

Still without gelato or homemade fudge, we begrudgingly present part 3 of Sam Spade's tour journal while gnawing on a carrot.

Saturday, November 8th:

Saturday turned out to be another long day. I woke before my alarm could do its job, so I decided to hit the hotel workout room at 8AM. I did some cardio on the elliptical machine and did some lifting with the limited equipment they had there. I went up and got a quick shower before having to be at the theater to help load the set into the truck at 10AM.

The load-out went smoothly, as per usual, and we hit up Nosh Café for breakfast. It was a pretty good breakfast with almost everyone there, save Crystal and Nic.

After breakfast, Crystal, Rachel and I borrowed Elyse’s car (THANKS AGAIN ELYSE!!) and drove to Pasadena to rehearse with Paul Floyd, a pianist with L.A. Opera. We did this because next Friday and (hopefully) Saturday we will all be competing in the Western Regional Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in L.A. and Paul is the pianist for the competition. So, we drove about 35 miles to the north side of L.A., which took us over an hour (one reason why I will always love the Midwest). We took about an hour for the three of us to run trouble spots and transitions in pieces we were offering next week.

We got back to San Pedro around 2:30PM. Perfect. Just enough time to repack my bag before our orchestra rehearsal at 4PM. So, we get to rehearsal and run the show in order. I sang my aria, which was the second piece on the program, and then got up there to sing in the Barber trio, which was to end the first half. After singing through the Barber, we turn to discuss some things with the conductor, when I hear from the back of the orchestra, “Sam Spade?” I look. Who is it? Dusty McKinney, a trumpet player I knew all the way back in high school in Des Moines, Iowa. I WAS SHOCKED!! I knew he was in the L.A. area, but I had no idea he was in the orchestra we just happened to be singing with in San Pedro. WHAT A SMALL WORLD!!

After the rehearsal, I grabbed dinner with Rachel, Crystal and Will before heading back to the hotel to get a quick shower and into my penguin suit. I got up to the theater in time for our 7:30PM call and was able to catch up with Dusty a bit before Todd and Nick (the tenor and baritone from last year’s ensemble) showed up to see the show.

The concert went off without a hitch, at least for me, but I didn’t notice anything that happened with anyone else’s numbers. It was great to sing some great repertoire with some great colleagues with orchestra, and looking great too. The ladies all looked fabulous in their new red gowns! Ian [Campbell] and Nic both were there after the concert to congratulate us. We took the congratulatory mood across the street to an art gallery where there was a reception for us. I only stayed a short time. I wanted to catch up with Dusty, Nick and Todd before they were off, so we got a beer at a semi-quiet bar down the street. It was great to see all of those guys again: Nick and Todd from a month or two ago and Dusty from at least nine or ten years ago!! That was by far the highlight of my trip to San Pedro.

After the guys headed out, we all got out of our get-ups and once again congregated in Rachel and Elyse’s room to hang out. But we all called it as early a night as we could. Rachel, Crystal and I were all headed out early Sunday morning to catch flights. Crystal was going to San Antonio to see her hubby and family for her birthday. Rachel was headed to Bloomington, IN for her Doctoral Exam…YIKES! And I was also headed to Bloomington to get a voice lesson and to visit my girlfriend Meghan. Thanks to Chad for also getting up early to drive us to the airport at 6:45AM. That’s dedication…

Well, that’s about it for me regarding the San Pedro trip. It was a lot of fun, and so so so different from last year, with the van mishap, singing with the orchestra and meeting up with some old friends. Honestly, I couldn’t have planned it any better. I kind of wish all trips would go that well, with many pleasant surprises and smooth runnings. But, we can only hope. So here’s to many more great trips with great performances and great times!!

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