So it is one month later, and so much has happened. I am currently sitting in a comfy bed in New York City and couldn't be happier. When last I left you, our tour was in Houston, Texas and we were all gearing up for one full month in Mexico (2 weeks in Mexico City, one week in Guadalajara, and one in Monterrey) Well things don't always exactly go to plan...
One day before a show in Houston, we were called to the stage right at the half hour before the show, and the company managers informed us that our stops at Guadalajara and Monterrey were cancelled. We were going to be given an unexpected 2 week layoff. I think the cast as a collective had a flood of emotions, I, however, was only filled with extreme excitement. I couldn't wait to go back to New York, catch up with everyone, and audition my little tushy off during the heart of audition season. I called up my friends, giddy as a school girl, and one of my best friends, Robert, graciously offered me a place to stay in an open bedroom he had. After everything was sorted, I could concentrate on the more immediate future....our next destination, Mexico.
Let me say this....I freaking LOVE Mexico City....I can't begin to explain all the reasons why, but if you have the opportunity to visit, don't hesitate. By chance, my old college friend, Florentina had just moved to Mexico City, and I was able to have dinner with her my first night in Mexico City. We caught up and discussed love and life while I sat, drank a margarita, ate delicious food with a mariachi band playing in the background. I was in heaven. She invited me to go on an adventure with her to Tepoztlan, a hippie village about an hour and half outside of Mexico City. I brought my cast members Jared and Patrick along for the ride. The village is famous for its spas, meditation, alternative medicine clinics, as well as a El Tepozteco, a pyramid atop one of the surrounding mountains. We strolled through town, had an amazing lunch with a picturesque view (make sure to try the avocado soup...NOT), hiked up the mountain to El Tepozteco, and indulged in massages and ice cream.
Every day was a new adventure in Mexico City. I managed to visit the Casa Azul, play around in the Chapultepec park and castle, go out salsa dancing, explore several Mexican markets and museums, visit the floating gardens of Xochimilco, arrange a group visit to the pyramids of Tenochtitlan and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, eat inside a cave, cheer at a Lucha Libre match, and indulge in the glory that is mamey juice (seriously if you ever have the chance to have mamey juice...it is pure heaven) I was enamored by the colors and beauty of Mexico, and I pretended to be a photographer, taking way too many artsy fartsy type of photos with my iphone.
The highlight of the trip was my parents visiting. Erica Peck (our amazing Oz in We Will Rock You) was going to take a personal day to go home and attend a wedding, so I had notice that I would be making my debut playing Oz. My parents didn't miss a beat and flew out the day after my mom retired (congrats mamacita!!!) My parents and I celebrated Valentine's Day together exploring the castle in the park right next to our hotel. I forced them to be romantic :)
Now about our show in Mexico. Everything about it was insane: the venue, the audiences, the merchandise, the schedule. The Auditorio Nacional was by far the largest venue we have played, with a capacity of ten thousand people! We had large jumbotrons on either side of the stage projecting HD versions of us in performance. Outside of the theatre, dozens of vendors were selling their own "We Will Rock You" merchandise for CHEAP. I managed to buy about 20 different Queen/Freddie Mercury paraphernalia (some were gifts I promise). Our schedule was buy far the most taxing of the tour. Although we had Mondays and Tuesdays off, we had 6 show weekends with some evening performances starting at 10:30 pm which meant we didn't get home until 2 am, followed by a 1 o'clock matinee the next day. With the combination of many people getting sick from the Mexican food and the demanding schedule, we had a lot of people calling out of the show and our swings were playing double duty for the ensemble most performances. But hey, "the show must go on!"
Anyways, I am stoked to be back in New York (I know my tummy is happy for it too!) I feel like I've been so absent from so many of my friend's lives, and its just been wonderful running around town reconnecting with them all. My first day back, I managed to randomly bump into over a dozen friends....god i love New York. I've also managed to attend some auditions, take some classes, see some shows, go to the circus for the first time in my life (I nearly peed my pants), and have lots of room for play time! My birthday is this Saturday and I can't wait to share it with the amazing people in my life! Ok, time to get out of bed and conquer the day!!!!! Oh yeah...and my hair is fully pink...not what I wanted/intended...but thats what I got!
I've been terrible at this blogging thing. No excuse for it....sorry Mom! Anyways we are quite a few months into tour now....we have already traveled to Canada as well as a dozen different states in the US!!!!
Favorite cities have been:
Nashville - Awesome food and who doesn't like live music 24/7??!!!
Miami - Getting a tan on the beach in December...yes please and thank you
Philadelphia - Its the founding city of 'Merika people!!!
Thunder Bay Ontario - Just kidding...
Now because I've been so terrible at blogging, here have been some of the major highlights for me on tour....
Robert DeNiro sitting in on our rehearsal
Bob is a producer for We Will Rock You, and he took the time to watch one of our run-throughs in New York. He even brought his kids along and filmed us as we performed for him! His final verdict was a "two thumbs up"
Opening Night in Baltimore with Brian May and Roger Taylor
The rock legends of Queen watched our final rehearsal before opening night. We then blocked Brian May into the finale, Bohemian Rhapsody. The entire cast was in tears and/or giggling from sheer excitement and happiness as he played through sound check. Opening night we performed and rocked out to one of the most legendary songs with one of the most legendary guitarists EVER....safe to say it was most thrilling experience I've ever had on the stage
My parents seeing me perform the role of Killer Queen
Being an understudy, you rarely have notice that you are going to go on for the role, usually its just an hour or two before the show, so the chance of any friends or family seeing you play the part is slim to none. A few weeks before our tour was due to hit Miami, the stage manager informed me that Jackie (our fabulous Killer Queen) was taking almost a week off to work in New York. I quickly called my parents, told them the dates that I was set to perform Killer Queen, and they booked a trip to Florida. My mom and dad have always been supportive of my career and they were a huge part of the process of getting me here, so it meant a lot to all of us that they see me play the role. Another bonus was they watched me sing on the news!!!
Friends visiting in Philly
Tour life can be rough. You go long periods without seeing the people you are closest to, and no matter how much you may love your cast members, there is nothing like hanging with your best friends. My loves, Robert and Ahnastasia, made a quick trip to Philly to see my show. We made the awesome city of brotherly love our playground, giggling all the way!!! Oh yeah, and I dyed part of my hair fuschia....such a rebel.
Here is a fun video I made of our time together in Philly.
Anyways, we are currently in Houston, Texas, on our first two week sit down. We are all a bit anxious because our next stop is a full month in Mexico. I'll try to do better from now on keeping this thing updated while trying to make it somewhat interesting. Rock on!!!