Hitting the wall. And tearing a bunch down.

It's the middle of the season - which means it's kind of hump day times 100. We're all just starting to drag - and having a day off sometimes makes it even worse cuz you're body just stops running on fumes and poops out completely. Then trying to jump start the motor again isn't easy.I hate that I don't have time to blog more often during these shows - it's just that between me having to write the scripts, and work out staging, and then having day rehearsals and night shows... it's all I can do to watch five minutes of mindless reality tv and then conk out. "That's Amore" - the Italian show is proving to be a great big hit with the crowds.

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Considering it was a show that I think a lot of people were a little confused about what to expect - so many of them have said it's their favorite show so far. Which is really wonderful. Because that's a whole lot more comforting than people saying "wow - four people on stools... didn't see THAT comin". In fact there was a point about five days ago where I was exhausted and had a total mini breakdown. I really felt like I had done every single possible configuration with four stools and eight feet of stage that could be accomplished and my brain just said "That's it. No more originality. We quit". But then I got over it and we've done some pretty nifty stuff for the Berlin show that we've never done before. I also have decided that props are fun and a nice way to deal with staging - so I'm kind of turning Susan Stroman on a postage stamp... and nothing makes your set seem larger than a 12 foot feathered fan...

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In fact Mike Perkins who was speaking at the Chief's breakfast (so remember "Heritage Days" when we celebrate the unspecified heritage of some unspecified kind involving cars, ferris wheels, tractors and American Indians? Ok... well at the chief's breakfast (when they name the new chief... who has never been an American Indian...) Mike apparently poked fun at our ability to stage insane amount o stuff on a tiny stage and suggested my next project would be recreating the entire Ben Hur chariot race in a nearby parking lot. But speaking of parking lots... Paula over at four corners let me climb up on her roof and I got some great pictures of the car show (which really is like the coolest event all year).

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The carnival was kind of a bust it seemed this year - there was a big scheduling kafluffle - and normally the car show AND the parade AND the carnival are at the same time... well that didn't happen this year - so the people who go to the car show weren't around to filter into the carnival... so they packed up and left two days early. Which was a shame...but hopefully next year it'll be all sychronized again. Because I certainly want this booth to come back...

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People seem really keen on the 'Sleepy Hollow' thing that Rich and I are doing. I'll be keen too once i've....y'know... figured out what the HECK we're gonna do. I figure reading 'Sleepy Hollow' will be a good place to start.

We had Carl's birthday during the Amore rehearsals... and because of everyone getting excited, Nathan (stage manager extraordinaire) got a cake...Rich got a cake AND his parents ordered a cake from a local cake place called Brocks. And, I must admit, it was purty yummy.

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The run has been going really well...we've only had one or two moments of hilarity. Jordan's tamborine keeps attempting to commit suicide and it's little jangly things have spun off into space a few times. Jill nearly pummeled Carl to death with a fedora on opening night - and then tried to put it on her head in it's crumpled (post carl-beating) state so that she looked like a drunken hobo. I actually have managed to not make tooooo many accidentally jaw-dropping ad libs this time. My foot only needed to be removed my mouth about twice I think... and even then it wasn't that bad. I think the cutest thing I came up with was the night that Mike Perkins was actually at the show (he's the former editor of the Herald Press). The new Herald Press has notoriously had a number of problems posting obituaries with the wrong photograph - or the same photograph side by side for two different deceased individuals. On several occasions. So, anyway... I tell this story about when Look magazine gave Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis a cover - but they cropped Dean out of the picture. And then I said "Of course if it had been the Herald Press they would have printed a picture of Hope and Crosby". And it got a big laugh. yay.

On the other hand - as much as I LOVE the event - and I love doing ANYTHING i can to support it - I always feel like a total goober when I emcee Jeff fest. It was a huge success this year - despite very very pesky wind that made the adornment of picnic tables with festive table clothes rather a challenge. Thank goodness for the pack leader who literally engineered a particular method of table-cloth crimping, bunching and stapling to prevent them having any wind drag.

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There were SOOOO many people this year - and the food was fantastic. It was a huge success and I was so proud of Debbie and the Arts Council for pulling it off. But I have to emcee the thing - and I just feel like such a dork when I have to get up and speak in front of people... which I know I do ALL THE TIME now - but I guess because i have a script i feel protected. I dunno. And the more introverted I feel about it - the more bouncy and nervous I get - and I just turn into a manic giant gay gerbil on uppers. Or something of that effect. Here are some pics from Jeff Fest - including a picture of my favorite piece of art which was a digital painting that Paula's husband did of the court house....I just thought it was really nifty.

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I gotta thank Paul Sigfried for these pics, cuz I dropped the ball... He managed to capture a picture of the two of us... in which I am modelling my cutting-edge fashion conscious neon orange Jeff Fest polo.

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I've been asked to be on the board of the Arts Council - which I was so honored. Rich normally does all the public service stuff (letting my un-scripted mind out in public can be a hazard) but this is going to be a treat. Speaking of Debbie - she had the actors over for her traditional feeding. OMG it was soooooo good. That woman needs her own show on the cooking channel. Heck - she needs her own channel. It's like the best food I've ever had in my entire existence on this planet. And YES I'm including the Cheesecake factory. For me the highlight was an Asian chicken salad that was mouth-poppingly spectacular.

Also thanks to the Dyers I discovered that Pizza Hutt (or rather 'the Hutt' as they now prefer to be called) has spaghetti and meatballs (and it ain't half bad). Which is pretty exciting because it's something I frequently crave and it means we don't have to drive all the way to Fort Wayne when I'm craving pasta.

OK TIME LAPSE It's now a couple days since I last wrote anything on this... Sorry - I'm trying to get something posted... Really. The Amore show is now finito... It was a whole heap of fun - and I'm really proud of the work everybody did. But this is getting really long, so more about that tomorrow....

xo

Jo jo