Now that things have settled down a bit, and I find myself with a bit of time off I figured it was time to write my very first blog post. Who am I you might ask? My name is Sarah Jean, and I am quite delighted to be taking part in my first ever Mermaid tour. So you can see why up until this point I was a little overwhelmed.
Things got off to a wonderful start, as Lee said when we opened the show in New York City. The crew at the Skirball Centre were really friendly and supportive which is exactly what I needed to calm my first tour jitters. When we packed up the show back in Nova Scotia, it took us 7 hours to get all the puppets into the van, so I was relieved when we were able to shave that time down considerably!
Of course being in New York City means taking in a show or two… I ended up catching three. My favourite of course was War Horse which along with the stunning puppetry told a beautiful story as well. It was the only full price ticket I sprang for, and it was worth every penny. Definitely a theatre experience I will not soon forget.
After saying goodbye to New York City we had a bit of a whirlwind: stopping in New Brunswick (New Jersey), Elmira, Ithaca, and Albany. I remember being shocked by the sheer number of crew members in New Brunswick. There must have been at least 8 of them, all big burly men, and all asked me repeatedly if I was alright carrying the big boxes and bags full of gear. I may be small, but I’m stronger than I look!
In Elmira, Oakey and I went on a mission for a grocery store supper, which of course we consulted Mr. Shoes, our GPS about. He directed us first to a mostly deserted grocery store, which seemed straight out of a zombie movie. Needless to say we asked him again and found an awesome grocery store with an impressive health food section. Sometimes dealing with Mr. Shoes is like shaking a magic eight ball. You never really know how helpful the answer will be!
After Elmira we drove to Ithaca, home of Moosewood, which was the reason for our pilgrimage. It did not disappoint. Oakey and Dan both got the vegetable curry, which I understand was very good, and I had Spinach and Cheese Ravioli, with fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese over the top. It was delicious and probably my favourite meal thus far in the tour.
Albany, New York is home to the Egg Theatre, which is Mermaid legend. I have heard many stories about how hard it is to find the way in. And the stringent security checks, as it’s part of the state capitol buildings. But after all of those stories, I am happy to say that our intrepid Stage Manager, Christine Oakey, got us into the building and past security in about 15 minutes all told. The building itself looks like a UFO that has just landed on earth, and has cylindrical elevators, which is kind of neat. Albany is also the home of the best Pad Thai I have had thus far in the tour.
After Albany it was off to New Jersey to visit the Mejia’s. I can’t speak for my compatriots, but I had a most wonderful time. The highlight of course being a rousing game of bocce, in which Rob and I teamed up and became an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. We emerged the undefeated champions after four games.
In Wilmington, Delaware we were put up by the theatre in the swankiest hotel I have ever stayed in, hands down. It was so fancy that none of us were allowed to go to breakfast, because there was a strict dress code of business casual required for the restaurant.
And now I find myself in Washington, DC for a few days off. The rainy weather means that it’s the perfect time to take in some museums, which I did yesterday and plan to do again this afternoon. But the rain also provided a perfect opportunity to write this blog post and update all of you at home on our life on the road.
Until next time!