You Gotta Earn It
When I was playing Little League as a child I could always hear my Mother rooting, "You gotta want it!" from the bleachers. The final weekend of our China tour wouldn't pass by without obstacles. I really wished she could be there backstage, cheering us all along.
The night before our opening show in Hong Kong, the entire Winnie the Pooh company was treated to a lovely twilight boat cruise around the enchanting island. The leisurely evening was a wonderful addition to the already amazing time we have had in Hong Kong. I went to DisneyLand--twice! Shavar and I also found a Sea World knock-off called Ocean Park. Spirits were high (and also flowing) as we journeyed at a slow pace to DisneyLand island to view the fireworks. The air was so crisp and clean far out here in Hong Kong harbor. Ghostly fishing rigs broke through the darkness when the skyscrapers disappeared over the horizon.
I never thought I would be here in Hong Kong, sipping wine on a catered cruise at the age of 21. The night was an absolute treat, but I would be lying if I said I wished it had never ended. Four days remained until I would be back home in my own bed. I fantasized about spotting the shores of America is the far-off distance every time a firework from DisneyLand island illuminated the sky. Only three more days and seven easy shows--in English--until I would be leaving P-Roc.
Oh how wrong I was. Not surprising, I would have to earn that ticket home.
Two of our performers had relieved another show in Spain prior to our departure to Hong Kong. So we were already down two of our most experienced performers. To make matters worse for me, a severely unfortunate incident beckoned Kevin home the day before our opening night. Six hours before our opening show Rich, Sallie, and I had quite a few changes to make. The show was designed around a Hunny Helper trio. Our duo would have to pick up the slack and adjust to the sad absence of our most acrobatic actor. I was very fortunate to have this problem with Rich, who has been a part of the show since 2005. The collaboration quickly went from a potentially stressful obstacle to an enthusiastic improvisation game. How often are you able to re-write a character track that has been established for five years? And in just a few hours to boot! I love this kind of stuff.
Just as I was getting comfortable with the idea of winging my role, my flights of fancy took a dive back down to reality when I learned one of the top brass in Feld Entertainment was here to view the show. He was here to check on show quality. Great. Instead of showing this guy all the skills I have accomplished over the last four months, I would have to impress him with my ad-libbing. Not the situation I would have preferred to be in. However, I love challenges! I did get this job by taking a huge risk.
From the audience, I doubt you would ever be able to detect Winnie the Pooh was down by three performers and experiencing many major technical hic-ups. What an amazing company of talented people! The cast and crew picked up the slack almost seamlessly. I am so proud to have been a part of this ridiculously hectic weekend. Despite all the challenges, when the [insert curse] hit the fan, it wouldn't stick. The worst brought out the best in all of us.
Taking that final bow was quite emotional. Tears mixed with sweat as I did my typical leap and over-exaggerated dip to the crowd of 1500. I wouldn't be performing the show for nearly two months until we arrive in Russia sometime December.
My flight leaves at 4:30pm on Monday, China time. I will be time traveling backwards twelve hours by the time I arrive in Orlando 9:00am Tuesday. Despite the 36 hour travel day, I was actually looking forward to all three flights and nine hour delay in San Francisco.
I'm going home.