Saturday, August 8, 2009

One Week and Counting

Hello all!
As I was getting ready for work the other night, I realized that we only have about a week of this left. Tomorrow will be our last Sunday performance of the season. It's been a fantastic summer, and I'm going to be sad to have to leave all of my new friends to travel back to Illinois, but this has been an amazing experience for me and I would not have changed it for the world. I have learned so much about what it takes to run the front of house at a large outdoor amphitheatre like the Pioneer. I had never worked front of house before (even at school), except for maybe a little ushering here and there. Now I know that ushering is so much more than showing customers where to sit.

What I mean is...I cleaned up a little kid's vomit a couple of weeks ago. While the show was going on. I caught a scorpion last night and moved it to a safe place away from customers. I have been covered in trash juice more than a couple of times and still skipped back from the dumpsters on the other side of the parking lot. I have cleaned fresh poo off of a toilet seat (that's right, off of the seat of the toilet). I helped clean out the storage sheds behind the gift shop. I have taken broken flags backstage to be fixed. I have given tour after tour after tour of the amphitheatre. I have also given tours of the canyon (not many, but a few)--I decided after a couple of those that I like giving backstage tours better. It's a more intimate group because you're not talking to a whole charter bus full of people at once. I have met people from all over the world. I have a new friend who works at Disney World, Universal Studios doing sound stuff (maybe Disney will be an option next summer?). Who knows?

Okay, so after the list of things that I've already done, here's my goal list for this next week:
Ask Leland if I can run the deck cord. (A deck cord is basically a long rope of fire crackers. It's what we use to make the effect of the lightning bolt every night. Some people know it as a dynamite line. What happens is someone is strapped into a harness, and about ten feet below them, on a rope, they attach the deck cord, and that person literally runs up the wall of the canyon to set it. All it takes to detonate a deck cord is a specific amount of pressure--although I'm not sure exactly what that amount is.) I think this would be fun!

Ride some horses! I haven't gone riding all summer, but I think that will change come Monday!

Learn how to two-step. I've learned how to boot scoot boogie and cotton-eyed joe, but I have yet to learn how to two-step.

Learn how to run the registers in the gift shop. Along with that....learn how to use Ticketsage in the box office.

I think those are all of my goals for now. If anybody can think of any other interesting goals for me to try to accomplish before I leave, that would be awesome. Just let me know! I'll try to post again before the end of next week when I leave.
I hope everyone has had just as amazing of a summer as I have!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Picture Post Number 2

Someone recently informed me that I haven't posted anything on my blog for a while.
So, in light of that, here are some pictures of one day last week when it rained before work. And when I say it rained, I mean it POURED.

So, here are some pictures of the fun we have at work when it rains!

Wet feet!

Dinner in the rain! Even though I'm not a technician for the show, I'm not sure they're supposed to be eating on that set piece....

The rain made the flowers really pop out! (This is part of our courtyard.)

Tim...upset because he knows he can't possibly get anymore wet than he already is.

Skylar...trying to sell cold drinks in the rain.

Trying to stay dry...didn't work out to well for Matt.

TEXAS! Isn't it pretty?

This I thought was pretty. :)
I'll have another post soon! I have more pictures, but I need to get them all organized and then I'll be sharing them!
Until then, enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"A Midsummer Night's Dream"

I got to perform in the canyon tonight!

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but a few weeks ago, the Texas company held auditions for A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare. It's not really a long story, but obviously, since I got to perform in the canyon, I was cast in it. I was cast as one of Oberon's fairies. It was so much fun, and I got to use some of my new dancing skills as well!

Although I didn't have any lines in the show, it was great to get to perform again. We had a lot more people show up than we expected, which was great!

Speaking of performances, we have another one coming up (one that is something other than TEXAS!, I mean). T.O. (Texas Originals) is something like a variety show or talent show of anyone who works for TEXAS! that wants to audition and perform to be entered into winning a scholarship. I think auditions are sometime tomorrow afternoon.

ALSO, my best friend is coming to visit! Duane and a couple of his friends will be here tomorrow evening to have dinner and see the show.

Well, that's all I have for now. Look for another picture post soon--I'll have pictures from A Midsummer Night's Dream very soon, so I will definitely try to share those with y'all!

Have a wonderful week and I'll try to post again soon!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Boz Scaggs. Wait, who is that?

Howdy, folks!
I've been staying pretty busy, but I found a few minutes to update everyone.
On a normal night, I would still be at work right now, but tonight wasn't a normal night. Rather than the normal show, TEXAS!, we hosted Boz Scaggs. I had never even heard of him until we were told that he would be performing the day after the Fourth of July. It was a pretty slow night, but we were all able to stay busy for the most part.
While the cast and most of the crew got today off, front of house was required to work. I can't complain, though, because I'm getting paid.
Nothing more has really been happening. We found two tarantulas today. You can see pictures on my facebook!
I had better get going. I haven't been getting enough sleep and it's about time I catch up!
Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

TEXAS! Picture Post Number One

This is the backdrop of the play! Cool, huh?

One of the sheds that houses part of our set.

The other shed (sorry, it's a bit blurry).

View from the back of the house.

The view from the balcony of our apartment. The horses that we use in the show live across the street!

On the way to work.

The canyon is so beautiful!

On the way to the canyon. The sky is so pretty!

Monday, June 29, 2009

"The Bucket List"

Y'all have heard about that movie, right? With Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman and they make a list of things to do before they kick the bucket?
Well, last week at work, Ken (our hospitality specialist) told us during round-up at the end of the night that there was a lady there a few nights ago who was doing just that. She had a list of things that she wanted to do before she died and seeing TEXAS! was one of them. Ken told us that this woman really enjoyed herself while she was here and everyone was very kind and friendly and made her feel comfortable. It made me feel really good to know that I was a part of fulfilling one of someone's wishes.

Oh, by the way....There was another beautiful rainbow the other day. I took some pictures with my phone because I didn't have my camera. As soon as I figure out how to get them from my phone to my computer, I'll get them uploaded.
In the meantime, look for pictures of the theater soon! I actually had my camera with me one day last week! You'll be able to find them on facebook, but my next post will definitely be pictures of my workplace.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer! I will definitely try to blog a bit more often. I know I've been slacking a little.

Y'all have a wonderful day, now!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thunderstorms in the Canyon

It's been a while since I've last posted about my internship in the Palo Duro Canyon, and I apologize for that. I've been staying really busy! There is a dance class every day at 3:30 that I've been trying to go to--it really kicks my ass, but it's totally worth it. Every other day is ballet and on the other days it is modern. Then on Sundays it is something different. This Sunday it was jazz.
I have yet to hear anything about master classes, but I figure a dance class is as good as anything else! A new skill to have, at least.

This past Sunday at work, I had to give my first bus tour by myself. (A bus tour is when one of the trained tour guides hop on the bus with the tour group and give them a tour of the Canyon.) Luckily, I had a book with me that Matt had made so I didn't have to know everything off the top of my head. And I had one other girl with me, but she hadn't even been trained at all yet. It was a bit nerve-racking, but we were giving this tour to a group of jr. high students, so that made it a little less scary.
A fun fact that I learned is that Palo Duro means "hard wood." It's because of all of the mesquite, juniper, and cottonwood trees that inhabit the canyon. Pretty cool, huh?
Well, I do enjoy giving back stage tours a lot more than bus tours. It's not that it's easier or more difficult, I just find it more fun!

It also rained on Sunday. A HUGE thunderstorm rolled in just before intermission. But it was perfect timing on God's part because there is a thunderstorm scene, right before intermission, and Corey and Stephanie (the actors) are meant to be dancing in the rain. It couldn't have started raining at a more perfect moment. Then, as patrons were wandering around during intermission, it POURED. I was soaking wet when I got home on Sunday night. It was a fun time, because Texas rain is for shiz better than Illinois rain. Definitely not as cold, anyway.

That's all I've got for the moment, but I have to get ready for this afternoon. I have CPR/AED training in about an hour and I have no idea how to get to the fire station in town, so I need to make a couple of phone calls.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Only The Rain Can Bring A Rainbow

Tonight (Thursday) as I was greeting people and directing them as to where they could sit and answering questions, it was raining. And not only do I mean raining. I mean POURING. So, there I was, standing at the gate to the house, in a WHITE button-up shirt, soaking wet.
When I turned around to answer someone's question, though, I realized that the pouring rain and being soaking wet was well worth it. There, behind where Shian and I were standing, through the trees and across the canyon, was the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. Ever. And there were TWO of them!
The show went well tonight, and everything ran smoothly. We open tomorrow, and I'll update ya'll on how everything in the first week goes. I just HAD to share the marvelousness with everyone! (I wish I had had my camera on me, I would have taken a picture, but I'm sure there will be other moments to get a snapshot of a rainbow over the canyon.)
Have a lovely day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Barn Parties and Grunt Work

As everyone already knows, I got to Texas last Tuesday. I'm all settled in now--for the most part anyway--and am still kind of trying to make the apartment feel like a home. I've been able to keep myself busy, which is good. I have a light design that I've started working on and there are a few other random things that I've needed to get done. If you know me, then you know that I enjoy staying busy!

Last Friday night was my first night to really meet anyone else (other than my roommates) who are working on the show. The company threw a barn party at the stables across the street from our apartment complex as a meet and greet with the folks who are on the board of the company. There was dinner, dancing, and a live and silent auction to raise money for the company. I enjoyed meeting everyone and I am so glad that when I'm in a room full of other people now who are part of the company I actually know someone!
ALSO, I absolutely love all of the people I'm working with who are on the hospitality team with me. They are all fabulous people and I'm really looking forward to getting to know all of them. I'll keep you posted on if they all remain fabulous or not....just kidding! I'm sure they will remain fabulous. Everyone is really helpful and ready to jump in and do things. It's really GREAT to work with people who are ready to do anything.

Tuesday night was my first night of job training, and I feel like it went really well. Everyone on the hospitality team broke up into their individual groups and we did training that way for a while then got back together again for some more specific training and recieved information about ushering and grounds work.
I guess this is the part where I tell you what I'm doing for the whole summer....
Bascially.... Everyone is going to be ushering at some point or other throughout the summer. There is a very specific schedule that has been made up (and is also currently being revised, since some people are only working four days a week), so we all usher in shifts.
At the beginning of each night, another girl (Shain) and I will do grounds--which basically means we will walk throughout the entire theater (house, bathrooms, walkways, courtyard, etc.) and pick up any garbage that is lying around. When we open the house, Shain and I will take our places at the gate to greet everyone and tear tickets. It's one of those tedious jobs, it also means that we get to meet lots of people, and I absolutely love working close to people. I feel like I'm a friendly person, and this will give me a chance to work on my people skills! Yay!
After we're done tearing tickets, we head up to usher for half an hour, then do grounds, then usher again. It's basically in half hour segments, and we get one 15 minute break.
BUT, the most exciting part (at least what I think is the most exciting part) is that I get to give tours! I will be giving tours of the theater and of the Palo Duro Canyon (like bus tours). We don't give tours every night, but I'm so excited to be able to tell patrons the history of the theater and the canyon! I'm just excited to learn the history of the canyon. I was reading through the tour guide handbook tonight, and there's some pretty interesting stuff--rock formations and such--in the canyon. Which means I'm also going to have to drive through the canyon--further into it than I have been going. I suppose that means my next day off will have to be devoted to exploring the canyon and learning about it.

Anyway.... Tonight was the first night of real work, although we didn't actually have people coming with paid tickets. It was one of those nights that we theatre-y folk like to call a 'preview.' People who work at the local hotels and restaurants were invited to come for The Big Texan dinner (which I get to try tomorrow night!) and the show.
The 'real' work tonight came before the show started. What I'm referring to as 'grunt work' was having to sit in the hot sun in the house and peel tape off of all of the chairs that are by the aisles. I have blisters on my fingers and my nails are broken, but I can't really complain because it's work that needs to be done.

That's all for now, folks.
I will definitely keep you posted. Opening night is Friday and we're sold out! I'm so excited to see what a regular night is like at "TEXAS!"

I hope ya'll are having a wonderful summer so far, but I can guarantee that it's not as fabulous as mine has been!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nice Hotels and Dirty Kitchens

I made it to Canyon! Mom and I left at 7:00 yesterday morning and got to Amarillo (about 15 minutes from Canyon) at 9:30 last night. A long day's drive, but it was completely worth it.
As we were driving through Groom, Texas, my mom was frantically making phone calls trying to find a hotel for us to stay in for the night. We made reservations at a Holiday Inn Express. It was expensive, but pretty much worth it. We got two complementary bottles of water. Woot. That's what my mom gets for being a Priority Club Member. Ha. We had a nice stay. My legs hurt from driving, so my mom made me take a hot bath before going to bed. Then, when I finally hopped into bed, P.S. I Love You was on HBO, so I just had to watch the end of it. So, I finally got a good night's sleep when I laid down in bed around 12:15 in the morning.
My alarm scared me (and my mom) awake at 7:45. Mom got up, but it was just too much of an effort to get up with my alarm this morning, so I laid in bed for a while longer.
After checking out of the super-nice, really new hotel, we made our way to Canyon, which was really easy to find. Much bigger than I thought it would be. I thought it would be about the size of Monmouth. Boy, was I wrong. It's much bigger. I can only dream of Monmouth having a Wal-Mart.
We drove around the square about 3 times before finally parking right in front of what we didn't know was the TEXAS! office. I went in and met Ashlee (who, I found out, won't be my immediate will be some guy who I haven't met named Luke), and also filled out a bunch of paperwork. Ashlee gave me directions to the apartments, and we easily found those as well. Didn't really meet anyone special right away, but filled out a lot more paperwork. Once I started moving in, thinking nobody else was there (I knew that I would have two apartment-mates), the girl who I will be sharing a bathroom with appeared from her room. Her name is Tessa and she seems really nice, but she doesn't really talk much. And if you know me, I'm a talker. I love to talk. I've actually had people ask (more like tell) me to shut up before.
Anyway....I finished moving my stuff in, she left, mom and I went out to lunch, went to Wal-Mart, and I dropped her off at the airport. Once I got back to the apartment, I started organizing and cleaning. I began to put my stuff away in the kitchen and realized that there was no way I would be able to live like this. There was an entire shelf in the fridge that was covered in something sticky--I don't even want to know what that was--so I cleaned it up. The pantry was all discombobulated, so I organized and threw out a LOT of stuff. We currently have three tubs of butter, four jars of pickles, three jars of mayo, four jars of peanut butter, LOTS of chicken broth and chicken noodle soup, bags and bags of popcorn, and a whole shelf of cereal. A lot of stuff we don't really need, right? Right. But I don't know who all of this stuff belongs to, so I'm hesitant to throw it away. I also cleaned the cast iron skillet because it was dirty and just sitting on the counter. I think someone tried to clean it with water....BIG oops on their part.
I'm going to tackle the bathroom next. No before and after pictures are required for this's not nearly as bad as the kitchen was. And I think I'm going to wait until tomorrow to clean it.... Or maybe I'll clean it before I shower.
I don't know when Tessa's coming back, but my other apartment-mate, Sara (or is it Sarah?)--who I met when she came home for a spot of dinner around 5:30--should be back around 11:00. Hopefully. She said that hopefully they would be done with rehearsal at 10:30 tonight--they were going to be in the canyon for it tonight. I don't have to be there until Thursday to watch the dress rehearsal. Then next week, I will have a training session early on in the week and work for two days for dress rehearsals, then we open on Friday!
Well, I'm thinking that shower sounds pretty nice. Maybe I'll get motivated to clean the bathtub before I get in it....I don't even know how often it's been cleaned. Know what I mean?

Oh, one last thing....
My address for the summer!

47 Valley View Road Apartment #121
Canyon, Texas 79015

That's all for the moment!
Time for dinner and a shower!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Moving Day"

Well, everyone....
My sister's graduation is over, and now I really have to focus on getting some other things done! My car is all packed up and ready to roll tomorrow morning. I have a sack lunch ready to grab out of the fridge before I leave, and the family's new atlas has been freshly highlighted.
One could even say, "Jen's ready to go." But am I?
I don't know anything about this place I'm going to. Other than that it's in the Palo Duro Canyon in the middle of the desert of the Texas panhandle. I've only briefly talked to folks on the phone about the job and my apartment. Hopefully when I get there on Tuesday, there will be someone in the apartment office to let me know everything about where I will be staying. Someone called me on Friday asking me what my apartment number was and a few other questions, but I didn't really know how to answer them because I haven't heard anything from the Collegiate Station Apartments. I suppose I'll find out when I get there.
So...I suppose tomorrow is the big day. I'm planning to be up and out on the road by 7:00 a.m. Hopefully I will make it all the way to Texas! The drive is going to be about thirteen and a half hours, so I will be there by sometime on Tuesday if not late tomorrow night.
I will definitely keep everyone updated on how things are going and everything like that once I get settled and start working.
I had better get some sleep, y'all. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow!
Wish me luck!

Monday, May 18, 2009

TEXAS! Musical Drama

Hello all! And welcome to my new blog, TEXAS Tales. This blog will basically be an outlet for me to tell you all about my internship with TEXAS! Musical Drama for the summer. While I'm still in Illinois at the moment (and I will be through the 24th), I wanted to give everyone a heads-up on what's going on here.

I have been hired to work for TEXAS! Musical Drama's hospitality team. Which means I will be working mostly in sales--gift shop, concessions, box office. But I will also hopefully be doing things like directing parking lot traffic and giving tours of the theatre (The Pioneer Amphitheatre, that is, in Canyon, Texas).

Right now I've been getting some paperwork done and turning things in to my employers/supervisors. So far, I've just been keeping myself busy with packing and cleaning the house here in Illinois (there's so much to do before family comes for my sister's graduation--which is why I'm not leaving for Texas until the 25th).
I will keep y'all updated on what's going on, but don't be expecting another post from me until sometime next week when I'm finally in Canyon and getting settled.

Have a beautiful week, and I'll be in touch soon!

Oh, by the way, something exciting I found out yesterday....I get my picture and biography in the souvenir program! Woot!