Friday, August 20, 2010

Catching up...

It's been a while...and I still need to catch up on this.... we go.

Santiago, Chile
After arriving at my hotel in Santiago, I begin to meet bits and pieces of the crew. First off is Mandy, the current Backstage Manager. She and I went to Starbucks just down the street from the hotel and talked for almost 2 hours. Wow, what a wealth of information she is! I'm so glad I'm learning the show from her! After that we go to a Thai restaurant for a late dinner. And I pass out afterwards to catch up on my sleep. I meet Fabrice, the Artistic Director, the next day at lunch at a local cafe. I had the most amazing crab/potato cake thingy....YUM. I then start my work week at Quidam watching/learning the show. It's a very dark show, but in the past week, it's warn off on me and I really enjoy it!  It's so interesting to see what all is the same from when I worked on Believe in Vegas and also from the Saltimbanco tour I did last summer. But the biggest change for me were the cities I was visiting spoke Spanish as well as the tent. Now, when you think of a tent, you think of a camping tent that has like 2 poles and has 4 stakes in the ground.  Not this tent, it's HUGEEEE. It's literally a mobile city. All it needs from the site is telecommunications and sewage/water hookup.

Anyways, I watch the show on Tuesday from center center in the house with Fabrice. And then the first show on Wednesday in the booth with Roland, the General Stage Manager. I'm starting to get a feel for the show now. The second show on Wednesday I shadow Mandy on the backstage track. If I can just make it through the first 3 minutes of the show, I'll be fine! Thursday both shows I shadow her backstage and begin running pieces. By Friday and Saturday, I'm picking it up and running the backstage track myself.

Teardown comes along on Sunday and its similar, yet different to that of Saltimbanco's teardown. Before the last show even begins, pieces of backstage and the artistic tent have already been taken down and packed away, just like Saltimbanco. We also pack things up as they are finished being used during the last show. What's different is the entire tent, stage, etc is still up when I leave the site about 30 minutes after the show comes down. There is a team of 200 people that stays late that night and works a full next day taking down the tent and everything else. Like I said, it's huge, so it takes a long time and lots of man hours!

Saturday morning I had to send a bag to Lima, Peru on the baggage truck. The truck left Santiago August 14 and I wont get my bag until about August 25. It travels with all the show equipment etc. So for about 2 weeks I'm living out of one suitcase and a carry-on....I'll eventually figure this out better.

Monday, is my day off so I spent it exploring Santiago a bit. I get lunch at Burger King about 5 blocks away in Downtown Santiago. Food here is very different. Everything has smaller portions, which I love. It's also very inexpensive as a whole. I got a Whopper combo (With cheese and bacon), for about $3.50 American Dollars....WOO HOO! I continue walking around downtown Santiago and see lots of street vendors, tiny shops, and stuff.

Tuesday, I flew with the entire company to our next city, Lima, Peru. It was a little hectic traveling with 150 people in two busses with an entire extra truck for our carry-on luggage. We arrived at the airport and grabbed our luggage from the airport luggage truck...mass chaos ensues. After that we wait in line for the ticket counter. I get on the plane, which is one of four planes in this Airline's fleet and off to Lima...not. On the way we had a stop for "refueling" at the Chilean Military base...aka Tattooine. I kid you not, there were no trees, no houses, no roads, NOTHING for miles. A locked suitcase is sent out the backdoor of the plane to apparently "pay for the fuel". I think it was some sort of cargo drop off myself. Regardless the rest of the flight was good. It's so gorgeous to fly along the coastline of South America and literally see the ocean waves crest on the coast. We also got fed TWICE on the flight. Once was an interesting meat ravioli with tiramisu. Then after our stop in Tattooine, we got a warm brownie chocolate thing. But on such a short flight, I wasn't hungry again so I didn't eat any. We finally get to Lima's airport where the weather is about 65 but hazy. Go through Immigration, Customs, Baggage pickup and what not. I go to the money exchange to change my Chilean Pesos into Peruvian Nuevo Sols. They refuse to transfer a 1,000 and 10,000 bills because one is taped together and the other has markings on it...peace out $20. Also, they wouldn't exchange any coins at all...bye $5. Oh well. We get on the bus to the hotel and check in to the hotel in Lima. I have a newly refurbished room on the 8th floor with a great view of the city and "Happyland" right below my window. Happyland is a mini amusement park at best. It has the Swings, a small track ride like from Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom but much ghetto-er and no story line, and a few other things. I will likely check this out soon during my 2 weeks of vacation in this city.

That's all for today. Hopefully I'll post about Lima, Peru tomorrow to fully catch up.

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