|Yay, it didn't kill me after all!
||[Oct. 2nd, 2006|10:18 am]
The good news...Thursday was the worst of the cold and the other issues...cleared up.
Roanoke did NOT start out auspiciously. Accidents and traffic made a 3 1/2-4 hour car ride into a slightly over 5 hour drive. Pissed off the whole time because I was running late -- and as Faire Dominatrix this weekend, I really felt the need to be there first.
On the plus side, there was a nice crew of folks there to help set up when I arrived.
On the minus side, the truck with all of the stuff we were supposed to set up, tents, perimeter fence, props...that was supposed to be there around noon...didn't make it until 7pm. So...plenty of time for us to piss and moan about how much we hate doing this show. (No, we enjoy the actual show part -- it's the before and after that kills us. Setting up an entire Faire for one weekend...yuck.)
But thanks to the purchase of some halogen worklights, we were still able to get most of it done in the freezing cold dark. And then polish it off in the cold, damp morning. (Yeah, so far, it still sucks.)
I dragged my ass (okay, I drove) to the hotel only to find out that despite having called on Thursday to doublecheck my reservation, they'd managed to lose it in less than 24 hours. The look on my face must have been something and my cold finally managed to come in handy because when the clerk looked back up at me, after saying "gee, I don't know if I've got anything open", she immediately paged the manager who found me a room.
Of course, NOT the ground floor room I'd booked, but one on the third floor...and after 6 trips back and forth with all of my stuff -- the dogs hysterical that they'd been left to die in the hotel room each time I went down for another load...a creaky elevator that shuddered, moaned and made grindy noises...I was in the room and ready to pass out.
Then the phone calls started...I can't find the faire site...I can't find the campsite...the campsite is locked shut and I can't get in...all cleverly timed 15 minutes apart, which was about how long it took me to fall asleep between each one.
So, finally, by 1am, the calls stopped and I had a blessed 4 hours until the alarm went off at 5am so that I could get back to the site to make sure it got set up properly and completely before patrons started showing up. And, boy, was the dawn cold and damp...but we got it all set up, with only a modicum of grumbling. Then of course, sprinkling rain as the show opened to a whopping 6 patrons.
But the day brightened within the hour, the crowds came out, and our cast pulled an amazing show out of their back pockets. We went scriptless with only an improv theme of it being St. Michelmas day, the day rents are due and employments due to be re-contracted. The crowds turned out and we played our hearts out.
Okay, I was running around, torn between being a lowly fewterer and being Faire Dominatrix, resolving issues at gate, with security, with money, with horse poop, with schedule and location changes, with remembering that I was not-pirate, missing having our two experienced hound handlers with us. We had two lovely volunteers and other cast members stepped up to help out, but still, with me trying to run the whole show and the HoundMistress also wearing vendor coordinator hat...we missed our Fetch and Meadowlark for both their help and badgirl humor)
I will kid you not, the day was exhausting. The snot fairy was still in residence in my sinuses and I'd only gotten minimal sleep. The only thing that kept me upright was the constant dosing of hugs and back rubs from my castmates. That and the near constant runs to make cash drops...because, yes, we had record-breaking attendance!
I broke my "I don't eat in restaurants that have sneezeguards" in the interest of bonding with all of these folks who had been so supportive and wonderful during the day. Was punished once more by the skies opening up and pouring rain while walking the dogs before bedtime. Didn't get to sleep until 11pm...but since it was because I had so much money to count, log in and reconcile...it was a good kind of staying up late.
And, since we were set up already, I got to sleep in until...gasp...6:30!
And the rain stopped at dawn...
The production team had brainstormed and decided that today would be "Carrot Day", the day on which we honor and celebrate carrots. So, we had a carrot merchant...carrots that were betrothed, knighted...carrot incidents, carrot accidents...it was all very Python-esque and was absolutely fabulous. I have never seen the cast have so much fun -- and I have to say, when we get rolling, this cast is f-ing brilliant at street improv. If there was a patron who didn't interact with cast this weekend, they had to work at it. And that's considering that we had near-record breaking attendance again.
No, wait, it gets better. Breaking down -- the thing that we had all been dreading, all weekend long -- after a very long weekend, after a long day, we had to break everything down and pack it back on the truck...then, for most of us, drive home!
We broke down that site completely in 50 minutes. 50 minutes. I'm still blown away -- the teamwork was amazing.
And those of you who know what a cynical, pessimistic, I-hate-my-fellow-man bastard I am, are probably wondering where all this "yay team" crap is coming from. No, really, they were that good -- I know, I'm a little shaken and disoriented myself. Very few people let me down this weekend, and even in such minor ways, that I don't know what to do with myself. I have to head out today, drive on Rockville Pike and go get crappy customer service and shoddy merchandise just to restore my usual disappointment in mankind. Or, I could just read the front page of the newspaper....
Of course, now comes the unpacking, the sorting out of the paperwork, the loose ends...but still, I'm actually going to float on "we really have a viable faire" vibe for a little while. I deserve it, damnit.
Besides, Scary Perry and Halloween await my attention...I'm gonna make them wait one more day.