Friday, November 30, 2007

Thus Spake Larrance....

Larrance here. I thought I'd take a stab at a blog entry. It's the first of two sea days at the end of our first nine day cruise. Jen is in the gym working out and I'm just taking it easy. Our whole cast had to get up early today to attend a safety training where we learned about fire doors and other useful bits of information.

Our status on the ship continues to evolve. When we first got on two weeks ago we were simply guest entertainers who are basically passengers who happen to live here for 4 months with little or no access to crew parts of the ship. This is a change from last year when we were officially crew with passenger rights.

Not having access to crew areas is a problem because we become friends with other crew members but can't visit them in their quarters or get together for drinks in the crew bar. The safety officer told us this morning that living here for 4 months we need training above and beyond what normal passengers need.

Also, Second City cast members traditionally get involved in many crew activities such as helping out arranging parties and helping out in the crew store.

So, these problems obviously have come to the attention of the NCL corporate heads and they've now restored all crew access to us which is great.

The crew and staff on this ship have been amazingly friendly and warm to us and now we can join them and do things with them much easier.

We also, as a cast are doing our part to engage the passengers. We attended the VIP party and shmoozed and have taken many opportunities to talk to the other guests as well.

Our show was late in the cruise--day five of the nine day cruise. All the other entertainment on board has been of an exceptionally high calibre. A juggler named Edge puts on a fantastic performance and the JAR dance company has 3 very good and impressive shows with a talented cast.

The bar is set very high on this ship and even though our first cruise shows went very well (the five day was a young crowd) I was nervous for this weeks cruise. On a nine day cruise the average age of the passengers is much older and I was concerned that Second City comedy may not go over as well.

The 7:30 audience did seem to need to warm up to us but they did and the show went well. The 9:30 audience was with us from the get-go. We've been receiving a lot of positive feedback.

Our show features a lot of meaty relationship based scenes and a lot of improvisation including ending the show with 10 to 12 minute long improvised musical which is nice for me to have a more creative role in the main stage show.

It's a fun show and we have a great cast of all talented and good friends that have all worked with us in Maine many times as well.

Tonight we perform the fully improvised show in the lounge.

Yesterday we were in St. Lucia where we spent a few hours at Reduit Beach--swimming and playing frisbee.

Around 3:30 PM just after Jen and I had returned to the ship, as we were cleaning up we felt the ship rumble. My first thought was the they started the engines for some reason but I quickly realized that we were experiencing a fairly large earthquake. The buildings right at the port were swaying and I heard reports of merchandise tumbling in the shops.

Normally, when a ship is at sea an earthquake would go unnoticed but because we were docked we felt it on the ship pretty strongly. It lasted a good 60 seconds.

The captain came on the loudspeaker later in the day to assure the passengers that there was no damage to the ship.

This was my second earthquake. It was 7.3 on the Richter scale and the epicenter was only about 100 miles away near Maritinique.

My first earthquake was in Bar Harbor last year 2 minutes into the start of our show when the 4.6 magnitude quake just a few miles away (virtually underneath us) felt like a truck hit the building. It was a quick and sharp explosion. This one was longer and felt more like lateral vibrations through the ship.

This past week we also went to Brewer's Bay in Tortola. In Samana and Antigua, and Barbados we just took it easy and walked around the port. We'll plan excursions for future visits.

We're enjoying our second contract and have been settling in. I have good access to the grand piano and I also brought a full (medium) sized electric MIDI keyboard so I can get some work done on my music as well. Once I've settled in and remember I not just on a perennial vacation.

Jen will write more soon.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Home...Rehearsals...3 Day....5 Day


No photos to post this week but I'll have my act together by the end of the next cruise (9 days).

At this point Larrance and I have turned our house over to our winter tenant, Alix, traveled to Maryland (Larrance), St. Louis (Jen) and Omaha (L & J). After we finished visting family, we flew to Chicago for 3 days of rehearsals. We had a great rehearsal process as we were blessed with a fantastic cast (Rance, Deanna, Andy, Mike and us!) and a great director, Matt Craig. We had a lot of fun in rehearsal and it seemed almost effortless. Matt allowed us to create an improvised musical piece to close our Stardust show. While we were in Chicago we also saw our friends Rich & Rebecca Sohn, and played with them (and Mark Sutton) at the Annoyance Theater. The Annoyance Theater has moved into a new space up on Broadway by the Green Mill and it is a great space. They have a bar in the front and a theater in the back with offices on the second floor. The show was dirty and fun and fairly musical. One of our students/waitreses/interns, Sarah, has moved to Chicago so we saw her and took her out to dinner.

The day we flew to Miami we had to leave our apartment at 4am in the morning. We were staying in a "corporate" apartment just below our director so we all took a limo to the airport together. about 3:50am we're starting to get our luggage outside and Matt is already out there. We were told to leave the keys in the apartment and to leave the apt. door unlocked but of course the outer security door would still be locked. So Matt was outside and we brought out our first load of luggage and Matt held the door for us. As we went down the stairs, I looked back to see Matt letting the door slowly close and just as it clicked shut (with an audilbe click of the lock) Matt said, "you have your keys, right?" and Larrance said, "you didn't just really do that, did you?" We all panicked. Matt buzzed one of the apartments. Larrance ran to the door as the limo pulled up to the curb. Larrance asked for something sharp or flat and I gave him my debit card and he managed to jimmy the door open! Catastrophe averted!

We got to the airport and made our first flight to Cinn., OH. While we were there we had breakfast and sighted Tim Gunn!!! Yes, there he was walking through the airport looking dapper and handsome. It was very exciting. Beth approached him (usually against her rules but she loves him) and told him that we're all from Second City and that we appreciated his show. He'd heard of Second City and thanked her very warmly. Tim Gunn!!!!!

Our flight to Miami was delayed but we made it and the process of getting on the the ship was easier than anticpated. We checked in and began our on ship rehearsals...which is a tale I will tell next time on Jen & Larrance on a ship....I'll also have photos....