I just got back a roll of black and white film that I shot on my Yashica FX-2 in Seattle, LA and on my cross-country road trip. I’m so in love with some of the shots, I had to share. I may never shoot digital again.
For now, I think my posts are going to be mostly photos and less writing. Its easier for me that way – time-wise, and also so I don’t write things I shouldn’t. Its hard when your personal life is so wrapped up with your work – you can’t really write about one without the other, and there’s just a lot that the internet doesn’t need to know.
Seattle was great, if not too short. I wish we could have played there for two weeks at least. I loved seeing my dear friend Bret again, and I had a great time speaking at the undergraduate stage management class he teaches at University of Washington. I also loved walking around Seattle, visiting the market and the sculpture garden and taking the ferry over to Bainbridge Island. I even bought some yarn for the first time on this tour! The Seattle audiences were great – it was an all-around happy week in the rainy Northwest (actually we had a couple of beautiful sunny days, only the day on Bainbridge Island was overcast).
The show is going through lots of changes at the moment, gearing up for the big LA opening, a new production stage manager, and a number of our cast members leaving. A few going to the Broadway ROA company and a few moving on to other things. It seems like we were just in rehearsals in New York – too recently for such changes to be happening. I feel like the tour never really settled into a groove – with the layoffs and the holidays and now all these staff changes. And rumors of even bigger changes. But this is why I shouldn’t and can’t write on this blog. Too much that the internet doesn’t need to know. Anyway. At the moment we are still truckin’ along, and I’m trying to take it one day at a time.
Here is Seattle in photos:
I don’t really know how to even start writing about last week, because it sucked royally. Nothing against Eugene, but the events that happened while we were there have changed my experience on this tour forever. And that’s a damn shame, because up until now it was one of the best experiences of my life, and although I am so grateful and blessed to have seen all the places I have seen over the last two years and the opportunity I have been given in this job, now I am heartbroken. And I won’t ever forget that, or likely forgive. And I hate that that has clouded over all the good that there has been. Because there has been a lot of good.
The return to the lower 48 from Alaska was great. Ryan and I chose to stay the night in Seattle instead of journeying on to Eugene right away. We had a great afternoon and evening, revisiting some of the places that we had loved when we played Seattle a year and a half ago. We had lunch at Serious Pie, which has some of the best-tasting, most innovative pizzas I have ever eaten. We shared a yummy clam pizza with lemon-thyme sauce. So, so good. That afternoon we walked around the Pike Place Market and bought some pasta to take with us to Oregon. We drove over to the Apple Store so that I could get a new iPhone (my old one was crushed in Alaska). It was nice to have to drive to the Apple Store, because it meant driving past the University of Washington campus, which I had never seen before. What a gorgeous place to go to school! That night we revisited Six Arms, a McMenamins bar that we had spent a lot of time at during our previous three week stay in town. I’m happy to report that there is still a Killer Rabbit sticker in the kitchen at Six Arms!
In the morning we got up and drove to Belltown, our old ‘hood, to meet Bret for brunch at the Boat Street Cafe. We had a delicious meal there and it was so nice to see Bret again before heading out of town.
We began driving south on Sunday afternoon, stopping when we got to Portland. We drove immediately over to Powell’s Books, where we spent well over an hour browsing through the shelves and shelves of books. It is literally impossible to get in and out of Powell’s in under an hour, and also equally as impossible to walk out empty-handed. Ryan and I both made some purchases!
After Powell’s, we realized it was getting a bit late, so instead of doing any more walking around, we drove over to Sushiville on 23rd, our favorite sushi boat restaurant anywhere. We totally pigged out. Sushiville has the best variety of sushi and they have desserts! And the prices are so reasonable, you can really eat a good meal for under 20 bucks. After we were sufficiently stuffed, we got back in the car and continued the drive down to Eugene. I wish we could have stayed in Portland longer – I love that town so much. We arrived in Eugene pretty late, but just in time to run across the street from the hotel to North Bank, another McMenamins bar, to buy some beer and a bottle of wine to take back to our room. Score!
The hotel in Eugene, the Residence Inn, was super, super nice! We often stay at Residence Inns, but this one had just recently been renovated, and so the decor was very modern and colorful and chic. We had splurged on a two-bedroom to have more space, and it was basically a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment. Really, really nice. I like to write about the hotels here to have a record, in case I ever tour again. I’ll be able to look back and remember where the nice places were to stay!
On Monday, we had all day before Ryan had to be at work for load-in. We went to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on groceries for the week, and drove around downtown to get the lay of the land. Eugene is a college town, housing the University of Oregon, and is full of bars, restaurants and cute shops. College towns are the best. After Ryan went to work, I went for a long walk along the river, which was right across the street from the hotel. There is a trail that runs for miles and miles along the riverbank, and I had a great time taking photos and watching people fish in the river and walk the trail. I *might* even have taken a self-portrait to kick off my 2nd year of 365 days 🙂
Tuesday was when everything went wrong. Load-in was fine. The theater was a bit on the small side, but everything fit. The show that evening was fine. All status quo.
After the show, Ryan was told his contract with the show was being terminated.
Now I can’t talk about what happened, or what went down, or how messed up the whole situation is, because this is a public blog and anyone can read it. All I can say is that I am heartbroken, Ryan is blindsided and devastated, and that my experience out here will never be the same. Ryan is my best friend. We have both been working our asses off on this show for two and a half years. Its terribly disappointing and hurtful to have it end this way for him.
I want to write more, but I can’t. I thought about not writing about it at all, but how could I not? How could Ryan just disappear from this journey without anyone having questions? And this IS the story of my journey, and this happening is a big part of that story. I’m just so sad to be losing him. And I find the prospect of having to start using the pronoun “I” instead of “We” incredibly hard.
So needless to say, not much sleep was had on Tuesday, and Wednesday was all about trying to clean up the mess. We did get out finally for a walk along the river late in the day, and I’m glad we did. It was beautiful out and it was nice to clear out heads.
On Thursday I had rehearsal all day, and then after the show we went out for drinks at the North Bank. It was nice spending time with some of our friends from the show. If nothing else, this experience has really made it crystal clear who our friends are out here, and who really are not friends at all.
On Friday Ryan and I drove over to Hendricks Park, a big green space just east of campus. We spent a couple of hours walking the trails there and wandering around the Rhododendron garden. Eugene is so, so green and lush. This was an amazing time of year to be there.
On Saturday morning we got up early enough to make it downtown for the Saturday Market, which is a farmer’s market/craft fair in downtown Eugene each weekend. It was dreary and rainy outside, which was a bit of a drag, but we still managed to make it through all the craft booths before work, despite having to take cover from the rain here and there. Ryan bought me a bracelet made out of spoon handles, and also a wind chime made out of old pieces of silverware – I love them both!
We had two shows on Saturday and two on Sunday. After the show on Sunday, I drove over to Prince Puckler’s, an ice cream shop that my friend Fin had recommended to me (she went to school at U of O) – I had a scoop of the mandarin chocolate and a scoop of the banana brownie – delicious!!
And with that, load-out began. I was on a bus all day the next day to Spokane, Washington, where Ryan will have his last week with the tour.
I have a feeling I may be a bit sad for a while, peeps. Sorry for being such a Debbie Downer. It’s weird to think about the months ahead without my best friend with me. I’m just thankful that the cities coming up – Denver, San Francisco, LA and San Diego are filled with so many family members and dear friends from my “real life” – – I need to escape the bubble for a while.
Last week I finished the Indigo Ripples Skirt from this summer’s Interweave Knits, but only today has it been nice enough outside to do a photo shoot!
Here’s the dealio on the pattern – its by Kat Coyle, and I made it with Rowan denim, about 10 balls, in the colorway Nashville. Size 4 needles.
The pattern is very easy – knit in the round, and once you get past the acres of stockinette, the lace part is quite fun. The only modification I made to the pattern was adding 5 inches of stockinette to cover up my not-so-lovely legs.
This was the first time I had used Rowan denim, and it was a little hard on my hands, and a bit splitty. It’s true that the dye does rub off on your hands, but it washes off easily, and I didn’t have any trouble with it rubbing off on my clothes.
The yarn shrinks about 20% in length in the wash, so I compensated for that in the knitting. I washed the skirt on warm in the washer with a pair of jeans – twice. It still looked big when I pulled it out of the wash, so then I stuck it in the dryer on hot with the same pair of jeans, and it came out the perfect size! I love the color variation that is starting to happen as the dye lightens up, just like my jeans would!
It’s getting colder now so I’m not sure how much wear this skirt will get anytime soon, but I’m looking forward to wearing it come spring!
The first two weeks in Seattle have absolutely flown by, much to my dismay. I love this city and would like to spend much more time exploring it, but unfortunately we have had lots of rehearsals and not too much free time. We arrived last Monday and spent most of the day getting settled in our apartment in Belltown (which is gorgeous by the way, by far the best housing so far on the tour). We have a large patio with a beautiful view of the water. Our neighborhood is about a mile from the theater and is filled with great restaurants and shops (including a yarn store called So Much Yarn) – I’m really glad we decided to stay here – there is so much to do just steps from the apartment.
We visited the famous Pike Street Public Market on Monday to pick up some produce and groceries. If you are ever in Seattle, this place is a must-see. There are tons of vendors – in fact, I need to go back to check out the jewelry and crafts again when I have more time. And the guys at the fish stands are a show in and of themselves – throwing the fish around and creating quite a spectacle. Because the travel from Denver to Seattle was so far, we opened on Wednesday, giving the trucks more time to make the drive, so Ryan had the luxury of Monday night off. We ate at a funky Mexican place near our apartment that had an Elvis theme.
On Tuesday, I ran some errands during the day and then met up with my Uncle Laurie and Aunt Steph who had come up for the day to see me from Sunnyvale, where they were visiting my parents. I don’t even remember the last time I saw the two of them, so it was great to have the opportunity to catch up and have them all to myself! Funnily enough, I ran into them on the street by the theater early in the day as we were making arrangements to meet that night over the phone! We met up again in the evening and had a lovely dinner in the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. What a spectacular view you have from up there! The restaurant is 500 feet in the air, and it spins very slowly, so you get a 360 degree view of the area. Really amazing.
Wednesday we loaded in the show and opened without incident. The theater is small but everything fits. At this point in the tour, I have met stagehands of all kinds. Seattle is the winner of the most drunks, I’m sorry to say. You hear all kinds of stories about the stagehands in New York and how out of hand they are, but I have to say, I have been lucky enough to have worked with some great guys and gals in New York, and the rare bad egg is just that – rare. In Seattle, not so much. It’s not that the guys here are bad. They do their jobs fine. But they are surly and reek of booze. It’s kind of appalling and sad.
Anyway! Because of the Wednesday opening, we had a Thursday matinee. Friday we had rehearsal for Ben Davis, who took over the role of Galahad this week. So, no free time for me last week! Saturday night we gathered at a bar/bowling alley in Capitol Hill for Tony Holds’ (Galahad) going away party. It was really fun, although I suck at bowling!
Tony’s last show was Sunday night. I didn’t realize how much it would affect me until I was calling the show that night and starting getting all emotional! Tony and I joined the show at the exact same time, and he was the only person that I really knew well coming into this experience, as we had worked on “The Great American Trailer Park” together the year before in New York. He was kind of my security blanket when I first started, and although we didn’t spend a ton of time together as the tour progressed, I still have a special place for him in my heart. The night that I first called the show in Detroit, I was so amped up afterwards, and Tony was the one that went out for a drink with me to celebrate. Also, because of our history together in New York, he was also a tie to my “real” life back in the city. With him leaving, it has made me think about New York and my life there and that as much fun as I am having out here on the road, New York is waiting for me, and I do miss it, and want to go back to it eventually. I guess its easy to forget about real life when you are in the road “bubble” – Tony leaving made me remember that New York is still there. Sigh. I’ll miss him a lot.
Ben Davis, the new Galahad, is a fine replacement, however. Aside from being great onstage, he is also a really, really nice guy, which makes the blow of losing Tony a little easier. And not for nothing, Tony is going back to New York to be a standby for the Broadway company, which is really great for him – in fact, he goes on in the role of King Arthur next week! And, if you haven’t read it online, Clay Aiken from “American Idol” is going to be playing Robin in that company starting in January, so Tony will be able to give us all the dish on that!
So, Monday – Day off! After the last couple of cities with all the outdoor excursions and road trips, I really wanted to just stay within the city limits on Monday. Plus, Seattle is an awesome city, so why leave it? So, Ryan and I slept in, and then went to the Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center. The EMP is an awesome music museum, which is housed in a very cool Frank Gehry-designed building. There is a big exhibit on the Seattle sound, dating back to the 1800’s, through Ray Charles and Quincy Jones’s time in Seattle in the ’50’s, up to the grunge movement in the ’90’s. We saw a great exhibit on the evolution of the guitar, watched a movie about Jimi Hendrix’s career, walked through an exhibit about latin music in the United States, and then played with some instruments in a studio room. Ryan figured out how to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the guitar! Remembering how much I loved Pearl Jam in high school and college (when the whole grunge thing was just starting), I bought a concert DVD of theirs in the gift shop, which we watched that night at home. What a good band!
The Seattle Center itself is also pretty cool – it houses a couple of theaters, the science fiction museum, an arena, and the Space Needle, among other things.
True to what everyone says, it has been very cloudy and rainy here in Seattle since we arrived, so I have not been able to go back to the observation deck at the Space Needle and get any good photos. Hopefully I will before we leave!
After visiting the Seattle Center, we went for a walk down by the water and discovered the Olympic Sculpture Garden, which was very cool. We also found a bike path by the water that we will have to go back to. The sun was going down over the water and the sky was amazing.
Tuesday we had a put-in rehearsal for Ben, who made a fabulous debut as Galahad on Tuesday evening. Lisa Chernoff also joined us on Tuesday. Lisa is an old friend of mine from Shakespeare Santa Cruz, who is going to be subbing for us while Ken is away in Australia. Its great having her around, and I’m only sorry that she has to experience some of the not-so-glamourous stops on the tour upcoming (Boise, Omaha, Columbus, Toledo, East Lansing).
Wednesday night Ryan and I went to see a band called Lucero play at the Crocodile Cafe which is one of the premier music clubs in Seattle, and one of the clubs that was quite famous during the grunge movement. The band we saw was really good and we had a fun time, although the frisking we got by the security guard to get in was more hardcore than any airport security I’ve had to go through (the dude pulled my knitting off the needles! Grrr. Luckily I rescued it from complete demise).
Finally, yesterday was our 666th performance! Our resident devil aka Wig Master, Mitchell, made cupcakes to celebrate.
Next time….photos of the finished Indigo Ripples Skirt!