Wednesday, November 20, 2013

California dreaming...

 A view from the bus on our drive from Santa Barbara to Bakersfield
Out on the town with our friend Meghan in Modesto

The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara

The Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield

Gallo Center for the Arts, Modesto

 Rogers Theatre, Modesto

Our "tag" backstage at the Rogers Theatre
Hello, everyone!  I hope this blog finds everyone well.  We are continuing our adventures out here in the Golden State, and this week was particularly eventful! 
After our "golden day" in Thousand Oaks, we boarded the bus on Tuesday to make the relatively short trip to Santa Barbara. Our hotel was a bit off the beaten path, but the weather and our surroundings were gorgeous, so it was hard to complain. With an IHOP nearby, most of us made that our dinner in the break we had before heading downtown to do our first of two shows in Santa Barbara. After a short drive, we arrived at the parking structure and walked into the gorgeous Granada Theatre. Though relatively new, it resembles ( and out) some of the missions in this area of California.  Not only was it a gorgeous theatre, but as we continue along our California adventure, we are being blown away by our audiences. What a great way to start the week. We made the trek back to the hotel after the show, and me and some of the boys hung out in my room for a while.

On Wednesday morning I had a couple of interviews for some upcoming dates, the first being for our week in Palm Desert over Thanksgiving. The second had to reschedule, and after I got myself ready, Frace and I took a drive down to the downtown area of Santa Barbara, close to our theatre.  After walking a bit to find a late lunch, we settled on Killer BBQ. I had a great beef brisket sandwich, and we headed along our way to explore some of the downtown area near our theatre. It is such a pretty little town, and I only wish we had had more time to spend there, or to be in a more central location. Frace and I went into a few stores along the way, and after finding a few Johnny Cash bootleg DVD's, we headed back to the hotel to chill a bit before our second and last show in Santa Barbara. After another great show and an equally good audience, we took the trip back home and got ready for the travel day and show on Thursday.

The drive to Bakersfield was stunning. I've said it a million times, but there is no better way to see the country than to drive through it. You can't imagine the majestic beauty that exists in this country by merely flying over it; you have to drive through it and see for yourself. We pulled into Bakersfield in the mid afternoon as our crew had been working tirelessly all day. We had a great hotel, and our venue was barely a few yards away; the Rabobank Arena. Though we may have been playing in the same building that housed a minor league hockey game that morning, the space was great for our show, and the sound was warm and inviting. The audience proved to be yet another great one on this California trip, and following the performance, most of the cast adjourned to the hotel bar for some great food. 

The next day, we boarded our bus, now our home away from hotel, and took the moderate trip to Modesto. I was pretty excited to arrive, as Modesto is not only the home of George Lucas, but the inspiration for one of my favorite movies, American Grafitti. We had a bit of time to chill before the show that evening, and I did another interview for our upcoming date in Flint, MI in the new year.  I got a bite to eat and headed to the theatre for our first of 5 shows in Modesto.  Yet again, we were blown away by the love shown to us by the audience.  The theatre arranged for a meet and great with donors and patrons following our opening night, and it had been quite a while since we had had such an event. It was really nice to meet some of the people who had been in the audience face to face, and to hear such kind words about our performance. Following the meet and greet, Rob, Cody and I headed to a nearby pub, the Firkin and Fox. We ended up meeting Meghan who works at the theatre, and her friends and our group talked for quite a while that night.

The following day we had two shows, and Frace was swung on for Mr. Phillips in the first show. He did a hell of a job yet again, and we had a bite to eat an American fusion restaurant, Fuzio between shows. After a bit of a break, we headed back to the theatre for yet another great show. Following the performance, most of the boys and I met up and headed to a nearby wine bar, Trisetti's. Meghan and her friend and coworker Nicole was there, and our little group had a blast; first there, and then adjourning to Minnie's tiki bar on the other end of town. They introduced us to the wonder of hot and fresh do it's from Mr. T's before calling it a night.  

The next day we had our final two shows in Modesto. Another two fantastic shows with audience to match. I was pretty tired, and with less time in between shows I just grabbed some food from Subway and tried to chill the best I could before our final show. After getting a second wind later that night, Brad, Rob, Cody and I headed to the Speakeasy for some karaoke. What a great way to end an eventful week. 

That's about it for the week, though, this next week proved to be an interesting and challenging one. For the first time, we will be doing a Monday night show, and going more than a week without a day off. So, I will have much more news from the road in my next blog! Thanks for tuning in, and I hope everyone is staying safe and warm!


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