The excitement in Colorado continues to get better. It is now the Friday night of my fourth and last week in Denver. Tomorrow night is the 2008 cast B, Up With People(UWP) dress rehearsal and show taping. I can not believe that our four weeks of staging have gone by so quickly. After today’s third run through, the cast's movement and syncopation has really begun to become show-ready and the band has really begun to come along. Our music director has told the cast that this semester's band is the strongest one he has ever seen come through the UWP staging process.
This past Wednesday, the cast and I spent the day "striking" the stage equipment and loading it into our two Up With People trucks. UWP operates out of two shipping vehicles because the lighting and sound equipment must be separated during the tour. If our cast performs in a smaller venue it is commonly only in need of sound reinforcement because lighting may take up too much room. It is quite impressive to be a part of a large staging tour. Every object that is placed on the truck has a specific area and space in which it takes up. During the loading process, charts are posted on the wall that contain diagrams of truck bed equipment layouts. These computer-generated drawings are like blueprints and make for an easy packing process. Loading the trucks took all day on Wednesday. The learning process we went through was excellent, but our cast lost half a day of rehearsal.
I found Thursday morning to be quite exhilarating. It was much like Wednesday because we spent half a day pushing aluminum boxes around, but we had finally reached our first concert venue and I was ready to get started.
After a two-hour bus ride through the city, my host brothers and sisters and I reached a small campus overlooking a beautiful view of the Colorado Rockies. The the location of our dress rehearsal, Teikyo is a Japanese university that has agreed to let us use their facilities for our last three days of staging. We were able to set up the entire stage before lunch and began our first show run through at one o'clock. Like the days before our arrival at Teikyo, our performance was still very poor and I found it hard to get into the feeling of the show.
Today was unlike any other I have experienced during staging. I am now nailing the timing of each piece and cast B is really starting to become energized. I really hope that I am selected to sing "Tonight I've Got a Cut Loose" and "Ounce of Positive" in tomorrow's show.
Thank you for reading this blog. It was very dry. If you have made it this far you are without a doubt a faithful UWP blog follower, a teacher, a cast member, or my mom. Thank you to all... russreitter.com !
We will spend tomorrow(Sat) running through the show until three o'clock. We will then perform the two hour presentation in front of as many as 1,000 people. The trucks will be loaded and on Monday our cast leaves for Breckenridge.