I've been wanting to share a lot that's happened over the last 5 or so weeks with you guys, but it seemed so overwhelming because I didn't know exactly where/how to start. Yesterday I read a musician's blog and what she does is summarizes her work by the month. So a few days into a month, she'll write about the preceding month. I dig that, so I shall henceforth be stealing this idea from Hannah:)
I won't bore you with ALL of the details of how I got to this point, but basically, I spent months and months in my early-mid 20s booking and tour managing some of my indie friends' tours. This was thousands of miles traveled, several hotels and friends' couches crashed, and lots and lots of gas station food partaken...ofeth. All of this was of course after spending weeks booking the actual shows one by one, and talking to people with names like 'Snake' and 'Timber' asking if my friend(s) could play at their venue. For every show I booked, I got at least 10 'no's. I also heard hundreds of 'no's when I was publishing my music magazine INTERLUDE.
So things haven't always been easy and I've spent plenty of time sleeping on the floor, the couch, and every once in a while, in beds. All the while though, I've been networking and making friends in various production roles, at various levels of success. The tenacity paid off when just a couple of days before New Year's, I was asked to help out with the production of a show out of town.
The artist was CeeLo Green, and the show was the headlining Allstate BCS Fanfest event in New Orleans. So on New Year's Eve, I watched my new boss sing during the NYE countdown in Times Square, and a few hours later, I was hard at work helping to advance his next show.
It was in New Orleans that I met CeeLo, the Goodie Mob, and CeeLo's incredible band for the first time. They're all amazingly talented and some of the nicest people I've ever met. The city was SO full of energy during these few days in particular because of the big game, and aside from being physically exhausted from all the work we did, I was on cloud 9 the entire time. I also got to meet this cool performer named DJ Ruckus. You guys should check him out. He is a REALLY sweet guy, and kinda blew my mind with how talented he is.
(New Orleans stage during soundcheck!>
(CeeLo's lighting/video director Fraser and me after the New Orleans show...right outside our production office/backstage area)
I flew back to my new home in Houston for a few days to work on the next shows...and then it was back in the air. I can already tell that this year I will probably spend more time in the security line at airports than in my own bedroom. But do you see me complaining? Nope! And if you ever do, please feel free to slap me about my person.
January was capped off the same way it started: EPIC...ly. Or whatever.
I was flown to Miami and Montego Bay, Jamaica for 2 big shows. Miami's show was at the Fontainebleau hotel in their venue LIV and Jamaica's was the Jazz and Blues Festival where CeeLo was Saturday night's headliner. Friday night's headliner was Celine Dion! I definitely got spoiled with our accommodations that week and I'm not sure I'll know how to do anything without wearing a plush robe and having room service every 3 hours now that I've tasted the good life. I was also in the same room with Bobby Brown for a couple of hours while a Jamaican lady sang a 45 minute Whitney Houston medley to about 25k people...needless to say it was all sorts of awkward, but thats another story for another time. Anyhoo...I love robes!
(My awesome view from my room in Miami)
(The view from the hotel's private beach....cause THAT happens)
It's pretty awesome to get to see everyone at the top of their game. Everyone in this team comes in ready to work hard, do their thing, and then celebrate just as passionately. I dig the pace of it all. And I think I'm going to like it here. I feel like Annie just moved into Mr. Warbucks' place and having a look around.
(My view of soundcheck in Jamaica, mon!)
While I was at the hotel in Jamaica, I saw these two chicks playing pool. My dar went into overdrive. I said to myself, I says 'Self...I spy homosexuals.' And Self agreed with me. But we were in Jamaica which isn't very lezzy friendly, AND I didn't wanna just walk up to them and say "LESBIANS!...welcome." No, this wasn't Weho, after all. So I did what any self-respecting gay blogger would have done: I walked up to them and I said 'If I said 'Shane is my homegirl,' would it mean anything to you?" They paused...stared at me for a while--enough time for me to be frightened even though they were a good 6 inches shorter than me and I could TOTALLY outrun them--and then one of them said, "HELL YEAH IT WOULD!" and we all hugged. It was awesome!! I recommend it as an icebreaker at your local deli or Jamaican hotel situation.
Oh and did I mention everyone is British?? Well, not everyone. But like...more than half of the people I deal with are incredibly English and it rocks my world. Here are background singers Annabel and Jodie. The girls were drinking TEA. Can't make this stuff up!
Not sure what's on the horizon for February and the rest of 2012, but I do know it will be filled with experiences I've never had before, new friends, hard work, hard play, and more robes than you can shake a robe at!