Thursday, October 1, 2009

Milwaukee stories

Ok, so tonight's show went GREAT. It's amazing how your frame of mind/intent/what you put into it has to do with how you perform. My intent tonight was to enjoy myself. I did. In spades. I also probably had the best show of the run. The audience loved me, as did people in the cast. It's weird. It's all well and good to say that all you want to do is have fun, but when that first G comes out funny it's no longer any fun at all. Tonight, I decided all I wanted to do is have fun and all the Gs came out great and easy. Stupid. Well, I only have three of these left, and I want to enjoy them. So, hell, high water, vocal fatigue, whatever, I'm going to have some fun.

I was so happy tonight I went out for drinks with some of the cast. And afterwards, I realized my internet actually WORKED. It must be because it's so late and no one at the plaza is online. I celebrated by logging onto Netflix and watching the classic flick Caddyshack. Not only did it make me giggle, but it brought back memories of my undergrad guitar professor Billy Barnard. I remember taking his Jazz Studies class and he told the story of how he used to be a studio musician and how he played on the soundtrack for Caddyshack. That was enough to win over every undergrad in my demographic, but he went on to specifically talk about the Baby Ruth scene in the pool and how he was playing the Jaws theme on guitar and looked up at the screen and saw a big candy bar floating in the pool and how he burst out laughing. That's why he is one of the most beloved teachers at UMD folks. Those were golden years. Golden.

I also have to talk about the best waitress in Milwaukee. Her name is Edna. She works at the Cafe at the Plaza Hotel where I am living. She is about six feet tall, 98 pounds, and has curly grey/black hair. She looks like Olive Oyl from old Popeye cartoons. She is AWESOME. I have worked here at the Skylight 7 times in the last 10 years and she has been here THE WHOLE TIME . At least twice I have seen her leg in a cast. No idea what caused the injury. If there are more than 6 people in the cafe she gets really nervous. "Could I have a cup of decaf?" I ask. "Um , yeah, honey, just give me a minute," she says with a strained smile. "It'll be just a minute." 20 minutes later I get my decaf with another strained smile. "Thanks for waiting honey." "No problem," I say. I mean, what else can I say? I don't have an urgent agenda. I don't want to stress out Edna and make her slip and fracture her leg again. Not on my watch. I want to set her at ease. You take your time Edna. I'll take my greasy eggs and toast whenever you can bring them over. Coffee? If you have a second, bring some over. If not, don't sweat it. I can't bear to see your blood pressure rise. Relax, take a breather. I brought the paper with me. If I get a hot cup of joe, I'll count this as a success. If not, I'll chalk it up to the Plaza craziness. In any case, I won't blame you Edna. You have been a constant since I've been coming here. You can't be the blame. You just keep on keeping on. One day, I'll catch you on a good day, order a Plaza Pleaser, and you'll smile, catch your grace and slide it down the bakelite counter with a fresh cup of joe and give me a nervous smile and say, "is that all, honey?" and I'll say, "No, Edna, I'm good. Here's a little something extra for the effort. Watch your step now." and that will be a golden day Edna. Golden. Until then, let's not sweat the small stuff, okay? Let's just say that you'll get all your orders in, and I'll hit all the high notes and everyone will go about their merry way, OK?



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