110 in the Shade
Time: August 12, 1997Place: Diablo Light Opera CompanyRole: Gil (Dancer)Director: Terry Barto
While checking my messages during July of 1997, I got a cool message. The producer of a show heard I could dance and their show needed another dancer. After thinking it over and checking my schedule (checking it twice actually – double booking isn’t too uncommon with me), I agreed. The show was Diablo Light Opera Company’s ‘110 in the Shade’. It’s the musical version of “The Rainmaker.” And so it began, my long long days of driving.
110 rehearsed in Pleasant Hill. I live in Pleasanton. To further complicate things, I work in Milpitas. Needless to say, geography wasn’t kind to me. Dang those laws of physics! And DANG the establishment! Oops! I’m digressing here. Okay, essentially I got to drive 30 miles south every day and turn around and drive 30 miles back north, wave to my little home in Pleasanton, and head 30 more miles north. After a long night of rehearsing, I got to go home. Life was busy then.
But the show was worth it. DLOC is a great company and takes good care of their people. It was also nice to just be dancing and in the ensemble. I could goof off a lot more and have more fun with the other actors. You wouldn’t believe how loud a girl can scream when you grab her and pretend to push her into the orchestra pit. But I guess it was a pretty big drop.Yes, she did forgive me in time.
My most interesting moment probably came at the end of one particular performance during the final pose. I guess it was partly my fault. I had evolved my original pose to that of a John Travolta Saturday Night Fever pose. It just grew out of the character. Unfortunately, the pants weren’t designed for such a pose and split right up the back. I didn’t want to miss curtain call, so I quickly untucked my shirt and let it cover me up. It worked and the audience didn’t get more than their money’s worth. I must say it was one emBAREASSing moment for me.
Well, we performed for 5 weeks. That’s quite a bit of time when you’re not getting paid, but still, I liked it. It does make it a bit harder to say goodbye in the end though. Although, my next show was already underway in rehearsing.
Next: Bali H’ai may call you…