Friday, March 13, 2009

a lot

   Last night the internet was down, so Ian and I each made a phone call to the front desk. After about the 4th or 5th ring, the call connected with a gravelly voice saying, Security.

  Oh--can you please connect me to the front desk? I asked, thinking I must have dialed the wrong number.

  Speaking, he answered, almost before I could get my request out.

  Oh. I guess that's one way to kill two birds with one stone.

  I told him our internet was down, hoping that since he was trained in both security and manning the front desk, this multi-faceted-tool of a man would know just what to do.

  I'll put in a request to maintenance and they can check on it tomorrow.

  Okay, I say, while thinking, So much for the multi-faceted-tool of a man getting things done around here.

  Or at least the things I want done.

  And so Ian and I were forced to simply talk last night, which wasn't so bad considering he is a very interesting individual with opinions on most matters. We did, however, agree that we would choose to live in a cardboard box with a fantastic internet connection over a fancy hotel with a single blue ethernet cable that does not even work.  

  Hopefully we will never actually be tested on this choice. 

  So yesterday was a day that had been looming in my mind for a while, since it was full of commitments. It started with actually waking up to an alarm, which is usually just reserved for matinee days or early flights. 

 * Now, for all of you so easily confused because I have mentioned manatees on this site before, please note that I said I wake up to an alarm on matinee days. Though, to be fair, your confusion could be warranted since the day I visited the manatees had me waking up to an alarm as well...

  But I went and taught a master class in the morning at Results Gym. It was filled mostly with men, which was surprising since the last one I taught was all women. 

  These people came from all different backgrounds; some had dance training, some had none but a ton of enthusiasm to make up for it. It was a joy to teach them, truly. 

  What was not a joy, was that since Fox news was taping the whole thing, I had to get wired into a mic. I was wearing my jazz pants that tend to be a little loose around the waist band which was exactly where they clipped the huge dinosaur of a mic pack onto me.  I kept being afraid that it would fall down, taking my pants--and therefore my dignity--with it and course the whole thing would be kindly documented by Fox news.  

  It didn't happen. I did end up holding it up--along with my pants--a lot, though, which probably looked pretty awkward but I assure you looked much much better than the alternative. 

 Fox news also interviewed me. At the onset of the interview I had to say my name, who I play in ACL, and what I was doing there. As soon as they started taping, of course my face started itching and so I reached up to scratch it...

  Um, apparently they don't want to interview people who look like they have horrible skin rashes.

  I don't know why.

  The Fox news lady was like, Ah, don't do that. And so they started again. Luckily I had only said about two sentences so it wasn't that much of an annoyance.

  But note to self: do not scratch anything when being interviewed on the news.  

  I think this is a good rule of thumb.   

   The rest of the interview went smoothly, and the master class was a joy. 

   Then I went to play a benefit concert for Habitat for Humanity and it was such a special time.  The man who hosted it is the owner of Results Gym here in DC and his house is amazing.


   You walk in on this glass floor that makes one question whether they should be walking there at all, but since there is no other way in, you continue with trepidation. There is a koi pond underneath the glass with a waterfall as a backsplash. There is a heated pool on one of his many outdoor porches and an old fashioned elevator, complete with a super-hero costume inside, to lift the guests who don't feel like taking the stairs.  

  I don't think I have ever been inside a house like that before. 

  Oh, and there was a gorgeous grand piano in the spacious living room, which is what I got to play.

  And let me tell you, I certainly didn't mind it at all.

   Clyde, another cast member who writes music, and I were both asked to play two of our original songs. He went first on his guitar, and I went next on the piano. The audience was so attentive---they were poised and listening like we were telling them a secret that they didn't want to miss.  

  It was a fantastic experience; the only thing that made me sad is that we had to leave as soon as we played since we needed to get to the theater for work.  The bright side of that, however, was that a police escort had been arranged to take us to the stage door, so as to make sure we wouldn't get stuck in DC traffic.

  He had his lights flashing, we were going through red lights, and cars were moving out of our way--all to get some actors to the National Theater on time.

  It was fantastic, and a little bit funny, I must say. 


peaj said...

Wow, busy day! I feel like I've done enough if I got through work. Did you seek out the master class and the benefit concert, or did someone ask you?

The "Outta our way! Artists in transit!"-thing is pretty funny.

Michele said...

Really Jessica - you can't make this stuff up! From visions of a cardboard box with internet to a house with a glass floor showcasing a koi pond! Keep chalking up the memories :)

Jessica Latshaw said...

Peaj--I was asked to do them, rather than the other way around; but I was psyched to oblige.

Michele--I know, right?!?!

Natalie said...

I don't understand how your life (on tour, at least) is so terribly amusing. Only you, I guess!

And the police escort thing is priceless. Who else do you know who can say they've had something like that?!

jason said...

I hope Clyde didn't play "I hate LA." I love Clyde's music, but I can't help but think his muse might have whispered some other inspiration in his ears had he left his hotel room every once in a while in this here City of Angels!

And the police escort is really funny, what kind of power does Results Gym dude have!?!?

jason said...

And jessica you have an iphone now right? So you can still get online if you have to.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Natalie--I know, we were pinching ourselves during the whole police escort thing! And of course, we had to get a picture with the policeman once he got us to the stage door in such a timely manner;-)

Jase--I believe the actual name of the song is, Leaving Los Angeles, rather than I Hate L.A. And no, he did not play that one, which I am sure makes you glad.

And I guess the owner of Results Gym has some definite sway here in DC.
And last but not least, I do have an iphone, but I absolutely CANNOT blog on it--it would be more frustrating than anything else in the world...

Could you imagine writing a screenplay on your iphone?

Not that I think I am writing screenplays or anything, but still.

kathiek said...

Wait...doesn't everyone have a glass floor with a koi pond and a waterfall? ;-]

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I hear you about the internet in the hotel... That stinks!

Last May, Lindsay and I spent a month in Kenya. At the end of the trip, we took a bus to Nairobi to fly home. The bus-ride was... trying... to say the least. We had been in the country for one month. We had frequently been hot, dirty, ripped off, and crammed into minibuses (vans) with 25+ people who live with no running water. Our cultural sensitivity was beginning to wear thin.

We decided to treat ourselves to a nice last day in the country. We used our own money (the rest of our trip was financed by the organization that sent us) to book a nice hotel (AC, internet, etc...) and we hired a travel agent to book us tickets on a NICE bus (one with individual seats and AC). We were told the ride would be about 5-6 comfortable hours.

Turns out it was more like 13 hours, we did not have our own seats, there was no AC, and the roads were unimaginably rough dirt roads for most of the way.

When we finally arrived in Nairobi in the middle of the night we were sewaty, dirty, and in serious pain from being slammed into the wooden bench seat with for hours on end. We took a taxi to the hotel and checked in.

First off, they tried to double the price, then they tried to give us a room with 2 twin beds. We finally fought through all of this, got to our room (hot, dirty, run down, and far from comfortable. I get out my computer and try to connect to wifi. Nothing. I look around the room for an ethernet cable. Nothing. I call down to the desk to inquire.

Me - "Hi, I am trying to connect to the internet and I can't figure out how"

Front desk - "Yes, we do not have internet."

Me - "Oh. Really? I made a reservation online and it said that there is free high-speed-wifi in every room."

Front desk - "yes"

Me - "So.... how do I log on?"

Front desk - "We do not have internet."

Me - "But your website says you do."

Front desk - "Yes I know, but we do not."

Anonymous said...

That comment was by me (collin) by the way. I forgot my blogger login.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Collin, that is awful and crazy! You guys must have felt like just laughing at the absurdity of it--if you weren't already crying at the arduous day.

And for you to say that your "cultural sensitivity" was wearing thin, it must have been REALLY hard...