The first two shows are safely over and done with. The first was in lovely Shepparton, a city known for its salt silos, which we (un)fortunately missed. Next morning early, we got back on the bus to go to Griffith, in the middle of cattle and sheep country. The country side, hills aside, reminded me of Denmark, yellow fields and those lonely trees, that seem to have been left behind on their way across the field to join their treefriends that stand making perfect rows lining the way to the farmers house.
Have tried to spot kangaroo road kill to see if they were right about night driving dangers, but all we passed through was a herd of cows, had to slow down of course.
About the kangaroo situation, I can’t stop thinking about it. The country is suffering the worst drought in its history, yet according to our organizers it would seem that the country is flooded with kangaroos that come out at night to be hit by cars….
We did a stop in Jerrilderie, which is the town where Ned Kelly stayed for 3 days and wrote his "letter" 8300 words relaying the events of his life. It was given to the bank clerk to keep and left in the Public Records Office for 51 years before it was "found" again.
So cool for the history buff here!
The equivalent to roadside diners here are bakeries. We had meat pies, roastbeef&gravy sandwiches and cream pies called hummingbirds.
By the time this will be over I will be in supershape from dancing and round as a ball from the food...
The washed dancebelts are drying in the window, the "girls" are sleeping, reading, listening to music, and so far every one's getting along. I assume that it can and will be a bit more tense in a few months.
1st show was very well sold. Not being completely sure of my choreography, having rehearsed it only once, I was reminded of my beginnings as a dancer. The random nervousness of forgetting a step or an entrance; the terrified yet calm and absolute concentration required for doing something new brings, but which is often the first to be forgotten as soon as we become “proficient” at our crafts.
Mostly I am to be the straight guy, which to me is even funnier, since I am now doing repertoire I was always told I would never do.
For this repertoire I have taken my lead from one of the greatest comedians, Buster Keaton. As the “girls” are completely over the top, I try to maintain a stoic demeanor, which seems to work very well with them, as the joking will quickly become pathetic if everyone tries to outdo one another.
The absolute and inspiring beauty of this group is their respect not only for their art but for each other as well, no jokes are made that will take away from someone else’s or from the essence of the choreography. Everyone seems to understand this unwritten rule of comedy and all the unwritten rules of the theatre.
The show in Griffith marked a turning point in the dancing career of yours truly, I did 4 pirouettes on stage! And got applause for it. Don't remember the last time (if ever) I did 4 solid turns.
On the way to Sydney, we stopped in yet another one-horse town, Murrumburrah. Got hammered in the only bar with some (all?) of the inhabitants. George taught the barmaid to make a series of vicious shots that got us completely toasted. Somehow Victor knew exactly where to come looking for us to get us on the bus again.
The stop in Sydney before show #3 in Tamworth, was to do some more promo. Starting at 7am, with the “girls” all done up (they were up somewhere between 4:30-5 to transform) we did a big talkshow thing on yet another cold slippery floor. The other segment on the show was drag racing. The other drag people did not seem to find our jokes very funny and I doubt any of it was put on the show.
Following that shoot, Victor, Carlos (Kiki) and Brian (Debbie) and I went to Woolongong to appear on a daytime talk show (not live) “Suzie”.
Suzie was a blast and played along very well. As we were getting ready in the green room, a woman on the other side of the room spotted Kiki putting on his tutu and informed her friend with quite a bit of sympathy in her voice: “that ballerina is completely flat-chested.”
Going from Democritus we quickly went to Heraklitus, as the guests before us, a trio of pop singers, unsuccessfully attempted to find a key, a tune and an act. The guy was blowing into a little plastic device, designed to give the key. From the various keys they got out of it, they might as well have used a kazoo!
With two appearances done, there was only one left, which heralded the reunion of the promo group. Vicki and I were the only two to do the whole day and the only thing that kept my mind off of having worn a dance belt for 12 hours straight, was that Vicki had been in lashes, wig and make up for as long. Quite a look I must say...
Though it had been less than a week since our first day here, it felt like we had been split up for years and it was great to be doing “backup” again with my original “girls”.
Hiding under bathrobes, so the audience would not see the tutus too soon, Marlon and Ari mingled a bit before disrobing and exploding onto the stage with the host of the show. At the end of our little dance, a definite straight guy who had been standing next to Marlon earlier mouthed to him as we took our bows: "I would date you."
Ahead of us is a weekend of 6-8 hour busrides straight in to shows and if I survive that the chronicling will continue unabated on the same channel, roughly the same time from roughly the same place: "Divas Down Under"