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Fitting In

Monday, work. After work Jameson and I were treated to sushi by two of his friends, who wanted to thank him for giving an Xbox to their sons. The sushi was delicious and the company was awesome :)

Tuesday, work. Our department was treated to taco bowls for lunch...not sure if there was a specific occasion, but does there need to be for tacos??
That night Jameson and I had rehearsal together for the first time since the circus ended. I never thought we'd get to play together again!

The group is called Encore, and it's made up mostly of Disney cast alumni. They put on cabaret-style performances of Broadway medleys and hits, and the ensemble ranges in size from small chamber group to full orchestra and theatrical cast. This weekend they've been contracted to perform a set of shows for Disney, at Epcot. Jameson has been a longtime member of the group, and got me involved when I moved here (fortunately they were in need of a trombone).

Probably the only type of music that comes close to circus music, is theater music. Playing along with something happening on stage/in the ring has so far been my favorite way to perform, and where I feel most confident and happy. I had a great time with these awesome performers at the first rehearsal, and am really looking forward to the shows on Saturday!

Wednesday was a little blah. Jameson wasn't feeling well, and I was struggling at work (again, as usual). After work I stopped by Sam Ash to return a mute they sold me for the wrong trombone size (didn't even know that was possible, thanks Harmon -_-), then went home to squeeze Jameson and enjoy the dinner he made for us :)

Thursday was just a get-through-it kind of day. I worked, and ran some errands, and practiced a bit.

On Friday after work I enjoyed another rehearsal with Encore, which Jameson couldn't attend because he had a gig. After rehearsal I got home and started preparing for Saturday. Encore would be performing at Epcot as part of the Festival of the Arts series. Our call time was 8am to set up, then a sound check around 10, with performances at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30. I gathered my trombone, mutes, black clothes, water, and snacks, and made sure that my music was in order. I added a black jacket in case it was chilly on stage, and clothespins in case it was windy. Jameson got home around 1:30am, and we went to sleep right away.

On Saturday we woke up very early and drove out to Epcot. We parked in the employee lot and came in through the back, behind the Italy section of Epcot where we'd be performing.

I've been to Epcot only once before, when I was maybe fourteen or fifteen. My parents treated us kids to a Disney vacation. I remember how excited I was, and how huge and amazing Spaceship Earth was to me. Most of my memories of that trip, though, are of the Cinderella castle, which was done up in a very odd way...

That's my Dad and my sisters and I in front of the 25th Anniversary "cake", haha.

Anyway, getting to go backstage at Disney, and on top of that getting to actually perform in the park, was really a dream come true (even though it was just a one-time thing, not as a cast member). Looking around at a place I'd last seen as a child, and being there as an adult and as part of the "magic", gave me a very special feeling.

We dropped our things off in the backstage break room, which looked just like every other amusement park break room I've ever been in (and I've been in a LOT of them haha). Jameson had drive-on privileges since his instrument is big, so he drove right up to the back entrance and together we made our way to the stage where we'd be playing that day.

(photo courtesy Daniel Lombardi)

After setting up and having a short sound check/run-through, it was time to find some food. Jameson has worked for Disney for six years, and knows all of the good food spots :) He suggested going to the UK portion of Epcot for fish and chips. I didn't take a picture but it was delicious!

Then it was time for our shows! All three went very well. Someone took a live video...I can't embed it, but here's the link where you can watch: CLICK HERE

Between the shows there wasn't much down time, so we hung around the break areas. I got to know many members of the group, all of whom are very talented, professional, and welcoming. Here's Jameson and I with Josh (keys) and Dan (guitar):

I love it when Jameson dresses up <3 Handsome!!!

Some random shots from attendees:

(photo courtesy Lori B.)

(photo courtesy Sharon K H)

Link to a video of the closing song: CLICK HERE

Once the shows were over, it was time to celebrate a job well done! We were given permission to stay in the park for the rest of the day!

We walked around with a group of Encore friends, looking for a place to eat. It was pretty crowded...Disney has actually become so crowded lately that their sit-down restaurants are starting to be by reservation only! Maybe that's not new but it's new to me. We ended up settling on fish and chips again...Jameson and I had already had ours earlier, so we just enjoyed some drinks :) We stuck around a bit longer to enjoy the sights and to catch a performance by some of Disney's Broadway cast members. But around dinner time Jameson and I were starting to fade, as we'd been up so late the night before. We said our goodbyes and went home to rest.

Sunday was a complete day of rest. I wrote this post and played around online while Jameson played Assassin's Creed. He woke up feeling horrible...he'd already been sick, and I think Saturday's activities took a toll on his immune system. It was nice to just rest for the day.

This weekend was wonderful. Playing with Encore made me feel like I just might still be a musician. They have another performance coming up in February, and I hope to be a part of it.