Well, all of our shows for 2011 are done… It was sad to end so early in December, but it only makes my anticipation for what’s to come in 2012 that much stronger. Here’s a quick recap of the last week…

Sarasota, FL – If you get a chance to go to the Van Wezel in Sarasota, do it… it’s on the water front, it’s a huge theatre, and it was one of my favorite venues thus far.

Tallahassee, FL – This was our first “arena” style show. We performed on the Florida State Basketball Court… I thought it was going to be awful since the sound would end up stuck in the rafters of the arena, but I was very wrong. The sound was amazing, we were literally 2 feet from our conductor so we didn’t have to strain to see him, and the front row of the crowd was right off the edge of the stage, so we were practically looking into people’s eyes while we were performing. On top of that, the feast that was provided to us after the show was AMAZING, and it was wonderful to hang out with some of the families that were at the show and to hear how much they enjoyed our performance.

Opelika, AL – wow… I wish my high school looked like that, my high school would look like a prison in comparison to the high school we performed at.

Shreveport, LA –  Go to “The Blind Tiger” restaurant in downtown Shreveport if you get a chance, the cajun food was wonderful!!! (notice food is the most important thing I look for in each city, haha)

Orange, TX – Another amazing venue where the staff at the theatre made dinner for us… that day’s life changing food… the coleslaw. It was amazing, and it was the first non-processed mayo-less coleslaw I’ve ever had, and I 3 servings of it. Almonds, and dry ramen noodles were in it, soooooo good!!

Tyler, TX – This day was very interesting. It was our last show before the break, and I reeeally had to focus. I say a personal prayer before every performance and for some reason I forgot to say it. I stumbled on two lines, tripped once, and said the wrong word at one point during the Club scene. While I’m not a superstitious person, I am a firm believer in the power of repetition, so since I hadn’t performed my every day ritual, I felt a little off. No problem, though, I got it together for the second act and we finished out the night with yet another standing ovation 🙂

It was my goal and prediction when we started our tech runs in Clemson, that this show and this cast was so amazing, that despite our grueling schedule, we would have a 100% standing ovation percentage… through our first quarter of the tour we are at 98%, the 2 percent deduction coming from a half standing house somewhere in the middle of the november. I will continue to do my part every show to ensure that our diverse audiences all continue to understand the power of “Home” 🙂

My moment of cheesiness aside, lol, I have learned a very fundamental lesson this first leg of the tour. The emphasis that’s needed for vocal health. I’ve always known that my vocal muscles were my instrument and that they needed to be taken care of, but I now have a respect and understanding for the “diva” quality that some of the best singers in the world have. It isn’t a joke to me any more when I hear that Mariah Carey demands like 20 bottles of her favorite crazy expensive water in her dressing room before every performance, on tour I was drinking nearly a gallon of water per day to stay hydrated on our phenomenally dry bus and hotels. I don’t find it snobby any more to hear that some singers demand that their warm-up rooms be a certain temperature, I’m bringing my humidifier with me for the remainder of the tour to help keep warm and moist air in my lungs so that my throat doesn’t feel dry in the mornings any more. Unfortunately, the voice isn’t made out of metal or wood and as long as you store it appropriately, you can just tune it up in the morning. The voice is affected by every part of your body, and thus it’s not just about taking care of your throat but ensuring that every muscle in your body is relaxed and prepared to allow the notes to flow through a tight passageway and resonate out to fill a theatre of hungry hearts.

I’m sooo ready to fast forward to Chicago in January and be back to work!!

Adios Amigos and have a Happy Holiday season!!!