October 2005

I've gone to Alabama with a banjo on my knee....

October 24, 2005 16:45

I've been needing to update for a while. I have a lot to tell. First of all, mother dearest and I got back from Alabama Sunday afternoon. We were there for my second From The Top gig. We left early Friday, and drove to the airport. While I was still half-asleep, we struggled through security (they always need to re-scan the suitcase because of the wire music stand, and of course there's the violin, though it isn't nearly as bad as the time we needed to lug the didgeridoo to Boston!) Anyway, we took a plane to Charlotte, NC, and from there to Alabama. We checked into the hotel mid-afternoon.

That night was the pizza party/music rehearsal, which is the time for all the kids on the show to meet each other (eat pizza of course,) and rehearse their pieces w/ Chris O'Riley. A spectacular young violinist, Heather, who I went to Encore with, and who actually lives in Alabama was on the show, and it was really great to see her again. She was playing in a trio with Chris O'Riley and a cellist. I'm not going to go into too much detail because the show will air on December 11th or thereabouts.

After everyone played their piece, we ran through the two skits I was there to do (one involving the bassoonist, one involving the saxophonist). They are, of course, hilarious, and so much fun to perform for the audience.

The next day was the run-through/performance in the big hall. It was huge hall, and there were a lot of people there. I was nervous, but it did go well. I can't believe there's not another one until next month!!!

One funny story: the night before the performance, we were looking for a place to eat. However, it being Saturday night (even in Alabama), everything was jam-packed. It was all 45 minute waits. We went into place after another. Then, we went into one where the waitress said, "I can't tell you how long the wait is going to be." We thought this was an odd thing to say, we asked why. She said, "Because Condoleeza Rice is here." We had heard she was in town giving a speech, but why would that interfere with the restaurant schedule? "No, I mean, she's here." And she pointed to a corner of the restaurant. Weird, huh? And then my mom said, "Oh well, we can't eat in the same restaurant as Condoleeza Rice." "Yes," the waitress replied seriously. "We discussed it as a staff, and we decided that we were going to honor the fact that she was a very honorable woman." Heheheheh.

--alice

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October 7, 2005 10:00

I got a call a couple of days ago from my violin teacher, saying that the Ocean City Pops needed another person on their concert tomorrow, and would I play my three short pieces that I've been using for a lot of stuff recently (It Ain't Necessarily So, Liebesleid, and Love for Three Oranges)? Of course I said yes. It won't be with the orchestra, with a pianist, but still on the same concert. And sadly, the concert will not be at the beloved Music Pier, but actually in a different town altogether. Oh well.

In other good news, tomorrow and Sunday are the days of the much anticipated Kinhaven reunion! I can't wait, it's going to be so much fun to see all my friends again. Everyone is going to have a picnic in Central Park on Sunday, and a couple people who live in NY offered to have a sleepover the night before, Saturday. Somehow I didn't communicate this with my mom well enough, and she thought the sleepover was Sunday to Monday, so I accepted the O.C. Pops date, stupidly not realizing it was the same night as the reunion. It will be OK though, my mom is willing to drive from NJ to NY at night to drop me off at the sleepover. I was originally going to arrive there at 3 or 4, and I'm sad that I'll be missing that time, but what can you do?

--alice

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October 3, 2005 17:46

So I did my first From The Top Show. Well not my first, actually my third. But my first as the Roving Reporter! We got home from Boston late last night, and I slept in and went late to school. But it was hugely fun and exciting.

So we arrived in Boston on Friday. They asked us to come early so I could play at this Harvard reunion in Wellesley. The man who was hosting it was chairman of the board for FTT. So one of the show's writers came with us and we did an interview after I played, so it was like a mini FTT. I played "It Ain't Necessarily So" and the Love for Three Oranges, and the audience really liked it, as far as I could tell.

The next day I was really excited about because I was going to visit some of my friends from Kinhaven who live in Boston. A couple of them went to the NEC prep Saturday program, so I got to eat lunch and hang out with them which was a lot of fun. After that I pre-recorded a skit for the show with two sisters. Then that night was the music rehearsal/pizza party, where the kids meet each other and rehearse their stuff with Chris O'Riley.

Then the next morning we got up early, packed our stuff and checked out of the hotel. We had a breakfast meeting, then went straight to the sound check and dress rehearsal. The other players were GREAT. Then we had an hour before the show, me and my mom went to get some lunch, and then I had some time to warm up before the start of the show. I was on second and I was EXTREMELY nervous. I think it might have been because I had two things to focus on; the Roving Reporter thing and the playing. But it turned out fine, and it was really fun doing the skit.

That evening we went to the airport to discover our flight had been delayed two times, and was going to be 45 minutes late. The flight wasn't too bad, and we got our car back okay, we had left it with an airport valet service. The guy who came and picked us up was very good-natured, but perhaps a little slow-witted. He asked us what our last name was (it's Smith). "Oh, are you related to the Smiths that live on Harrison Steet?" Thinking he was joking, my mom said "Oh yes, we're related to all of the Smiths!" "Yeah, this guy has a daughter who's a cop, I think..." and he proceeded to tell all about this family we had never heard of. I guess he didn't realize how common the name Smith was, and actually thought we were related, or something!

All in all it was a perfect three days. I can't wait until the next one, Oct 21!

--alice

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