Sassy Actress, with a Side of Quirk

Life Musings by a Real Drama Queen

Another Openin’, Another Show! Virginia, South Carolina and Everything in Between

on October 20, 2014

Well, hello there! I have been mighty busy performing and touring that I haven’t really gotten to update you about all of the wonderful festivities that have happened over the course of less than a week! Touring time goes super fast. It always feels like you are just arriving in one city and in an instance, you are hauling out and onto the next venue. And yet, it seems like we have been on the road for months and it has actually only been a week! It’s crazy and lovely and weird, but that’s where I am at right now.

On Friday, we opened at our first venue which was the Paramount in Charlottesville, Virginia. We had a crazy early morning that day since we had to prep for the show that morning, so we had to fit a lot of stuff into a very little time frame. I definitely prefer when we can set up the day before the shows, because it can feel really rushed, but you do whatcha gotta do! We had two shows back to back in the morning and we were sold out! Our first audience was 998 kids and teachers, and the second show had 1,014. Definitely the biggest audience I have ever played to. The space was beautiful, but the stage was a little small for our large set so we had to rework some bits in the show, but we made it work.The audiences really brought the show to a new level. The kids were so infectious, laughing and dancing the whole show. How could you not have fun when you have 1,00 kids out of their seats, dancing right along with you? It was an absolute treat and a great start to our tour.

The Paramount! So many seats!

The Paramount! So many seats!

The town (city?) of Charlottesville was fantastic. Their is a pedestrian mall outside where you can browse and shop at local boutiques or eat at the amazing restaurants. The vibe was so friendly and chill and it had tons of southern charm, with cobblestone streets and outdoor seating. We went to a local chocolate shop and ate at a bistro called Fig, which was in the college area.

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Charlottesville Pedastrian Mall

The theater provided us with Spudnuts for breakfast, a local treat. Don’t know what a spudnut is? Well, I’m glad you asked! Spudnut was created by two brothers from Salt Lake City, after they traveled to Germany and ate a fluffy, potato flour donut. They came back to the states and eventually created their own recipe for a potato donut, or a spudnut. Shortly after, they created a franchise and sold their donuts nationwide. They were particularly popular in the 1960s. The franchise doesn’t exist anymore, but there are still independent shops around the country, including Charlottesville VA (they are on the Spudnut wiki page!). The original donut flour mix is no longer sold, so the companies have to recreate the spudnut on their own. Now, if you now me, you know I am a donut fanatic, always in search of great fried pillows of dough that we disguise as breakfast. So how does the Spudnut rank? Top 5 donuts I have eaten, hands down. They make two kinds of donuts, a cake like one, and a fluffy potato flour one. Go with the potato flour ones. So freaking good! I could have eaten a dozen. They are so simple, yet so fresh and delicious. Definitely a food highlight on my trip.

We left from Charlottesville right after the show and started our trek to our next venue, in South Carolina. The drive was so pretty! We stopped for the night in Greensboro, North Carolina and had another incredible culinary experience. World, I have some confessions. One, I have never had proper fried chicken. Two, I have never had chicken and waffles. There I have said it! But on Saturday, in Greensboro NC, all of that changed, forever. We went to Dame’s Chicken and Waffles for dinner and I died and went to soul food heaven. The menu was so varied and had super creative names for the chicken and waffle pairings. I got the Quilted Buttercup, which was two mini sweet potato waffles and a fried chicken cutlet with maple walnut schmear.

The Quilted Buttercup. Worth every last calorie.

The Quilted Buttercup. Worth every last calorie.

Not familiar with schmear? It’s Dames’ version of a flavored butter. And it is a necessary evil. Flavorful, mouthwatering, and ridiculously delicious. If you haven’t waded into the chicken and waffles pool yet, I highly suggest you dip your toes in with Dame’s Chicken and Waffles if you are in North Carolina. Seriously. You won’t be disappointed.

So that was Greensboro. It was grand, even if only for a night. We also went to this great coffee shop called Tate’s on UNC Greensboro’s campus, which was lauded by one of the cast members. It was awesome, with local art, hand crafted drinks, and live jazz that particular day. A small highlight for sure before finishing our drive to South Carolina. Saturday was also my dearest friend Madeline’s birthday. She plays Lilly on the tour and turned 23 this weekend! We took her out for dinner when we made it to Greenville SC, and, like a boss, she ordered prime rib. Actually, it was funny because that night, all three of us girls got prime rib from that restaurant and it was fantastic. Again, another great food moment on tour. The next day, we loaded in and set up the stage and then we had the rest of the day to relax and explore. We found this awesome coffee shop called Moe Joe’s which had this great local roasted coffee called “Highlander Grogg” that I fell in love with. It is nutty, with sweet hints of butterscotch. The baristas there were super nice and friendly, as most people are that we have met in the South. The town too is gorgeous, on a river, with cobblestone streets and exposed brick everywhere. Falls Park is a must see.

Reedy River Falls

Reedy River Falls

It is a huge park with a suspension bridge overlooking Reedy River Falls. wpid-img_20141018_182149884.jpgSeriously beautiful nature, accompanied by picturesque fountains and sculptures everywhere. I really like it down here! I might have told my mom (multiple times) to think about retiring down here some day, so I can continue to visit the area…come on mom! Speaking of moms, one of our cast member’s mom and sister were in town, so the rest of us joined them for dinner later that day. It was really nice and they were absolutely lovely.

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View of the Peace Center

Today we opened at our venue, the Peace Center. We are in their smaller space, the Gunter theater. Despite the fact that the space is smaller, the facilities are top notch and the stage is ginormous. There is a ton of wing space (backstage space for those of you who are unfamiliar with theater terms) and the dressing rooms are almost too big for our tiny cast. It is a pleasure to work in their space. The crowds today were pretty good, not 100% sold out, but fairly full houses nonetheless. The kids, as usual, really enjoyed it, though the first audience was a bit timid and second audience seemed a bit antsy. That’s kids for you! Regardless, we had great shows and are excited to finish it off tomorrow with two more.

View from the Gunter Stage

View from the Gunter Stage

Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk about Buddy. Oh Buddy. After our shows today, we went to a burger joint downtown called Grill Marks, which had delicious big burgers, shakes, fries, and the like. The food was great and I could talk for another hundred words about all the food we ate, but I won’t because there was something even more delicious than juicy burgers on the menu at Grill Marks, and his name was Buddy. Buddy was our server, and boy, was he a grass-fed* hunk of man. Now, I am a happily taken by a lovely man myself, but my guy knows that I can appreciate a good-looking man. I mean, looking is okay, as long as I don’t touch, right??? Anyway, back to Buddy. Everyone at our table was swooning over him at our table. I swear, Madeline and I got slack jawed every time he asked us if we needed something. He was tall, dirty blonde, toned arms, which were covered in tats (zomg tasteful sleeves though), with a voice that was smooth and sultry. Buddy, if you are reading this, we want you to know that your hotness was appreciated. Grass-fed* men for life!

Okay, well, now that I am done embarrassing myself with the Buddy rant, I am going to go and take a cold shower. Thanks for reading about my tour life. I realize this post is better organized because I am writing it on a computer rather than my tablet. I’ll try my best to write them on hotel computers whenever possible. After tomorrow’s shows, we are off to Florida with a quick pit stop in Savannah Georgia. If you have any questions about my tour life, or want a specific topic discussed or explored, or if you want Buddy’s number, just leave a comment and I would be happy to answer it! Happy Monday Y’all!

* Back in Omaha, I began called certain men “corn fed”. “Corn fed” is just a term I coined for that All-American, Midwestern, hunky guy. A variation of corn fed is grass-fed, which is for the more alternative guy, who still has certain clean cut features of a corn fed man, like being toned and masculine, but he has an edge. Their is also another variation, for the hipster “too cool for school” man or the oddball, which is free range. Those men are either straight up hipsters, or are really quirky and original. They also tend to be lankier and leaner than the corn fed, or even the grass fed man. Just a little reference point for you.*

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