October 11, 2005

We had our first show of the tour the past Friday, after three grueling weeks of Portland rehearsal. It was nice to get in front of an audience again, one that laughed and applauded and appreciated our work. Within moments of curtain I thought, oh yeah, I like this. And I'm good at it. No matter how many exhausting rehearsals we have, no matter how many times we are lectured on theatre, no matter how many frustrating interactions we have with our exacting directors, we still get to go up on stage and give people a good time.

We left for the airport Wednesday morning at 3am. The only other people in the ticketing area were two Mennonites and a dwarf.

After a layover in Denver, we landed in Minneapolis and rented a truck to drive the eight hours to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where we became temporary Yoopers ("say yay to the UP, eh"). The highlights of the drive were passing through the town of Watersmeet, "home of the Nimrods," and our dinner at a quaint little wood-paneled Mexican restaurant in the town of Ladysmith, where we were served our beans by four seventeen-year-old girls, one of whom was wearing a Ladysmith Lady Lumberjacks basketball tee-shirt.

We had two school shows Friday, saw Corpse Bride at the tiny little movie theatre on Main Street, and ended our evening at a lovely Italian joint named Armando's, where we were served ravioli and manicotti filled with bright orange Cheese Whiz. Saturday we walked along the lake, peeping at the fall splendor and mulling over the vestiges of the coal mining industry, which left factory after factory falling slowly toward the lake's edge. Saturday night's show was packed (four curtain calls and a standing ovation), which made us feel pretty damn good about ourselves, and prompted a trip to the liquor store (actually, just Rex and Jonathan went to the liquor store we stayed in Rex's room to short-sheet his bed and hide the toilet paper).

Sunday we were up bright and early and, after our second twenty-hour travel day in a week, we fell into our beds back in Portland. Next week: Palm Desert, California.

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