The East German town of Leuna (sounds like “Loin-uh”) is known for the Leunawerke or “Leuna works“, one of the biggest chemical industrial complexes in Germany. Here, a very wide range of chemicals and plastics is produced. In 1960, the town’s population was nearly 10,000, but high unemployment rates and poor living conditions, including pollution from nearby industries, has caused significant outward migration. Before December 31, 2009, its population had sunk to 6,670.
Across from our venue was this building which looked like no one had touched it for at least a decade! I wasn’t feeling extremely well today, so the confirmation that everything was pretty much still and grey outside reenforced my decision to stay inside the bus, drink plenty of water, and rest before work.
And when I checked out my dressing room, the window opened up to reveal a church, whose bell I’d heard ringing from the bus a few times today. I Googled “Leuna Church” and didn’t find anything concrete…oh well…hello little church in the distance…
Inside at mic check, we found out the stage had plenty of depth, yet no side space for the backup singers to stand…so tonight we infiltrate the dancers’ usual stage right space, forcing them to re-block some of their placement. Of course they’re all pros so it was basically no problem…but us ditzy backup singers…couldn’t get that phrase, “Leave your mic stands where they are for the whole show”, to sink in.
The tricky thing was that Rodney and I were standing directly under the screens which periodically descend and rise back up during the show. We both kept panicking about the screens hitting our microphone, and even Jesse tried to be a hero and rescue my mic stand once, jumping in “just in the nick of time”, to swoop my stand off stage right, only to find out later that the stands were never really in any danger. We need to TRUST, people! It all worked out, though…no screen or stand was harmed during the making of tonight’s presentation. But the cast?…that’s a different story!…
While we were getting ready for the show, Shannon encountered a showering incident…he was minding his own business when, out of nowhere, his own lufa sponge turned on him and scraped him across the forehead! Of course, we only got Shannon’s side of the story, so we just have to take his word for it that the lufa’s actions were unprovoked. No charges were pressed, yet Shannon and the lufa apparently couldn’t reach a reconciliation. Lash-Out Lufa is probably still in that shower, abandoned, until the cleaning personnel throw it out, I guess!
Narada offered to slice at Shannon’s forehead during the “Thriller” fight, to try to get a better story for his scratch, but Shannon declined, saying, “With my luck, you’ll give me a second scrape!” The funniest thing about it was that Shannon kept trying to put powder on it to cover it up, but it never took…poor Shannon…his only option was to try and crinkle his forehead the entire show to try to camouflage his injury!
Then there’s me…I was an OLD LADY this show! My throat had been a bit sore the day before, and I woke up with a strange pain running down the left side of my neck, almost like the bottom of my tonsil was sprained! Weird, I know, yet still a reality on a show day for me, so I took it easy the whole day, whipped out some Ibuprofen, warmed up before the show, and that’s all I could do.
Second, I broke down and used my backup pair of boots for most of the show because my feet keep hurting so much in the primary pair…it’s my own fault for choosing a pair of boots that ended up being a half size too small!
NEXT, somewhere in the middle of the show, my left hip erupted into sharp pain…almost dropping me on the spot! I’ve been dealing with the mysterious pain since our Orlando rehearsals, yet the last two weeks had been virtually painless. Anyway, I don’t know what set it off, but my hip has been hurting ever since, and it’s a pretty sad sight to see me hobbling around backstage, down stairs, and down the hotel hall:) Is there a chiropractor in my reading audience??? Anyone know what’s wrong with me and what I can do to fix it???
FINALLY, I chipped my tooth on my microphone! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m an official mess! I was finishing up the call-response section of “Shake Your Body”, did some crazy spastic move, and hit one of my front teeth with the mic. I’ve done this before throughout my career, yet this time I felt a tiny chip fall on my lip, and knew I’d finally done it…it’s not the end of the world because I still have all my teeth…yet you can tell one of my front teeth is way more jagged than the other!
Thank you, God, that I didn’t knock out a tooth!
So here’s my microphone point of view for this show…looking straight out into the house today…
Here are the carved wooden inserts that live over the back exits of the house…
The inside of this theater is breathtakingly different from it’s outside surroundings! These inserts alone are more warm and dramatic than anything else I’ve seen today (besides Shannon’s wound!)
Alrighty, that’s it for this edition of “You’re A-Peein’ To Read My Old Lady Newsletter” newsletter…please pray for my injuries and Shannon’s recurring lufa nightmares.
Goodnight from Dortmund (the next/our current city…I’m all caught up!!!)
P.S. My throat felt so much better the next day! Hallelujah!