We arrived promptly at 11am to begin loading in for our 7:30pm performance tonight at the George Batte Fine Arts Center on the campus of Wingate University in North Carolina.
It’s a really beautiful space and Peter and his crew were ready for us when arrived. They worked hard to get in all those heavy cases in spite of cold temperatures. There was a Winter Storm Advisory for the area as we left the hotel….it was eventually upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning. With this impending “blizzard” on the way (it was supposed to arrive around 5pm), I was concerned about the number of people that might brave the cold and snow.
Load in went smoothly – backdrops were in the air, intelligent lighting was in place, illusions were assembled, wardrobe was in order, lobby was set up, and before we knew it, it was dinner time!
5pm came and so did the snow! Lots and lots of snow! And it just didn’t stop. The Box Office was answer dozens and dozens of phone calls from people wanting to know if the show was still “on.” We were going to be ready to go and just pray that people show up.
When the doors opened, there was a crowd waiting to get to their seats. And by 7:30pm, we were sold out – not one ticket remained – and they were turning people away at the doors. I was stunned – and excited! We were the first “sold out” performance of the 2010/2011 Batte Performing Arts Series. And we had a record-breaking number of college students at the show as well!
The audience was enthusiastic and we had some great volunteers on stage during the show. We opted not to do an intermission in tonight’s show so we could get the audience out of the theatre before the snow became worse. When the show was over, I ran to the lobby. As I looked outside, I was amazing at how much snow had already hit the ground – about 6″ in less than four hours.
We are supposed to be at the Holly Springs Cultural Center for two shows on Saturday. I’m not sure that’s going to be possible. They are also under a Winter Storm Advisory until 10am on Saturday. And the roads here in Monroe are in horrible condition. It could be an interesting day!
With no place to go for food, the guys ended up raiding the vending machines at the hotel for some after-the-show nourishment.
A BIG thank you to Larry, Teresa, Peter, the crew, and the incredible audience who braved the weather and helped us have a fantastic experience in Wingate, NC!!