Archive for the ‘Tour Journal 2009’ Category

WEEK IN OCALA, FL

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

We spent last week working in Ocala, FL.  The adventure started with a two performances – one in Lecanto and the other in Ocala.  We’ve performed in both venues twice in the past and this time the audiences were even more enthusiastic and excited.  Two great crowds for these shows!  And two great crews as well (thanks Andy).

Truck-at-Ocala-Dock

Here are a few pictures of set up from those two days:

From-the-grid2 From-the-grid From-the-grid3 From-the-grid4

After the performances, I spent two days working in the community.  The first day was at the Hillcrest School working with some very special students.  I love these working with these kids – they are simply amazing!

Hillcrest-School

I did 6 workshops here throughout the day with more than 100 students.  The following day, I went to the Key Training Center locations in Lecanto and Inverness to conduct workshops with adults with disabilities.  I can’t begin to put into words how awesome this experience is for me.  Check out these expressions!!

Laughing-Clips Smiling-and-Amazed Rope-guy Knot-Proud

Today we are driving to Andalusia, AL for two days of community outreach and a public performance!

CREATIVITY

Friday, February 1st, 2013

I’ve had a remarkable week working with Bay Arts Alliance in Panama City, FL.  First, the weather has been amazing BUT, much more than that, Jennifer has had me engaged in some great outreach activities.  I’m going to write about those in my next post.

Our show tonight is at the Marina Civic Center.  Today’s NEW HERALD had a nice preview of the show.  But here’s my challenge for today, “What will you create that will make the world awesome?”  Well, check out this Pep Talk for a little inspiration!

AIRPORT TRAVEL – U.S. TO LATVIA

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

My day started very early.  I haven’t been sleeping well since returning from Southeast Asia.  My body clock is still off a bit.  I’m waking up at all hours of the night – sometimes hungry, sometimes just not sleepy.  In any event, I was asleep by midnight but was wide awake at 2am.  I dozed on and off until 4:30am and finally climbed out of bed at 5am.  I made a cup of coffee, jumped in the shower, got dressed, and was out the door by 6:45am.  I was at Alan’s apartment by 7:15am and we were on our way to Washington Dulles International Airport by 7:30am.  It’s a 3-hour drive to airport if you don’t hit traffic.

For the most part, we cruised along at a good speed.  There was a brief 15-minute delay in Northern Virginia but nothing that set us back to far.  Our first flight was scheduled to depart at 1:05pm and we needed to be at the airport by 11am.

We parked the car, caught the shuttle, and completed ticketing easily by 11:20am.  It was at that point that I realized I was wrong about the flight time – by 1.5 hours.  Our flight was actually scheduled to depart at 2:25pm.  Little did I realize that this would be indicative of the day of ahead of us.

We boarded the flight to Chicago O’Hare.  I’m not a big fan of this airport, especially the international terminal.  Once we landed in O’Hare, we had to exit the airport, catch a train to the international terminal, get through security, and board our second flight to Warsaw, Poland.  This is where the fun began.

Our flight was scheduled to depart at 5:25pm.  We started boarding promptly at 5:10pm and everyone was ready to go at 5:25pm.  For some reason, the plane was not moving from the gate.  Ten minutes turned into 30 minutes…which turned into an hour…then an hour and a half…two hours…three hours.  We sat on the plane at the gate for almost 3.5 hours with no explanation.  We watched crews unload crates from the cargo section on the right side of the plane.  Then they removed the luggage from the left side of the plane.  Then the fuel truck came up and refueled us…and worked on something on the left wing.  After the truck left, two guys walked over with a huge ladder, climbed up to the same wing and started working on it again.  Finally, they gave each other a high five and a handshake and all seemed well.  Only minutes – literally – after this exchange, the purser came over the intercom to tell everyone to take their seats and fasten their seat belts.  Within 10 minutes, we were taking off for Warsaw.   Once we had reached an altitude of about 10,000 feet, some of the panels opened revealing the oxygen masks.

During our delay, I realized that we would miss our connection in Warsaw to Riga, Latvia.  I thought I’d do a little proactive work and contact the airline to see if we could get booked on another flight.  As it turns out, there’s only one flight to Riga on Saturday and there aren’t many other options.  Now the snowball effect begins.  Our hotel is paid in advance starting Saturday night and we’ve arranged to be picked up at the airport to make it more convenient.  The helpful Customer Service representation at Lot Polish Airlines said he could re-book us on a flight to Kiev (yup, Russia) where we could spend Saturday night and then connect to a Riga flight on Sunday morning.  BUT, he wouldn’t be able to do that until we actually land in Warsaw.

I guess my Saturday is going to be quite the “Amazing Race” adventure….

UPDATE: We are preparing to land in Warsaw and have been told that ALL of the luggage was removed in Chicago.  This had something to do with an “urgent technical decision” that was made by the officials in Warsaw prior to our departure.  The luggage was placed on another flight to Warsaw that’s about 90 minutes behind us – or so we’ve been told.

We’re still not sure what’s going to happen with our connecting flight to Riga.  As it turns out, there are about 12 people on this flight who are going to Riga.  The connecting flight is very small – only 24 seats.  So, half of the flight is on this plane.  We’re hoping that they delayed that flight as well.

SECOND UPDATE: They did not hold our flight.  We have, however, been placed on another flight to Helsinki, Finland.  We’ll connect there to a flight to Riga and be in around 11:30pm tonight.  That’s about 10 hours later than our originally scheduled time.  The good news is they also rerouted our luggage.  It should arrive with us.  Then we’ll catch a taxi to the hotel, take a shower, and go to sleep.  That’s the plan for now.

THIRD UPDATE: We have arrived in Helsinki!  We are getting something to eat at airport eatery so you know it’s not cheap – or good.  But, at this point, it’s food.  We have one more flight to Riga, should be there now by midnight!

CHRISTMAS AT THE SPENCERS

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

This is the first time in five years that Cindy and I have been home for the holidays.  It was a very white Christmas in Virginia, thanks to the huge snow storm we got a few days ago.  Fortunately, temperatures warmed up and we got a little rain that has started the melt of the snow – now it’s just a slush mess.  We spent most of the day with my brother and his family.  It was very relaxing and really great to see everyone.

Carter found his way under the tree and picked out what he was certain was his gift…and proceeded to unwrap it, a bit agressively.

DIGGING OUT OF THE BLIZZARD

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I guess it’s official now, this is being called the “Blizzard of 2009″ and it was a big one!  Virginia – more specifically, the Roanoke/Lynchburg area – were the bullseye for the storm as it moved up the East Coast.  Snow totals are somewhere around 20″.  It’s not the biggest storm we’ve ever had here.  I remember about 10 years ago getting 27″ of snow in 24 hours.  I’m incredibly thankful we didn’t get that much!

digging-out

We have begun to dig out of all this mess.  It took a few hours to dig a path so my jeep could move out of my driveway to the street.  My next concern is the huge, steep descent that takes me from my house to the main road!  That could be a fun ride!

Our Facebook page is getting more and more attention these days.  And with the launch of the new website design for SpencersMagic.com, we’ve been attracting a few more Twitter followers and Facebook friends.  It’s been great to reconnect with so many people from my past…and to connect with many others from recent performances.

It’s almost Christmas Day.  Cindy and I are heading out today, braving the cold and the snowy roads.  It should be fun!

CONTEST WINNER & WINTER STORM

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the Holiday Contest.  Entries closed at 11pm last night and I have randomly selected a winner.  I’ve contacted you this morning to send along your mailing address so I can get your surprise gift in the mail first thing on Monday.

It’s Saturday morning and it’s still snowing in Virginia!  It started yesterday afternoon around 2pm and it hasn’t stopped.  It’s been many years since I’ve seen this much snow in Lynchburg.  According to the Weather Channel, we are right in the bullseye of the storm.  Hooray for us!  I’m not sure how much snow we’re going to get when it’s all over, but we’ve got tons of it now.  Check this out.  The first picture was taken around 5pm on Friday; the other one around 8am this morning.

Cars-small

There’s no way we’re getting off the mountain today…so, I guess we’ll enjoy the weekend at home.

HOLIDAY CONTEST

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

I’ve received some great feedback from those of you who have checked out the newly designed website.  Thanks for visiting and for sending your comments. In celebration of the holiday, I’m having a little contest.  Check out the new website and then email me at contest@spencersmagic.com.  Put “contest” in the subject line and tell me one thing you like about the new design. This weekend, I’ll randomly select an email entry, contact you for additional info, and send you a small gift – a token of my appreciation.  I’ll make sure you have it before Christmas!

All entries must be received by 11pm EST on Friday, 12/18/09.  Okay – go!

DAYTON, OH – DAYS #2 and #3

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

After some great workshops on Friday at Easter Seals and Dayton Children’s Hospital, I was up early again on Saturday morning. The workshops on Friday went so well. DCH posted a couple of videos on YouTube of some special children learning some magic.  You can check them out HERE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N6dLwx6wZ8&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S21gm_GsBc&feature=channel

This morning, David picked me up in the lobby of the DoubleTree Hotel to get me back over to Dayton Children’s Hospital for a workshop with therapists, teachers, and physicians. This is always an important event for me. Long after our truck has left the loading dock of the local theatre, teaching the concepts of “magic therapy” allows me to leave something behind that will continue to have a positive impact in the community.

After the workshop wrapped, David whisked me away as quickly as possible to get to the Victoria Theatre. Doors would open in less than 30 minutes so I had to get there, check with the team, and get ready for the first show.

We had two incredible audiences for our shows on Saturday. Actually, all four performances attracted great, enthusiastic crowds of families, college students, and senior citizens. This “Young At Heart” series reaches audiences of all ages. Great volunteers always make the shows more spontaneous and we definitely had some of those!

I want to say a huge thank you to Tina and David for making our time in Dayton memorable. These four performances and the workshops are our last “events” of 2009. I can’t think of a more positive way to go out – great crew (thanks IATSE 66), great hosts, great audiences, great workshops.

And a heartfelt thank you to everyone in Dayton who came out to support our shows at the Victoria Theatre. We had a great time and look forward to another visit in the future!

DAYTON, OH – DAY #1

Friday, December 4th, 2009

THURSDAY NIGHT

We arrived in Dayton last night around 6:30pm. We got checked into our hotel and then explored downtown, checking out the decorations and in search for local cuisine. I also wanted to find my way to the Victoria Theatre because I would have to pull the truck to the loading dock the following morning. As we walked that direction, we came across the giant Christmas Tree in the center of town – couldn’t resist a picture!

After clicking a few pictures, we walked on to “Coldbeer and Burgers” – yes, that’s the name of the restaurant. I ordered the loaded nachos while Ethan and Alan ordered burgers. Cindy decided to stay at the hotel and eat a Subway sandwich.

We found the loading area for the Victoria Theatre and then walked back to the hotel. My Friday morning would start very early!

FRIDAY MORNING

I was up early to get ready for a 7:50am arrival at the local FOX 45 station for an interview. I had a hard time sleeping and started waking up around 4am worried that I might oversleep. Diane from the theatre was here at 7:30am to pick me up and take me to the TV station.

I did a couple of “bumps” before the interview and then Kylie, the morning anchor, and I talked about the upcoming weekend performances and the work I would be doing at the Dayton Children’s Hospital today and Saturday morning.

After the interview, Diane brought me back to the hotel. I met Alan in the lobby and we took the truck over to the Victoria Theatre. Cindy, Ethan, and Keith would work with the crew and start loading in the production around 12noon.

Alan and I met up with David and Emily (also from the Victoria) and made our way to the local Easter Seals facility. We had a great time working with several of the children and staff. From Easter Seals, we drove over to the Dayton Children’s Hospital to meet some of the staff there and have some lunch. I just have to say, the chicken lasagna was amazing!

After lunch, we all walked to one of the conference rooms for an afternoon workshop with some very special people – all ages, all diagnoses, and great fun!

Alan and I wrapped up at the hospital. David and Emily took us back to the hotel where we quickly changed clothes and ran over to the theatre to help the guys with the rest of the show set up. They were almost done, did a great job with out us. I’ll remember that….

We left the theatre around 5pm and took off for the Oregon District – a very cool area in Dayton. We found a great restaurant, Thai9, and all sat down for a nice dinner.

It was a great day – tomorrow, two shows, one at 1pm and the other at 3:30pm. But first, I’ll be conducting a workshop for physicians and therapists from 10am – 12noon. It’s going to be another great day!

DAYTON HERE WE COME

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

We will be leaving in the morning to make the drive to Dayton, OH. It’ll take most of Thursday to get there. And Friday starts a very busy schedule.

I’ll make an 8am and 8:30am appearance on FOX 45 and then head to Goodwill Easter Seals MR/DD program for a workshop with their clients. Around 12noon, I’ll have lunch with the staff at Dayton’s Chidren’s Medical Center and then conduct at workshop with patients and parents starting at 1:30pm. While I’m out, the rest of the crew will be loading in and setting up at the Victoria Theatre for two performances on Saturday and Sunday. It’s going to be a busy weekend!