Yesterday started early. We were at the theatre at 10am because we knew load in was going to take much longer. Hendricks Auditorium is on the second floor of a 1922 building on the campus of the University of Central Missouri. The only way to get many of our large cases to the freight elevator is through two sets of double doors, down a long hallway, and into the elevator. Knowing that we wouldn’t be loading directly to the stage, we had to make some adjustments to the schedule.
There was a large group of crew guys there to help us out. The light and sound company was already there, having arrived at 8am so they would be set before our equipment hit the stage. We had to shift a few of their cases but, once it was all done, the crew quickly moved the equipment through the maze and on to the stage. The backstage area was also smaller than what we are accustomed to making it especially tight for Cindy and Nolan. But, as is always the case, they figured things out and made it work. Intermission was fast and furious for Nolan and his guys – packing down the stage and resetting for the second half took on a whole new meaning! He literally had to pack the first half and transfer the illusions in the second half to the stage from an elevated area behind the stage. That doesn’t sound like much BUT moving illusions that weigh hundreds of pounds up and down stairs is challenging!
We had some great volunteers on the stage. But there was this one guy who was a bit more enthusiastic than necessary. He was up on the Brick Wall illusion. I asked him to examine the blocks and framework thoroughly – as I do every night – and he took it just a little too far putting his entire weight on the metal struts that align and secure the blocks. You could hear it CRACK in the back of the auditorium! Fortunately for us – and the audience – he didn’t destroy the illusion before it could be performed. I’m not sure why these guys volunteer and then lose their ability to be reasonable when they’re on the stage. That’s never happened before and, trust me, it’ll never happen again.
It was a near capacity crowd – only a handful of seats remained in the theatre – and they were ready to have a good time. This audience gave us so much energy on the stage – applause, shouts, gasps, whistles, etc. I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes after the show with some of the sponsors…and then Keith whisked me off to the lobby for the general meet-and-gree. There was a huge crowd of people waiting to talk and share their thoughts with me about the show. I met a few of the local magicians – some from the International Brotherhood of Magicians and a couple from the Society of American Magicians.
Today, we’re off to Kearney, NE for a Saturday show at the new Merryman Performing Arts Center. It should be fun!