Monday, July 4, 2011

Stadium of Fire 2011: Baby, You're a Firework!

Cue the music...  
STADIUM OF FIRE!!! [Insert flame sound here]

Many of you know that in the past I have been an ASM (Assistant Stage Manager) for Stadium of Fire.  Excluding last year, I was involved the two years prior and have done this for a total of three years... three marvelous years!  Whenever I'm involved, I'm reminded of why I love event planning and theater so much.  There's the moment whenever you're involved in creating a show or event that you have to stop and take it all in... You watch the people and happenings around you, hopefully breathe a sigh of relief, and bask in the beauty of what you helped create.  You feel fulfilled and accomplished.  It's an amazing feeling - and I love every ounce of stress, laughter, work, play, and growth that I take part in throughout the process.

Pretty much - I'm an event/theater geek... and proud of it!

So, this year was drastically different from the previous years for me.  I was oddly very busy at moments and grasping for work at other moments.  I was given the job of ASM again, but dealt directly with special talent.  I was in charge of all the pre-show individuals and additional announcers (sponsors, the head of Freedom Festival, the Chaplin giving the invocation, BYU Basketball players and coaches, etc.), making sure that they were where they needed to be, when they needed to be there, with the items they needed to have.  For example, we'll look at my work with the Chaplin.

First, I had to track down his contact information and get a hold of him... Now, this could be an easy feat and in his case it was, but in other cases it was definitely NOT so easy.  We took on the saying, "Hurry up & Wait!"  Haha... After getting in touch with the person they needed to be given a call time for rehearsal and the show, be met with when they arrived at the stadium, and given anything they needed to make them comfortable - aka: water, a chair, etc.  I also had to get them each credentials, parking passes, stage placements, needed props (mics), and stick with them through their rehearsals so I could take notes for them and get anything they needed.  On top of that I was given other ASM duties (cues, stage placements, props, etc.) to make the show run smoothly.  It was a lot, and yet it was "all-at-once" work... aka:  The work seemed to pour in all at once each time it would come. 

I had a great time, made some new friends, learned more about the process, and seemed to do a good job because they encouraged me to apply for a paid position.  I'm hoping the work that I did pays off, and I've noticed that I could do even more - I could push myself much harder... and I'm ready to.  Bring it.

The show went great, but there were a few behind-the-scenes hiccups that we had to fix.  I won't go into details, but we were quick and fixed everything that needed to be fixed in order to have the audience not notice and enjoy the show.  In other words, we're good.  Haha!

Two cool moments:  First, I have to remind you that I spent a good deal of my childhood growing up in Philly- aka: Philadelphia and other areas of PA.  I miss the East Coast a lot!  The host of the show this year just happened to be a Philadelphia Eagle of the past (though he did say, "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle"),  Chad Lewis.  I was rather excited about this.  I mentioned to him that I grew up in Phillie and use to watch him play, which led to us having numerous conversations and met giving him the address to Moochie's Philly-Cheese Steak shop in downtown SLC.  I'll tell you right now, Chad Lewis is hilarious.  He has a classic sense of humor and he was probably one of the most easy-going guys that I have ever met in my life.  When he saw my on the show day, after we'd talked about Philly he walked up smiling and said, "Hey, Philly girl!," while giving me a high-five... a simple thing, but I felt cool.  Haha!  It was an honor to meet him - really. 

Also, I chatted a lot with Stephen Jones and he remembered me from doing his makeup a few years back for the BYUSA Murder Mystery dinners one year.  He was hilarious then, and is just the same now.  He has some great ideas for comedy routines and a YouTube channel, and I'm hoping it's successful for him - he's a nice guy.  He did a fantastic job hosting his side of things.  Favorite Quote?  When he was talking to a random couple in the crowd, givin' em' a hard time and asked how long they'd been dating.  They said three years, to which he replied, "Three years?!  You've been dating for three years?  Faith over fear, brother.  Faith over fear."  Hahaha!  Loved that.

As for Paisley and Archuleta, I didn't deal with them at all directly.  I didn't plan to.  I saw David walking around now and again, and saw Brad ONCE for two seconds (literally) backstage when passing from the stage to his trailer after his set, but that's all.  Haha!  I'm not that cool, friends... sorry!  However, I did get to set the dancers for David's set on "Stompin' The Roses," (my favorite song off his last album) which was cool... I was more excited to learn the dance from them, then to set them.  Haha... We were all joking that I could take the place of one if something happened.  Too bad I only learned about 32 counts of the dance... Good thing I didn't have to go on, huh?  Haha! 

As a final note, you might (or might not) be wondering when I had my "moment" of looking out around me at the event, taking a breathe, and enjoying what I helped create... Of course, it was during the fireworks.  Unless something terrible goes down with the fireworks, everyone kinda stands mesmerized by the display of music and light... I love fireworks.  They always make me happy - never fails.  I just stood there in the middle of the field basking in the evening sky's glow from the fireworks and being overwhelmed by the music... Love it.

Enjoy the BBQs, the family/friend time, the patriotism, and of course, the fireworks!
Baby... YOU'RE a firework!

Song of the Day:  One of the bands that competed last night in the local artist search was a band called The Whits.  Not only do they SOUND awesome, but they are legitimately some of the nicest individuals - I was rootin' for them, and though they didn't win, I'm still hopin' they get more success down the road.  It's still a a huge deal to play at Stadium of Fire, really... and her note at the end?!  AH-mazing.  Here are The Whits with "Give Me Back My Heart."  Enjoy!


TPlayer said...

3 things:
#1- i didn't know you are from Philly. I was just out there last weekend visiting my little brother and his wife. They moved from Kansas to Malvern about a year ago, and are moving to Upper Darby next month. Is Chad Lewis single? jk

#2 I want to know about these hiccups. Those are some of the best stories! I think the parachuting flag onto the field was an obvious one, but dang watching that photographer go down hard and then Air Force guys scurry to get the flag off the ground-classic.

#3-The Whits. I thought they were good too, but I knew they wouldn't win. That's not their audience. The leader singer, Amy Whitcomb...yeah- i used to babysit her and her brothers when she was like 3-5 yrs old. Who feels old now?-This girl feels old!

oh and just to add a #4, because i can- I seriously have a mondo cougar crushon David Archuleta. It's not even funny.

Brooke said...

You're so cool, Linze. That looks like fun. Is it just me, or is that Nick Snow in that picture with you? He served in my mission. Anyway, you'd be awesome in any event planning job. That's my two cents. Love ya!

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for posting the video! This is so much better than the view from where I was sitting.