Our Premiere night here in San Jose was more low-key than usual. Not as many families attended. The glamour factor was lower - the after-show party was at a cowboy-themed bar, so boots and jeans were in evidence. (The bar was 21+, so there was no question of any of the families attending this time.) I also think the casual atmosphere of suburban America is rubbing off on us ... I am back to feeling comfortable in my sneakers and fleece, whereas in London I didn't think I could step out of the house without boots and a wool coat.
The food in the kitchen on Premiere night was predictably over-the-top, gourmet to the point of unrecognizable. And there are a lot of new faces on site, mainly technicians and support staff who have joined the show in the last few months, and the "fly-in" crew who will be leaving town soon.
Otherwise it felt like an ordinary day. Here are the children waiting at the box office for tickets to the show, all holding their red booster seats. On Premiere there is always free popcorn, so they filled their bellies with that all evening and tried to stay awake. (I had to take Isa and Baz home after Greg's act in the second half, as they were becoming quickly unconscious.)
We admired slight variations in the show; smiled at the return of artists who'd returned after temporary absences; looked for our favorite Totem moments and enjoyed them again. It's funny to know a show so well like this.... for many acts, I couldn't tell you their choreography in detail. But when I'm watching it, my visual memory kicks in ... I have seen it done so many times exactly the same way, that the slightest alteration is noticeable to me.
Mostly, I enjoyed my friends. Looking at them, and feeling the easy rhythm of their company, I realized how different this feels, from when I first joined the show. There is no anxiety, no question of who will I be? in this new phase of my life. I am here. I am part of this. This is my group, this is what we do and who we are. And that feels really good right now.