I've been in Vancouver over a week, and Greg and the kids a week before that - and have not found the time / energy to blog. We are busy here! This also means we're doing less sightseeing, which tends to make up a lot of my blog posts.
An overview - we have landed in one of the absolutely most beautiful apartments we've experienced on tour. It's on the 31st floor of a building overlooking the harbor of False Creek, with floor-to-ceiling windows. To my kids' delight, it's also furnished better than any of the others we've stayed in, including books, board games, interesting art, and binoculars! Downstairs, we are directly on a waterfront bike path, and it's less than a mile to the Cirque site. So we are biking, every day, rain or shine. Most days Baz actually rides his unicycle.
But, back to the busy-ness - there are a few basic things going on. 1. I flew home to Philadelphia in early May, for a week, to oversee staff changes at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. 2. Greg is training his replacement for the Scientist character in Totem. 3. We (all of the school parents, a team of Totem staff and I) are putting together a Kids Circus Show extravaganza, scheduled for June 15.
Trainings have to happen early, in the mornings before school. So at least 4 days a week, we arrive early at the site - artists bleary-eyed from the previous night's late show. We do warmup games. We do strength exercises. But as the months have gone on, the trainings have gotten more and more specific, as the kids choose and develop individual & group acts, and work one-on-one with their coaches.
As the organizer / coach with the most available time, I am responsible for 6 of the 18 acts in the show. But that leaves a dozen others, which are being trained and choreographed, costumed and musicked, by 9 other parents. I am also the general stage manager - putting together the schedule of trainings and coordinating everything with everybody. The artist / coaches, for the most part, have little patience for lazy or sloppy kids. That ethic is going a long way towards making these acts something to be proud of. I tend to be the recreational voice, though, trying to keep everyone happy and not too stressed. The audience is simply going to be the Totem company. But the fact that we are doing this on stage has required the help of all manner of Totem employees - riggers, carpenters, lighting designers, artistic directors, backstage managers, costumers. Phew, it's making me tired just thinking about all of it. Switching gears….
A few other things I can tell you about Vancouver. First, everything here is atrociously expensive. I knew this about Canada, but it didn't prevent the sticker shock the first time I went to the grocery store. Every price I see, I do a double-take. How can it possibly cost that much?
Right now it's pouring rain, and I'm enjoying a quiet afternoon at home. The window over my desk looks out at the harbor, and I'm watching kayakers, struggling through the downpour. That can't be fun. For the most part we've had beautiful weather here, but a little rain is to be expected.