The next morning found us leaving early for the rink. When we arrived at venue the first thing I noticed was how well the quick change rooms were set up. It was two massive pipe and drape rooms near the entrance. I mention this because on COI in the same venue we only had a small blow up 4 sided wall "room" which wasn’t nearly as nice as this. Already I had a good feeling about the day.
As I walked further I realize that all the lights were still on the ice and waiting to be hoisted up into the air. So group number five was taught off ice with no music since they were doing a sound check. You can’t even hear the person next to you when that is happening with all those speakers blasting. So after walking through the formations, the lights were finally up and onto the ice we went. Yet again, instruments/speakers were being checked so we skated the routine with no music. Now, I know most all of the Beatles tunes, so I sort of had an idea what to expect.
All too soon we had a few routines to walk through and, “Ok gang, you have about 30 minutes and we are running dress rehearsal." ACK!!!! So I quickly ate a small tuna fish sandwich and got ready. I screwed up one of the numbers which was frustrating. The one welearned off ice was probably hysterical to watch. You could see all of us looking at each other debating when to start each section. For my solo...well...you may not know this, but if a song is sped up or slowed down in a 2 minute plus program by one second, you feel it! Mine was faster, much faster. Wow, I knew I was going to have to breath and put on some major “show face, look at me, look at my crazy face, don’t notice I’m tired!!” The dress rehearsal ended with the ice guy saying we had about one hour till doors. So despite my protesting feet and knees, I stayed out there and warmed up my jumps for the first time in 2 days. Half the cast got off to change and then come back out. I figured staying out there now and skating was my best bet with the least amount of skaters to share the ice with.
An hour later it was time for the show. That morning, as well as the entire week before, I admit that I was nervous. The first time doing a “not over the top prop driven” comedy routine in ages, not to mention skating in a show with Scott Hamilton! So how did I feel going into show? Not nervous...and why?
Because there was no time to be nervous! All I was thinking about was the choreography and what outfit goes on at what time, etc. My number went very well, and uhm, yeah, played EVEN faster than dress rehearsal! WHEW! I had to laugh when walking towards the audience in this one section I look straight at the person in front of me...and who is it? The caterer from the night before who couldn't see me! I wanted to yell out "Hey bud, what's on the menu tonight?"
The guys number went ok, my spin on top of Zimmerman’s head went well (seeing as I didn’t fall on my head!)
Now, when I went to visit Scott 2 weeks before to choreograph his show routine (that will air on Thanksgiving and yes I will give out that information when I get it) he had me spot him on the ice for a backflip for the first time in 5 years. He had been working hard with a gymnast and this was the first time putting it on ice. He went over with no problem. It had been very hush hush and sure enough he BANGED out two of them in the show. How cool is that? The audience jumped to their feet on the first one which was just an amazing moment. The finale was awesome including Cheap Trick jamming out “I Want You to Want Me.” And who did I get to shake hands with by the side of the ice??? WILLIAM SHATNER!!!! How cool is that? Not as cool when he later said I was funny and enjoyed my program as I walked by him backstage! SWEET!!!!
From there it was time to change and get ready for the Gala event. My handy skills of sewing helped out with Ashley’s dress that had a zipper issue. Never thought sewing would appear to be very gallant, eh?
We were lucky enough to be seated with my father and treated to a nice dinner. Scott gave another heart felt speech as well as a few other people. Some dancing and chatting, and then back to our hotel for a special after party event. Here we were able to meet Rich Nielson's (guitar player for Cheap Trick) son who played the drums in the dress rehearsal. His father is good friends with Steven Cousins who joined the mix and told us some really funny stories. It was finally time to say good night, and that my good friends, was one of the most stressful, fun, exciting, amazing, best day of my life.