Just as I could stand no more of the “life hiatus” I had succumbed to in order to keep “The World of Guy” under control, my plans of being responsible rewarded itself with nearly two full weeks of adventures.
Every year in May, I do stand-in work for the Billboard Music Awards. Four years in now, I have grown accustomed to the long days of numerous performance rehearsals, award acceptances, and various given monologues.
The shows are largely a lot of fun (though it hadn’t been as much fun as the time I had spent dueling banjos with Ken Jeong), but this year was something a little more unique. For starters, I got to see Michael Jackson perform.
Well, sort of.
A full singing and dancing CG generated hologram. While it’s been fun reading the commentary on this piece, seeing it in person for over half a day, if I hadn’t known better, I’d have sworn that he was actually back among the living. Incredible technology. Television failed to do it justice (though quite good).
But it was four full days of watching numerous pop/rock/country stars prime for the actual show. At one point during the rehearsals, I got to present Jennifer Lopez with the first female “Icon Award” (though history may be remiss in noting that).
And I also got to meet Carrie Underwood, which was fun.
The rehearsals were perhaps the best I’ve ever experienced while working this particular awards show. It was fun, interesting, and laid-back, which made the long days regrettably zip by faster than I would have liked. But with my role done, and the show starting, it turned out that I wasn’t quite concluded with my experience.
As my colleagues and I walked away from the MGM’s Grand Garden Arena, I got hit up for an after party. I normally am leery of such random invites, but the glance at the guest list I gleaned seemed legit, so I invited Jen and our friend Brenda to join us.
The party started at 10:00, and we were early. As we waited, this quartet of groupies were trying to get in, trying to push past us, and attempting to claim they were production like I actually was, by piggybacking on my entry. The problem at hand was that whatever guest list I signed up for had no mention of my name here. The doormen believed me, but I couldn’t get in without knowing the name of the party. I was afraid that the concession of defeat was looming nearer, but somehow, the groupies blurted out some name, and whether guesswork, luck or unknown insight, my expanded party of groupies and guests were let in. I turned to the pushiest of the girls, extended my hand to hers, and said “I appreciate the assistance.” “Likewise”, she purred, quite pleased that she had gotten past the gatekeeper as well. The user became useful.
Once inside a small lounge, it was an open bar, and as guests filled in, the DJ played nothing but Michael Jackson music, creating one epic dance party. I think I might have even got down with half of Florida-Georgia line along the way.
After a few hours, there was an after-afterparty in the club above, but when Jen and I took the elevator up, it was such a wall to wall clustermess that we looked at each other, went “Nope”, and opted for sandwiches instead.
Thinking I was going to rest in the days after, I was called to a 5:30 A.M. calltime for Mall Cop 2. I can’t turn a good work day away, so I dragged myself to set in preparation of a long day. But as it turned out, the shoot was only four hours, so I had a very pleasant day on set, and even more enjoyable once I crawled back into the shadows of my bed’s blankets.
Rest was short lived as I had to get ready for Forgotten City, Vegas’ regional Burning Man event. This was to be a challenge: A three and a half day party where I would have to take time off each day to go into work. And let me tell you: Those two elements make for an interesting combination.
I spent most of my evenings riding around on an electric fish with my friend Sarah Jane (delightful girl with a definitely NSFW blog) as we drove from dance camp to dance camp, bar to bar as the night grew later and later. Fortunately, the next morning’s jaunt on the fish yielded a traveler offering Popsicles, so that was a welcomed gift.
So three and a half days were spent between camping and working, and I survived both as best as one could hope for, which isn’t to say that I didn’t have a great amount of adventures with several of my favorite friends.
And of course, what event is without fireworks and setting structures on fire?
And yet, with everything going on, in a desert world filled with loud music, mutant vehicles, dancing zebras, and all other manner of oddities, I actually had a moment where I sat down amongst the chaos and just watched the stars and the mountains.
It’s been no secret that I am constantly busy, and my thoughts have become jumbled. People have thought my lack of a social life has been one giant snub towards being out and about as I had once been more prominently known for. But to be honest, things change. I’ve had to use the last few months to set up some new goals in my life. To set things right and make my life more for me instead of taking on every universal whim set upon me by others. It’s not a bad thing, but it was a needed readjustment for me. And it’s been successful. It’s made my life less complicated, and I realized, after Billoard, and now this Forgotten City, that these have been the best iterations of both events, not to mention several other things in my life, that it gets better. That it has gotten better.
So in the chaos of a world of lights and sound just a few feet away, I finally found some long overdue peace within myself. And with that, I rejoined the circle of my friends with a greater sense of belonging than ever before.
But once again upon returning home, I crawled into bed and slept like the dead.
With a few days off under my belt, I am lining up a few long overdue projects to take care of. A few things that I’ve put off for far too long. And in the midst of settling back into my routine, a little bird flew into the house with three dogs trailing behind him.
It seems that I have inherited my Mother’s affinity for corralling and taming animals. After a few minutes of chase around the house, and hoping that the bird wouldn’t poop on paintings, I scooped the little fellow up, and had a long talk with him about entering without knocking. He took it well, and hung out in my hand for a while before he finally decided to leave.
And so ends two long weeks of escapades, just as Summer is coming along with its 100+ degree temperatures. Considering how hectic my Summers can get, I think this is only the first episode of my return to adventures.