Another Day of Rest

I’ve just realized I didn’t put anything about the Day of Rest in yesterdays post. It was so good! Nice to get some rest and just keep off my feet for a while.

Today, we woke up at 7:15 (luxury) and were down at the site for 8:00. I managed to get restroom cleaning duty! It wasn’t all that bad and it didn’t take too long. I will admit that it’s the first time I’ve scrubbed a toilet though.

After that, we just did a few general tasks on site. The only one worth mentioning was putting up a fence around some of the moving stage parts so no-one runs under them when they move. That went fine and didn’t take long.

After that, we had the rest of the day to ourselves (5* luxury). It’s been great. We were also able to attend the Nauvoo Temple.

I think that’s all for now!

Matt

Ed and I in front of the Nauvoo temple.

Drews bed. Something has gone terribly wrong. Some say it malfunctioned, others say it was done by a physical being! You decide.

Day of Rest

I’m currently writing this offline and I can’t remember where I left off so if I repeat my self I’m sorry – no refunds.

The last notable thing I can remember that I haven’t mentioned is July 4th. Erm, yeah it was ok, not much happened but there was a great firework display in the evening after the rehearsal. Check this pic out:

A 30 second exposure of a part of the firework display. I like it! I really like the silhouette of the towers.

On 5th July we had the final rehearsal before opening night on the 6th. Everything went great until the very end when we lowered the temple.

One of the pins holding the temple together wasn't in all the way and so hit the frame of the stage and bent it. Fortunately, we were able to bring it back up and put the pin in the rest of the way and carry on as normal. The frame damage is still there but it's not critical.

Opening night was fantastic. Every seat was filled so people were standing at the back. All the stage cues we had to deal with went great – even taking down the temple. That’s all I can remember – it’s two days later now.

A bug. I just had to put this in because it's so cool. I have no idea what it is though.

A real picture! From the left: Tyler, Jake, Grant, Ed and Me. Shame I only got half my face but on the others I wasn't on at all.

You decide how good this picture is! Just in case you didn't know, that's me on the left and Tyler on the right. This is on the pre-show field. On the pre-show field there are all sorts of activities to before the show. The work crew favorites are dancing and tug of war.

Me all harnessed up to go in the cherry picker!

Me in the cherry picker. I was working with one of the sound guys sawing off the long bars that weren't needed on the light towers.

That’s all for now. I’ll keep trying to update more often because it’s easier to write when it’s fresh in your mind.

Matt

Busy Busy Busy

Hi All!

Just to let you know we’re really busy at the moment and so have fallen behind with emails etc. I’ll catch up ASAP. There are a few cool things to tell you like how we put out 3000 chairs and tipped a huge trailer in the process (it’s cool but not as bad as it sounds!).

We were up at 6:15am and down at the site by 7:00am. It’s now just past 11:00pm and we’ve only been back around 15 minutes.

See you soon!

Matt

Day Six – General Stuff!

I’m getting behind already! Day 4 was even more tiring than day 3, I was so, so tired I just collapsed into bed. I’m now what sure which things happened on which day so I’ll talk about day 4 and 5 at the same time.

Over the past few days we’ve been doing general maintenance on the site, only one major project worth mentioning but I’ll get to that soon. We’ve started doing some lift cues under the stage (the stage has three huge moving sections that require at least four people to unlock, move and lock again – I’ll get pictures of that when I can). We’ve built a great team under there and we work really well together.

Ed and Tyler working on one of the houses.

Among the general maintenance of the stage like fixing the handrails and screwing down loose boards, we’ve been working on the houses on stage. We’ve made sure they look good and the ones that move, we’ve made sure they move good! Yesterday, I had to make a new part for one of the ends of a house so that the fabric would attach properly. I wish I had a picture of my clinging on to the house trying to attach the fabric during one of the rehearsals!

Also yesterday, a few of use were working with props – we had to empty the props out of several shipping containers and sort them with the props directors. Here’s a picture of what it looked like when we’d got them all out:

There we go! Lots of props. It didn't actually take all that long to sort out.

The major project for yesterday was attaching a load of power sockets to the stage so the cast could plug the artificial fires in. Tyler and Jake worked really hard and got part way through but then we had to start again so we could reach the highest number of holes in the stage as possible with one cable. We got there eventually! It went so well in the end, we all got into it and wouldn’t stop until it was done. I’ll get some pictures ASAP so you know what I’m talking about. As we’d all being working so hard and we felt the socket project had been such a success we decided we deserved a pizza! At about 9:15 we got the all clear from the stage manager to leave the site. We wasted no time and went straight for it! 30 minutes later, the pizzas were utterly destroyed by the 5 of us.

Now we’re up-to-date. Today is Sunday – the best day of the week. We don’t work on Sundays so we get time to rest and see the sights of historic Nauvoo. Today we saw The Homestead, The Mansion House, The Nauvoo House and the Red Brick Store. I’ve only got pictures of the outside as we weren’t allowed to take them inside.

That’s all for now!
Matt

Myself, Jake, Ed and Tyler.

The Nauvoo House.

Lots of people! There a mix of the work crew, Jays family and more so I can't name them all.

So Very Tired – Day 3

Hey, this is the morning of day 4 but I didn’t say anything about day 3. It went really well and we had a rehearsal in the evening in which we had to do some lift cues. I’m just letting you know I’m still here. I’m just busy and tired so I’ll catch up with my emails asap (I’m not ignoring you!). I should have plenty of time tomorrow to catch up. Oh yeah, someone asked about the weather, it’s been fine so far. The highest it’s been yet is 86F but it’s been lower most of the time. Today it’s very cool at the moment; plenty of cloud cover to keep the sun out.

By for now,
Matt

Day Two

What an creative title! I couldn’t think of anything else. I woke up to the sound of an alarm clock (not mine); waited for it to stop and then went back to sleep. A very short while later it went off again but others woke up so I forced myself to stay awake. I didn’t feel too bad considering how little sleep I’d had.

I grabbed a nice cool shower and then made my way down to breakfast. This morning I had Frosties (no, I’m not advertising) and chocolate milk. After brekky I checked my emails and then made my way down to the site. We continued where we left off yesterday by sanding down all the rusted metal and then repainting it. This took most of the morning, there’s a lot of rust. After that, I moved on to sanding down the top part of the stage so people didn’t trip over it. I was doing this for almost an hour when lunch came around. I can’t remember what I had for lunch but it was very nice and wasn’t cereal. I also had a dose of chocolate milk.

After lunch we had are daily work crew lesson. Tyler gave it today and it was great. After the lesson it was back down to the site to continue my sanding.

There we go! Looks a little messy because parts are burnt (it smelled great and looked cool though!). We then painted over it to make it look a bit better.

After the sanding, I moved on to general stage repairs. This involved changing hinges (you can see two of them in the sanding picture) and screwing down any of the loose boards and other general work to improve the presentation of the stage. Dinner came around real soon, I don’t know how the time went.

Earlier today we learned that we would be needed down at the site because there was going to be a rehearsal. After dinner, we went down to the site and finished clearing up and got ready under the stage to move the pieces when the cues were given. The cues were given from Kay to me and then I relayed them to the rest of the group. This became much easier when the AV guys found us some wireless headsets.

Most of the guys working under the stage (including Ed) didn’t know how to unlock, move and lock the stage pieces so we had to train them fast. It was a full rehearsal with core cast only but they wanted all the stage pieces moving and we hadn’t had time to practice. Everyone worked together and learned incredibly fast. Everything turned out great.

At the end everyone thanked us for our efforts and commented on our dedication and enthusiasm – this was really nice. They really made us feel appreciated and part of the pageant. It’s quite hard to put in to words really.

That just about sums up today. I’ve mentioned the most important things. Guess what I’m going to say next – if I’ve forgotten anything important, I’ll add it later.

Hello to all!
Matt

Our nice new paint job.

Starting to put up the lights.

Lumberjack or lighting guy?

HAHAHA! Smokey.

A cool action shot of Jake sanding some more wood.

A cricket bat? A baseball bat? Some kind of bat anyway. Yes, it's inside, on a table, clinging to my bag. It's probably still there now.

A stunning view of the Nauvoo temple.

Finally Arrived

After more than 27 hours of traveling we finally arrived in Nauvoo. It all started in Manchester with security – we were standing in line for over an hour which was rather boring. After security, we wait and wait and wait for our plane to be assigned to a gate. When it finally is, there is a 35 minute delay on top. Apart from that, Manchester to Philadelphia was great.

Things then took a turn for the worst! Immigration took 1hr 30mins and it seemed to drag on forever. Fortunately, we weren’t completely grilled about a 6 week stay in the US because sometimes they can be pretty awkward! After that, we were just in time to make our connection to St. Louis – no such luck. We dropped all the bags off for the connection and then went to see which gate we had been assigned.

St. Louis – 4:25 –┬áCanceled

Ah, great! Just after we’d dropped off the bags as well. Time to go back to the check-in desk. To cut a long story short, we were given reserve tickets for the 8:05 flight meaning we weren’t even guaranteed to get on. Then followed a 6 hour wait involving the consumption of pizza and cookie dough ice cream.

To cut another long story short, we only just made the 8:05 flight. Only two other people boarded after us. After a nice short flight including awesomely incredible fantastic views of thunder storms we arrived in St. Louis and met the McCandless’s. It was sooooooooooo good to see a friendly face after such a long day. They were so great to wait so long! We then had the 3 hour drive to Nauvoo. I managed to nod off a few times but not for long enough. Finally, we arrived in Nauvoo at 3am (9am 27th June England). That’s a long time considering we left home at 6am (26th June England)!

I then slept for 3 hours and woke up to numerous alarm clocks. For those of you who know me well, you know I don’t do very well on 6 hours sleep, never mind 3. It’s now nearly 10:30pm and I’m still going. I can’t believe it, I have no idea how it’s happened. Today I’ve been working with Steve Wall down at the Pageant site bolting staircases to the stage and wirebrushing rust off all the framework and repainting it. It doesn’t sound like much but it was a huge job. There’s still loads more to do tomorrow.

It’s been so great to meet and work with people I did last year!

That’s a short summary of today (oh yeah, Ed’s suitcase turned up just over an hour ago). I’ll add any important details I missed as I remember them. I’ve got some photos for you as well.

That’s all for now!
Matt

When trying to remove this bolt, we just twisted the head right off it, I didn't know we were that strong!

Steve welding the new support on. The one with the broken bolt didn't work any more (to put it short!).

Me with a big fat cable and that's Tyler.